Updated: May 11
One of the biggest questions for job seekers, especially transitioning service members is "How do I find a job and how do I get hired?" These are logical questions but ones that many people don't know how to answer. Unfortunately we default to what we know, or the valuable gouge we hear from anyone we think knows what they are talking about. For military it means you go find a recruiter right? Wrong.
So what is the hiring process: In its simplest form you start by applying to a job. This application gets you into the system which allows a recruiter (FILTER) to review your application and pass it along to the hiring manager (Door). If the hiring manager likes the resume then the recruiter will contact you and set up an interview. Assuming the interviews go in your favor the door will open and you will be sent an offer letter which you can either accept as is or modify. Once final terms are settled, then your application goes on to HR (Screen) where someone will confirm your security clearance and make sure you are not a felon or have any other issues. Once this is all finished you will be on boarded with the company and start work. Simple enough, but how do you ensure your resume gets looked at first of all, and second that you get an interview and ultimately hired?
The main piece is to turn the impersonal process into a personal one. You have to find ways to connect with individuals inside companies who can help you know how to best articulate your value to a company and make sure that the hiring manager understands why you should work there. This happens through networking. Of course there is a lot of bad advice or bad gouge out there.
Bad gouge 1: To get hired to must talk to a recruiter. While a recruiter is critical to everyone being hired, they don't have to be the first contact at a company. For military, you must talk with a recruiter to join, but this is not how you get hired as a civilian. At some point every applicant for a job will go through the recruiting and HR department, but you don't have to start with talking with a recruiter. Civilian recruiters are not trying to get a certain number of people hired. They don't have a quota to fill. They work for a hiring manager who has given them the purple unicorn to go and find. That is their job. Recruiters serve a valuable role for the company, but they are not there to fight for you the candidate. Adding 1000 recruiters to your profile will not increase your chance of getting hired. They are likely already searching linkedin for key words and if they haven't reached out to you, connecting with them doesn't really do much to increase your chances.
Bad gouge 2: Applying to more jobs increases your chances of getting hired. By simple law of averages i guess there is some accuracy with the statement, but based on what I have seen and heard from others, this is not a true statement. Applying to jobs is the impersonal way which means that your resume is going to be filtered by some computer program before it gets looked at by a recruiter for a whopping 2-6 seconds to see if your are even worth talking to. At the end you are likely to never even be notified that your resume was rejected.
Bad gouge 3: Don't connect with anyone you don't know on linkedin. I have connected with thousands of people I have never physically met but who are not great friends and colleagues who have connections with thousands of other people. People are the most powerful tool to getting anywhere in life, including to getting hired.
So how should it be done.
Good gouge 1: Find someone like you, inside a company you want to work for and connect with them. How do you do this? First, find a company you want to work for with a job posting that sounds interesting and research the company online. Follow them on linkedin and try to find an employee there with a similar background (veteran) etc. Send this person a connection request and talk with them. This individual is your key to learning about the company, the open job, and what key things should be on your resume. They can also tell you if the job is actually an open requirement or just a fishing post.
Good Gouge 2: Most companies give employees bonuses for finding good candidates. This means that that new friend you just made will get paid for getting you hired. On top of this, they can get you in touch with the hiring manager before you have ever applied for the job. You might have an interview before you even apply if things go well. This insider is also the best gouge for salary expectations, corporate culture information, work life balance, benefits etc. Let them help you. They are your best chance at having an advocate. They can also translate military to civilian to the hiring manager or recruiting team.