The Power of First Impressions

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You only get one shot at a first impression—and that shot may count for more than you think.

Why do so many job search posts deal with perfecting your handshake, making strong eye contact, and dressing properly? The reality is that those small factors comprise the first impression you make on a person. That impression frames your entire interaction, fairly or not.

Blink – a book by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell – investigates thin-slicing, a concept in psychology describing a person’s ability to make accurate assessments of people and situations based on brief observations and limited information.

The implications of thin-slicing on first impressions have been explored in great detail. The conclusion: First impressions are formed quickly and accurately.

During networking events and job interviews – environments where people are short on time and hypersensitive to perceived “red flags” – making your best impression during the “thin slice” of interactions takes on even greater importance.

Unfortunately, simply knowing the importance of first impressions doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll make a better one. Understand the elements that make up a first impression (what they are, what they communicate), however, and you can begin to improve how you are perceived in the opening moments of meeting someone new.

Before diving too deep, it is important to caution against missing the forest for the trees. Impressions matter. But the substance of who you are and the value you have matters considerably more.

Consider perfecting your first impression as the equivalent of a chef plating their dish; you want to present yourself in an appealing way, but the meal (and you) has to be satisfying beginning to end.

What influences a first impression?

Appearance
What you wear is up to you. We choose clothes based on their utility, their comfort, their style. We also choose clothes to express who we are and how we would like to be viewed.

But often, we can’t control how others view us based on those choices. Clothing and appearance matter when making a first impression. Snap judgements can be – and are – made based on the fit of your suit, the length of your skirt, or the color of your shoes.

A study published by psychologists in the UK compared snap judgements made about the same model wearing two slightly different suits. In one photo, he’s shown wearing a tailored suit and in another he’s wearing a suit of similar color and style, but off-the-rack. In a 3-second snap judgement, participants rated the model in a tailored suit as more successful and confident.

Not everyone can go out and get a tailored suit. However, you can make a concerted effort to dress the part for job interviews and networking events. If the event/interview is formal, match or exceed the formality of the interviewer. But if you’re networking at a Meetup.com gathering for web developers, you can probably lose the tie and wear something more relaxed.

Body language
Our bodies provide constant clues about how we feel, what we’re thinking, and who we are, often without us realizing.

Your body can reveal anxiety and nervousness often manifested in the tapping of your feet/hands, touching of your face, and biting of your nails.

Clearly, the best solution is to not be nervous. For most of us, including myself, this simply isn’t an option during a job interview or when meeting someone you admire.

Adequate preparation for a job interview or a networking event should limit your nervousness which, in turn, will lessen negative body language signals. You can also take steps to reduce jittery hands and face touching by holding something, like a coffee, pen or bag.

You can also make a conscious effort promote positive signals – like confidence and comfortability – through your body language. Maintain an open and upright posture. Limit the crossing of your arms or legs and avoid hunching your shoulders.

The introduction
You’ve already walked into the room dressed for success and with a posture that screams confidence. Next up is the introduction and obligatory handshake. Nothing has been pored over more by career, business and job search blogs than the handshake. And with good reason: the handshake matters.

A firm handshake is a strong indicator of extroversion and openness to new experiences. People with firm handshakes are also seen as less neurotic and shy. So if you have to, practice your handshake until you can deliver a firm, confident introduction.

The second part of a strong introduction is eye contact. Making consistent eye contact shows that you are confident and engaged. Avoiding eye contact shows anxiety and, potentially, deceptiveness.

You are looking to build trust and project confidence with your first impression, so make consistent eye contact. Avoid staring too long, however, as that can be intimidating.

Body temperature
Warm beverages may be the key to warm thoughts.

Researchers at Yale University conducted a study to show that physical warmth promoted interpersonal warmth. The study revealed that participants were more likely to view a person in a positive light if they were holding a warm object (like a cup of coffee), than if they were holding a cold object (like an iced coffee).

Physical warmth promotes positive feelings, so when setting up a first meeting or an interview try sitting down over a cup of coffee.

Of course, if your interviewer has an iced coffee habit, it doesn’t mean that you’re chances of making a good first impression are ruined. It just means your chances may be slightly improved if that interviewer is also wearing a sweater.

What is the takeaway
Understand that first impressions matter, but that they aren’t the whole story of who you are and what you can accomplish.

You can study the factors that go into making a positive first impression. You can buy the perfect outfit, master the handshake, use all the right body language and calculate an exact equation for appropriate eye contact. But at the end of the day you need to back up your first impression with actual substance, otherwise it’s all a show.

The best way to project confidence, aptitude and personality is to possess confidence, aptitude and personality.

You have to recognize what you can control. You can control your preparation. You can control your own abilities. You can control how you communicate your value.

You can’t, however, fully control how another person will view you. You just have to put the best version of yourself forward and hope for the best.

Author: Jeff Ayers at silvermanmcgovern.com

Looking for Your Civilian Career?

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Consider a career in hospitality or another of our top industry choices. From hotel managers to chefs to truck drivers, the hospitality and leisure industry adds more than $3.4 trillion to the global economy every year, according to siteminder.com. If you’d enjoy a job that could take you from being a server in a restaurant to the boardroom of a Fortune 500 company, a career in the hospitality and leisure industry might be perfect for you.

Restaurant General Manager

Average salary: $52,030

Employment is projected to grow 9% by 2026

Restaurant general managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants or other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages. They direct staff to ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience, and they manage the business to ensure it is profitable.

Hotel Manager

Average salary: $51,800

Employment is projected to grow 4% by 2026

Hotel managers ensure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience at a hotel, motel, or other types of establishment with accommodations. They also ensure that the establishment is run efficiently and profitably.

Flight Attendant

Average salary: $50,500

Employment is projected to grow 10% by 2026

Flight attendants provide routine services and respond to emergencies to ensure the safety and comfort of airline passengers while aboard planes.

Event Manager

Average salary: $48,290

Employment is projected to grow 11% by 2026

Event managers coordinate all aspects of events and professional meetings. They arrange meeting locations, transportation, and other details.

Executive Chef

Average salary: $45,950

Employment is projected to grow 10% by 2026

Executive chefs oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns.

Not seeing your dream job on the list of hospitality jobs? Check out some of our other top industry picks for starting your civilian career.

Other Industry Stats:

Healthcare is expected to provide 2.4 million new jobs by 2026

About 7.7 million people hold jobs related to the trucking industry

Other Top Industries for Veterans

While the latest statistics show the leisure and hospitality industry generally has the highest monthly job openings rate, other professional and business services offer plenty of opportunities as well. These openings are measured by the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), a monthly survey conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to help measure job vacancies.

Healthcare

Average salary: $64,770

Employment is projected to grow 18% by 2026

If a job in the medical field interests you, you’ll find many opportunities in healthcare. From assisted living facilities to the operating room, professionals in the healthcare field are in high demand. For example, with a master’s degree, you can become a genetic counselor and earn about $57,000 a year. Respiratory therapists earn about $55,000 a year and require an associate’s degree or higher. Demand for these healthcare specialists is expected to rise 19 percent by 2020.

Transportation

Average salary: $31,600

Employment is projected to grow 6% by 2026

The transportation industry industries providing transportation of passengers and cargo, warehousing and storage for goods, scenic and sightseeing transportation, and support activities related to modes of transportation. Establishments in these industries use transportation equipment or transportation-related facilities as a productive asset. The type of equipment depends on the mode of transportation—air, rail, water, road, or pipeline.

Trucking

Average salary: $42,480

Employment is projected to grow 6% by 2026

Companies in trucking provide over-the-road transportation of cargo using trucks and tractor trailers. The industry is divided into general freight trucking and specialized freight trucking, depending on the equipment used, type of load carried, scheduling, terminal, and other networking services. General freight transportation establishments handle a wide variety of general commodities, usually palletized, and transported in a container or van trailer.

Source: bls.gov

Successful Transition Begins with Backward Planning

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man thinking about his next career

By Mike Olivier

There are a few transitions in life that are inevitable; of that number there are fewer still where the day and time are certain. The transition from the military to civilian life is one of those transitions.

For those entering the civilian workforce, now is a good time. The military is heartily supported by all sectors of society, the economy is good, and unemployment is very low. That means getting a job is most likely not as difficult as it has been in the past. Nevertheless, there is no one standing outside the base gate handing out hundred dollars bills and employment contracts. Which means finding a good job is going to take work, and it is still going to require planning.

The good news is that the transition date for your departure from military life is certain, and you have advance notice. For some, this transition is seamless—they will go to work in the family business, a few will change their military uniform for civilian clothes and go back to work at the same desk, and some will go to college. Most will venture into the unknown and look for work. It doesn’t matter if you’re going on to school, to work, or going back to the family farm—getting there successfully is going to require a degree of planning.

One thing that most likely rubbed off during your time in the military is an acknowledgement of the value of planning. There is not much in the military that is not the result of planning, good or bad; and knowing when you are released from active duty provides you the opportunity to plan your next step. This ability to backward plan is going to provide you with options, and it is going to give you a better chance of succeeding in your transition. The military now offers a number of transition classes, and there are countless programs and agencies that will help point you in the right direction. Taking advantage of these resources is about the most common-sense action one can take. Even if they are incomplete in some respect, these resources can provide you with options and direction.

Networking is successful quote

Before you can plan, you will need to identify a goal: even if this is a leap into the unknown, there has to be somewhere to land. In this process, the question is often framed as “What do you want to do?” It is good to think about this holistically; that is, where do you want to live, what do the others in your life want, and, practically, what do you need? The answer to these and other related questions may align with one another, or, more likely, the answers will point you in opposite directions. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that this is a discovery process, and that answers to these questions may only eliminate options, but that’s a good thing. As you narrow your options, the remaining few provide direction to your transition goal.

In terms of backward planning, the milestones in the plan are going to be set by the objective. If the goal is to go to school to gain skills or to complete a degree, then identifying and getting accepted into the school is going to take time. The planning elements are gathering up transcripts, completing forms and applications, and meeting deadlines. Applying for a job also takes time as you determine what skills you need to be competitive, complete a resume, attend job fairs, and schedule meetings with recruiters. About 80 percent of people get a job through networking. If you have been in the military and out of the job market, out the network, you have to be proactive to establish your network. This is not a weekend task. You will need to establish your network by focusing on the industry. All industries have associations and events, and you create your industry-specific network by attending these events and meeting people. Volunteering at these events is another good way to get to know key people in the industry. If you want to be part of the successful 80 percent, you need to be known within the network.
Transition, for most, is stressful and challenging—it is a culture change, it is a risk. Improve your success and reduce risk and stress by backward planning. Knowing when you get out, where you want to end up, and the tasks to be completed are all elements of the plan. The most important point is don’t wait—start the plan and execute. When you get out, be where you want to be, not struggling to get there.

After Careers With U.S. Armed Forces And Fema This Couple Opens Their Own Business

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McDuffie,Sharron, Rodney, Lee's Summit, MO

After Rodney and Sharron McDuffie retired from long and successful careers that included both the U.S. Armed Forces and the U.S. Government, the Raymore couple was looking for an attractive business opportunity to bolster their pension income.

So on April 15, Rodney, “61 years young,” and Sharron, “59 years younger,” as they note, officially opened for business as franchise owners with Floor Coverings International, whose representatives visit customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Floor Coverings International Lee’s Summit serves customers throughout greater Kansas City.

Sharron retired after 30 years with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where she was a Technological Hazards Specialist assigned to several nuclear power plants throughout Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa. Rodney retired from the U.S. Navy with 25 years as a Yeoman Administrator before joining the Department of Immigration, where he spent more than a decade before retiring as an Immigration Supervisor this past February. “We had started talking about what we would be doing in life with retirement approaching and looking forward to living the lifestyle we were comfortable in after more than 30 years working for the government,” Sharron said. “And we were not sure that once we retired on a government pension, if it would be enough. We are still pretty young and in good health, so we started looking for a business we could purchase that also offered plenty of flexibility, such as being able to work from home when we wanted to.”

In Floor Coverings International, the McDuffies found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations.

The McDuffies are also very excited about having the opportunity for their children to play a role in the business. Their oldest son, who just earned his master’s degree in Public Affairs, is “more excited than my husband and myself,” said Sharron, while their youngest son, who just graduated from high school, is looking forward to joining one of their flooring installation teams where he will gain the necessary experience to later become a Project Manager or Design Associate. A daughter, currently a middle school biology teacher, might join the business as an office manager or Design Associate while her husband is assisting with local marketing. “Since we have been up and running, the whole family is seeing what a great opportunity it is by joining or just participating in this family business,” Sharron said.

ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2019. For franchise information, please visit flooring-franchise.com and to find your closest location, floorcoveringsinternational.com.

Practical Resume Advice for Military Veterans

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Man holding a sign that says "Sell Your Skills"

Switching careers takes courage. And veterans know a thing or two about courage. But when military personnel finish serving their country and look to re-enter civilian life, they need more than just strong nerves to make the transition to a new career. Finding a job demands practical strategies.

For veterans, the struggle is often aligning the skills and experiences they’ve gained in the military with the types of jobs that exist outside the military. On top of that, long-serving veterans don’t have a lot of experience with resume making.

Not to worry. This post is all about helping those that have served in the armed forces create resumes as they seek out civilian positions.

We love bringing insights from job recruiters into the products and resources we offer. So, after talking with recruiters about their experiences hiring veterans, we’ve focused this post on the following areas:

Keep in mind that there are plenty of other considerations when making a resume. So be sure to also see our guide on how to build a resume in 2019.

Best resume format for military veterans

There are three different resume formats that are typically used for resumes. For veterans, the most suitable choice is what is called a “functional” or “skills-based” resume format.

Why this? Well the logic behind the functional format is that it gives greater attention to the skills a person has developed. This stands in contrast to the “reverse chronological” resume format, which offers more space for a person to outline a long employment history in order to demonstrate career progression.

Many veterans have spent much of their working life in the military, so their employment history is really one employer – even if they have progressed through different roles or ranks.

That being the case, listing all the positions and responsibilities over a military career often isn’t the best strategy for persuading recruiters in the public or private sector.

This is because recruiters often aren’t familiar with the types of work military personnel undertake, and therefore may not see the applicability of military experience.

To avoid this problem, veterans should focus less on describing their former roles/responsibilities, and instead focus on highlighting the skills they have gained that are directly relevant to the position they are seeking.

Sample of a Military to Civilian Resume

military veteran resume example

Continue on to Novoresume.com to begin building your resume!

Navy Father, Daughter Enjoy Serving Together

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U.S. Navy father and daughter poese together smiling

By Navy Seaman Michael Prusiecki, USS Nimitz

A Navy father and daughter here say they enjoy their service together aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Eric Alexander, a native of Stuttgart, Arkansas, enlisted in the Navy in 1996 as an aviation boatswain’s mate. He served at various commands and eventually reached the rank of chief petty officer before being commissioned through the limited duty officer program in 2007. Since February, he has been serving as the aircraft handling officer on the Nimitz.

Alexander’s daughter, Petty Officer 3rd Class Erica Alexander-Quow, enlisted in the Navy in June 2017 as an intelligence specialist. She has been serving on the Nimitz since January.

“We commute together and I get to mentor her a lot,” Alexander said of his daughter. “I train her on shipboard safety and being a better sailor. Her safety is my biggest concern.”

Serving alongside her father on the Nimitz is “pretty cool,” Alexander-Quow said.

“We have a great relationship, and it’s interesting to be able to work in the same place, even though we are in completely separate departments with different chains of command,” she said. “It’s nice to have a watchful eye in the sky—someone who is always looking out for me—even though I try not to involve him much because I don’t want to be seen as having an advantage. I try to keep it separate.”

Alexander-Quow said she joined the military due to the lessons learned from her father’s long and successful career in the Navy.

“Seeing his experience and the benefits from it, and also moving around to so many places, was a big inspiration to follow in his footsteps and serve,” she said.

Alexander-Quow said she would like to earn a commission, but for now she’s taking it day by day. “So we will see how my career plays out,” she added.

Both said they try to remain professional at the workplace.

“At work, it’s all business,” Alexander said. “She sees me and she says, ‘Sir.’”

“We’re good at maintaining that father-daughter relationship at home away from work,” Alexander-Quow said. “Our everyday commute gives us time to unwind and diffuse any problems so we don’t have to bring any negativity home.”

Source: defense.gov

How to Hire Veterans

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Woman shaking hands with recruiter

There are more than 21 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces, and many of these veterans have been trained on general as well as technical skills in their military careers.

From food service to technical support, the armed forces impart a great many skills on veterans, and employers reap the benefits of this training when they hire veterans.

Veterans are also very team oriented and have years of experience cooperating with their peers to meet objectives set by team leaders.

This article answers these questions and others you may have when you hire a veteran:

  • How do I hire veterans?
  • Where can I hire veterans?
  • Where do I post jobs to hire veterans?
  • How to find veterans to hire?
  • What are the benefits of hiring veterans?

 

Benefits of Hiring Veterans

While the main thought of many employers is “I want to hire a veteran,” other employers may be wondering more about the benefits of hiring a veteran.

We’ve talked about some of the benefits of hiring veterans, like experience working in teams, but there are hard cost benefits to hiring veterans, other than the experience that veterans have.

Here some of the most tangible benefits of hiring veterans:

  • Employers can get a tax credit of $5,600 for hiring eligible veterans and a $9,600 tax credit for hiring disabled veterans.
  • Veterans are trained on specific technical skills by the armed forces.
  • Veterans are trained in hundreds of general tasks while in the armed forces.
  • Veterans are trained to work cooperatively with their team and are loyal to these teams.
  • Veterans are able to receive support from their government in their education, reducing the cost of any continued education benefits your company offers.
  • Veterans are trained to use effective leadership techniques.

 

How to Find Veterans to Hire

When it comes to hiring veterans, many employers feel like they are in a situation like this:

“I want to hire a veteran, but I don’t know how to find veterans to hire or how to hire a vet.”

If you are wondering where to hire veterans, there are many resources offered to veterans to help them find jobs after they transition out of working for the armed forces.

Where to Post Jobs for Veterans

By advertising open positions on veteran-specific job boards, you can reach thousands of veterans in your area.

You can also use your Glassdoor Employer Profile to feature your commitment to hiring veterans badge, pro-veteran messaging, fun pictures of your employees and reviews from current and former veteran employees.

Another way to find veterans to hire is by using your company’s social media profiles to post about how you are a “veteran friendly employer.” You can also use pro-veteran hiring hashtags along with #jobs or #hiring, such as #vets, #veterans or #SOV (support our veterans) when posting links to your job descriptions on social media.

You can also contact local veteran support organizations and tell them that you are a veteran-friendly business. This way, you can generate local interest in your job opportunities and get a large, skilled demographic in your area engaged in working for your company.

How to Hire a Veteran

Hiring veterans is no different from hiring any other employee. Their time in the armed forces should be viewed like any other job on a resume, and interviewing them about this experience should be focused on exploring the skills they gained in this period.

When reviewing a veteran applicant’s experience, you can ask questions like these about the applicable skills they learned in the armed forces:

  • What technical skills were you trained in that you will use in this job?
  • How many years have you been using these skills?
  • Which soft skills did you learn in the armed forces that will help you do well in this job?
  • What other experience did you gain in the armed forces that will help you succeed in this job?

Their other professional experience should be covered as well, but don’t be intimidated when going over their time in the armed forces.

They gained an immense amount of experience in the armed forces, and to determine that they are a good hire, you will need to explore the professional experience and skills they developed.

Source: www.glassdoor.com

Looking for a STEM Job? Head to These States

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army woman sitting at desk in a wheelchair smiling in to camera

Milken Institute’s 2018 State Technology and Science Index, a biennial assessment of states’ capabilities and competitiveness in a tech-focused economy, ranked the top ten states to pursue a STEM career.

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Colorado
  3. Maryland
  4. California
  5. Utah
  6. Washington
  7. Delaware
  8. Minnesota
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Oregon

“The success stories of states profiled in this year’s index reflect sustained efforts to not only build but to maintain their ecosystem,” said Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics. “Making the changes that are necessary to perform well on the State Technology and Science Index can contribute to stronger long-term economic performance.”

Massachusetts benefitted from the presence of major research universities, the availability of venture capital, entrepreneurial expertise, and a tech-oriented workforce, according to the report. The state was first in three of the index’s five composite indexes and finished third in another. Massachusetts continues to strengthen its position in tech and science by increasing public funding of neuroscience research, cybersecurity innovation, and startup development.

Utah’s move to fifth was driven by tech-sector employment growth – the fastest in the nation – averaging 4.3 percent annually. The state also had the most university graduates with degrees in science and engineering – 15.4 per 1,000 students. Utah stood out for the success of its universities in spinning research into commercial ventures.

Delaware rose to seventh from tenth, strengthened by an increase in venture capital invested in technology companies. The Legislature authorized a 25 percent tax credit for small companies (those with fewer than 25 employees) engaged in research and development in specific high-tech fields. The state ranks fifth in the number of business startups with 53.4 per 1,000 residents.

The State Technology and Science Index provides a benchmark for policymakers to evaluate their state’s capabilities and formulate strategies for improving STEM education, attracting businesses, and creating jobs in the tech sector. Indices considered in the report include the number of patents issued and doctoral degrees granted in each state.

“Investing in human capital and developing a STEM workforce is crucial for regional economies that want to attract large technology companies and the jobs they bring,” explains Minoli Ratnatunga, Milken Institute’s director of regional economics research.

In addition to the index, the report offers case studies that examine issues such as non-compete contracts that limit employee mobility, along with access to higher education in building a vibrant, adaptable workforce.

Drawing on this data, the report recommends four steps policymakers can take to improve their state’s competitiveness:

Increase scholarships and other financial aid to lower the cost of higher education for in-state students who plan STEM careers.

Better align STEM curriculums to make it easier for students to transfer credits from lower-cost two-year colleges to four-year institutions.

Encourage partnerships between higher-education institutions and private companies to provide students with work experience to improve workforce readiness and job placement.

Make employee noncompete laws less restrictive to encourage a freer exchange of ideas and talent among tech companies.

The index draws on data from government and private sources dating from 2015 to 2017, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Science Foundation, the Small Business Administration, the American Community Survey, and Moody’s Analytics.

Source: milkeninstitute.org

Working With A New Canvas, Air Force Vet Confident, Excited About Transferring Skill Set

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Nick and MelissaMurray pose outside in their franchsie outfits

(CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee)—Nick Murray is transitioning from a military officer to a civilian and small-business owner.

But thanks to his experience and attitude, it has all worked like clockwork and with nary a worry, with the biggest benefactors being the clients of Murray’s CertaPro Painters franchise, which launched in 2018 and serves customers throughout the greater Chattanooga metropolitan area.

CertaPro Painters is America’s largest and most-referred painting company. “In an industry that typically lacks exceptional customer service and involves production management, it sounded like a great challenge to me,” said the four-year veteran of the United States Air Force.

The 28-year-old Murray performed contracting duties in the United Kingdom, Iceland and here at home during his Air Force career, purchasing commodities, services and construction while adhering to all federal regulations and initiatives. That discipline, Murray believes, gives him an edge in being a small-business owner with CertaPro Painters, whose best-in-class operational systems and procedures make it the most professional business model in the industry and its satisfied customers are the direct benefactors.

“Military experience has enhanced my ability to execute at a high level while providing a strong foundation for the contracting industry,” Murray said. Murray met his wife, Melissa, who assists in the business, when they were both in ROTC at the University of Kentucky. While the couple was stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia for two years, they made a few visits to Chattanooga and liked what they saw, especially since it meant being closer to family. “We decided Chattanooga was where we wanted to start our family and our next chapter,” Murray said. “I was confident in my contracting abilities and enthusiastic about the opportunity, so with Melissa’s support, we decided to join the team and purchase the CertaPro franchise here in Chattanooga.”

Commercial and residential painting is an estimated $60 billion industry in the U.S. and Canada. CertaPro has been consistently ranked No. 1 by Entrepreneur magazine in its category and boasts a customer referral rate that exceeds 95 percent.

About CertaPro Painters
Founded in 1992, Audubon, Pennsylvania-based CertaPro Painters is the largest painting company in North America. With more than 350 independently owned and operated franchises worldwide, CertaPro provides a customer-driven painting experience for both residential and commercial properties that is unparalleled in the industry. The company’s stellar service and proven business system have made CertaPro North America’s most referred painting company. For more information, visit www.certapro.com

Five Military Veterans Can Win Free Travel Agency Franchise

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Operation Vetrepreneur Winner and Navy Vet Christo Robinson

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (May 23, 2019) – Leading travel agency franchise Dream Vacations is recruiting military veterans to enlist in its eighth annual, award-winning “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest.

The number one franchise opportunity for veterans will be awarding five veterans a free franchise as part of the nationwide contest that since 2012, has given away 37 franchises valued at nearly half-a-million dollars. This year’s contest begins Memorial Day weekend on Friday, May 24, 2019, and lasts through Saturday, August 31, 2019.

“It is because of those in the armed forces that Americans are able to live the American Dream, and at Dream Vacations one small way we show our gratitude is through our annual Operation Vetrepreneur contest which makes it easy for veterans to pursue the dream of small business ownership,” said Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president of Dream Vacations. “While veterans account for 14 percent of franchisees nationwide, at Dream Vacations they make up more than 30 percent of our network and are among our most successful franchisees.”

The Dream Vacations franchise contest is open to former members of any of the five branches of the U.S. military (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who are retired, off active duty and/or honorably discharged prior to the contest start date. To participate, candidates must complete an online entry form and an introductory phone interview with a franchise development specialist. Candidates will be required to submit a candidate profile, business plan, video and resume. Finalists will be invited to participate in follow-up phone interviews before winners are selected. The entry form and all contest details can be found at www.OperationVetrepreneur.com.

Five winners will be notified in September 2019. Each grand prize is valued at $12,700 and includes a complimentary Dream Vacations franchise with a waived $9,800 initial start-up fee and monthly service fees. The new recruits will report for active duty in November, when they participate in a weeklong franchise training boot camp at Dream Vacations’ state-of-the-art world headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. Winners will be reimbursed up to $500 for their travel and provided with complimentary accommodations during the training program. Once training is completed, winners will be armed with all the tools and knowledge they need to begin their dream business creating dream vacations.

“Winning the contest last year has changed my life by allowing me to meet more than 11,000 new people this year and talk with them about living their dreams,” said Christo Robinson, Navy veteran and 2018 Operation Vetrepreneur winner in Buford, Ga. “The support staff from Dream Vacations has been with me every step of the way and I am excited to say that we have already achieved our next promotion level in only five months after completing training. This is truly an opportunity I think every military veteran should take advantage of because Dream Vacations is committed to your success.”

All military veterans and Gold Star families who purchase a Dream Vacations travel agency business receive an enlistment package valued at no less than $5,000 and ongoing support. They can select one of four perks currently being offered — $2,000 travel training credit; receive up to $7,000 back based on initial fee through the Earn Back promotion; waived administrative fees valued at $1,350; or a Microsoft® Surface Pro tablet valued at $1,000. They also receive a waived training fee for a business partner; veteran-themed marketing assets; and the ability to hire active-duty military spouses and veterans as associates at a discount. Additional veteran incentives include the ability to move residences and stay in business, LeisureCare Travel Insurance discounts for veterans, travel discounts for military customers and access to veteran networking groups.

As the only travel franchise to receive a 5 STAR ranking from the International Franchise Association’s VetFran initiative, Dream Vacations proudly supports military veterans and is consistently recognized by leading industry publications as a veteran-friendly franchise. Other national accolades include number one rankings by Military Times, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Additional recognitions include inclusion on G.I. Jobs annual “Hot Franchises for Veterans,” US Veterans magazine’s “Top Veteran-Friendly Companies” and USA Today’s “50 Top Franchises for Military Veterans.”

Military veterans who have a passion for travel and entrepreneurism who are interested in opening a Dream Vacations travel franchise and want to be considered as a candidate for Operation Vetrepreneur, please visit www.OperationVetrepreneur.com or call 888-249-8235.

About Dream Vacations

Travel agents with the top-ranked home-based travel agency franchise Dream Vacations have the resources to plan and create seamless vacation experiences for their customers while offering the best value. A member of the International Franchise Association, Dream Vacations is part of World Travel Holdings and has received partner of the year, a top-ranking status, by all the major cruise lines as well as national recognition for its support of military veterans. For more information about Dream Vacations, visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com. Like Dream Vacations on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DreamVacationsFranchise, follow on Twitter at @Dream_Franchise and watch its videos at http://www.youtube.com/DreamVacationsBusiness.

PHOTO: 2018 Operation Vetrepreneur Winner and Navy Veteran Christo Robinson. Photo Credit: www.TheLXA.com

A Salute To Paul Davis Restoration Franchisee And Marine, Chris Waddell

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Chris Waddell walking out of his mobile restoration unit

Paul Davis Restoration salutes Chris Waddell, Marine Corp. veteran and owner of Paul Davis of Northwest Kentucky located at 1030 Amiet Road in Henderson.

Prior to becoming a franchisee, Waddell was the operations manager for the Paul Davis office in Evansville, Indiana. He began his restoration career as a water mitigation technician in 1998 after his honorable discharge from the Marine Corp.

“My father worked for the company’s Louisville office during the 1980s before becoming a franchisee himself in 1985,” he said. “I’ve been around Paul Davis and its great business model since about the age of seven, “Waddell laughed. “I helped when I could and accompanied my Dad to work sometimes as a kid so it seemed a natural fit to work for him at his Evansville office after my military service.  I developed the water mitigation program there and was the lead water technician for nearly 10 years before moving into an associate position.”

Waddell and Paul Davis team members hold a myriad of certifications from The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, Restoration and Certification (IICRC) and many other qualifications in the restoration industry.

Paul Davis is a leading provider of fire, water, mold, and storm damage restoration, reconstruction and remodeling services along with large loss response and contents cleaning for residential and commercial properties.

Visit at https://northwest-kentucky.pauldavis.com/.

About Paul Davis Restoration

For more than 50 years, Paul Davis Restorations Inc. has restored residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, water, mold, storms and disasters. The experts at Paul Davis understand the complex process of recovering from property damage and provide complete services; there is no need for the expense and confusion of hiring multiple contractors. Paul Davis is a one-stop shop for disaster damage and restoration. Paul Davis Restoration has more than 300 independently owned franchises in the United States and Canada. The professionals at Paul Davis are certified in emergency restoration, reconstruction and remodeling. For more information, visit the company website at www.pauldavis.com.