12 Surprising Interview Tips

LinkedIn
Interview Tips

You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?

To find the answer, I looked back on my interviews, sifted through research, and most importantly, asked employees from today’s most coveted companies. I tried to find deep insights beyond the typical “sit up straight!” and “dress to impress!” tips we hear too much.

Below you’ll find the 12 best tips to help before, during and after your interview.

BEFORE

 1.    Research Earnings Calls, Quarterly Reports & Blog Posts

In today’s world, content is king. Goldman Sachs publishes quarterly reports, Microsoft records its earning calls, and every startup has a blog.

With so much out there, I’m baffled that few of us look past the company’s homepage. It’s like we’re writing an essay on The Odyssey without quoting a single passage from the book.

Example: If you’re interviewing with Google, here’s two ways to answer: “What’s Google’s biggest opportunity in the next 5 years?”

  • Weak: “I think wearable technology will be big because Google Glass and Apple Watch represent a new trend that shows…”
  • Strong: “Call me geeky, but I was listening to Google’s quarterly earnings call and was blown away by the fact that display advertising hit over $5 billion in the past few years. Therefore, I think that…”

Neither answer is wrong, but the latter says much more. It shows you’ve done your homework and give answers rooted in data.

2.   Use Google Alerts

Keeping up with company news is hard, especially if you’re interviewing with multiple places at once. That’s why Google Alerts is a savior; it’s a tool that emails you anytime a new story appears for a specific term. That way, you learn about current events without searching for them.

 Example: If you’re applying to Creative Artists Agency, follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.google.com/alerts
  2. Type in “Creative Artists Agency”
  3. Put in your email address if you’re not already logged in to Gmail

Soon enough, you’ll get updates on CAA and have more ammo for your interview.

3. Use Social Sweepster To Clean Your Facebook & Twitter

Nowadays, 91% of employers search your social media for any red flags. While most people tell you to watch every single thing you upload, there’s a much easier solution. Use Social Sweepster, an app that detects pictures of red solo cups, beer bottles, and other “suspicious” objects. It even detects profanity from your past posts! Now, that’s f%$king awesome!

“Too many recruiters reject candidate because of something they found on their social platforms” Social Sweepster CEO Tom McGrath says. “We help you create the first impression on your own terms.”

4. Schedule For Tuesday at 10:30 AM

According to Glassdoor, the best time to interview is 10:30 AM on Tuesday. Remember, your interviewer has a world of responsibilities beyond hiring. They’re responding to emails, balancing projects, and meeting tons of other candidates so it’s crucial to consider when they’ll be in the best mental state to meet you.

10:30 AM Tuesday is the sweet spot because you:

  • Avoid the bookends. On Mondays and Fridays, employees gear up for the week or wind down. By the same token, avoid the first or last slots of any workday.
  • Avoid lunchtime. Immediately before noon, your interviewer may be too hungry to concentrate; immediately after, they may be in a food coma.

But there’s a caveat. Research shows it’s best to take the earliest interview slot “in circumstances under which decisions must be made quickly or without much deliberation because preferences are unconsciously and immediately guided to those options presented first.”

Bottom line: if the firm is hiring for a job starting in a few months, try to interview late morning between Tuesday through Thursday. If the firm is hiring immediately, grab the earliest slot.

5. Craft Your “Story Statement”

 Though most interviews start with the same prompt (“tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”), we blow it off with boring answers like:

I studied [major X] because I really care about making a difference in [industry Y] as you can see through my last job at [company Z]…

This answer is like tearing out the first 200 pages of your autobiography. You leave out everything that gives meaning to why you want this job in the first place. What was your moment of epiphany? How did your childhood influence you? Why does this job move you? Most people don’t answer these questions. They start and end with their professional experience, leaving little to inspire the interviewer.

Next time, use what I call a “Story Statement,” which is a Cliff Notes of your autobiography.

Example: Here’s an amazing Story Statement that Teach For America fellow Kareli Lizarraga used for her interviews.

“I grew up in California and Arizona after immigrating to the United States when I was four years old. Since neither of my parents went to college, I relied on my high school teachers to help me apply to top universities. With their support, I was able to attend the University of Pennsylvania. Then I spent a summer at a Washington DC law firm, which represented low-income students and helped me realize that my passion lay within creating educational opportunities for all.

I decided to become a teacher because I see myself so deeply reflected in the stories of so many students in your schools – and that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity to interview with you today. Like my teachers did for me, I want to impact the next generation of students by supporting them and understanding the experiences they’re facing.”

A Story Statement shows that you’re a person, not just a professional.  It also makes it easy for your interviewer to predict the next chapter of your story. For Kareli, Teach For America is a logical next step. Of course, if she interviewed for Apple, she may change her Story Statement to include an early experience with her first computer and talk about how her passion for tech grew from there. For a Bain interview, she could mention how she started problem solving at a young age and now wants to do it on a big scale.

Chances are, we’ve all had experiences we can connect to where we’re trying to go. It’s just a matter of selecting the right ones to tell our story. That said, if you struggle to craft your Story Statement for a particular interview, you might be applying for the wrong job.

6. Wear a Subtle Fashion Statement

We already know dressing well makes a difference. But what if we took our attention to detail a step further? That’s exactly what Morgan Stanley analyst Julio German Arias Castillo did for his interviews.

“Wear something that represents your culture or background,” he says. “In my case, I always wear a pin of the Panamanian flag on my suit lapel. Most of my interviewers ask about it so it becomes a chance to discuss my upbringing and love of my homeland.”

Julio created a conversation starter with his clothing. Depending on the company, you can be more playful: wear a bracelet from your recent travels to India, a tie with a quirky pattern, or — if you can pull it off — a small mockingjay pin if you’re a Hunger Games fan. As long as it’s subtle and tasteful, your fashion statement can build rapport through fun conversations about your hometown or mutual love for Katniss Everdeen.

Continue on to Forbes.com to read tips 7-12 and more great career/business articles

Daymond John’s Advice To The Founder Of Mutt’s Sauce And Other Veteran Entrepreneurs

LinkedIn

After Charlynda Scales’ grandfather, Charlie Ferrell, Jr., passed away in 2005, she honored the Vietnam and Korean War veteran’s memory by serving in the U.S. Air Force. Eight years later, she’d honor him again by launching Mutt’s Sauce, LLC.

She started the business in 2013 when her mother handed her the secret family recipe that had been locked in a safe for years. Ferrell, whose military nickname was “The Mutt” for “his ability to blend in with all types of cultures and make friends with anyone,” created the sauce in 1956 when he was deployed to Japan. While there, he and his family hosted many dinners for troops stationed in East Asia. According to family lore, his sweet and peppery tomato-based sauce was the highlight of parties, bringing military families of all backgrounds together during the 1950s. “It was never a business, he would just make it for friends and family,” said Scales. “He’d give them as gifts to break the ice with whoever he met at military parties or cookouts in his hometown of Cookeville, Tennessee.”

Ferrell created the multipurpose sauce because he wanted to declutter his refrigerator and rely on one bottle to flavor every meal. It would take his granddaughter multiple tries to recreate the original recipe. She used $15,000 in savings to hire a manufacturer operated by an Amish family in Chillicothe, Ohio. With their home-cooking techniques and equipment, they managed to replicate the sauce in large batches. “They literally hand-poured the sauce into 700 bottles,” says Scales, who took them door-to-door to mom-and-pop groceries and farmers’ markets. At $5 a bottle, Mutt’s Sauce sold out within its first week.

She was eager to increase output and lower prices to compete with other condiments. But she had to find a larger manufacturer that she could afford and that would be able to maintain the same tanginess while producing mass quantities. “We want the sauce to be used by everyday families. We don’t want to be too high-end,” says Scales.

In 2016 she attended a military conference in Dallas where she learned of the Heroes to CEOs grant contest run by Bob Evans Foods, which produces and distributes frozen foods and side dishes. Candidates had to submit a video and story about their business’s military or veteran roots in order to win a $25,000 grant.

Mike Townsley, CEO of Bob Evans Foods, says this program is one way to carry on the spirit of Bob Evans, the company’s late founder. “He had a soft spot for the military and veterans because he served in the Army,” said Townsley.

The company has kicked off its second annual Heroes to CEOs contest. In addition to the grant, three finalists win a trip to New York City where they will receive mentoring from BEF executives and a half-day coaching session with Shark Tank judge Daymond John. “He’s equipped to teach them ways to gain momentum that are unique to an entrepreneur,” says Townsley. “It’s so much more different starting a small business wearing many hats, versus a large corporation that I run.”

According to John, all military and veteran business owners should act like supportive partners: “Their biggest asset is a large network of other men and women who they’ve served with. Tap this core group and symbiotically learn from them and serve them.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

I’m Qualified, Why Can’t I Find a Job?

LinkedIn
Transitioning Veteran

By Ryan Guina

I’ve been using LinkedIn a lot more frequently lately. It’s a great place to connect with people, offer advice, and ask for assistance if you need it. If you are on LinkedIn, I recommend joining some of the many veterans groups on there, which offer a lot of great support and advice for finding a job.

You Have to Know Where to Look For Work

The job market is tough right now, but not impossible. One of the most important things to know is that most jobs aren’t listed publicly. They are part of the “hidden job market” which means they simply aren’t advertised when they become open—they are typically filled internally, through referrals from current employees, or through headhunters. Why? Because most jobs posted publicly receive anywhere from 50 to 100 (or more) applications. Hiring managers use these three methods to screen potential employees. This saves employers time and money.

Networking is Essential for Finding a Job in Today’s Economy

The best way to find a job in the current economy is through your professional network or through a recruiter. Start by contacting someone in your professional network and ask them to peer review your resume. This will give you a good idea of where your resume can be improved. They may also let you know about potential job openings at their employer if there are any. If most of your peers are still in the military, then consider joining some professional organizations or clubs, doing volunteer work at your church or with a charity, or finding other ways you can expand your network and show other people your skills.

You may also benefit by reaching out to a staffing agency or head hunter. Some of the jobs they offer are only temporary positions, but they are still worth taking as it helps put money in your pocket and keeps your skills fresh. These positions may sometimes lead to a full time job, or they may give you the opportunity to learn new skills or gain additional experience.

Seek Out Positions That Use Your Military Skills

Your military experience is incredibly valuable, especially for government agencies and contractors who work with the government. Many people have the skills you have, but don’t speak the “same language” the military speaks. That was the selling point I used when I landed my first post-military job. It’s often easier to teach vets specific skills than it is to teach non-veterans how the military operates.

A security clearance can also be a very valuable tool in helping you get a job. There are even career sites that specialize in posting openings for people with a various levels of security clearances. If you have a security clearance, try to keep it active long enough to use it at your next job. You may also be able to reactivate an expired security clearance in less time than it takes for someone to get one from scratch—which is an expensive and time-consuming process for employers. This gives you a leg up over someone who doesn’t have a security clearance.

Review your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

It is essential to take care when crafting your first post-military resume. Pay special attention to translating your military skills into civilian terms, so that a layman can understand what you bring to the table. When writing a resume, it’s also essential to create a unique resume for each job application and include specific skills and keywords from the job description to ensure it is selected by the automatic filters many companies use to screen resumes.

Take some time to go through your LinkedIn profile and any other digital profiles or resumes—you may find ways to improve your digital profiles to make them more attractive to employers.

Look Into Government Employment and Programs

There are many government programs for veterans, including the Veterans Job Corps, which will create public service jobs for veterans. Other veteran career programs include My Next Move for Veterans, the Veterans Job Bank, and the Veterans Gold Card. You may also consider a job with the civil service or a state agency, many of which give a veterans preference.

Consider Further Education

If you still have education benefits available to you, then consider going back to school on a full- or part-time basis. The GI Bill can help you obtain a degree or other certification, which can help you enhance your employability. If you are unemployed and meet the requirements, you may also be eligible for the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which gives GI Bill benefits to unemployed vets.

About the Author
Ryan Guina is the founder of TheMilitaryWallet.com, a military and veterans benefits site. He has served more than 6 years on active duty and currently serves in the Air National Guard.

Find the original article and more from TheMilitaryWallet here

Electrical Apprenticeship Offers Vet a Bright Future

LinkedIn

By Rhonda Burke

As a 17-year-old student at St. Charles High School in Illinois, Kyle Horn knew he was interested in a career as an electrician. He had his eye on a local apprenticeship program but first joined the Army Reserve as an interior electrician upon graduation in 2007.

With a few years of real-world experience under his belt, he applied in 2011 – and was accepted – as an apprentice while remaining in the Reserve. The program is run through the Northern Illinois Electrical Joint Apprentice Training Center in Crystal Lake, known as the JATC, and partners with the U.S. Department of Labor.

“The JATC has been extremely accommodating of my Army duties,” the 28-year-old veteran said. “Prior to my last deployment, they worked with me off-hours and extra days to help me finish my fourth year in the program so I’d be ready to finish up when I returned.”

Sgt. Horn returned in March 2017 from his second deployment to Iraq, where he was assigned to the 863rd Engineer Battalion, 945th Engineer Detachment, Utilities Detachment in support of Combined Joint Task Force−Operation Inherent Resolve, the multi-national coalition working to defeat ISIS and stabilize the region. He was also deployed to the country in 2010.

Today, Horn is nearly finished with the five-year apprenticeship − which also involves taking college courses − and is working at Associated Electrical, a Northern Illinois company that provides commercial and industrial services.

“I really like my job because the work environment changes every day. You never stop learning and it is never monotonous,” he said. Another benefit: “I have no student loans and have been paid to learn on the job. It is a tremendous opportunity,” he said, noting he has several friends who incurred significant student debt while learning their vocation. The same is true for his wife, Nicole, who is an architect.

Upon completing 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 1,000 hours of instructional learning, Horn will receive an industry-issued, nationally recognized journeyman certificate from the training center. Electricians in Illinois can expect to earn close to $80,000 per year on average.

His long-term goals include completing his bachelor’s degree; he has nearly enough credits now through his apprenticeship training. He is also committed to a 20-year career in the Army Reserve.

“I feel truly blessed,” he said. “I have a baby son due in January and two great careers that will enable me to take great care of my family.”

There are more than 500,000 apprentices across the country, with more apprenticeship opportunities added every day. Learn more at dol.gov/apprenticeship. Information about career services available for veterans, transitioning service members and their spouses is available at veterans.gov.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Budweiser Celebrates Summer with New Freedom Reserve Red Lager

LinkedIn

Budweiser unveiled the newest addition to its Reserve Collection – Budweiser Freedom Reserve Red Lager. The new beer was specially brewed by Budweiser’s own veterans and builds on Budweiser’s long-standing support of American veterans with a portion of proceeds sold this summer benefiting Folds of Honor — a nonprofit organization providing educational scholarships to military families. As of this year, the company has raised $14 Million in support of Folds of Honor.

“To call Budweiser a partner would be an understatement – they are considered family to us and the 3,000 families their donations help to support,” said Major Dan Rooney, founder and CEO of Folds of Honor. “Freedom Reserve is a great testament to their unwavering dedication and compassion for our armed forces and we salute them.”

Freedom Reserve Red Lager is the second specialty lager to appear in Budweiser’s Reserve Collection and is inspired by George Washington’s hand-penned recipe from his personal military journal dating back to 1757. Packaged both in a vintage stubby bottle and also available in a one-pint can, the Red Lager is brewed with toasted barley grains for a slightly sweet aroma with a touch of hops, a rich caramel malt taste and a smooth finish with a hint of molasses. Marking the seventh consecutive year Budweiser is teaming up with Folds of Honor, the brand brought together a select group of Budweiser brewers who are also proud veterans to brew Freedom Reserve and their signatures are prominently featured on each bottle and can.

We are incredibly proud of our Freedom Reserve Red Lager because it was passionately brewed by our veteran brewers who have bravely served our country,” said Ricardo Marques, vice president, Budweiser. “With Freedom Reserve we remain dedicated to our mission to support our veterans and their families through our longstanding partnership with Folds of Honor.”

As the great American lager, Budweiser is committed to supporting U.S. veterans and their families, with the brand’s total contributions helping to benefit more than 3,000 families across the country. To help spread the message of support this summer, Budweiser will deploy a fully integrated marketing campaign for Freedom Reserve, complete with in-store displays, online advertising and digital marketing programming along with new national TV creative airing during marquee sports moments, including the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Freedom Reserve will be available beginning in May through September 30, or while limited supplies last.

Continue onto PRNewswire to read the complete article.

The iGen iEverything Train is Coming, but Are You Ready?

LinkedIn

Technology is being consumed at an ever increasing rate causing executives, managers, and process improvement experts on the factory floor to re-define the methods of training and dissemination that have become obsolete.

Critical skills and tribal knowledge are being lost as boomers retire and training plans for new employees fall short of preparing workers for the sophistication of the new manufacturing environment.

Move over millennials, here comes the IGen! Born between 1995 and 2005 this group of tech savvy natives is the next cohort and are just now entering the workforce. IGen, or Gen Z as they are often referred, have grown up in a world of social media where Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter reign supreme. These kids are a force to be reckoned with and require access to information in ways that are familiar, immediate, and actionable. Our success depends on them because as the IGen goes, so goes the manufacturing industry, the nation, and the world.

Alliance Resource Group, in partnership with Sify Technologies has pulled together experts from manufacturing, academia and automated methodologies to develop a solution that addresses the manufacturing challenge of this next generation and identifies the key components of a successful framework including content management, dissemination methodology, scalability, and integration with current learning management systems. These components constitute a micro-learning strategy that facilitates current and future state requirements. Developed in participation with a major government funded military program, this framework is at the ready to support the success of our veterans as they transition into civilian careers.

Alliance Resource Group (ARG), is a service disabled veteran owned business located in Newport Beach California. With a foundation in resource management, recruiting, and consulting, ARG provides services to small and medium size companies throughout the United States.

View the ARG White Paper here! Better be prepared for total process transformation if you want to remain competitive.

If You’re a Military Planner, You’re a Project Manager

LinkedIn
Project Manager

In the military, there is always action of some kind, from training to maintenance, and behind it all, there is a plan. The framework for military planning is often described as the troopleading procedures, the military decision-making process, or as an acronym such as SMEAC (“S” Situation, “M” Mission, “E” Execution, “A” Administration/Logistics, “C” Command/Signal), or MCPP (The Marine Corps Planning Process), etc.

Successful leaders, both in and out of the military, need to know how to plan and manage projects, which includes adjusting plans as needed to ensure success. It’s project management that executes a marketing campaign, a business plan, or the building of a house or a freeway. In both business and military organizations, there are myriad approaches to management and planning, but all projects have a lifecycle and the same essential components.

The most recognized standard for project management is the PMI (Project Management Institute) process, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard. It’s based on the doctrine presented in the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which is a guideline for managing projects. If you can look beyond the differences in terminology, you’ll see that it’s very much like military planning.

All forms of project management are a means to solve a problem which, in the military model, can be what to train, how to resupply, or how to plan a battle. In the business model, project management goals may be building a product, providing a service, or achieving a particular result. The process outlined by PMI consist of five phases, beginning with initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and finally closing the project. The PMI process places these phases into the project’s lifecycle, which determines the focus of effort.

Initiating. In the PMI model, this is receiving a task, assigning responsibility or a project manager, and estimating the requirements. In the military model, this is receiving a mission from the command, assessing the mission tasks, conducting necessary reconnaissance, etc. The initiation phase is when initial planning begins, either assembling a planning team or sending out an NCO to gather and coordinate resources.

Planning. In both models, planning is a democratic process of analyzing the mission or requirements, determining a commander’s intent, identifying essential tasks, and deconstructing those tasks. It is looking for any conflict between tasks and resources, timing of events, and end state. There is also a quality component, which will measure the mission’s success. It’s a collaborative process, dependent on the collective and active participation of all participants.

Executing. The phase in which the real work begins, executing is the longest of all the lifecycle phases and where the bulk of the effort is placed. Executing is consuming resources—labor and material—to achieve the project objectives. As requirements, goals or objectives change or risks are uncovered, the plan is adjusted to adapt.

Monitoring and controlling. This phase includes the feedback loop, used to monitor and control where plans are adjusted through the change order process known as the FRAGO (fragmentary order). Through feedback, progress and quality of execution is monitored, controlled and evaluated. Reports are made and plans adjusted accordingly. It’s in this phase of the lifecycle that the commander or the project manager coordinates the main effort and its supporting elements to ensure mission or project success.

Closing. In the last phase of the project lifecycle, the project is closed when the mission is complete. Success is judged in terms of meeting time and quality goals and, often—even in the military—cost. The PMI process describes the project management challenge as the “triple constraint”: balancing resources, time, and quality requirements to achieve your goal.

Project management is essentially the same across industries, as military planning is the same across services and commands. Having a general knowledge of the process is helpful—what will get you a shot at a job is knowing the industry-specific language. As a service member, you may not have a great depth of technical experience in a particular industry, but you have leadership experience. Often the crux of the project management challenge is getting the team to work together, understanding the requirements, and, most importantly, effectively communicating to the stakeholders. Your ability to listen, collaborate, problem solve, and lead are traits that industry is looking for. Your challenge is to translate these qualities into the industry-specific language for your next career.

Author
Mike Olivier

What are soft skills?

LinkedIn
Two young men reviewing resume

Every career has a job description. Employers like to make clear the experience, education, and skills they look for in an employee, so they can ensure a good fit. But in addition to “hard skills” that come from your education and work experience, employers want to know if you have the personality and character it takes to do well in the workplace and in your specific role. These less-technical skills are called “soft skills.”

So what are soft skills?
Unlike other parts of your job duties, soft skills are traits that aren’t trained, according to hiring and onboarding coach, Jen Teague.

Human resources consultant, Laura MacLeod, says soft skills are interpersonal skills like communication, empathy, collaboration, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.

“These skills are all essential for employees in any organization,” MacLeod says. “We all work with people in a variety of ways, and teams are the norm in almost every company. Hiring professionals and supervisors need to know you will get along with, support, and effectively connect and collaborate with co-workers to complete tasks.”

Why are soft skills important?
Simply put, hard skills may get you an interview, but soft skills can help you get the job and keep it. The soft skills that set you apart from others may also lead to future incentives or promotions.

Soft skills are an excellent way for you to differentiate yourself in a job search. If your technical skill is on par with other candidates, your ability to communicate and build a connection with hiring managers can be a tiebreaker of sorts.

You’re probably wondering which soft skills will set you apart from other applicants. Most hiring managers agree that communication skills are at the top of their list. While you don’t have to be an amazing speech-deliverer, employers want to know that you can handle conflict, portray ideas in presentations or conversations, and write coherently.

Like MacLeod mentioned, conflict resolution and collaboration are other key areas hiring managers value. But don’t be fooled—working well with others isn’t just about keeping a calm office. The ability to develop relationships that benefit both parties is a big part of becoming an influential and effective employee.

While it’s true that many of these traits are “built in,” don’t worry too much if these don’t come naturally to you. There are plenty of ways to learn and grow as you prepare for a job. If you’re interested in developing your soft skills, courses in leadership or public speaking may help. Additionally, a mentor can help you identify blind spots in your abilities and push you to improve.

How can I make my soft skills stand out?
Though any hiring manager would agree on the importance of soft skills, they can be hard to quantify. “These skills are tough to share on a resume,” said Laura MacLeod. “How do you list empathy? And who can vouch for it? Even in the interview, soft skills are not so easy to prove or demonstrate.”

But showing your soft skills isn’t impossible. It just takes a little work. MacLeod recommends not only emphasizing your soft skills in interviews, but sharing specific examples to illustrate how you apply them in your life and on the job. Giving employers an idea of how your personality comes to life when you’re working with a team can also help you avoid clichés, like “I’m a team player” or “I’m good with people.”

For example, MacLeod says to recall times when you’ve worked on a team project where members had conflicting views, and share how you handled it.

“Were you the leader who made sure all voices were heard and then helped mediate and resolve the conflict? Maybe you were one of the team and you took the role of helping evaluate each view and coming to consensus. Maybe you were the one to support the person whose idea was not used,” MacLeod said.

MacLeod says these are all examples that can be highly relevant to employers making hiring decisions.

When it comes to your resume, leveraging your soft skills may sound tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, how you communicate on your resume and cover letter are great examples of your soft skills. Start by making sure your resume and cover letter are typo free and grammatically sound.

Remember to show and not just tell. Saying you’re an excellent communicator has much less impact than giving concrete examples of times where your communication ability was excellent. Anyone can say they’re amazing—it’s up to you to prove it.

Author
Ashley Abramson

About Rasmussen College
Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college that is dedicated to changing lives and the communities it serves through high-demand and flexible educational programs. Since 1900, the College has been committed to academic innovation and empowering students to pursue a college degree. Rasmussen College offers certificate and diploma programs through associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in seven schools of study including business, health sciences, nursing, technology, design, education and justice studies.

Source: rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/college-life/what-are-soft-skills/

Hilton Offering Jobs and Free Hotel Stays

LinkedIn
Hilton

Hilton has a long legacy of supporting the military, dating back to its founder, Conrad Hilton, a U.S. Army veteran who served in World War I. In August 2013, Hilton launched Operation: Opportunity, with a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018. The company accomplished that goal two years ahead of schedule and is now committing to hire an additional 20,000 military hires by the end of 2020. Veterans and their spouses are a natural fit at Hilton because of the company’s shared values with the military, like leadership, integrity and teamwork.

Hilton is now offering a unique benefit to veterans: free hotel stays for job-hunt related travel.

Here’s how it works: Veterans who need to travel for any job-related activity, in any industry, can register with their local employment office and receive 100,000 Hilton Honors points to cover their lodging. Veterans most commonly use the program when they’re traveling out of town for interviews, trainings and certifications. Hilton partners with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies to donate points throughout the year—and more than 1,100 veterans have benefitted from Hilton’s 1.2 million points donated to date.

The Points donation program is one of many ways Hilton is using its business of hospitality to support active duty military, veterans and their families. A few others include:

  • Discounted stays: Active and retired military and their families receive a 10 percent discount at all of Hilton’s 14 hotel brands
  • Military spouse career program: Hilton has developed dedicated career paths that accommodate the unique challenges military spouses and their families face. Military spouses often have trouble finding jobs when the family relocates. Hilton’s work-from-home program offers virtual training, remote working options that can relocate with employees, and flexible schedules for better work-life balance.

 

12 Ways to Land That Civilian Job

LinkedIn

You’ve proven your commitment, discipline, and resourcefulness in the military world. Now it’s time to trade in your experience for a great job. Just like everything, it’s all about readiness and attitude. Start early. Be prepared. Go for it.

1. First step, verify yourself. Your Verification of Military Experience and Training summarizes your skills, knowledge and experience, and suggests civilian equivalent job titles. Get yours through the Department of Defense at the Transition GPS website.

2. Get a career assessment. You have considerable strengths and skills. Now, how can they be applied to a civilian job? A career assessment can point the way. Military installation Transition Centers can set you up with a test at no cost.

3. Translate your experience into Civilian. Your military licenses or certifications might not be recognizable to the civilian world. Search your service branch’s Credentialing Opportunities Online site to learn how to translate training and experience into skills employers recognize.

4. Assess, repeat. Narrow your search to a few career fields and check salary information and common skill requirements. Decide on the type of job, pay range, and location you’re willing to accept. But don’t pigeon-hole yourself. If you’re not making headway, adjust your expectations or explore new options.

5. Get out there. Take advantage of every opportunity: recruiters, military transition offices, even old-school help wanted ads. Contact your nearest employment office or private employment agencies (make sure you know who’s paying). Check Internet job sites—but watch it. Get recommendations about trustworthy sites.

6. Tap your transition assistance offices. Take an employment workshop. Get referrals for employment agencies and recruiters, job leads, career counseling, and computer access for online job searches. Transition assistance offices have a wealth of services.

7. Look good online. Employers check social media almost immediately when they’re thinking of hiring. Do you need to remove material that makes you look like a bad hire? Get a grown-up email address? How about creating or updating your profile on LinkedIn?

8. Hit the job fairs. This is one-stop shopping. Meet potential employers, pass out resumes, and interview on the spot, all in one place. Look sharp and practice your interview skills beforehand. Learn about upcoming job fairs and who will be there at your transition office as well as online.

9. Go from military to Fed. Find civilian jobs online with the federal government through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. You can also create an account and build your résumé at USAJOBS. Brush up on the website’s process before submitting your résumé by taking the online workshop for federal employment and searching for TGPS courses.

10. Be a civilian in the military. Find civilian jobs online through the Air Force Civilian Service, Navy Civilian Human Resources, or Civilian Personnel Online for the Army.

11. Network, then network some more. Networking is one of the most effective of all job search tools. You’ve made a lot of great connections during your time in the service. Transition is the right time to start putting them to work. Get in touch with friends and fellow veterans. It’s a good thing to re-establish friendships as you transition.

12. Take advantage of your status. Many organizations are committed to helping veterans find a good job. Look for groups with programs like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative. Check out organizations like Soldier for Life, Marine for Life, the Military Officers Association of America, Non Commissioned Officers Association or Enlisted Association, and United Service Organizations.

Your military experience is valuable to many employers. Not many people have your proven work ethic and dedication. Like everything, finding the right job is a matter of being prepared and doing the work. You’re in the military. You know how to make that happen. And there are lots of people and resources who want to back you up.

Source: militaryonesource.mil

Kirstie Ennis: Going “Full Throttle”

LinkedIn
Kirstie Ennis

By Brady Rhoades

Veteran Kirstie Ennis is one of the best Paralympian snowboarders in the world, and she’s also eying the seven great summits, recently climbing 19,341-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and 16,024-foot Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia. On one leg.

As a Marine Corps sergeant. in Afghanistan—a helicopter door gunner—she wrecked a leg when the helicopter she was in crashed. That leg was amputated above the knee in 2015.

Her jaw was destroyed, she lost teeth, she injured discs in her spine, and she suffered facial lacerations, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD.

In the process of undergoing more than 40 surgeries, she came to a realization, acquiring a come-to-terms toughness and wisdom that would help motivate her to train as a snowboarder for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang County, in the Gangwon region of South Korea.

And to attempt to conquer the tallest peaks on all seven continents.

Countless times a day, she repeats one of her mantras: Stop worrying about what you lost. Look at what you’ve got. Or: What counts is what’s behind your rib cage and six inches between your ears.

She’s only 26, but her near-death experience offered an invaluable lesson on how precious time is.

“I go full throttle,” she said. “I come up with obnoxious goals and I go after them.”

It’s hard to believe that this fifth-gear athlete chasing Paralympian goals—and literally ascending historic heights for an above-the-knee-amputee mountain climber—spent months in hospital beds, nearly lifeless, filled with doubt, enveloped in depression. She wondered how she’d ever get around, go on. What would she do? Would she ever wear a dress again? Would anyone ever be attracted to her?

Idle time can be a wounded warrior’s worst enemy. Fathers can be their best friends.

“Dad said, ‘People in the Middle East couldn’t kill you, and now you’re going to collapse?'” she recalls. “The light went on and I said, ‘I made it home. Nobody owes me a damn thing.'”

Kirstie Ennis

Ennis had to mine for the toughness that is at her core, but her sense of humor? That comes effortlessly.

The same year her leg was amputated, she participated in the Walking with the Wounded event, in which wounded warriors trek 1,000 miles, ending at Buckingham Palace in London. Ennis left dozens of dog tags bearing the names of fallen comrades along the way. She also met Prince Harry, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry, not one to shirk his duties, logged many miles during the event. At one point, he turned to Ennis and complained that his knee ached.

“I looked over and was like, ‘That’s (expletive) cute, really,’” Ennis said. Prince Harry cracked up.

Ennis and Prince Harry became fast friends. At the conclusion of her walk, she presented the final dog tag to him.

Their embrace was photographed and zoomed across the wires, making her a celebrity in a matter of minutes.

For her service to the country, Ennis has earned the NATO Medal, Combat Action Wings with three gold stars, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan National Campaign Medal, two Letters of Appreciation, Certificate of Commendation, and a Certificate of Appreciation.

But who says you can’t be uber-tough and sexy?

ESPN called, asking her to grace the cover of ESPN The Magazine‘s 2017 Body Issue, with rather risqué photos of her on the inside pages. They wanted her to climb Joshua Tree, sans clothes.

She had her doubts. But Ennis tends to run toward challenges, toward fear.

“I thought about it and considered the demographic and the people Kirstie Ennisthat would see it, and I realized that it wasn’t about me anymore,” she said. “Any man, woman, or child facing some sort of adversity has the potential to be inspired by these pictures of someone who has only been missing her leg for a few years go out and do things she wasn’t doing with two legs.”

Ennis appeared in the Body Issue, along with other great athletes, such as Javier Baez (baseball), A.J. Andrews (softball), and Malakai Fekitoa (rugby).

The daughter of two Marines, Ennis enlisted out of Florida when she was 17 years old, in 2008. She served for four years as a helicopter door gunner and airframes mechanic when disaster struck on June 23, 2012.

While on her second deployment in Afghanistan, Ennis’ CH-53D helicopter crashed in the Helmand Province.

Badly injured, she fought to remain on active duty but was medically retired in 2014. After her below-the-knee amputation on November 23, 2015, Ennis contracted the antibiotic-resistant MRSA and, because of a resulting infection, doctors were forced to remove her knee a month later.

“A below-the-knee amputation is night-and-day from above-the-knee,” she said. “You have to relearn everything. You’re basically a toddler.”

When she was told that surgeons would have to perform above-the-knee surgery, she said she “lost it.” She cried. She wailed.

“It’s one curveball after another,” she said.

She still struggles, emotionally. “I’d be lying if I said it’s easy,” she said.

Two years after her life-altering surgery, she’s adapted, and she’s developed coping skills, which is a critical component of recovery.

Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t.

Set lofty goals.

Stay busy.

And true to her military training, be of service to others.

“When I’m having a bad day, I help someone who’s missing three limbs,” she said. “There’s this common misconception about what strength is. In the grand scheme of things, we’re in this together. You have to realize that you have to turn to somebody.”

Some of her best days involving helping other wounded warriors—whether it be through her notoriety as a star Paralympian or simply visiting a hospital.

“I know I’m on a platform,” she said. “I want to inspire people to reach their potential.”

She recalls a wounded warrior uttering eight words that she’ll never forget and that make her journey—as harrowing as it has been—worth it.

“You inspired me to walk another 10 steps,” the woman said.