It’s been said before, getting a job is a lot about who you know. This can be difficult coming out of the military and gaining connections-this is why networking is key. Networking requires a certain finesse that military veterans need to master.
Here are 6 Easy Ways Veterans Can Network
- Get in touch with a local veterans organization or your high school or college’s veteran alumni group and reach out to a member. Let them know you are looking for a position (be specific) and ask them if they can connect you with someone in that industry.
- If you attend hiring fairs or networking events, be professional. No Van Halen T-shirts. Dress up, comb your hair and smile.
- No one will understand that you were an E-3 0311 and served with 3/8 in J-Bad. Translate that acronym-heavy pulp into clear, civilian friendly language. And practice saying it out loud.
- Have simple, professional-looking business cards made. Include your name, e-mail and phone number. Add a small emblem from your unit or branch or service but keep it understated.
- Follow up. Because you asked for a business card and gave one in return, you can send a follow-up e-mail. Nothing fancy: Hello Sally. Great to meet you at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair in New Jersey. I enjoyed hearing about your company and the plans for expansion. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me and I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.
- Create a LinkedIn and connect with other veterans in the civilian workforce, you can message for advice and this can open doors for job opportunities.