Interview tips for veterans—Use these 3 tips to help prepare for a job interview

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Male supervisor sits at desk in his office

by Tricia Hutchinson

Congratulations, vet! You managed to survive military life and transition out of the military. Reentering the civilian job market means that you will have to face the interview process. So how do you take all those skill you learned in the military and apply them to your new life?

There are a few tips and tricks that will help you navigate the transition to working in the civilian sector, Now you have plenty of time on your hands to grow that epic veteran beard and catch up on your sleep. Once you’ve gotten those things off your plate, you’re going to need to acquire some funds, which means you are about to have to enter the civilian job market. Reentering the civilian job market means that you will have to face the interview process. So how do you take all those skill you learned in the military and apply them to your new life?

There are a few tips and tricks that will help you navigate the transition to working in the civilian sector, so get out a pen and pad, because you will see this material again.

Once you walk through the door for your job interview, every question you are asked will fall into one of three categories:

  • “Tell me about yourself.”
  • “Tell me about your work history/qualifications for this job.”
  • “Why are you interested in this job/company?”

Answering these questions the right way will get you a long way towards accomplishing your objective; a successful job interview is 90% preparation and 10% luck, so here are three tips (positive and negative) to help you prepare:

Highlight your military experience.

You bring something unique to every interview that you take: your military experience. Whether you were an artillery forward observer, a chaplain’s assistant, or an infantryman, you bring something extra to the table that your civilian counterparts do not. If contemporary experience has taught us anything, it’s that veterans of the United States military are some of the most widely admired and highly thought of members of society. So congratulations on officially being one of the cool kids. While there is a time and place to live up to the “quiet professional” label, a job interview is not one of them. So highlight your military experience and if there’s another veteran on the interview team, all the better.

Make your military experience relatable.

One thing you ought to be doing for every interview is tailoring your answers for the specific job you are seeking. However, as you well know, there are some aspects of military life that do not cross over into the civilian sphere. Therefore, when you describe your military job, describe it in a way that your interviewer will understand. Were you a NCO responsible for a squad? Congratulations, you were a manager. Did you plan operations in Afghanistan or Iraq? Excellent! You can describe these missions as projects—projects which you oversaw.

Your average civilian interviewer doesn’t understand the ins-and-outs of infantry operations or the planning that goes into planning religious support for deployments. So it’s your job to translate your experience into language that they’ll be able to understand.

Drop the jargon.

Every job has its own jargon and internal language that’s unique to the community, and the military is no different. Keep in mind, however, that military jargon is incomprehensible to the uninitiated, so don’t use jargon that you don’t explain. Don’t assume that your interview knows what you mean by SOP (standard operating procedure), or by some other acronym that’s in common use in the military. Another good term to stop using is “latrine.” Civilians don’t relieve themselves into holes in the ground or PVC pipes leading to pits of filth and shame. Call it a bathroom. For everyone’s sake, don’t ever use FUBAR. And while we’re at it, leave the “hooah” at home.

The transition back to civilian life can be tough, but with time and preparation, there is no reason that any veteran cannot market the unique skills and intangibles that he or she possesses and become a success in the civilian environment.

Read the complete article and more from Human Technologies Inc. at htijobs.com

4 Tips to Nail a Virtual Job Interview

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man dressed in fatigues sitting at a desk on a remote interview

by Ben Laker, Will Godley, Selin Kudret and Rita Trehan

If you’re job hunting right now, chances are you’re also interviewing remotely.

There are some serious upsides to this. You can avoid tardiness (no traffic snarls), reference notes without being too obvious and if you’re located in a rural area, you now have access to the same opportunities as city dwellers, saving you money.

There are also downsides. Combined with technical problems — like forgetting you’re unmuted or having a cat filter stuck on your face — virtual interviews can go horribly wrong.

Through our latest research on remote hiring, we wanted to know, given these pros and cons, how can job candidates really stand out during the virtual interview process?

Here are four practices you can use to turn your next virtual interview into a job offer:

1) Set up your space.

  • Have a clean, uncluttered background: Our advice here is not for you to start rearranging your entire room. Just find a spot that is simple and free of distractions. You can even choose a simple virtual background instead of propping yourself in front of a messy bookshelf. Contrary to previous research, we found that unconscious biases were less likely to creep into the decision-making process when candidates had a clean backdrop. 97 percent of the recruiters we spoke to preferred virtual backgrounds of office settings over beaches, mountains or outer space.

2) Prepare for the unexpected.

  • Keep notes handy, but don’t refer to them too often: During job interviews, it’s standard for recruiters to ask candidates for examples of their most impactful work. Don’t let this unnerve you in the moment. Create a printout or Word document of notes with crisp bullet points highlighting a few projects you want to share. Sort your projects under two or three headers: accomplishments, research and volunteer work.

We suggest no more than one page of notes. The goal is to refer to your notes minimally.

3) Rehearse.

  • Use hand gestures: In our study, 89 percent of successful candidates used wide hand gestures for big and exciting points, while moving their hands closer to their heart when sharing personal reflections. Your body language can impact what you’re saying and how you come across. Our research also found that you can connect to your interviewer just by keeping an open posture and remembering not to cross your arms. Look into your webcam, not at your reflection. We recommend framing yourself in a way where you’re not too far from the camera (we suggest no more than two feet). Make sure your head and top of your shoulders dominate the screen, and as you’ve heard before, look into the camera when you speak.

4) Don’t perform a monologue; spark conversations.

  • Ask questions: There’s always an opportunity to ask questions about the office and the culture in an interview, but when you interview remotely, you’re going to be left with more questions than usual. Whatever you want to know, ask. Don’t worry about looking silly. The recruiter will appreciate your curiosity.

We suggest asking questions about the kind of technology you’ll have access to when working remotely, if you’d be working in a hybrid team or how success is measured at the organization. 85 percent of successful candidates asked these kinds of questions to demonstrate their values and priorities, while revealing vital bits of information about their personality. For example, you could ask, “Do you have a flexible work policy?” Then bookend your question with, “I’ve been volunteering as an English teacher for marginalized communities twice a week, and it would be great to be able to continue doing that.”

For better or worse, remote hiring is here to stay. While there are many unrivaled benefits to this, you need to do your bit to ace this relatively new process. Remember, trousers are optional, outstanding delivery is not.

Source: Harvard Business Review

5 Things I Wish Service Members Knew Ahead of Their Civilian Transition

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young african american man wearing a flag draped across his shoulders standing outside with lake in background looking pensive

By Lawren Bradberry

I remember how confident and prepared I felt when I transitioned from active-duty service. But as soon as I put away my uniform, it hit me: I needed help navigating the difficult and oft-talked about transition to civilian life.

Connecting with other Veterans and Veteran service organizations helped me navigate life after military service. So much so, in fact, it motivated me to focus my career on transitioning service members and Veterans.

Unfortunately, many Veterans I wound up working with struggled to adjust to civilian life more than they expected. 

Many struggled to find their way, unaware of the many resources available to help them find their way after military service.

Each day, more than 500 service members will start their transition. To them and the thousands more who will eventually make the very same transition, I offer five pieces of proactive advice from my own personal experience:

  1. Make the most of your education benefits and career training opportunities. 

Veterans can use their education benefits to pay for training programs, so you should be sure to look into ways to maximize what you’re getting out of benefits. Keep in mind, however, that not all programs are covered in the same way, and not every program includes the same type of training or extra resources to aid you throughout your process. Since 2009, 773,000 Veterans and their family members have utilized these funds for programs ranging from technology to entrepreneurship to foreign affairs and so many more, so do your homework and research your options before making a decision.

  1. Remember that every transition story is different.

While there are certainly some commonalities, no Veteran goes through their transition in the same way – each person has their own strengths and faces their own unique challenges. There is no right way to execute your transition and there’s no need to rush, so take all the time you need to adjust and find your new routine. One thing that took me a while, as silly as it might seem to some, was figuring out what to wear! I wore a uniform every single day for years, so I never even stopped to consider the endless options of what I could wear to work as a civilian, and what message that might communicate.

  1. Take pride in what you bring to the table.

By the time you reach the end of your commitment, you may have led teams into life-or-death situations, made high-level decisions, or managed millions of dollars in equipment. Even though you may be starting your career later than your civilian peers, your experiences are unmatched in comparison. Learn to tell your story with confidence in a way that demonstrates the skills and experiences you gained in the military, and how they translate to future opportunities.

  1. Keep your personal values in mind.

Just like the different branches of the military, every organization has its own unique culture. As you search for employment, take the time to learn about the mission and values of the organizations you’re interested in. Veterans often return home with a very specific set of core values and ideals, and it’s hard enough to make the transition to a different industry with its own cultural norms, so make sure your future workplace stands for values and ethics that align with your own.

  1. Connect with your community and peers.

If you need help, ask! The process can be long, confusing and intimidating, but it’s important to know that there are people and organizations out there who want to help and have dedicated their own post-service careers to doing so. Just be careful to keep in mind what I mentioned earlier and to not measure yourself against others – everyone’s experience is different.

By doing each of these five things, I am confident that as service members work to close one door – at their own pace, of course – they will simultaneously open another full of security, opportunity and continued success.

Lawren Bradberry, MBA is a retired Army NCO and the Senior Manager of Military Programs at Galvanize, the nation’s leading provider of software engineering and data science training. More than 700 active-duty military and Veterans have used Galvanize training to get post-military tech jobs. For more information, visit Galvanize.com.

We Are All Green – How My Time in the Military Taught Me Inclusion

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Steve Willison and grandaughter cheers to the camera smiling holding hot chocolate mugs

By Steve Willison, ON Semiconductor

I grew up in a smaller area in the northeast part of the country and prior to joining the military, ‘diversity’ was not something I experienced often.

If you had asked me what diversity meant, I would say things like socioeconomic factors, home life structure or if you played Little League baseball rather than Pop-Warner football.

But once I joined the military, I quickly got the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life.

It wasn’t until a moment early on in my military career that I learned the lesson of inclusion. I was working, most likely cleaning, polishing, folding and not really paying attention to the conversations around me, but I did hear a slur used. The slur wasn’t used towards a person but said in the context of their conversation. Our instructor, Staff Sgt. Boyd*, was paying attention and, after having a harsh one-on-one with the individual, she sat all of us down to have one of the most defining moments in my diversity, equity and inclusion journey.

Staff Sgt. Boyd wanted us to understand this key fundamental: we are all individuals with many unique qualities who are all part of the same group; we are all green. I took Staff Sgt. Boyd’s words to heart because I love the idea that while I have my individual characteristics, I am part of something bigger.

We need to recognize that we are not all the same, that wem are individuals made up of many different parts and identifiers. It is our individuality, our inherit diversity, that makes us stronger as a group; as a unified organization working together to be the best we can be. Every chance we get to celebrate our uniqueness, we should seize that opportunity and include our group, our organizations, our family, friends and acquaintances to join in.

There is room for improvement in all things but it is our individual and group contributions to inclusion that help us grow and get better. I love telling my children stories and reminiscing about friends I had in the service. The opportunity to share my lessons from the military, the importance of true friendship and knowing how valuable it is to have people you can count on to have your back no matter your history is something that I cherish.

Together, we are a part of something bigger and have the chance to make lasting change in our world.

Steve Willison is the human resources leader for North American operations at ON Semiconductor. Steve serves as the co-chair the company’s Veteran and military employee resource group. ON Semiconductor is a designated Military Friendly Employer and in 2020 became a partner with the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program that assist military members gain civilian work experience through industry training, apprenticeships or internships during the last 180 days of service. SkillBridge connects service members with industry partners in real-world job experiences.

If you are interested in hearing more about this program or job opportunities at ON Semiconductor please visit onsemi.com/careers.

*named changed

If Your Elevator Pitch Doesn’t Pack a Punch, You’re Doing it Wrong

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five job interviewees seated in chairs wating for job interview

By Amanda Huffman

No matter if you are an entrepreneur, looking for a job, or networking with others in your sphere of influence, you need to have a go-to elevator pitch that you can modify easily based on who you are talking to or what you hope to gain from the conversation.

The truth is, your moment to make a first impression needs to be short and sweet but have an impact. Your elevator pitch should be an open door to a conversation, not your one shot to get all the information out.

4 KEY PARTS OF A GREAT ELEVATOR PITCH

We will talk about the four things your intro needs to get the information to your audience in four to five short sentences. The best part is these tools are easy to customize based on where you are and who you are talking to. The problem with so many elevator pitches is they are not customizable. They are a one size fits all. It’s better to create a system that you can easily customize and change as you meet different people.

  1. What’s in a name?

It begins with the most important thing people need to know, your name.

You might want to blow right past your name. I mean you only have one name, right? But actually, you might have multiple names, and depending on where you are and who you are talking to will help you determine how to introduce yourself. If you are in a professional setting, you always want to use your full name and not a nickname. Depending on if you are meeting with others in your field and if you have specialized qualifications, you may want to add that too (ie Dr, military rank, etc.).

Deciding on how to introduce yourself is very important. It is the first impression of your intro, so pay attention to the clues around you. And when in doubt, just use your formal first and last name.

  1. Credentials

Depending on who you are talking to will help you determine what credentials you will list. But remember, you can only list up to three, and one may be all you need. For example, if you are meeting with a future employer, you will want to include the three qualifications that you have that make you the right candidate for the job. If you are networking at an event, you will want to use three qualifications relevant to the event you are attending.

The three things you mention are always based on the person or group of people you are talking to. They give you the credibility to talk about whatever you are going to talk about. And if you add in credentials that are not relevant to the topic of conversation, it may confuse the person you are talking to and be less likely to lead to a conversation.

  1. Your if…then statement

It is more an I help…to. But sometimes thinking about who or what you help isn’t easy. So instead, let’s think about it as if I do this then this will happen. You want the people to know who you are helping and what service you can provide to that group. Maybe it is a future employer and you are able to describe how you can help the company by using your technical skills from your experience. Or maybe you are an entrepreneur and your product or service has a direct impact on those in your target market. This statement is customizable based on where you are introducing yourself and the topic of conversation.

  1. Mic drop moment at the end.

This is the point where in the first minute of meeting someone or introducing yourself at an event that you want people to be blown away and ready to hear more or at a minimum to ask more about you. Don’t overthink it.

SAME PERSON BUT 3 ELEVATOR PITCHES

These four tools can help you as you move forward in the next step of your career. It is an easy way to have an elevator pitch that is customizable to your audience instead of focusing on you. It is focused on who you are talking to – because isn’t that who you are trying to impress anyways? Let’s walk through three examples.

  1. When I’m introduced to someone looking for a new career, with a technical degree…

Hi, I’m Amanda Huffman. I am an engineer turned freelance writer and podcaster. I help people realize that they can dream bigger in their future career than they ever thought possible. Because I did with my own life. I walked away from a career in engineering and the military to follow my passion, and I want others to feel fulfillment the way I do.

  1. When talking about my business to female veterans…

Hi, I’m Amanda Huffman. I am an Air Force combat veteran and the creator of the Women of the Military Podcast. I help empower veterans to share their stories, and I want veterans to know that their story matters.

  1. When I’m looking for a career in engineering…

Hi, I’m Amanda Huffman. I am a licensed Civil Engineer with experience in project management. I worked as a Civil Engineer in the Air Force on a number of different construction projects in both the US and overseas. My time in the military taught me to be innovative and work to get the job done. I would love to showcase how my skills can help XYZ business.

Amanda is a military spouse and veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career. She published her first book in 2019 titled Women of the Military, sharing the stories of 28 military women. In 2019 she also launched her podcast also titled Women of the Military. In 2020, she was published as a collaborative author in Brave Women Strong Faith. And in 2021, she launched a YouTube channel to help young women answer their questions about military life, Girl’s Guide to the Military. You can learn more about Amanda at her blog Airman to Mom.

Source: Clearance Jobs

Tech Skills To Keep Your Resume Relevant

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We know companies want to hire the most qualified candidate, but we often don’t take action to give ourselves the skills to make our resume stand out. Companies are incorporating more technology to streamline services and help workers accomplish more. To keep your resume relevant, you need to keep adding skills to your resume and demonstrate your understanding of computer programs.

The Internet is our number one source of information and has been for some time. We often forget how much we rely on the Internet, but it’s woven into the fabric of our lives. We check Google Maps for the fastest route to places we have been a hundred times and use digital coupons at the grocery store. Tech in the workplace is just as prevalent. Nearly every job requires proficiency in Google Workplace to be considered for a role, and that’s not before data analyst programs, customer management tools, or learning management systems.

Adding tech skills to your resume is the quickest way to upskill and gain favor with hiring managers.

Web Design: Because Every Company Has a Website

The information you depend on comes from the Internet. Internal sites at work and your child’s soccer team all have websites with relevant data that you need to make decisions. Some of these websites aren’t the most polished and could use some improvement. Learning web design isn’t always about making beautiful websites; its core function is to make them usable.

While WordPress and GoogleSite seem easy enough, you can really enhance your ability to make the website stand out if you have a solid grasp of web design. Without the proper knowledge, creating a site can take hours of frustrating work.

Data Analysis Is a Universal Skill

Another tech skill that spans across professions and hobbies is the ability to analyze data. Data analysis can help you impress your bosses at work and help your home brewed beer yield better results. Computer systems are constantly collecting data points, but the data isn’t useful in its original form; it has to be organized first.

Learning basic data science can help you earn more clients, improve efficiency, and determine customer trends. Nearly every company is looking for a data guru to improve data collection and analysis. Ironhack has a great data science program that can teach you all the skills you need to add data science to your resume.

Cybersecurity Will Always Be in Demand

Maintaining security online has never been more important. With the amount of data that companies have about their users, it’s vital that companies keep that information away from prying eyes. Since cybercriminals will always keep trying to hack websites, cybersecurity engineers won’t have to worry about job security.

Cybersecurity engineers do a variety of jobs to ensure there aren’t any weak points in a company’s computer systems. Ethical hackers try to break into the system to find any vulnerabilities. If they find any, engineers will fix the issues. This process will happen a lot as companies are frequently updating apps, sites, and algorithms. Cybersecurity engineers will have plenty of work keeping up with the new editions.

Working as a cybersecurity engineer doesn’t mean you are siloed into working exclusively for tech companies. The video games, banking, and business sectors need cybersecurity experts to help companies keep their clients safe. Cybersecurity can be a great way to gain access to an industry you have always wanted to work for but haven’t found an entry point.

Make the Time to Learn a Tech Skill

You don’t have to attend a coding bootcamp or return to school for another degree to learn tech skills. There are thousands of free ways to learn in-demand tech skills that will boost your resume and help you go further in the application process.

The excuse “I don’t have enough time” seems reasonable, but it’s inhibiting our self-improvement. The number of hours in a day doesn’t change, so in order to learn new tech skills, you need to make the time. It doesn’t have to be every day or two hour-long sessions. You merely need to schedule the time to learn the skill.

The world is only getting more technological, and every job is increasingly becoming a tech role. Even professions you wouldn’t associate with tech roles are starting to include more and more tech responsibilities. Teachers, administrators, and writers are beginning to incorporate coding, web design, and data analysis into their everyday work.

Amazon Pledges to Hire 100,000 U.S. Veterans and Military Spouses by 2024

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Amazon recently announced plans to hire over 100,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses by 2024. Amazon currently employs over 40,000 veterans and military spouses across multiple businesses—from Operations to Alexa to Sustainability to Amazon Web Services (AWS)—and they all receive a starting wage of at least $15 per hour and have access to comprehensive benefits.

“Amazon is focused on recruiting and developing military talent with training programs specifically designed to help veterans transition into roles in the private sector,” said John Quintas, Amazon’s director of global military affairs. “We value the unique skills and experience that the military community brings—and our new hiring commitment will expand the impact that military members currently have on every single business across the company.”

The company expects that through this pledge, it will hire over 16,000 military spouses.

Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, praised Amazon’s goal. Eversole leads Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation focused on helping veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment in communities across America.

“Amazon recognizes the diverse backgrounds and experiences veterans and military spouses bring and how they strengthen the workforce,” said Eversole. “Through their commitment to provide upskilling and employment opportunities in high demand careers, Amazon is equalizing opportunity for veterans and military spouses.”

Upskilling opportunities

Amazon offers a variety of programs to assist transitioning service members and military spouses in finding rewarding careers. This includes access to company-funded skills training in high-demand areas, such as cloud computing, through initiatives like the Amazon Technical Apprenticeship Program and AWS re/Start.

Military members working at Amazon can also take advantage of the company’s free upskilling opportunities so they can gain new technical skills and move into in-demand, higher-paying jobs. These programs include Career Choice, Amazon’s pre-paid tuition program for fulfillment center employees looking to move into high-demand occupations, and Amazon Technical Academy, a paid nine-month training that equips non-technical Amazon employees with the essential skills to transition into—and thrive in—software engineering careers.

In addition to skills training, veterans and military spouses working at Amazon have access to fellowships, mentorships, military spouse support, and deployment benefits. They also have the Warriors@Amazon affinity group, a community with more than 10,000 former service members, spouses, and allies across the company.

All Amazon jobs pay a starting wage of at least $15 an hour—more than twice the federal minimum wage—and all regular full-time employees enjoy health insurance from an employee’s first day of the job, a 401(k) plan with a company match, up to 20 weeks of paid leave for birthing parents, access to subsidized skills training opportunities, and more.

Amazon currently has more than 35,000 positions open in the U.S. To learn more about career opportunities for veterans and military spouses at Amazon, please visit here.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

For the Recruiter: How to Reduce High Employee Turnover—The Ultimate Guide

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By Nina Stankova of Score.org

Attracting top talent to your company and then keeping that talent once you’ve got it, is crucial to your business’s growth and reputation.

Employee retention and motivation are interdependent and directly correlated. This means a good employee retention rate will reduce operational costs, allow you to outperform your direct competitors, build morale, and improve your customer service levels.

Hiring and firing is expensive. Very expensive. 

If someone leaves your company, you need to consider the opportunity cost and the impact of not having someone in that role for an extended period. It could wipe out a particular client. It could backlog a team, project, or experience. You might now have to pay someone else overtime to compensate for the missing person. This may cause a snowball effect that can cycle into higher workloads, more stress, and sluggish morale.

An active employee retention strategy is perhaps as important as your human resource manager. Why? Two reasons.

  1. Customers have more options. When customer service levels are low, your service becomes expendable. We live in an age where anything you may need is four taps away. Unclean sheets at an Airbnb? Booking.com gives you other accommodation options. Are traditional taxis becoming too expensive? Grab an Uber. You get the idea.
  2. There are more job boards available. These include new and improved niche job boards tailored to the digital nomad or remote worker. Your workforce won’t stick around if they are miserable, like workers did to 50 years ago. There are many options ripe for exploring.

That’s why employee retention is more critical than ever before, especially during a worldwide pandemic. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled an ultimate guide on reducing high employee turnover, and it starts with hiring the right people.

Hire the Right People

It’s about positional fit. It’s about culture fit. It’s about team fit. Is this employee a seamless puzzle piece connector that will allow your project to move forward? If the answer is no, move on to a different candidate.

Hire employees who align with all aspects of the business, from its mission to its working arrangement. Ask employees specific behavioral questions throughout the hiring process to see how they react to certain situations. Candidates will often rule themselves out if they don’t fit in with the team professionally, personally, or socially.

Make Your Workplace Creative

Not all employees are made equally. Some people like silence, some like a social environment. Some employees like adjustable standup desks, some like a super comfortable wheely chair.

Allow your employees to pick and choose how and where they would like to work while in the office. Craft different working stations throughout the office, including group tables with projection monitors for collaboration; social areas for snacking and chatting; silent rooms with shut doors and drawable blinds; and customizable individual workstations.

This will allow your employees no excuse for productivity and give them comfort in choice.

Pay Well

You and your business need to make sure you offer compensation that takes care of everyday expenses like food, housing, utilities, and fun. Most people want all of this compensation doubled. At the end of the day, if your salary package is less than your competitors, you’re already a leg down. You’ll have constant turnover, ticked off employees, and record-low morale.

Do market research on wages within your country. Find the median salary for various titles throughout the company and determine what a competitive wage would be.

Give Competitive Benefits

Research some competitive benefits packages. Gone are the days when a good salary and a desk are good enough to attract top talent from the professional realm and the new era of university graduates.

Employees want good benefits, and the benefits you offer should be competitive. What are your closest competitors doing? Do it better. Health, retirement, transportation, and education benefits are some of the most common perks of accepting a new job. Want to take it a step further? Introduce personalized benefits. Here the new employee can choose a handful of available perks that make the most sense to them.

Reward Employees

Human beings like being praised and rewarded for a job well done. They like to feel like their work is valuable, and making a difference in the company. Employees need encouragement and recognition to continue working their hardest.

When an employee does something right or makes a measurable difference in its favor, show appreciation and happiness. When they finish a gigantic and time-consuming project, and the results are as planned or better, give them a pat on the back or a small reward. It will show your employees that you appreciate them. The overall goal is to create a positive, challenging, and encouraging work environment that bolsters hard work, creativity, competitiveness, and happiness.

Exit Interview

People leave companies. No matter how well you do, which processes you put in place, or how high you hike salaries, companies that foster great work will mold their employees to new heights.

If your newly-groomed and model employee has found a better job elsewhere, fight for them. If you can’t win, wish them luck.

Then use your secret weapon — the exit interview. Craft your exit interview to include questions of happiness, pain points, frustrations, things your employee will miss, people they enjoyed, and recommendations for improvement. Take them to heart and continue to improve your employee culture.

Source: Score.org

6 Things Interviewers Want Us to Know About Remote Interviews

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hand on keyboard and screen with a young black man interviewee

by Eileen Hoenigman Meyer

In some ways, a remote job interview can seem like a welcome relief from the traditional format. You don’t have to worry about directions or getting stuck in traffic; plus, you only have to agonize over half an outfit.

But a remote meeting doesn’t earn you full access to the body language and social cues that your interviewers exhibit.

The social awareness and mores around remote interviews are still emerging for those on both sides of the interaction.

As you prepare for your next remote job interview, consider this inside scoop from several interviewers-their insights about what matters and what may be less important.

Small talk helps.

Chit chat breaks the ice and can help make a remote conversation feel comfortable. Come prepared with a couple of easy talking points to kick things off (a funny story, a sports reference, etc.).

Jonas Bordo, CEO, and co-founder of Dwellsy, explains: “I need to get to know you via zoom, which is hard. In the old days, we would have made small talk while we walked to the interview room, but we don’t get to do that anymore. All of that preliminary small talk is important – it’s in those conversations that you get to learn about me and me about you. Invest in that time, and don’t rush into interview questions.” Researching the company and your interviewer can help you generate material.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Remote interactions have their own unique brand of uncomfortable moments-glitches, freezes, etc. Please do your due diligence when it comes to tech and interview prep so that you’re prepared and practiced for your meeting. Know, however, that even when you’re well-prepared, meeting technology can be unreliable, which can leave you navigating some complexities off the cuff. “I know that remote interviews are awkward and a poor substitute for in-person interviews, but it’s best just to accept the awkwardness,” explains Calloway Cook, President of Illuminate Labs. “If you worry about an awkward pause or an accidental moment where you spoke over the interviewer due to a connection delay, it’s easy to get frazzled and have your actual interview responses become negatively impacted.”

Cook recommends, “Stay mission-focused, and make light of remote awkwardness whenever possible. Acing remote interviews requires more focus than acing in-person interviews, in my opinion, because there are so many external factors like connectivity that affect the dialogue.”

Adopt remote-friendly mores.

Another dimension that makes a remote interview challenging is that the social mores around these interactions don’t feel totally natural. Kevin Lee, CEO of JourneyPure, recommends:

“If there’s an awkward silence during the interview, don’t panic. It’s natural to have silences because you can’t rely on visual body language cues like you can in an in-person interview. If you’re done speaking, pause and let the interviewer pick up the conversation. Rushing to fill the silence may lead you to say something that you might not normally say or fill it up with chatter, which would let the interviewer know you are nervous about the interview. You may want to practice with a friend to learn how to manage awkward silences and find appropriate times for small talk during an online interview.”

Recognize it during other remote meetings when you’re involved, when you notice participants handling pauses well. Then mirror their approach. It’s a good way to stay controlled and calm during your interview.

Be authentic.

There’s often a feeling of obligation to overprepare when it comes to job interviews, leaving interviewees flustered if anything unexpected happens. When it comes to remote interviews, though, the unexpected happens often, even when prepared. Being anxious and rigid makes it more painful to weather these inevitable occurrences.

Erik Rivera, CEO of ThriveTalk, explains: “The best advice I can give anyone going into an online interview is to make the interview as candid and relaxed as possible. If you have a child who is likely to interrupt, tell your interviewer this at the beginning of the meeting! Similarly, if you’re expecting someone to come by, full disclosure is best.”

Rivera emphasizes the importance of the human touch. He explains: “Finally, treat your interviewer like a PERSON, as they are also in this COVID nightmare. Discuss what has been hard, what has been good, how crazy everything is. Humanity needs humanity now more than ever.”

Soft skills are a selling point.

Flexibility, adaptability, emotional intelligence, innovation, problem-solving, work ethic, and other soft skills are valuable. It’s not just that the process for interviewing has changed; the reality of work has changed post-COVID. Soft skills can help finesse a changing workplace. Showcase them.
Bordo, for example, emphasizes the importance of flexibility: “I interviewed a candidate recently who was working hard to keep a pacifier in a baby’s mouth, and it was awesome. I’ve seen kids, husbands, wives, and roommates walk through backgrounds. . . I even interviewed someone with a parrot on her shoulder for the entire interview. All of that is wonderful. But, if you can’t create an environment with enough peace that you can have an interview conversation, then I worry you can’t create that kind of environment for your work.”

A culture that fits your life.

Just as you would with a face-to-face interview, do your interview prep before your meeting. Learn about the organization and the professional culture as you think about presenting yourself for your interview.

Good luck!

Click here to read the original article posted on Glassdoor.

How to Successfully Readjust to Civilian Life with a Career in Tech

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You volunteered, you served, and now you’re mustering out. What happens next? Returning to civilian life sounds easy on paper, but the reality of leaving the highly-structured, highly-disciplined military environment for one that’s completely open can be frustrating, discouraging and disorienting. Worse is the discovery that all of your practiced military tactics for addressing adversity may not get you anywhere.

In fact, your attention to detail, commitment to teamwork and willingness to go all-in may be received as off-putting, aggressive and overwhelming. What the heck? Add to this the age-old challenge that is finding a job. Or better yet, starting a career. The military promised career skills, and you built many good ones. But how do you apply them to the boggling ecosystem that is the civilian workforce? Where do you start? How do you get your foot in the door?

Funny how that info isn’t readily available.

HOLISTIC HELP FOR TRANSITIONING VETERANS
This is a dilemma that over 200,000 Veterans face every year. It adds enormous stress to their transition process and compounds traumas like PTSD, depression and anxiety. There are myriad U.S.-based organizations dedicated to helping Veterans through this process, but that creates another anxiety-inducing question: Which one to use?

Maurice Wilson, Navy Master Chief Officer (retired), identified this critical conundrum and, in 2010, created a solution: The REBOOT Workshop offered by NVTSI. REBOOT fills a gap that the military’s Transition Assistance Program isn’t designed to address: how to fully prepare exiting military personnel to find meaningful employment and a satisfactory lifestyle in the civilian workforce.

Best known for its three-week REBOOT workshop, NVTSI delivers an insightful and personalized program that equips Veterans with the emotional, psychological, social and professional skills they need to restructure and redefine their lives. The program includes three focus areas: Personal Identity, Lifestyle Transition and Career Transition. It addresses the personal and social aspects of transitioning to civilian life via research-based, outcome-driven methods drawn from career planning best practices and cognitive behavior techniques. NVTSI has a cadre of alumna who have used the REBOOT tools and techniques to craft successful civilian lives for themselves and their families.

A VETERAN-FOCUSED PARTNERSHIP
Even with the soft skills help that NVTSI provides, there’s still the question of getting hired. How do you overcome that hurdle? Every Veteran-focused organization (including NVTSI) has a list of Vet-friendly employers on their website. It’s also easy to find help creating resumes, tips on the interview process and a plethora of Vet-specific job fairs. All this information is helpful, but again, how does it get you in the door?

This problem found a perfect solution in the partnership between NVTSI and CCS Global Tech. NVTSI and CCS Global Tech give Veterans a solid path into the work world: NVTSI focuses on helping Veterans create a holistic vision for their future, while CCS Global Tech offers job placement in the tech sector for Veterans at varying experience levels.

Maybe you don’t know anything about technology or what you need to get into it. Or, maybe you’ve been in the tech industry for several years already and want to move up. How do you make that happen?

PUTTING VETERANS IN TECH JOBS
The ultimate goal of both NVTSI and CCS Global Tech is to help Veterans transition successfully out of the military and into civilian life. For all Veterans, securing a good job is a critical piece of the puzzle.

CCS Global Tech is a staffing company that makes the path to a new technology career more direct via their Veteran placement services. Their dedicated team connects qualified Veterans to positions that CCS Global Tech’s clients – companies like Microsoft, Facebook, the City of San Francisco, and others – need filled.

In other words, CCS Global Tech has the work, and they need people to fill the positions. It’s a matter of matching the right Veteran candidate to the right role.

The strong leadership skills, self-motivation and dedication to teamwork that helped Veterans succeed in the military also make them prime candidates for filling many tech roles, such as system administrators, network technicians and data conversion experts.

Veterans with security clearances are particularly well-positioned for cybersecurity roles, which are in high demand in today’s business environment.

HELPING VETERANS SUCCEED
But what if you don’t know anything about the tech sector? How do you get started? Or, what if you’re in an IT job and want to move up? CCS Global Tech has those contingencies covered. Its affiliate company, CCS Learning Academy (CCSLA), offers hands-on IT training that leverages military experience to equip individuals with a knowledge base and skillset that today’s top employers are looking for.

CCSLA was born out of what CCS Global Tech professionals were seeing in the marketplace, i.e., the growing need for well-trained, fully prepared technology professionals in the current workforce. Created by tech professionals for tech professionals, CCSLA carefully curates its course catalog to reflect current technology trends, in-demand applications and cornerstone IT know-how. The CCSLA team offers Veterans career advice and real-world information on how to map out successful career paths, what employers are looking for and how to position themselves for vibrant, lucrative, forward-focused employment.

The CCSLA team also keeps abreast of DoD Directives as well as other learning trends that help Veterans leverage their military backgrounds. They know how to help you leverage your military-specific experience to transition into today’s most in-demand tech careers. From cybersecurity and system administration to business intelligence and cloud computing, CCSLA’s focus is developing hire-worthy IT experts.

Both CCS Global Tech and CCSLA recognize the wealth of talent that transitioning Veterans can bring to the table. Many Vets hold security clearances and classifications required by city, state and federal entities, as well as big tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and others. CCS Global Tech and CCSLA connect you to them.

CONTACT US!
After serving your country, taking off the uniform and returning to civilian life shouldn’t be a harrowing experience. NVTSI, CCS Global Tech, and CCSLA recognize the difficulties associated with this life change and its unique challenges. All three organizations are committed to helping Veterans maximize the skills, training and knowledge to create a forward-focused career that will carry them into the future. We want to see you succeed. We want to see you thrive.

CBS GLOBAL
If you’re looking for work in the technology sector, contact CCS Global Tech’s Veteran Placement team at veterans@ccsglobaltech.com. We’ll get to work finding your perfect position! If you need help mapping out your learning pathway in tech, email us or check out ccslearningacademy.com to get started.

Increase Your Skills & Education While at Home

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Make the most of your work from home experience! Explore the wide range of education resources the Department of Defense offers for service members and their families. They include: Programs, resources and services to help service members, their spouses and children work toward college degrees, certifications and other educational and employment opportunities.

For those who currently have Department of Education-held federal student loans, learn more about pandemic loan relief measures.

■ The TA DECIDE tool from the Department of Defense lets service members compare schools, tuition and fees, programs, assistance options and more.

■ Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, or DANTES, provides service members with a variety of no-cost education and career-planning programs and services including:
■ Kuder Journey — for college and career planning
■ Academic Skills Training — to help improve your test scores and collegereadiness
■ Joint Services Transcript — which converts military experience into civilian college credit to save time and money on education
■ Reimbursable exams for college readiness and credit — including GED, ACT, SAT and more.
■ MilLife Learning offers self-directed courses to help service members and their families lead their best MilLife. Topics include developing a spending plan and eSponsorship Application and Training. The Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program connects military spouses with tools and resources, including education and training help, career coaching and exploration, career connections and more. It has a wealth of information and services — such as Onward to Opportunity — for increasing your professional skills. SECO also offers more general resources for:
■ Building a resume
■ Searching for scholarships
■ Assessing values and skills
The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library also provides a wide range of educational resources for family members of all ages. Choose from audiobooks, e-books, award-winning documentaries, historical U.S. military records, personalized brain exercises and much more. If you need help navigating opportunities that are available to you, Military One-Source education consultants can help. They can answer questions about financial aid, scholarships, tutoring and college information.

Call 800-342-9647. You can also use the OCONUS dialing options or schedule a live chat.
Source: Militaryonesource.mil

Providing Business, DVBE. Employment & Educational Opportunities For Veterans

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Upcoming Events

  1. Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE)
    August 16, 2021 - August 19, 2021
  2. New Directions for Veterans “Veterans Valor” Golf Classic
    August 16, 2021
  3. WIFLE Annual Leadership Training
    August 16, 2021 - August 19, 2021
  4. Annual VetsWhatsNext Golf Tournament
    September 3, 2021
  5. Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Las Vegas
    September 7, 2021 - September 9, 2021