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Consistency key to successful job hunt

Published: January 28, 2016

FORT RUCKER, ALA. (Jan. 28, 2016) -- The hunt for new employment can be daunting, especially for Soldiers transitioning into civilian life, but Army Community Service has tips and tools available to aid in the search.

According to Mike Kozlowski, ACS employment readiness manager, marketing is the key to any successful job hunting endeavor.

“Regis McKenna – the ‘marketing guru of Silicon Valley’ – was quoted in the ‘Harvard Business Review’ as saying, ‘Marketing is everything, everything is marketing,’” he said. “In a very real sense, this new axiom for the 21st century can be directly applied to the job hunt process for folks who are interested in making their hunts more productive.”

Kozlowski suggested the following steps for effectively marketing skills to hiring managers.

Start with your résumé. Ask yourself the questions, “Would I hire myself if I were a hiring manager and read my résumé?” Tailor your résumé to the job in which you’re interested, giving the reader the impression that you are a problem solver with innovative approaches to the industry sector. Pepper your work experiences with active – and not passive – verbs to demonstrate that you are more than capable meet challenges with superb solutions. Quantify your work experiences (and significant accomplishments) with percentages, dollar figures and statistical data. Describe the context and challenges you faced in the job, the actions you took to solve those challenges and opportunities, and, lastly, the results you and the organization experienced from your creative solutions. Once again, quantify these accomplishments as much as possible.

The informational visit. Research companies and their job opportunities. Tailor your résumé and cover letter to the company you wish to visit and then make the informational visit. You don’t have to call ahead, but it may help you get some dedicated time on that individual’s schedule. Do not offer your résumé to the person until they ask for it.  If you do, you risk being perceived as a person with self-interest at heart. Get a business card and hand-write a thank you note.

According to Kozlowski, consistency is a key component to a successful job hunt.

“Some individuals are morning people, feeling fresh and ready to ‘get at it’ with vigor during the first part of the day,” he said. “Others – because of their other obligations and commitments – find job hunting better suited to an afternoon schedule. Job hunting – if you’re truly serious about it – needs to be a consistent part of your daily routine. One hour, four hours, eight hours … it doesn’t matter how much time you devote to your hunt. Your job hunt is driven by the intensity and determination you render to it. Every day. It’s the ‘fire in your belly’ that drives success in anyone’s job search. You should always adopt a methodical, consistent approach to your daily job hunt efforts … never go headlong into the hunt without preparation.”

For Soldiers looking ahead to future civilian employment or family members who are currently employed, time can be scarce. However, Kozlowski said tools are still available to help cast a wide networking net.

“It’s often been said that it’s better to look for a job while you have a job – to look for a job while gainfully unemployed,” he said. “While it’s true that currently-employed individuals have little time to include face-to-face contacts in their already-full work schedules, the tech age in which we’re living affords opportunities that have been previously unavailable.

“I’m a big advocate of networking with other professionals, either on a face-to-face basis or via electronic means, he added. “LinkedIn is more than a social media resource. If used correctly, it will put you in touch with corporate and organizational decision makers who can be that effective second connection for another career opportunity. Increasingly, jobs are being offered to qualified candidates through LinkedIn, so it should not be treated as a virtual chat room for professionals. Make certain your LinkedIn profile is complete and your résumé is loaded into the site.”

Kozlowski also suggests professional conventions, conferences and associational meetings to network with hiring managers and decision managers. However, a little time off might be in order to strengthen the search.

“You may want to approach this challenge the old-fashioned way,” he said. “Take some time off and visit the employer. This approach does involve a lot of planning as you want to make certain the individual will have time blocked-off on his or her schedule to speak with you. Use the informational visit approach. Taking time off also serves as to not alert your current boss that you’re out looking for other opportunities.”

ACS will host a “10 Steps To A Federal Job” workshop Feb. 2 from 9-11 a.m. at the Soldier Service Center, Bldg. 5700, Rm. 371A.

“As the name clearly states, I will be talking about how to gain meaningful employment with the federal government,” Kozlowski said. “We will discuss topics such as focusing your federal job search, networking success, finding the perfect job announcement, mastering the federal résumé, the importance of accomplishment stories, preference programs for vets and military spouses and Interviewing 101.”

Each workshop participant will receive Kathryn Troutman’s “Jobseeker’s Guide: Ten Steps to a Federal Job for Military and Spouses.”

“It’s a great roadmap to take you on a step-by-step journey to getting hired by the federal government,” Kozlowski said.

Space is limited to the first 40 registrants. Participants should plan to arrive no later than 8:40 a.m. for filling out forms.

For more information or to register for the workshop, call 255-2594.

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