by Randall Scasny, Director, MilitaryJobHunts.com
Many military veterans contact me after searching for a job for nearly one year with no sucess. After examinng their resume, which is usually fine after fussing with it for a year, their problem usually comes down to a lack of planning and direction. That is, they use the “hunt and peck” method of job hunting instead of an organized and structured plan to job searching that covers all the bases, both online and offline (traditional).
What follows is a structured job-hunting plan. This plan corrects the improper resume application problem and was developed over several years.
The plan covers three phases:
1) Discovery: in this phase, the job candidate discovers all the possible jobs/titles, that he would be qualified for. These job/titles are for any job where the job candidate is at least 50 percent qualified for. For example, if you were in Logistics, your titles could include Logistics Specialist, Logistics Manager, Supply Chain Manager, Buyer, Purchasing Agent, etc. There could be more. You need to be very open in this phase. This phase matches your job skills to employer needs. Some of these areas will be dropped off in the next phase since they do not reap results because of a lack of employer need.
2) Market Testing: in this phase, we will take each and every job/title position and use them as the focus of your individual job hunt campaigns. You may have 5,7, 10 of them, etc. What you want to do here is test the market so you can determine where the job market perceives you as valuable. This is a very important phase. So many veterans have preconceived notions about their employment value and when they don’t get results, they just can’t understand why. Well, the fact is military service and civilian employment are very different from a realistic standpoint. Employers, especially at the managerial level, want very specific job skills. The challenge is to determine what about your entire military service THEY consider valuable.
So, to implement this plan, you want to step by step apply to jobs in each and every job title area. Then, after 2 to 3 weeks, you want to analyze your resume views and/or contacts. If someone has looked at your resume online, even if they haven’t contacted you, this information is telling you a lot about what employers are looking for. At the end of this phase, you will drop off the sub-campaigns where you get no results/views whatsoever. And take the campaigns that you do get some views/results and focus your job hunt on these, which generally are about 1 to 3 position/title areas.
3) Focusing: in this phase, we take the sub-campaigns (For example you may have only gotten feedback as an Acquisition Specialist and a Contract Specialist) and focus your job applications on these types of jobs only. We will literally do a massive job application campaign across the country. In the last phase, we learned what the employers were looking for, now we take the high employment value positions and determine “where” they are looking.
Re-Iteration: we repeat phase 3 again until we see results.
That’s the overview. Now the mechanics…
In the initial two phases, you want to focus using only the following websites:
- http://www.usajobs.com/ (for federal jobs only)
The only reason for using these particular websites is that they have massive resume daabanks. These large resume databanks attract employers. So, your searches will be “purer” becaause these websites post most of the job ads (which are expressions of employer need) over the “entire world.”
- Step 1: implement job title keyword collection. Go to these sites and start typing in keywords to find jobs and job titles. Make as comprehensive list as possible. Read the job ads. Any job where you are at least 50 percent qualified, note the job title and add it to your list. The above websites get about 80 percent of all job ads globally.
- Step 2: After collecting the list, re-adapt your resume’s objective to each job title keyword.
- Step 3: Begin applying to every job with the corresponding resume.
- Step 4: in 2 to 4 weeks, observe the resume views or responses by employers.
- Step 5: Drop off the non-productive sub-campaigns and focus on only those that reaped results. Now, begin an application program nationwide. After 2 to 4 weeks, gauge your results and drop off non-productive job campaigns.
- Step 6: Repeat Steps 3 to 6 until you see success.
This plan is based on full-time job hunting, which is 20 hours per week or four hours per day.
What do you do for the remaining fours of the workday? Well, don’t you dare go and play golf! You have work to do.
For the remaining 4 hours (of an 8-hour workday), you need to do one of the following things:
- Attend a job fair
- Attend an official job networking event
- Attend a job skills workshop
- Do volunteer work (The rotary club is a good place to develop business contacts)
- Look for a part-time job in your town. This can be skilled or unskilled job. This not only helps your cashflow but also gets you out and mingling with people, which usually brightens job hunters’ attitudes and develops more contacts.
This plan is a lot of work. But all job hunting is a lot of work. Career transitions do not happen overnight. Very, very few people find jobs in 1 month. The national average hovers between 3 months to 5 months!
The days of the 1-month job hunts are gone. Companies have many EEO guidelines to follow, which slows things down.
There used to be a standard to gauge job search time: 1 month of job hunting for every $10,000 in pay. It seems to work now but a bit on the short side. Technology makes things more competitive and slows down job hunts.
Good luck! Thanks for serving our country.
About The Author
Randall Scasny is the Director and Founder of MilitaryJobHunts.com. Previously, he worked in technical and managerial roles in many different industries. Mr. Scasny was a First Class Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy when he was discharged in 1987, after 10 years of service. During that period of time, he was a Technical Instructor at the Advanced Electronics “C” School of the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, a Work Center Supervisor aboard the U.S.S. Manitowoc (LST 1180) and U.S.S. Inflict (MSO-456) and a Repair Technician on the U.S.S. Yosemite (AD-19).