Tag Archives: Interview

Best Practices For Military Transition – An Interview With Hirepurpose

Best Practices - Interview with HirePurpose

The mission statement of Hirepurpose (https://www.hirepurpose.com/), a New York City based military career transition leader, reads like an example for others to follow, “We believe in the American military community, and we’re committed to helping transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses find careers they love.” I spent a few hours interviewing Will Leineweber, one of Hirepurpose’s Vice President’s. Will has military experience as a USAF officer and National Guard UH-60 pilot with deployments to Iraq and Kosovo. He has been active in the military to civilian transition space since 2007 with recruiting roles at the agency and corporate levels.

Will and I discussed some great, practical, and enduring best practices for military veterans from all Services, Ranks, and Career Fields to have an effective military to civilian career transition. Here are some of Will’s best tips to all military service members and military veterans to start the next great chapter in their lives.

  1. Your Resume is the Best Way to Immediately Represent Yourself. There is no one solution for a resume format. Your resume should be a maximum of 2 pages and the keywords in the job description should be clearly reflected and listed in your resume achievements. For technical positions, be sure to use the latest software technology, positions, and spell out your qualifications clearly. Remember, for online job applications, your resume may never be seen by a person in the first review, so the use of keywords from the job description is important.
  2. Resume Achievements Need to be Simple, Clear, and Quantified. Ensure that all but the most common military terms are either spelled out or eliminated. Your resume needs to list achievements that you accomplished and uses as many metrics as possible that paint a clear picture of what you achieved. A big mistake in resumes is listing responsibilities vs. achievements. Employers want to see what you did with a demonstrated history of success.
  3. Seek Out Companies You Respect & Engage Their Military Recruiting Teams. Find companies that you respect through web searches, job posting, news stories, or military friendly employer listings. Before applying, reach out to their military recruiting teams to find out more about the company, what their specific hiring requirements are for the next three to six months, and if they can offer a review or your resume with any suggestions for improvement.
  4. How to Use Job Fairs to Your Maximum Benefit. Job fairs can be massive, crowded events with over a hundred different organizations. In order to be successful, make a reconnaissance of the companies that are present, and create a step-by-step plan to visit each one of your top choices. Know in advance what the company does, what positions are available, and have a resume and a cover letter for each of them. Ensure that you are in comfortable professional dress, have a conservative haircut, and a well-practiced elevator pitch on your experience, professional goals, and qualifications. Finally, be respectful of the recruiters’ time and get their card (s) so you can follow up the next day.
  5. Find a Career, then Find a House. A very common problem for military members is that they buy a house, leave the service, and then look for a career where they live. Instead, start your career search with no geographic constraints, find a career, and then purchase a house. When you limit yourself to a specific geography before finding a career, you significantly reduce your career options.

Find The Other 5 Best Practices At USAA Member Community:

 

https://communities.usaa.com/t5/Going-Civilian/Best-Practices-For-Military-Transition-An-Interview-With/bc-p/154240#M594

 

 

How A Bachelor Degree Can Improve Your Job Prospects

bachelor degree

This Content Provided Courtesy of USAA

The Bachelor degree is the starting point for succeeding in higher education and it is one of the most important steps that a person can take for a variety of important careers.

People With Bachelor Degrees Have Lower Unemployment. According to the US Department of Labor, a person with a Bachelor degree makes approximately twice as much as a high school graduate. Again according to the US Department of Labor, in 2016 and 2017 YTD, a high school graduate averages an unemployment rate a little over 5% and a bachelor degree graduate has a 2.5% unemployment rate. There are exceptions, but most workers with a Bachelor degree make twice as much as a person with a high school degree and have a drastically lower rate of unemployment.

Most Companies View A Bachelor Degree As A Requirement To Enter Management. The vast majority of both public and private companies and businesses see a bachelor degree as a minimum requirement to enter into the ranks of management. Naturally, industry experience, leadership skills, project management, and financial acumen are all a requirement to be a manager. A bachelor degree allows workers with the industry and company experience to enter the ranks of management.

A Bachelor Degree Creates A Professional Foundation To Learn New Concepts. One of the greatest benefits of any Bachelor degree from any field of study is that it creates a person that learns how to learn, one of the most critical skills to be successful in any field from business to healthcare to technology. The rate of change in the professional world is so fast today that the ability to understand that you do not understand everything, to conduct your own research and learning, and then to apply what you have learned is critical. A Bachelor degree significantly helps this ability to learn new concepts.

The Top Emerging Professions In The United States Require Bachelor Degrees. According to the US Department Of Labor, these are the top positions and the projected growth in jobs between 2014 to 2024.

They include: Registered Nurses, General and Operational Managers, Accountants and Auditors. Check out the list here: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.t06.htm

The Post 9/11 GI Bill and Military Tuition Assistance Reduces the Financial Barriers to Higher Education. For active military and military veterans, the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Department of Defense Tuition Assistance (TA) programs offer the ability to complete a degree with only a minimum or no student debt. These programs are incredible resources to obtain a Bachelor degree. Students who have access to these programs should ensure that they chose the best higher education institution in terms of retention rates, graduation rates, high student loan payback rates, and low tuition. Don’t pick your school based on how easy it is to access or what your friends say. Chose a school on what it will deliver to you and prove it with numbers, not the word of an enrollment counselor.

A Bachelor Degree Is Not The Only Way To Succeed. If you decide that a degree is not for you for whatever reason – fine. Look for growing, stable, and highly paid professions either as part of a labor union, construction, technology, or other entrepreneurial endeavors where you can have a high impact, personal reward, and a good paycheck.

A bachelor degree is one indicator of success. Obtaining your bachelor degree from an academic institution with strong academic outcomes, high graduation rates, and low student debt will ensure that you have the degree, passion, and purpose to drive your career to the next level.

Share Some Of Your Recommendations How a Degree Helped Your Career Goals.

Other Articles of Interest:

  1. How to Help a Young Person Choose a College
  2. How To Make Good Choices In Higher Education For Military Affiliated Students
  3. Six Tips for Finding a Value College to Complete Your College Degree

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

1.    5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2rI3qKT

2.    After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2q8QzAg

3.    Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition – http://bit.ly/2qMqrhB

4.    USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2zsUF

5.    USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA – http://bit.ly/2qMoz8x

6.    USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2rI53Iu

7.    USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q8R8tS

8.    USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2RGp5

9.    USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning – http://bit.ly/2qOdMJc

How Military Veterans Have Successful Job Interviews

How Military Veterans Have Successful Job InterviewsSponsored Content Courtesy of USAA

Planning for an effective military to civilian transition is one of the most vital things to do for an effective career, family, and financial transition.  Interviewing for a job can be a nerve wracking experience, if you are unprepared.  When prepared, interviews are the opportunity for you to show all that you have to offer a company and your potential colleagues.

Follow these tips to prepare for and have a successful interview.

  1. Practice Interviewing At Home & Record Yourself. Some of the best interview preparation that you can do is to use your phone to record your answers.  When you play back the recording, take notes to ensure that your responses are clear, you have a confident tone, and your body language is open, relaxed, and confident.  Recording and improving your interview responses is one of the best ways to improve interview skills.
  1. Dress for The Job You Want. Plan to attend an interview in professional and conservative business attire – a jacket, tie, dress shoes, and dress slacks.  Both men and women should wear professional and conservative business attire.  It is tempting to wear your uniform, but a professional employer wants to be able to see you in their organization, not as a soldier, sailor, marine, or airmen.  Ensure that the fit of your clothes is comfortable and you can breathe and move well.  Impeccable personal dress is a way to standout.
  1. Arrive Early, Hydrated, and Fed. Be at the interview location no more than 10 minutes before your scheduled time.  Arriving too early can make is awkward for the interviewers if they are interviewing separate candidates.  Ensure that you eat, hydrate with water, and have some (not too much) caffeine.  Then go to the bathroom 15 minutes before your interview starts.
  1. Know Where You Are Going & Where To Park. In the day of Waze and Google Maps it is much easier to get to where you need to be.  The best situation is to drive to your interview, learn where you need to park, and learn any special procedures to enter the building.  If you can’t do this ahead of time, then leave 30 minutes early to allow extra time to find everything.  Finally, use the WAZE app to route you around any accidents or construction.
  1. Have a Portfolio. Have extra copies of your resume, personal cards, a note pad, and several pens.  If you feel a work portfolio or work samples are essential, then bring copies, but hand them out after the interview is concluded.
  1. Be Prepared to Interview When Ever You Are At a Company or Career Fair. Be ready and able to have a 30-60-minute interview with a company.  If you make a great first impression, the company may want to interview right on the spot.
  1. Use The STARS Format To Answer Interview Questions.
  • Situation, Task, Action, Result, Skills (STARS)
  • Situation: Describe the context within which you performed a job or faced a challenge at work.
  • Task: Describe your responsibility in that situation.
  • Action: Describe how you completed the task or endeavored to meet the challenge. Focus on what you did, rather than what your team, boss, or coworker did.
  • Result: Finally, explain the outcomes or results generated by the action taken.
  • Skills: Skills you used to be successful – includes both hard (technical) skills and soft skills (leadership, teaching, etc.).
  • Create 6-10 sentence answers to frequent questions on leadership, improvements, cost savings, and how you learned a new skill.
  1. Have Ten Common Interview Questions Memorized in Advance. Having ten great answers to standard interview questions is a terrific way to have an outstanding interview even if you are nervous.  The ten standard interview answers will reinforce other skill sets listed on your resume.  Remember, use the STARS format to create answers for all these questions.
  1. How does your background make you the ideal candidate for this position?
  2. Provide an example of how you lead a team to success on a project?
  3. Provide an example of how you taught a group a new skill? How did you measure the outcome?
  4. Describe an instance where your first project plan was not successful? What did you do to change the outcome?
  5. Give a detailed description of how you created an innovation and how did you convince others it was a promising idea? Why was it innovative?
  6. Describe an instance where you saved money or reduced cost for an organization. How did you go about implementing the change?
  7. How have you dealt with an unhappy customer? What did you do to make that customer happy and retain their business?
  8. Illustrate an instance where you had to deliver unwelcome news to your boss. How did you do it, what was the outcome, and what did you learn?
  9. Provide an example of how your military training will make you successful in this position. How do your military skills help make you an ideal candidate?
  10. What are three things that you would tell a candidate interested in this company about our products? How do our products make us superior to our competitors?

Having a powerful base of pre-prepared answers using the STARS format is the way to interview success.  Have a great interview!

Share some of your tips and interview preparation techniques.

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2rI3qKT
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2q8QzAg
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition – http://bit.ly/2qMqrhB
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2zsUF
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA – http://bit.ly/2qMoz8x
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2rI53Iu
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q8R8tS
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – bit.ly/2q2RGp5
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning – http://bit.ly/2qOdMJc

Secrets How Military Veterans Enable Their Employers to Succeed

 

TSecrets How Military Veterans Help Their Employers SucceedHIS CONTENT PROVIDED COURTESY OF USAA.  Military service members are taught how to create integrated operations plans with multiple contingencies to ensure critical strategies succeed, create and develop personnel to succeed in their careers, and coordinate the placement and use of critical resources to ensure a plan has the best chance of success.  This military training and military experience, with some modification, is “off-the-shelf” ready to be applied to the successful execution of business strategy.  Military veterans before having often overcome great personal struggles to establish their civilian career success.

Great companies are based upon a sustainable value proposition of creating and maintaining value for a variety of stakeholders.  The Business Qualities of Success are what business need to do in order to be successful among customers and in the marketplace.  Customers find the products or services the company produces to be satisfying to meet their needs, stockholders find the return that the company produces to be equal to the comparable risk – reward ratio of other similar ventures, and employees find the time spent at the workplace to be engaging, interesting, and rewarding.  When any one of these three elements fail, the company usually fails.  The central driver for success in business is the employee.  Employees create products, satisfy customer needs, meet financial obligations, and make the critical decisions to guide the company to success.  Therefore, finding and keeping the finest employees is the most crucial decision for a company.

The Business Qualities of Success

The Business Qualities of Success are the primary drivers for what makes a business, or any size or service or product, successful.  Business must complete successfully an amazing amount of centralized and simultaneous tasks to be perceived competitive in today’s marketplace.  Businesses must manage cash flow to ensure they have enough immediate money to pay their bills, pay employees sufficient benefit packages so they remain with the company, operate at the lowest cost and highest service level to meet the most demanding customer, and ensure all the company’s and their employee’s activities are both morally, ethically, legally, and socially sound.  This is a challenge to achieve, but the qualities below help businesses ensure they meet these demands.

caMO2Consistent Improvement – The final area is consistent improvement.  The modern marketplace, from a dry-cleaning store to operating a hot dog stand to a global corporation, is in a constant of flux.  Customers demand new products, customers want to pay less, governments consider new legal measures, and markets demand even better returns.  Central to the all the criteria in the Business Qualities of Success is the ability to get constantly and consistently better in these.  The process that businesses go through of almost evolutionary adaptation is critical and central to their success.

Execution – Execution is the successful delivery of the product or service to the customer that fulfills the need for which they customer purchased the good or service.  The company must execute literally thousands of tasks before a good or service reaches the customer from purchasing raw materials to transporting goods to conducting advertising.  However, all the events in executions must be viewed through the prism of customer satisfaction and how the good or service satisfied the need of the customer.  For example, if I do anything from developing marketing, and delivering a laundry detergent to customers that does not clean clothes or make them smell fresh, then I have ultimately failed because my execution failed to satisfy the reasons the customer purchased the product.

Financial Results – The achievement of above market financial returns is the reason that businesses operate.  This could be a child’s lemonade stand or a multi country, multi-billion-dollar conglomerate.  However, financial results are not only quarter to quarter Earnings per Share (EPS) returns.  Good fiscal management and results return an above market return to shareholders, but they also maintain a good credit rating for the company, timely payment to suppliers and vendors for materials and services, a relatively low debt level, and solid investment levels to ensure the future success of the company to meet its business objectives in a competitive environment.  At times, these can be contradictory, but they usually can be achieved.

1000w_q95ffffLeadership – Just as military forces need leaders, Business businesses need leaders that possess: high ethical quality, rigorous decision making skills, an analytical mind that can see the perspective of both the firm and the customer, an appreciation of how to attract and grow talented employees, a keen sense of financial returns possible, and how to ensure that the company meets all the legal, social, and ethical requirements of its operations.  Leaders that meet these criteria are in short supply in any business, but the leaders that possess these qualities nearly always emerge as the leaders in their companies and underlying divisions.  Leaders are the executors of business strategy and their development must be central to any successful business.

Service and Quality – Customers will buy new services and products to try them out and see if they work.  However, service and quality is what will make customers stay and attract even more customers.  Customer demand good service both in the purchase of a product, but also in the after-market support of the product.  What if the product breaks?  What if I have a question?  These thoughts and concerns run through consumers that are on their way to becoming customers.  The highlights of service and quality are primary factors of what makes the restaurant chain McDonalds so successful.  McDonald’s is legendary for their consistent service, quality of food preparation, and rigorous engineering of their food development, raw food ingredient purchasing, and in store customer service.  I can go from a McDonald’s in Key West, FL to Portland, ME to Seattle, WA to San Diego, CA and have the food taste the same with the same service quality.  Service and quality are central indicators to the success of a business.

carrierStrategy – Strategy for businesses means setting a path and establishing the conditions for success in a venture or ventures that will: (1) satisfy financial returns, (2) be difficult for the competition to emulate quickly, (3) be within the skill sets of the business to execute successfully, and (4) can satisfy the customer need for the good or service over a sustained time.  Apple has made this type of a strategy a success when Apple transformed itself from a computer company into a personal electronics company.  Today, Apple is the standard for personal electronic devices such as phones, MP3 players, and portable media devices.  A key element of a success strategy is also to know when to adapt, change, or abandon a strategy that is no longer working.

Military veterans can apply the Military Qualities of Success to support and reinforce the Business Qualities of Success.  It is not just enough to get a job; the military provides great skills that can lead to fantastic success in the civilian world.  While challenge is an inherent part of the transition, it is vital to remember that others have successfully transitioned and succeeded.

Career progression from a rewarding military career to an equally or more rewarding civilian career is a daunting, but far from impossible task that many before you have achieved.  The clear majority of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen were leaders in the military and it is vital to their progression that they become leaders in the civilian world.  A successful second career allows you to find and secure employment in a challenging, enjoyable position and then maximize all your precious military experience and training to become a leader in your new chosen field.

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2rI3qKT
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2q8QzAg
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition – http://bit.ly/2qMqrhB
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2zsUF
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA – http://bit.ly/2qMoz8x
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2rI53Iu
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q8R8tS
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – bit.ly/2q2RGp5
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning – http://bit.ly/2qOdMJc

 

Tips For Military Veterans To Have An Effective Career Fair

This Content Provided Courtesy of USAA.

career fair 3

Planning for an effective military to civilian transition is one of the most vital things to do for an effective career, family, and financial transition.  A job fair also known as a career fair is one of those steps.  Here are some tips how to have an effective and rewarding career fair.

 

1.     Arrive Early, Hydrated, and Fed.  Job fairs start early.  Arrive early to get a place in line and a close parking spot

2.     Dress for The Job You Want.  Plan to attend a job fair in professional and conservative business attire – a jacket, tie, dress shoes, and dress slacks.  It is tempting to wear your uniform, but a professional employer wants to be able to see you in their organization, not as a soldier, sailor, marine, or airmen.  Finally, impeccable personal dress is a way to standout.  Finally, wear comfortable shoes, you will do a lot of walking.

interview

3.     Have a Plan.  Create a personal plan for the companies that you want to meet with and have a personalized cover letter and resume for each of these companies.  This way, you have a personalized card, cover letter, and resume for each company when you speak to them.  This amount of preparation and personalization makes a substantial difference.

4.     Be Prepared to Interview.  Be ready and able to have a 30-60-minute interview with a company.  If you make a great first impression, the company may want to interview right on the spot.  Use the STARS format to answer interview questions.

a.     Situation, Task, Action, Result, Skills (STARS)

b.     Situation:  Describe the context within which you performed a job or faced a challenge at work.

c.      Task: Describe your responsibility in that situation.

d.     Action: Describe how you completed the task or endeavored to meet the challenge. Focus on what you did, rather than what your team, boss, or coworker did.

e.     Result: Finally, explain the outcomes or results generated by the action taken.

f.       Skills: Skills you used to be successful – includes both hard (technical) skills and soft skills (leadership, teaching, etc.).

g.     Create 6-10 sentence answers to frequent questions on leadership, improvements, cost savings, and how you learned a new skill.

5.     Attend the Classes.  Career fairs are often filled with classes on resume reviews by HR professionals, panels of employers, and other resources to help in a career change.  Take advantage and network during these training opportunities.

caREER FAIR

6.     Have a Follow Up Plan.  When you meet with the companies, ask when you can follow up for more information, an interview, and get phone numbers and interviews for the follow up.

7.     A Career Fair Is Only One Way to Find a Job.  Don’t expect a career fair to be your entire answer to secure employment.  Continue to network, have personal interviews, and contact companies for other opportunities.  Remember, your goal is not one, but multiple job offers to be successful.

 

Resources to Support an Effective Military to Civilian Transition:

  1. 5 Keys to a Smoother Military Transition – Great Advice to Succeed By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2rI3qKT
  2. After Service: 3 Routes to a Civilian Career – Solid Military to Civilian Transition Advice By @USAA – http://bit.ly/2q8QzAg
  3. Create a Military Transition Fund to Have a Successful Military to Civilian Transition – http://bit.ly/2qMqrhB
  4. USAA Employment Tools to Help Translate Military Skills to Civilian Jobs – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q2zsUF
  5. USAA INSIGHT: 3 Ways to Ease Your Shift from Military Service to Civilian Life From @USAA – http://bit.ly/2qMoz8x
  6. USAA Leaving the Military Guide – Advice & Support for a Smooth Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2rI53Iu
  7. USAA Military Separation Assessment Tool for Financial Planning – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – http://bit.ly/2q8R8tS
  8. USAA Military Separation Checklist Tool for Planning Your Military to Civilian Transition – USAA Members Only (Free to Join) – bit.ly/2q2RGp5
  9. USAA News – Member’s Easy Military Transition? He Credits Education and Planning – http://bit.ly/2qOdMJc