Fine-tuning your strategy is going to make finding a job in the civilian sector that much easier. After all, everything worth doing is done with a plan and an end goal in mind.
Make Yourself the Obvious Choice
Online application processes are great because you can apply to lots of jobs in relatively short periods of time and you don’t even have to leave home. When you apply online, your resume is probably going to be screened by an applicant tracking system before it moves on to human eyes. Once it gets to a human, it’s probably going to be glanced at by a lower level HR person or a recruiter.
It makes a lot of sense for you to make it super simple for both the computer and the human to see immediately that you’re the right candidate for the job. Find a way to connect their “Here’s what we’re looking for” with your “Here’s what I can deliver.”
Study the job description and any available info you have on the open position. Make sure you mirror words and phrases in the job description to your resume and cover letter. Showcase your strengths in the areas that seem to be pertinent to the role.
Don’t Limit Yourself to an Online Search
The quickest way to make sure that your search lasts too long is to only rely on online applications. To accelerate your job search, seek out would-be peers at the potential company and schedule informational interviews. Approach an internal recruiter to ask a few questions about company culture and the open position. Get on the radar of anyone who might help influence you getting an interview. In short, make yourself seen.
Even though this means that you’re going to be doing a little additional legwork, if you want the job, then it’s going to be worth it. When you line up with people on the inside of the companies where you want to work, you’re immediately setting yourself apart from all the other candidates who have applied for the position.
Your Resume is not a Tattoo
You’ve spent time classifying your military positions into civilian friendly terms, and now you have a well-polished resume to show for your efforts. Maybe you pushed it even further and spruced up your LinkedIn profile too.
That’s great, but it doesn’t mean those things have to be set in stone. If your resume and your LinkedIn profile don’t’ position you to be a direct match for a role that you’re seeking, don’t be afraid to modify it. Change the wording, switch around key terms, and change bullet points to best showcase why you’re the right fit.
Pro Tip: Remember that interviewers and HR reps are focused on finding the client that can fit the role that they need. They’re not only looking for someone with the right info on a resume, but they’re also looking for someone who is going to personally be a good fit for the company and its culture. Remember that you don’t have to be a robot on your interviews. It’s okay to show a little personality if that feels comfortable. It will help set you apart from the herd. Consider crafting original genuine thank you notes for interviewers the moment you get back to a computer after the meeting. The speed with which you send these notes and the quality of the writing will make an impact.