Daymond John’s Advice To The Founder Of Mutt’s Sauce And Other Veteran Entrepreneurs


After Charlynda Scales’ grandfather, Charlie Ferrell, Jr., passed away in 2005, she honored the Vietnam and Korean War veteran’s memory by serving in the U.S. Air Force. Eight years later, she’d honor him again by launching Mutt’s Sauce, LLC.

She started the business in 2013 when her mother handed her the secret family recipe that had been locked in a safe for years. Ferrell, whose military nickname was “The Mutt” for “his ability to blend in with all types of cultures and make friends with anyone,” created the sauce in 1956 when he was deployed to Japan. While there, he and his family hosted many dinners for troops stationed in East Asia. According to family lore, his sweet and peppery tomato-based sauce was the highlight of parties, bringing military families of all backgrounds together during the 1950s. “It was never a business, he would just make it for friends and family,” said Scales. “He’d give them as gifts to break the ice with whoever he met at military parties or cookouts in his hometown of Cookeville, Tennessee.”

Ferrell created the multipurpose sauce because he wanted to declutter his refrigerator and rely on one bottle to flavor every meal. It would take his granddaughter multiple tries to recreate the original recipe. She used $15,000 in savings to hire a manufacturer operated by an Amish family in Chillicothe, Ohio. With their home-cooking techniques and equipment, they managed to replicate the sauce in large batches. “They literally hand-poured the sauce into 700 bottles,” says Scales, who took them door-to-door to mom-and-pop groceries and farmers’ markets. At $5 a bottle, Mutt’s Sauce sold out within its first week.

She was eager to increase output and lower prices to compete with other condiments. But she had to find a larger manufacturer that she could afford and that would be able to maintain the same tanginess while producing mass quantities. “We want the sauce to be used by everyday families. We don’t want to be too high-end,” says Scales.

In 2016 she attended a military conference in Dallas where she learned of the Heroes to CEOs grant contest run by Bob Evans Foods, which produces and distributes frozen foods and side dishes. Candidates had to submit a video and story about their business’s military or veteran roots in order to win a $25,000 grant.

Mike Townsley, CEO of Bob Evans Foods, says this program is one way to carry on the spirit of Bob Evans, the company’s late founder. “He had a soft spot for the military and veterans because he served in the Army,” said Townsley.

The company has kicked off its second annual Heroes to CEOs contest. In addition to the grant, three finalists win a trip to New York City where they will receive mentoring from BEF executives and a half-day coaching session with Shark Tank judge Daymond John. “He’s equipped to teach them ways to gain momentum that are unique to an entrepreneur,” says Townsley. “It’s so much more different starting a small business wearing many hats, versus a large corporation that I run.”

According to John, all military and veteran business owners should act like supportive partners: “Their biggest asset is a large network of other men and women who they’ve served with. Tap this core group and symbiotically learn from them and serve them.”

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Recruit Your Job Candidates Online

Soldier with tablet standing in front of a blurry map

Online recruiting is a vital strategy to make the most of your recruiting budget, and to access the best range of hiring candidates.  But it’s important to choose strategies that suit your organization, employment needs, and local workforce.

Here are some tips to recruit online effectively:

1) You can make a strong start by better understanding the labor pool of the potential workforce in your area. Study up on local demographics and reach out for personal assistance to your local American Job Center to connect with a Business Services Representative for help using online recruiting strategies.

2) You can reach a large share of qualified candidates in your area through free public job banks. Learn how to easily access your state’s job bank and how to post a job.

3) Education and training providers often seek out employers in their area for internships and employment for their students and graduates. Connect with your local schools and training programs, including local community colleges, universities, and short-term training programs to learn how to post jobs on their online tools, or connect with grads through social media.

4) Professional associations are a great source for finding qualified candidates. Learn how to connect to professional and industry associations to promote your job openings on their job boards.

5) Social media is a critical method for reaching candidates and communicating with them online. Social media platforms provide you with access to a very large pool of potential hiring candidates, whom you would likely never reach through more traditional means, and most are free to use. Learn how to get started using social media for recruitment.

There are specialized niche forums and groups for particular industries and occupations, such as GitHub for software developers, Warrior Forum for marketers, or Quora, a customizable site for shared posts on a wide variety of topics and projects. But for a broad recruiting source for all kinds of businesses, the top three social media sites are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Here’s a quick introduction to these major social media sites and tips on how to use them to find candidates:


  • Create a LinkedIn profile for your company and promote your company culture to potential candidates
  • Search for candidates with the skills you’re looking for; use filters to narrow the list of candidates and view candidates’ education and work histories without requesting a resume
  • Post a job using the Jobs feature
  • Send a job opening using a “status” message
  • Post questions on recruiting issues


  • Create a Facebook page for your company
  • Announce company news or job openings
  • Use a Facebook app (or Facebook’s new job function) to post jobs
  • Search for job candidates


  • Create a Twitter handle and profile for your company
  • Search for (or follow) candidates with skills you’re looking for
  • Tweet information (company announcements, job openings, etc.)
  • Communicate with jobseekers who receive your tweets

Source:  CareerOneStop

What Should I Include in My Federal Resume?

man dressed in a suit with several other professionals in the background

Whether you’re a current federal employee or new to the Federal Government, your resume is the primary way for you to communicate your education, skills and experience.

Before you get started

Read the entire job announcement. Focus on the following sections to understand whether or not you qualify for the position.

This critical information is found under:

  • Duties and Qualifications
  • How to Apply (including a preview of the assessment questionnaire)
  • How You Will be Evaluated

Make sure you have the required experience and/or education before you apply. Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and the required qualifications, including:

  • Level and amount of experience
  • Education
  • Training

What to include in your resume

Federal jobs often require that you have experience in a particular type of work for a certain period of time. You must show how your skills and experiences meet the qualifications and requirements listed in the job announcement to be considered for the job.

Include dates, hours, level of experience and examples for each work experience

For each work experience you list, make sure you include:

  • Start and end dates (including the month and year).
  • The number of hours you worked per week.
  • The level and amount of experience–for instance, whether you served as a project manager or a team member helps to illustrate your level of experience.
  • Examples of relevant experiences and accomplishments that prove you can perform the tasks at the level required for the job as stated in the job announcement. Your experience needs to address every required qualification.


Program Analyst GS-343-11
January 2009 – Present
40 Hours/Week


Include volunteer work and roles in community organizations

Don’t limit yourself to only including paid work experience. Include relevant volunteer work or community organizations roles that demonstrate your ability to do the job.

  • Use numbers to highlight your accomplishments
  • Use numbers, percentages or dollars to highlight your accomplishments–you can find this information in things like your performance reviews, previous job descriptions, awards and letters of recommendation.

When explaining your accomplishments:

  • Include examples of how you saved money, earned money, or managed money.
  • Include examples of how you saved or managed time.


“Improved efficiency of document processing by 25% over the previous year.”

“Wrote 25 news releases in a three-week period under daily deadlines.”

“Managed a student organization budget of more than $7,000.”

“Wrote prospect letter that has brought in more than $25,000 in donations to date.”

These statements show in concrete terms what you accomplished.

Customize your resume

You should tailor your resume to the job announcement rather than sending out the same resume for every job. Customizing your resume helps you match your competencies, knowledge, skills, abilities and experience to the requirements for each job. Emphasize your strengths and include everything you’ve done that relates to the job you’re seeking. Leave out experience that isn’t relevant.

Use similar terms and address every required qualification

Your experience needs to address every required qualification in the job announcement. Hiring agencies will look for specific terms in your resume to make sure you have the experience they’re seeking.

For example, if the qualifications section says you need experience with “MS Project” you need to use the words, “MS Project” in your resume.

Organize your resume to make it easy to understand

You need to organize your resume to help agencies evaluate your experience. If you don’t provide the information required for the hiring agency to determine your qualifications, you might not be considered for the job.

  • Use reverse chronological order to list your experience–start with your most recent experience first and work your way back.
  • Provide greater detail for experience that is relevant to the job for which you are applying.

Show all experiences and accomplishments under the job in which you earned it. This helps agencies determine the amount of experience you have with that particular skill.

  • Use either bullet or paragraph format to describe your experiences and accomplishments.
  • Use plain language– avoid using acronyms and terms that are not easily understood.


Be concise

Hiring agencies often receive dozens or even hundreds of resumes for certain positions. Hiring managers quickly skim through submissions and eliminate candidates who clearly are not qualified. Look at your resume and ask:

  • Can a hiring manager see my main credentials within 10 to 15 seconds?
  • Does critical information jump off the page?
  • Do I effectively sell myself on the top quarter of the first page?
  • Review your resume before you apply
  • Check your resume for spelling and grammatical errors and have someone else, with a good eye for detail, review your resume.

Important facts about the federal hiring process

The Federal Government does have a standard job application. Your resume is your application.

Hiring agencies use the job announcement to describe the job and list the required qualifications and responsibilities.

After applying, the hiring agency uses the information in your resume to verify if you have the required qualifications stated in the job announcement.

Once the hiring agency has determined who is qualified, they may use other assessments such as interviews or testing to determine the best qualified applications.


10 Ways to Land That Civilian Job

man in a suit smiling looking confident

You’ve proven your commitment, discipline and resourcefulness in the military world. Now it’s time to trade in your experience for a great job. Just like everything, it’s all about readiness and attitude.

Start early. Be prepared. Go for it.

  1. Verify yourself. Your Verification of Military Experience and Training, or VMET, summarizes your skills, knowledge and experience, and suggests civilian equivalent job titles. To obtain a copy of your VMET, visit the milConnect website.
  1. Get a career assessment. You have considerable strengths and skills. Now, how can they be applied to a civilian job? A career assessment can point the way. Contact your local transition assistance office and ask your counselor how you can be set up with a career assessment free of charge.
  1. Translate your experience. Your military licenses or certifications might not be recognizable to the civilian world. Learn how to translate your training and experience into skills employers recognize with Credentialing Opportunities Online, or COOL. Visit the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service website to learn more and locate your service branch’s COOL website.
  1. Get out there. Take advantage of every resource and opportunity: recruiters, military transition offices, veteran service organizations, online information. Utilize and grow your network. Contact your nearest employment office or private employment agencies (make sure you know who’s paying). Check internet job sites, such as LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor – but watch it. Get recommendations for trustworthy sites.
  1. Tap your transition assistance office. Take an employment workshop. Get referrals for employment agencies and recruiters, job leads, career counseling and computer access for online job searches. Transition assistance offices have a wealth of services. You can also visit the Department of Labor’s Transition Assistance Program website for more resources.
  1. Look good online. Employers check social media almost immediately when they’re thinking of hiring. Do you need to remove material that makes you look like a bad hire? Get a professional email address or headshot? How about creating or updating your profile on LinkedIn?
  1. Hit the job fairs. This is one-stop shopping. Meet potential employers, pass out resumes and interview on the spot, all in one place. Look sharp and practice your interview skills beforehand. Learn about upcoming job fairs and who will be there at your transition office as well as online. Check out CareerOneStop’s tips for creating or updating your resume.
  1. Go from military to Fed. Find civilian jobs online with the federal government through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. You can also create an account and build your resume at Brush up on federal hiring with
  1. Network, then network some more. Networking is one of the most effective of all job search tools. You’ve made a lot of great connections during your time in the service. Transition is the right time to start putting them to work. Get in touch with friends and fellow veterans. It’s just a good thing anyway to re-establish friendships as you transition.
  1. Take advantage of your status. Many organizations are committed to helping veterans find a good job. Look for groups with programs for service members such as:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative

Soldier for Life

Marine for Life

Military Officers Association of America

Non-Commissioned Officers Association

United Service Organizations

Your military experience is valuable to many employers. Not many people have your proven work ethic and dedication. Like everything, finding the right job is a matter of being prepared and doing the work. You’re in the military. You know how to make that happen. And there are lots of people and resources who want to back you up.

Source: MilitaryOneSource

US Department of Labor launches new monthly series of workshops to provide employment assistance to transitioning military spouses


The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a new monthly series of career workshops to provide employment assistance to transitioning military spouses. Participation is free and classes are open to all transitioning military spouses.

The launch follows a successful pilot program in October 2020.

The workshops are part of the department’s Transition Assistance Program series targeted at helping military spouses plan and prepare for their job search in pursuit of their employment goals. Offered by the department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, the workshops are part of the Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses’ curriculum.

Registration is now open for the following February classes:

  • Marketing Me: Focuses on using marketing techniques in a job search. Explores networking opportunities and uses multiple resources to develop an action plan.
  • Your Next Move: Reviews online resources provided by the department to define and explore career opportunities. Shows how spouses can use labor market research to choose a career path or develop a job search plan.
  • Career Credentials: Defines professional credentials and their importance, illustrates pathways for credentialing and identifies license and credential portability resources.
  • Resume Essentials: Designed to help spouses create the most effective resume possible with guidance from trained facilitators, and to learn how to evaluate resumes and understand job application techniques.

VETS will offer the workshops monthly, and has scheduled the first workshops from Feb. 16 through Feb. 19. The agency is offering them virtually. Register and review a full schedule of classes.

A cooperative effort among the department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service and the departments of Defense, Education, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management, the Transition Assistance Program provides information, tools and training to service members and their spouses in preparation for a return to civilian life. Approximately 200,000 men and women transition from U.S. military service to civilian life annually.

Source: DOL

A bridge from the Navy to civilian life

two student veterans are pictured in the center of a Raytheon warehouse background

Raytheon Missiles & Defense awards SPY-6 scholarships to US Navy vets.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, has partnered with the Student Veterans of America to award two $10,000 scholarships to U.S. Navy student veterans.

The recipients are Francheska Salazar, a sophomore at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Chris Ricks, who attends Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.

The scholarship, named for the Navy’s SPY-6 family of radars, helps veterans achieve their educational goals and succeed in their transition to civilian life. It is part of the company’s longstanding support for military veterans, which includes a $5 million commitment to SVA.

Photo: Francheska Salazar and Chris Ricks received the 2020 Raytheon Missiles & Defense SPY-6 scholarships offered exclusively to U.S. Navy student veterans pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree.

A humanitarian at heart

Pride in service runs deep in Francheska Salazar’s family, as she is a fifth generation veteran, but her decision to enlist in the Navy extends beyond tradition.

“I realized how much each generation of my family sacrificed so I may have the privilege to have choices,” Salazar said. “I was not about to waste this opportunity.”

While serving 13 years in the military, Salazar deployed to Latin America on humanitarian missions that helped shape her career trajectory and life purpose.

“I want to be part of a team that works to find long-term solutions,” said Salazar, who aspires to work in immigration and human rights policy.

After separating from the Navy, Salazar used her GI Bill at a community college where she earned paralegal degrees. It left her with limited benefits to complete her bachelor’s degree and attend law school.

“The SPY-6 scholarship gives me peace of mind and hope,” she said.

A life of service

Chris Ricks wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself, so he joined the Navy’s Submarine Force.

“Every day on a nuclear submarine was something special,” said Ricks, an 8-year veteran. “Every sailor has a unique role in accomplishing the mission.”

The former sailor will use the SPY-6 scholarship to help pay for his MBA.

“I look at it as a long-term investment that will serve as a foundation for the next chapter of my life,” he said.

Ricks hopes to someday use artificial intelligence to improve the lives of others in agriculture, health, finance and education.

“My military experience has given me a passion to empower others, improve systems and solve problems with cutting-edge technology,” he said.

Source: Raytheon

Navy veteran utilizes leadership to trailblaze landscape architecture field

Roberto Rovira headshot standing outside with greenery in the background

It may be hard to imagine how a former mechanical engineer and U.S. naval officer would eventually pursue landscape architecture as a career.

In the 25 years since he began his professional journey in this field, chair of the FIU Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design, Roberto Rovira, discovered that the path into landscape architecture is rarely a straight line.

After serving in active duty, first sailing the Atlantic on the Chilean tall ship Esmeralda as a liaison officer, and then on the mighty USS Thach in the Pacific, South China Sea, Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf during the tense years of the Desert Storm and Desert Shield conflicts, he finished his military service honorably with a hunger for more culture and education.

Fast-forward to today, Rovira has now been appointed as the vice president of leadership for the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF). The LAF is a Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit organization, that, through its programs and initiatives, works to increase the capacity, influence and impact of landscape architects to create a more sustainable, just and resilient future. Rovira was previously in the LAF board of directors and formerly served as vice president of research.

As an organization dedicated to the research, scholarship and leadership in the field, the LAF brings together leaders, innovators, critical thinkers, makers, builders and industry professionals focused on bringing about positive change through its commitment to sustainable landscape solutions and its support for the development of emerging student leaders and young professionals.

“My selection as V.P. of leadership at the Landscape Architecture Foundation gives me an opportunity to contribute to the thought leadership and the conversations that shape practice, academia and industry.” Rovira’s standpoint as a professional, teacher and administrator at FIU, with roots in Latin America, as well as a broad background that didn’t begin in landscape architecture, gives him a unique perspective.

As the largest Hispanic-serving institution of higher learning in the country and in one of the most climate-challenged and culturally diverse settings in the world, FIU prepared him to think broadly about what leadership means in this context and how adaptation can become opportunity as we face profound challenges to our communities and environments everywhere.

When asked what sparked his interest in landscape architecture and how that led him to where he was today, Rovira spoke on his heavy influence from Japan, where he had been home-ported for three years with the Navy and was forever shaped by its transcendent obsession with detail. Afterward, he entered the inactive reserve with an unparalleled appreciation for “how a vast and multi-faceted institution could adjust to complexity day in and day out through a commitment to leadership and a focus on its mission.”

This led to his studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, when he met an Austrian landscape architect who influenced him to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) years later.

View the full interview with Roberto Rovira here.

During his term as V.P. of leadership, Rovira plans to continue to set the standard for the LAF’s renowned awards programs. These programs are comprised of the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership that recognizes and rewards big ideas in landscape architecture with a $25,000 grant, and the LAF Medal and the LAF Founder’s Award that recognize significant and sustained contributions to the preservation, improvement and enhancement of the environment. He also plans to build stronger bridges that strengthen academia, industry and practice.

Rovira explained that landscape architecture is uniquely poised to rise to the challenge of this unique moment in history where environment, society, economy and health are most in need of informed and thoughtful leadership. The LAF provides a platform to create better leaders by bringing together students, educators, young professionals, industry and practice leaders.

“I look forward to leveraging my position as V.P. of leadership to make our networks between practice, academia and industry more resilient and more complementary,” he added.

See the full LAF Board of Directors here.

Surviving Your Military-To-Civilian Career Transition

Young soldier in military wear keeping arms crossed and smiling

10 Critical Transitioning Do’s And Don’ts.

Whether you planned for it or not, you are getting out of the military. Maybe you have even already walked through that door.

Welcome to life on the civilian side—where showing your ID card means flipping out your driver’s license, and the only camouflage anyone else has ever seen is on Duck Dynasty.

Your new mission in this surreal existence?
Survive the military-to-civilian career transition. Land a great job—or at least a decent one. The following do’s and don’ts will help you.

Tip #1: Do commit to a military transition program.
Whether your branch of service knows it as TAP, TAMP or ACAP … just go to those transition assistance classes! Be open to learning something new. You have to go anyway, so you might as well try to get something useful out of it. Chances are that you only think you know everything there is to know about your potential benefits and how to conduct a job search. You don’t.

Tip #2: Do take your spouse with you to the classes.
Two heads are better than one, particularly when your head is already crowded with multiple transition to-do lists. Invite, nay, beg your spouse on bended knees, to suffer through the transition classes with you. You’ll both be glad you did in the end.

Tip #3: Don’t procrastinate starting the transition planning process.
Starting the process begins with accepting its inevitability. Denial may be a comforting concept in the short term, but in the long term, it hurts you. You are getting out. Accept it. You have a life to plan. If you wait until the last possible moment to start
thinking about it, you will risk limiting your options.

Tip #4: Do create a basic résumé you can later target to specific job openings.
If you are contemplating federal employment, you’ll need a “federal” résumé. If you are targeting jobs in private industry, you’ll want to craft a “civilian” résumé. Don’t think for a minute that one resembles the other. The transition program counselor or the employment-readiness program manager at the family service center will help you figure it all out.

Tip #5: Do learn the civilian language of your chosen industry.
You say, “reconnaissance”; civilians say, “analysis.” You say, “subordinates”; civilians say, “employees.” You get the idea.
Start to acquaint yourself with the language of your chosen civilian industry so you’ll fit in better. Join industry-focused groups on LinkedIn and learn from the discussions. Review job ads for civilian jobs that incorporate their terms. Find a mentor in your chosen career field who will enlighten you.

Tip #6: Don’t misunderstand the concept of networking.
If you think that leveraging your professional relationships is tantamount to using people for your own greedy purposes, stop. You don’t understand the true concept behind networking. Networking is a good thing. You take. You give. You grow. Repeat that mantra until you truly accept it. It’s not something you just do when you’re looking for a job, either. It’s a professional skill you develop and use throughout your entire career, in or out of uniform.

Tip #7: Do invest in civilian business attire.
The shiny, black shoes issued by Uncle Sam don’t count.
Consider the industry you’re targeting and organize your post-uniform wardrobe appropriately. Watch and learn from other civilians in the workplace.

Tip #8: Don’t put all your hopes on one employer or one specific job.
You may have your heart set on one particular employer and on one particular job. That’s fine; however, don’t limit your job search
activities because you are waiting on that opportunity to pan out. You never know when a “sure thing” will crash and burn.

Tip #9: Do focus yourself.
At the very least, know what you want to do next, where you are willing to do it, and how much salary you will need to earn.

Tip #10: Don’t settle.
You might be stressed about finding a civilian job—and that’s perfectly understandable.Nevertheless, don’t settle for the first job that comes your way just because it is offered. Think through the process before you’re forced into making a hasty decision. You may not land the perfect job right out of the gate, but at least make it a job you can be content with professionally until a better one comes along.

Maximize your use of the many no-cost veteran and career resources, which include career consulting to résumé-writing to job placements. These resources are there to help empower you to succeed in your transition from military service to civilian worker.

About the Author
Janet Farley is the author of Quick Military Transition Guide: Seven Steps to Landing a Civilian Job (Jist Works, Inc., 2013).
Source: Quintessential Careers

The 9 Best Job Programs for Veterans Separating in 2021

cropped view of soldier pointing with finger at laptop in office

Originally posted on

While 2020 was a lost year for many Americans, it doesn’t have to affect separating military members in 2021. Some veterans programs reorganized their work to fit coronavirus restrictions; others shut down entirely.

But the most effective programs continued their training cycles.

In 2020, we highlighted dozens of organizations that want to train, hire or give veterans a leg up in the job market. These are just the best of the best and are in no particular order, because every veteran has different needs and goals.

Anyone leaving the military in 2021 (and beyond) who doesn’t know where to begin should definitely start here.

1. Federal Agencies

It should be no surprise that the world’s largest employer, the U.S. government, has job openings for veterans. What might be a surprise is just how many agencies want to train them first and even have a pipeline from the military to civilian service.

Whether you’re looking to fight wildfires, become a diplomat at the State Department, bust punks in America’s national parks or be on the front lines of the U.S. homeland security apparatus, there’s a program for you. And although there is no pipeline, veterans preference will still give you an edge when applying to the FBI or even the CIA.

There are also opportunities for wannabe truck drivers through the Department of Transportation, paid internships for would-be park rangers and more.

2. BAE Systems’ Warrior Integration Program (WIP)

For anyone who’s ever wanted to work for an American defense contractor but didn’t know how to get their foot in the door, this is the jobs program for you. BAE wants veterans to apply before they even leave the military (separated veterans are still welcome) so they can start job training right away.

The program offers on-the-job training at a real BAE location, along with mentorship, guidance through the transitioning process and (of course) a paycheck for three years while learning the job. When your time in the WIP is up, you will be a full BAE Systems employee, just like your coworkers.

Read: This Company Is Now Giving a Total Transition and Jobs Program to Separating Military Members

BAE Systems currently has Warrior Integration Program openings in New Hampshire, Alabama and Texas, but even if you don’t live there, you can still apply.

3. Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS)

Dr. Arthur Langer is a Columbia University professor who runs the nonprofit Workforce Opportunity Services. The company brings together major employers such as Prudential, General Electric and HBO, companies that need to fill critical roles. WOS then trains military veterans to fill those positions. From mechanics to Java developers, WOS has a 90% retention rate in U.S. companies.

Read: This Nonprofit Created a Pipeline System for Training and Placing Veterans in Jobs

Any business in America is welcome to come to WOS to fill its vacancies, and any veteran in America is welcome to come find job training and a place to work.

4. Microsoft

Any veteran who’s eager to join the best technical industry in the world but doesn’t know how to guarantee themselves a job should look no further than Microsoft. The tech giant looks to skilled, mature veterans to fill out its critical vacancies through the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA).

Read: Why Corporate Skills Training May Be More Valuable Than a Degree for Veterans

It’s an 18-week “reskilling” program that teaches advanced technical functions in high demand right now. At the end of the program, students will have the chance to interview with Microsoft or other tech giants in need of those valuable skills. Graduates of the program have an 80% retention rate, even without a traditional four-year degree — that’s the benefit of reskilling.

5. Army Career Skills Program (CSP)

Soldiers interested in finding a new career after the Army can look into the Career Skills Program as a means of getting that guaranteed job after leaving the military — and learn their new career while still getting that military paycheck.

Read: This Army Job Training Program Has a 93% Success Rate

Why would the Army pay soldiers to learn to leave? Because the 210 different programs offered by the Army CSP are all critical job functions the service can’t live without, but also can’t seem to find the people to do the job. Who better to work for Big Army than its former soldiers? It’s like living the Army life without the looming threat from the Green Weenie. Soldiers can choose from a slew of jobs, from auto repair to solar energy.

6. Workshops for Warriors

Hernán Luis y Prado of San Diego is a Navy veteran and the founder of Workshop for Warriors. He noticed a distinct lack of skilled trades in the American workforce, a lack he believes could cripple the American economy when the older generation of skilled tradesmen retires. So he started a nonprofit training organization designed to put veterans in those trades.

Read: ‘Workshops for Warriors’ Is Intense, Effective Training for Skilled Manufacturing Jobs

Unlike some of other programs, Workshops for Warriors requires a fee (learning or teaching a skilled trade isn’t cheap), but is covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The program has a 95% success rate in training and job placement, perfect for any veteran who wants to work with their hands.

7. Carrus

For both military members and spouses interested in health care jobs, Carrus is the place to start. CEO Misty Frost loves the mature soft skills that veterans bring to the industry when starting civilian careers, and that all the hard skills of the health care industry can be taught. So that’s what Carrus is doing.

Read: The Health Care Industry Is Looking for Vets. Here’s How to Get Free Training.

A grant from the Army Credentialing Assistance Program (ACA) allowed Carrus to expand its no-cost, short-term training program for military members and spouses. Anyone interested in free training for a new career in the health care industry should visit’s Military Page to sign up for more information in the “request info” area of the page.

Read the full article on

Think Like an Employer, Get the Job

A male body wearing a suit that is half black and half camoflauge

By Ron Kness

Why does an employer hire people? It is not to give people jobs. It’s to add value to the company. They post a position because they have a need that must get filled to either keep the company running at the same tempo (due to people leaving the company) or because the company is expanding and has more work than people to do it.

Specifically, an employer is hiring because he wants to accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Attract more customers
  • Retain current customers by improving customer satisfaction
  • Increase product line or services offered
  • Improve a process, such as manufacturing, marketing, delivery, etc.
  • Increase operational excellence by making the company run more efficiently
  • Boost the performance of the company either in whole or in part, such as a certain section or division
  • Improve the company’s strategy
  • Maximize return on investment

Keeping these hiring reasons in mind, tailor your resume and cover letter to show how you can make a difference. How do you do that? Remember that action equals results. Take my background for example:

Quickly solve problems and prevent recurrence—When conducting After Action Reviews, I focused on the root cause of an issue and created a solution to fix problems rather than assessing blame on an individual.

Improve safety and reduce accidents—Having spent numerous hours on rifle ranges, handling hazardous materials and around dangerous equipment at the supervisory level, I know how to develop, implement and disseminate safety policy, procedures and guidelines to prevent accidents and reduce injuries.

Prevent equipment breakdowns/reduce repair expenses—Being thorough before, during and after-operation checks and scheduled maintenance services, I can reduce the downtime of equipment and the expense of repair.

Increase synergy of a team—As a Team Leader in the military, I brought 12 unique individuals together and inspired them to work cohesively in a high-stress work environment.

Analyze, create and select courses of action—Trained in the military’s decision-making process, when faced with a problem, I created possible courses of action, evaluated each and selected the best one. Once selected, I developed an action plan to implement the chosen course of action.

For anyone who has spent a decent amount of time in the military, we are trained on how to do many of the things that employers are seeking to solve. By carefully going through a job posting, it’s usually easy to see why they are hiring for that position. You can then tailor your resume and cover letter accordingly to show, instead of just tell, from experience how you can benefit them if hired.


5 Tips for Mastering Your First Phone Interview

smiling soldier on the phone sitting a a desk

With no face-to-face meeting, you need to be on your best phone behavior.

The path to professional success often begins with a phone interview. In fact, 82 percent of HR managers and working professionals say that phone skills are key to both landing a job and maintaining a sustainable career, according to research from TracFone. For those looking to secure their first professional job, rejoin the workforce or climb the professional ladder, the importance of phone etiquette cannot be overstated.

To master the phone interview, follow these five tips:

* Speak clearly. Speaking in a clear, confident voice eliminates potential for miscommunication and provides a positive tone to the call. Be sure to sound upbeat and enthusiastic during the interview – you can even smile to help with this and use your voice to convey your excitement about the position.

* Stay connected with the right device. All of the interview preparation in the world won’t save you if your phone fails, so make sure you’re available with a secure line when the call comes through.

* Keep your resume on hand. Often, hiring managers will reference your resume during the phone interview process. Having a copy handy will help you answer those questions with confidence and ease. You can even make a list of “talking points” that provide more detail about your background to reference during the call.

* Ask questions. The interview is meant to be a conversation and two-way process, so it’s important to have a few questions of your own about the company and position for which you’re applying. This will show the interviewer that you don’t just want any job, but a long-term career at that company. It’s also a good opportunity to determine if the job and the company really are the right fit for you.

* Send a follow-up thank you note. The phone interview doesn’t end when you hang up. One of the most important steps to career success is the follow-up. Carefully record who you spoke with and send them a thank you note for taking the time to speak with you. If you have their email address already, use that, or research their contact information on sites like LinkedIn. Reiterate your interest in the position and emphasize why you are a perfect fit. It’s an important, lasting impression that may help you secure the job and, ultimately, career success.


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