TLDR: You have to do an ID check; LinkedIn is really important for your career nowadays; lots of tips for your profile
You have to use to the ID.me feature- which I’ve heard is the same program they are using to verify unemployment and the wait times can be horrendous. I was already verified through government volunteer work so when I just clicked the link to verify it just had me verify my USAA account so it was real easy.
I can’t stress enough how LinkedIn is one of the best ways to look for jobs, move your career forward, and expand your networking. You can click here to get LinkedIn Premium for Servicemembers, Veterans, and Spouses. For the companies I’ve worked for, the recruiters really only get applicants through their sites for intake, and then reach out via LinkedIn. Great example is I applied for a different job on Sunday night, and saw two recruiters from that company had viewed my profile the next day, and the day after.
Couple of points for your LinkedIn profile I give Vets:
– This a snapshot of your professional profile, not social media. Don’t get into politics or big opinions. This not the place. Even when you “like” something it can pop up in other people’s feed.
– Have a professional photo. Don’t get a selfie, invest the money into getting a professional photo. You may be able to have a friend do it but I can tell you, it makes a difference. In your photo, smile. Get out of that military DA photo area.
– For resumes, you want to keep them limited to 1 to 2 pages – max. For your LinkedIn you can expand more. Resumes should be tailored truthfully to the jobs you’re applying for, LinkedIn can be more detailed.
– Follow companies that you are interested in employment for. People can see that and recruiters will like that you follow their company. You can usually expect when you interview for a job that they may ask you a question like, “Why are you interested in Crayon Eating Inc.?” and you by following them you have quick access to what’s going on in their company.
– Get referrals on your page- reach out and ask people you’ve served with to write you a recommendation. Where some companies may or may not ask for referrals nowadays, if they see it on a LinkedIn profile it may not even be an issue right off the bat. Plus, recruiters will have more confidence that people vouch for you and you’re not trying to fill up space on your resume. “Recommendations/referrals available upon request” is outdated and goes without saying now.
– Put a background on your header, a professional one. I think mine is clouds or something, but again- it’s about branding and detail.
– Network! Network! Network! Don’t feel shy about connecting with people. Just add them if they are in a field or company you are interested in. Some people may respond, some may not. Start with your inner circle, then 2nd connections. I’ve got a ton of requests just by saying “Hey Jane, I see you served in the military and am interested in the company you work for. Would love to connect to see how your company works and operates.” When you have a LinkedIn profile you informally represent the company you put on there as your employer.
– Keep in mind with LinkedIn, people can see who viewed their profile and you can see who is viewing yours- you can disable this so it just shows your title when you view peoples profiles but the same will come up when they visit yours, just their title.
– Stay away from acronyms as much as possible. My time with NCOERs/OERs was all about people, property, and missions. Not so much in the civilian side. I work in a job where administrative functions are key. So instead of saying “Conducted 100 route clearance missions” or something, it’s actually more applicable to say, “Led a platoon of 31 soldiers with 4 direct reports and oversaw quarterly performance management counseling with weekly 1:1.” or something along those lines. Point is, get away from the military jargon and don’t fluff it- If you’re a platoon sergeant, you didn’t have 30 direct reports, as a commander you didn’t have 120- you had 4-5 because the leadership is delegated. I see that a lot and it comes off as fluff. You can say you were responsible for, but make sure you put your direct report numbers. If you’re making a career transition, leadership is very coveted in Fortune 500 companies, and you really have to be a subject matter expert in your field then get selected for leadership. For entry level or lower level jobs, they really test and interview on aptitude, when you start to get up to management/executive levels, they are testing on leadership. You’ll probably have a leg up on civilian counterparts for leadership.
– Put your certifications and education in your skills section but stay away from redundant or mass skills. Every Veteran has something like “Anti-terrorism”, “Security”, “Leadership”- and sometimes I see hundreds of these. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. It goes without saying that if you were in the military that “security” is going to be on there – but unless you’re applying for a security job- don’t have it. If you’re applying to be a truck driver, a manufacturing supervisor, or call center technician, you need to put something relevant in there. Recruiters essentially use these as hash tags for searches.
– Put your clearance level in there. A lot of defense contractors look for people who have already had clearances because it’s expensive and takes a lot of time to go through that and that means they are keeping that position open. It sucks if someone gets denied because they usually hold on the job opening and if it comes back denied the people they support will get pissed because they are understaffed.
Hope that helps! If anyone has anything to add please do so.