This blog will be the first of a few to cover my transition from the U.S. Army. This is not meant to be positive or negative. My intent is to go over everything I did as far as the job search during my transition. Hopefully, this will bring some value to at least one person going through this process now.
Once I made the decision to retire, one of the first things I did was to start building up my LinkedIn profile. The way I built my LinkedIn profile up was against the rules so speak and you can’t do this now. Unless you send requests via your mobile device.
Basically, my profile picture was of me in uniform and my bio said I was a HR Director in the U.S. Army. I then clicked on various HR Directors and other civilian personnel that I wanted to connect with on LinkedIn.
Now the rule was to only send requests to people you knew or at least send them a personalized note. I did neither of these. My thought process was that no one is going to deny a request from someone in the U.S. Army. This was mostly accurate. I did have one or two people message me saying I was not using the process correctly. What I did do was whenever someone accepted my request, I sent them a note thanking them for being my connection. I then asked if there was anything I could do for them. I currently have over 2,700 LinkedIn connections. So you will have to decide for yourself if my method was successful.
I also started a Twitter account to connect to various job sites and HR professionals. I found Twitter to be quite useful in finding open positions and communicating with others in the job search process. For Twitter I follow over 3,000 people and over 3,000 people follow me. Twitter provides a lot of useful information on numerous subjects. I know most people see Twitter as social media for celebrities. But it actually more of a business platform. A lot of companies have Twitter handles only for their job sites.
I found the transition program at JBLM SFL-TAP to be very good. I know most people have negative things to say about the Military Transition process. But I found it very informative and useful. I found the people with the program to be very professional and caring. They had a genuine concern for helping Veterans learn the skills required to find positions after the Military. I believe people have a negative impression because they believe this program is supposed to find them a job. The purpose of the program is to provide you the minimum level of skills to begin your job search. Nowhere does it say their mission is to find you a job. The one week Department of Labor seminar was especially useful during my Military Transition process. The DOL provided a lot of useful information about varying subjects.
I will blog more about my transition next time.
I plan on covering Job Fairs and the Northwest Edge (now Leading Edge) next time.
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