As a veteran, transitioning from the life of a military professional to one of a civilian can be overwhelming. In military life, you lived in a world of schedules and precision. Now you’re in the civilian world, and you don’t have the same restrictions or order, and that can make many veterans feel out of place and unsure of what to do for your civilian career. In this blog, we’ll review 6 different ways to improve your LinkedIn Veteran job search.
You probably realize that you have to find work, of course, but actually finding a job can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a degree or if you have become disabled during your service.
“The #1 method veterans use to find jobs is leveraging their network” -LinkedIn Survey
Fortunately, options exist for service members who are seeking out employment, and one such method is searching for a job on LinkedIn. Why LinkedIn? Approximately 93% of companies use LinkedIn for recruiting, and 73 percent of all companies use social media to recruit.
Here are six tips to improve your LinkedIn veteran job search:
Wait… Why do you need a LinkedIn profile? Good question. In this post we provide three strong reasons. Couple this with 2.1 million veterans and service members on LinkedIn… read more(link). If you need more convincing check out 3 Reasons Why Veterans Must Have LinkedIn.
1 – Get a Free LinkedIn Veteran Subscription (free for 1 year)
One of the first things you should do is to sign up for a premium account at LinkedIn. This is a free benefit that LinkedIn offers to service members and veterans, and the subscription is good for a full year.
By having a premium membership on LinkedIn, you will have access to exclusive webinars, enhanced job seeker tools, opportunities to join veteran job seeking groups, and receive extra InMail credits each month. InMail credits are like an internal currency which allow members to communicate with people who are not in their network, allowing you access to business leaders across the country.
With a premium subscription, you will be better be able to grow your network and get more connections. Your new connections may be the way into your next job.
2 – Write a Profile With a Specific Goal
It can sometimes be difficult for service members to know exactly what they want to do for work when transitioning into the civilian way of life, but you must be specific with your profile.
When searching for a job on LinkedIn, you should choose two or three job titles and add specific skills to your profile. Remember, recruiters will be looking for you, too, and the odds that they will be searching for vets who are keeping their “options open” are slim to none.
3 – Focus on the Future – Not the Past
Another important tip to improve veteran job searches on LinkedIn is to focus on the future, what you want to do; not on the past. Everything you did during your service. According to a survey of Veterans on LinkedIn, 67% say they are working in a job that is not similar to their military role.
Too many people use LinkedIn to show hiring managers what they have done when they should show what they have to offer. Instead, when searching for a job on LinkedIn, focus your profile on where you want to go next.
4 – Always Add a Photograph
It is also important that you add a photograph to your LinkedIn profile. This should be a professional looking photo; one that shows you in civilian clothing. See 5 steps for creating a professional veteran LinkedIn profile.
Though you should be proud of your service, civilian hiring managers are looking for professionalism. Make sure that you are the only person in the photo, and nothing else to distract a viewer from the profile.
5 – Include Rank and Clearance
The vast majority of hiring managers are civilians and have always been civilians, which means they are unfamiliar with the military ranking systems. If they don’t understand your rank, there’s no reason for them to be impressed by your past accolades.
To counteract this, make sure to include the responsibilities that came with your rank. Did you have to manage people? How many? Were you managing projects? How many projects were you managing? What were you responsible for accomplishing? Don’t let your rank stand alone. Help those responsible for hiring understand what you were in charge of getting done.
Definitely include your clearances, especially classified clearances. Military clearances are not just handed out to anyone.
6 – Connect With Fellow Veterans
According to LinkedIn, networking is the number one way that veterans find work. On average, veterans and service members have 26% more connections than non-Veterans.
Improve your LinkedIn veteran job search and connect with fellow veterans, especially veterans with influence. Who knows, someday in the future, you may be reaching out to them and asking for an introduction or even a job interview. By using LinkedIn, you can join the millions of veteran service members who have successfully transitioned from military to civilian life.