November 10, 2011
Networking Tips for Veterans
Find Your Community and Contacts
Several veterans' organizations provide online information about military reunions, help you locate old friends and comrades, and share news on current trends in veteran employment. The Military.com Veteran Career Network can connect you with more than one million veterans -- to help you find vets working in companies, government agencies, career fields, industries, or locations that interest you. (Get a five-step plan for adding professional allies to your network: read "How to Turn a Stranger into a Contact.")
Get Involved Online
If you're just getting started with professional networking online, the thought can be daunting. This is a new and fast-changing world, so it must be complicated, right?
Not necessarily. If you're a human being, you already know the rules of online networking -- because as with much of our virtual existence, the rules for online networking follow those of the real world: Follow-up is key. Reciprocity is important. And flattery works.
Keep in mind that with social networking, you have to give in order to get -- you never want to begin your networking efforts by asking for a favor. So consider ways to get involved with the people in your professional network. For instance, rebroadcast contacts' activity, comment on their activity, share information or ideas, and introduce contacts to one another. (For more basics, read "Advancing Your Career with Social Networking Sites.")
Stay Part of the Real World
Visiting Web sites is just the beginning. A networking campaign will require that you reach beyond the job postings and your computer screen to attend events, ask questions, and get referrals.
Begin by seeking advice from people who can identify with your military background and have successfully transitioned into the civilian workplace. Other veterans who are aware of employment obstacles in the job market may provide you with support and advice that will help you make solid decisions. Don't hesitate to call contacts and ask for "informational interviews" about how they got into their roles and their companies.
Also look to volunteer opportunities -- a great way to connect with other service-minded people -- and educational opportunities. Classes, whether at a community college or another adult-education provider, are a great way to not only expand your skills but also meet other people who are working, or preparing to work, in your desired field.
Get Started Today
A first step to networking is determining your "personal brand" and developing your elevator pitch -- a one- or two-sentence summary of who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer: you should deploy your brand tagline across your online profiles and have your elevator pitch at the ready for when you meet job leads. (For tips, read "Build Your Brand.")
When you're preparing your pitch, it may be helpful for you to employ Military.com's Military Skills Translator, which will help you decode your skills into language that civilians (including potential employers) can understand.
From November 14 to 18, 2011, Monster and Military.com are hosting the Veterans Virtual Career Fair -- it's free to sign up, and all you need is an Internet connection to participate and connect to more than 30 national employers who are actively recruiting U.S. vets.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Networking Tips for Veterans:
I am searching for networking groups for veterans. like to explore new ways to communicate and share my experiences on a professional level.
thanks for your advice.
Posted by: william lofquist | Nov 27, 2011 2:03:53 PM
im sure there are groups on myspace, though i havent checked, and there is also a website called 'together we served' where you can reconnect with people you have served with. otherwise, there is always the VFW or American Legion, though I'm not sure how social they are online. can also try yahoo groups, there is something for EVERY single possible topic.
Posted by: excel classes | Dec 24, 2011 7:43:07 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.