Updated: May 24, 2021
In this fast-paced digital pandemic age, we live in, we all needed to pivot quickly to keep the flow of everyday life going. The flow changed dramatically, and along with that companies had to change quickly to survive. One of the most important factors was relying on a workforce that suddenly had to work at home. This was a paradigm shift that fast-forwarded the workplace by five years. By all accounts, this is something that business leaders all over the world could foresee happening in time. That change was nearly immediate and some survived, excelled, or unfortunately shut down. If you resist the changes in technology, you will get lost in the weeds.
So, what has this to do with the recruiting process? For myself working as a Sourcer every day, things did not change too much. I had previously experienced working at home for eight years and did very well with it. You have to been disciplined, self-motivated, and focused. In this workplace setting, you find out very quickly whether or not you are cut out for it.
For those transitioning veterans I speak to every day I have had to explain that we have 600-900 openings nationwide with GDMS, pre-pandemic it was nearly 1,000 all year. This is exactly why I send them information to help guide them through our process to apply. After they apply the recruiter takes over and continues the hiring process.
Getting back to the digital fast lane…when you are working with a large company and have that many openings to comb through, it takes time and patience (and the right keywords). So from where I sit how do you answer questions like “Do you have any openings?” My first thought is, why would anyone ask that in the first place? All you have to do is look online at any company’s career page. Everyone has one if you look. It does not happen too much but when it does, I just have to shake my head. You have to do the footwork to get into a hiring process, especially now. Sending your resume blindly via email puts you back at square one so just don’t do it. If I looked at every resume people sent me or looked to see what profile was a fit for any one of our openings, I would never get anything done. This is why we have segments of support in the HR process. My primary focus is to match people with the openings I am assigned, which can be 20-50 at a time depending on the overall workload. The same thing works for the recruiters. The recruiters are assigned a sourcer like me, to seek out the available talent and ask them to apply via various resources such as Linkedin or Indeed.
I have a fast-moving day; multi-tasking is all part of it. I do my best to answer everyone that reaches out to me and respond promptly to anyone that I have reached out to apply.
As a candidate, especially those that have been spent the last 4 to 20 years or more in the Military are in for culture shock. It is the kind of hello you feel when you arrive at boot camp, get off the bus, get your head shaved, then at 4 am the next morning the company commander throws an empty trash barrel down the aisle. At that point, you are wondering what you got yourself into. Things change of course and when the time comes for you to leave that world and enter a new one, there is a lot of preparation involved. But the parallel here is a rude awakening.
Get yourself educated on the company websites, find out how their recruiting process works. Are you talking directly to a recruiter or are you starting with a sourcer? Follow the directions that are given to you by either party. I send out short and to-the-point emails but you would be surprised how many people do not follow those simple instructions then wonder why they have not advanced in the process.
When it comes to your resume, again, do your research and take advantage of the free services that are available to all veterans. This is the most visited page on my site so check it out. I also suggest when you are compiling your resume to use the keywords that are the most important in the job description, assuming you have that experience of course, and highlight how you used it on each role throughout your work history. I know it is not easy for career veterans with careers spanning 20-30 years, it looks like you are all over the map and are not a fit for any one thing. Well, this is where Transferrable Skills come in. Click to read the article on that its a quick read but makes sense. List those skills at the top of your resume in a bulleted format so it is one of the first things a sourcer, recruiter, and most importantly, a Hiring Manager sees.
What this all boils down to is making a radical change in life and learning how to get with the flow as quickly as possible. Nobody wants to waste time on the phone anymore, it’s not productive until you can get into the actual interview process and get all the important questions asked. And most people do not want a call, they get too many of those annoyances during the day.
I talk on Linkedin and through Indeed, I send jobs via those platforms and ask you to apply to get the process started. It works quickly and efficiently. Keep in mind when you are looking at a federal contractor like the one I work for, there is a lot of paperwork, questions, a background investigation, and tons of boxes to check out. Be thorough, follow instructions, and above all, pay attention to every detail. If you have been in the Military, you should be used to following instructions and dealing with paperwork! Take on that same mindset then things will go much more smoothly for you. Use the resources available to you, my site has a growing list of organizations and helpful resources specifically for transitioning veterans.
It is all about assimilating the processes you need to adjust to quickly to compete with your counterparts in the civilian workforce. You are disciplined, respectful of others, and not afraid to work. Believe me, those are three characteristics that are not so easy to find anymore so use that to your advantage and create yourself a resume that gets you through that first door!
Keith Hannaleck-PVTW Founder - 05/11/21