As a veteran of the United States military, you know how difficult it can be create the resume that is a reflection of your service career. Helping job recruiters to see you as anything other than just another candidate among many equally qualified candidates is your mission.
As a veteran of the United States military, you know how difficult it can be to create the resume that is a reflection of your service career. Helping job recruiters to see you as anything other than just another candidate among many equally qualified candidates is your mission.
Consider that according to Adweek, 92% of recruiters use social media when trying to size up potential candidates for positions.
- 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn
- 55% of recruiters use Facebook
- 47% of recruiters use Twitter
Combining these facts together and it’s clear that LinkedIn is an important tool in your employment “tool belt”. Savvy veterans know that using websites like LinkedIn can yield more effective success in a search for quality employment, and here are three reasons why that is true.
What exactly is LinkedIn?
Before diving in, let’s define LinkedIn. According to its website LinkedIn is “The world’s largest professional network with more than 433 million members in 200 countries and territories around the globe.”
In fact, over 2.1 million U.S. Veterans and military members on its network. Oh, and the veterans who are on LinkedIn on average have 26% more connections than non-veteran members.
Example Veterans LinkedIn Use Case
You’ve been wanting to work for Lockheed Martin – the company most followed by veterans on LinkedIn. You have a LinkedIn profile, and after doing a quick search for the company you notice three of your connections work there. You message all three and begin reconnecting with those folks so they can eventually introduce you to the right people who can help you get an interview.
Savvy veterans know that using such websites as LinkedIn can yield more effective success in a search for quality employment, and here are three reasons why that is true.
Veterans Make a Great First Impression on LinkedIn
Times used to be that simply having a stellar resume and a great cover letter was enough. With the advance of technology and particularly the widespread use of the Internet as a marketing tool, hiring methods of the past are no more. Whether you are considering a career as an electronics technician or as an educator.
There are pluses and minuses to this and some areas of the internet can certainly lead to more success in job searches than others. One such example of success is LinkedIn.
It can be a strategic decision for veterans to use LinkedIn as a way of projecting the best first impression. Through the use of professional photographs (your profile photo), a polished resume (the Experience section), links to portfolios, recommendations (which we will address in a minute), and solid references (skills and endorsements), you can send a message to hiring managers of your unique profile that is not to be missed.
You should also consider the broad range of abilities you have and highlight them on your profile. For instance, many veterans using LinkedIn find that the section for showcasing a language skill set is particularly helpful. Additionally, mentioning your unique and special certifications can make your profile more discover-able by employers.
Keep it all Lined Up
If you think of LinkedIn as a giant filing cabinet where all of the information job candidates and employment recruiters is stored. Then, you get a sense of the opportunity to present your employment and service history in an orderly, easy-to-read way.
With a user-friendly format already in place, LinkedIn can take you from a blank screen to a promise of opportunity in no time. As you line your work history up in the spacing provided, you begin to tell a neat, organized story to companies. Companies that are looking for someone with your particular set of validated skills. The faster they can comprehend your profile, the faster they can contact you to set up an interview.
Pat Yourself on the Back
Believe it or not, including the praise of those who would offer a recommendation for you is something that LinkedIn allows you to do. While many of us are uncomfortable with such public displays of accolades, the truth is you and other veterans like you should use the opportunity of LinkedIn to shine.
In the words of colleagues, supervisors, and professional acquaintances, you have the possibility of painting yourself in the best light, by utilizing every tool at your disposal. Present your job experience. But, also post the recommendations that show you are the perfect candidate for the job. This lets employers know you are confident in your abilities and others who couldn’t agree with you more.
And there is one particularly great feature for those veterans who are using LinkedIn to display their incredible experience but would rather not pat themselves on the back. Your references are able to post directly to your profile, leaving recommendations of your services and praise of your abilities without you having to do anything but nicely ask them to do so!
Reach out and ask your past colleagues and military supervisors to endorse you on LinkedIn.
Just as it is on other social networking sites, LinkedIn allows you to make connections with other members. Making these connections makes it possible for you to reach out to them, to interact in ways that open doors and increases networking opportunities with potential employers.
You will discover an abundance of companies that capture your interest, that you can introduce yourself to and hopefully that will lead to offers of employment. So go ahead and make those connections–it’s a vital part of your career search.
A Caution and a Summary
When presenting yourself to potential employers’ attention to detail is a priority. Don’t present a flawed end product that is filled with grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Speaking of resumes, do include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume. It presents an easy professional manner for employers to see your face and easily send you a message.
If your LinkedIn profile isn’t spotless, chances are you could miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Don’t let an easy-to-correct situation be a stumbling block between you and success.
Veterans using a LinkedIn profile will find help in making their resume stand out in the crowd because it helps make a good first impression. Information on the LinkedIn profile is well organized, and recommendations from colleagues are highlighted.
Building your network on LinkedIn can help you make the right connections you need with the companies you want to work for. That way, when the time comes, you can reach out directly to a veteran of influence. Someone in a leadership position who works for a company you are interested in. Following this approach is a great way to connect with the company and have an employee and fellow veteran help you.