By Jeremy Henderson, Army Flier Staff WriterFebruary 1, 2018
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Campaigning for new employment can be a daunting task, especially for Soldiers transitioning into civilian life, but Army Community Service offers tools and tips to aid in the search.
Marketing is the key to any successful job hunting endeavor, according to Mike Kozlowski, ACS employment readiness manager.
"Regis McKenna -- the 'marketing guru of Silicon Valley' - was quoted in the 'Harvard Business Review' as saying, 'Marketing is everything, everything is marketing,'" he said. "In a very real sense this new axiom for the 21st century can be directly applied to the job campaign process for folks who are interested in making their campaigns more productive."
Employment readiness workshops will take place today, Feb. 13 and March 1 from 8:45 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the Soldier Service Center, Bldg. 5700, Rm. 350 in the ACS Multi-purpose Room. Patrons will complete paperwork prior to the sessions' 9 a.m. start time. Participants will learn the essentials for conducting a successful job campaign. Advance registration is required. Please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/employment-readiness-program-workshop-tickets-40855808824?aff=erelexpmlt to register. Anyone unable to attend the workshop dates above can registration for other future workshops by using the website's dropdown selector.
For those unable to attend the upcoming workshops, Kozlowski suggested the following steps for effectively marketing skills to hiring managers.
Start with your résumé -- Ask yourself the questions, "Would I hire myself if I were a hiring manager and read my résumé?" Tailor your résumé to the job in which you're interested, giving the reader the impression that you are a problem solver with innovative approaches to the industry sector. Pepper your work experiences with active -- and not passive -- verbs to demonstrate that you are more than capable meet challenges with superb solutions. Quantify your work experiences (and significant accomplishments) with percentages, dollar figures, and statistical data. Describe the context and challenges you faced in the job, the actions you took to solve those challenges/opportunities and, lastly, the results you and the organization experienced from your creative solutions. Once again, quantify these accomplishments as much as possible.
The informational visit -- Research companies and their job opportunities. Tailor your résumé and cover letter to the company you wish to visit and then make the informational visit. You don't have to call ahead, but it may help you get some dedicated time on that individual's schedule. Do not offer your résumé to the person until they ask for it. If you do you risk being perceived as a person with self-interest at heart. Get the business card and hand write a thank you note.
According to Kozlowski, consistency is a key component to a successful job campaign.
"Some individuals are morning people, feeling fresh and ready to 'get at it' with vigor during the first part of the day," he said. "Others -- because of their other obligations and commitments -- find job hunting better suited to an afternoon schedule. Job hunting -- if you're truly serious about it -- needs to be a consistent part of your daily routine. One hour, four hours, eight hours -- it doesn't matter how much time you devote to your hunt. Your job hunt is driven by the intensity and determination you render to it -- every day. It's the fire in your belly that drives success in anyone's job search. You should always adopt a methodical, consistent approach to your daily job hunt efforts -- never go headlong into the hunt without preparation."
For Soldiers looking ahead to future civilian employment or family members who are currently employed, time can be scarce. However, Kozlowski said tools are still available to help cast a wide networking net.
"It's often been said that it's better to look for a job while you have a job than to look for a job while gainfully unemployed," he said. "While it's true that currently employed individuals have little time to include face-to-face contacts in their already-full work schedules, the tech age in which we're living affords opportunities which have been previously unavailable.
"I'm a big advocate of networking with other professionals, either on a face-to-face basis or via electronic means," he continued. "(A job networking site) is more than a social media resource. If used correctly, it will put you in touch with corporate and organizational decision makers who can be that effective second connection for another career opportunity. Increasingly, jobs are being offered to qualified candidates through (job networking sites), so it should not be treated as a virtual chat room for professionals. Make certain your profile is complete and your résumé is loaded into the site."
Kozlowski also suggests professional conventions, conferences and associational meetings to network with hiring managers and decision managers. However, a little time off might be in order to strengthen the search.
"You may want to approach this challenge the old-fashioned way," he said. "Take some time off and visit the employer. This approach does involve a lot of planning as you want to make certain the individual will have time blocked-off on his or her schedule to speak with you. Use the informational visit approach. Taking time off also serves as to not alert your current boss that you're out looking for other opportunities."
For more information on the employment readiness program or to register for the workshop, call 255-2594.