Get Great Job Leads With Our Free Registration and Job Search, Part 2

In Part 1 of this article, I encouraged readers to sign up for RecruitMilitary’s free job services, and I provided some details on our registration form. I pointed out that, when transitioning and veteran military sign up, they join a database of more than 835,000 transitioning and veteran job seekers – a treasury of talent that is searched by recruiters representing more than 4,000 employers, franchisors, and educational institutions.

In addition, members of our database can search the 230,000+ postings on our job board – and they can receive:

  • job alerts matching their experience
  • invitations to nearby DAV/RecruitMilitary All Veterans Job Fairs
  • RecruitMilitary’s monthly email jobs newsletter, The VetTen.

The basic sign-up form is here. As you will note, the only required fields are:

  • first and last names
  • email address
  • ZIP Code
  • military branch
  • pay grade
  • password setup

In Part 1, I strongly advised readers to fill out the entire registration form and to post their resumes. Many veterans do not fill out the entire form because they do not see how providing certain information can help them. So I reviewed most of the non-required fields on the form and explained why recruiters want the additional information.

In the present article, I will review and explain the remaining non-required fields, and I will list the resources available to the database members.

WORK EXPERIENCE

On this page, we ask for a description of the job seeker’s last job – or, if he or she is currently employed, the current job. The job seeker has 2,000 characters for the description, equal to roughly two-thirds of a typical column of type in Search & Employ®.

This is the best place to sell yourself. In a way, it is a better place than your resume. Even though you will describe only one job, you can display your writing and communication skills more fully than in your resume.

In Part 1, I indicated that a job seeker can edit his/her profile after posting it. In my opinion, this page should get the most work. Use it to separate yourself from your peers.

IDEAL LOCATION

In the first field on the next page – Employment Preferences – we ask for the ideal location of your next job. I advise you to be completely honest in filling out this field. So, for example, if you are a software hotshot who wants to work for a certain company in Silicon Valley, but you would prefer to live in your hometown of Davenport, Iowa, list Davenport. You can let Silicon Valley know you are not locked into Davenport by checking the “Willing to relocate” box on the same page.

Besides, the density of software hotshots in the Quad Cities area is lower than in Silicon Valley. By listing Davenport, you would leave the door wide open for excellent IT opportunities nearby.

FUTURE WORK INTERESTS

In the next field, you can indicate your future work interests by selecting from a list of 127 occupations and industries. You may select as many as you wish; on average, your fellow job seekers make 3.5 selections.

You should make at least one selection because employers commonly select the same occupations and industries when:

  • searching our database for members to contact by phone, and
  • specifying categories of members to receive job alerts by email.

You should select occupations and/or industries carefully. For example, if you are interested in a job in avionics, list Avionics, but not Aviation – to avoid receiving calls or email messages regarding opportunities in other aspects of aviation.

In addition, by selecting both an occupation and an industry, a job seeker can state his or her preference in some detail. For example, one veteran might select a combination of Electrical Engineering and Energy/Utilities. Another might select Management/Supervision and Construction. My advice: Read the list and consider various combinations before you go to the next field. And remember that you can always edit your profile.

If you are not quite sure what kind of job you should pursue, refer to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), which is produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a part of the United States Department of Labor. The OOH contains profiles of 329 occupations covering about 83 percent of the jobs in the United States.

MINIMUM COMPENSATION

You can choose an amount from $20,000 to $200,000. What amount should you choose? One that reflects the fact that you have evaluated yourself realistically, and that you understand the occupation and industry well enough to know the salary structure. If you do not know the structure, get on the Internet and learn about it. You can check some job postings, look at the websites of industry or professional associations, or use the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

I recommend that, in most cases, you select an amount in the upper half of the salary range that is common for the type of job that interests you. For example, if the range is $60,000 to $80,000, select $75,000. A couple exceptions:

  • If you can honestly say – and you can show – that you are extremely proficient at what you do, go high – even above the common range.
  • If you are new to the occupation or industry, go low, but not all the way to the bottom.

Ensure you can articulate why you have an expectation of a certain income level. The workspace is currently a very competitive space and having the credentials and experience to “sell” yourself to a potential employer is a very important skillset. Make sure that you are prepared to answer the question “Why should we pay you your desired compensation?” during an interview or interaction with a recruiter.

WILLINGNESS TO TRAVEL

You should select as high a percentage as you can while remaining realistic about your own desired lifestyle. The higher you go, the more recruiters you will probably attract. You should not specify zero travel unless you really mean absolutely no travel.

Can selecting a high number work against you? That is not very likely. You probably will not put off recruiters who are trying to fill positions that require little or no travel. You are saying that you are willing to travel a certain percentage of the time, not that you desire to do so.

AVAILABILITY DATE

If you are available when a given recruiter searches our database, you will show up higher in the search results. In general, “availability date” means the date on which you would be able to start work. If you are still in the service, the date could be your separation date, or a future date that would allow you to move back home, “decompress,” etc. If you are a veteran and a full-time student, the date could be a few days from your graduation date.

If you are employed full-time, the date would depend on the nature of your employment. If you are working under contract, you would probably use the contract expiration date. But if you have an ordinary job in which you are employed at will, just put in the date on which you register in the database. Recruiters will interpret the date to mean that you will change jobs whenever the right opportunity comes along.

WILLINGNESS TO RELOCATE

You should check this box unless you are dead set against relocating more than a few miles. “No-relo” is a “no-go” for many recruiters, especially those who work for companies that have multiple locations. Besides, if you do not check the box, you will put yourself at a competitive disadvantage: Roughly 30 percent of database members are willing to relocate.

Furthermore, not all relocations involve long moves. If relocating only 50 miles or so would be all right, better check the box.

PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE

In this field on the Work Background page, you can indicate your previous work experience by making selections from the same list of 127 occupations and industries used for the Future Work Interests field. You may select as many as you wish.

My advice is to select as many as you can honestly justify. Many recruiters value breadth of experience, even when some of the experience is not closely related to the positions they are trying to fill.

If you are on active duty or you recently separated and you have never had a full-time civilian job, select occupations and industries that most closely match your military experience.

FOREIGN LANGUAGES SPOKEN

You do not need to be able to work as a professional translator in the languages you select. You do not even need to be a fluent speaker – in the sense of being able to speak without much hesitation. Any recruiter who is interested in your language skills will probably ask about your level of proficiency early in a phone interview.

Yes, for some jobs, translation skills and fluency are required. But for others, the ability to “get by” in a foreign language is sufficient. For example, a recruiter may be looking for someone to manage a bilingual – English and Spanish – work crew. For jobs like that, database members who speak only a little Spanish have an advantage over those who speak no Spanish.

HOME OF RECORD

Employers know that the majority of veterans return to their home town, and local employers may want to contact you.

OPTIONAL AND VOLUNTARY INFORMATION

The fields of Disability Status, Race, and Gender will never appear on your profile. We gather this information for use in bulk when we describe our database of job seekers to employers.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

After you register, you will be able to access our Candidate Resources page, which contains links to the following articles and other aids:

  • Answering the Salary Question
  • Pay Attention to Your Profile
  • Interested in College?
  • Avoiding Job Posting Scams
  • Accepting or Declining a Job Offer
  • Going to an Opportunity Expo?
  • Veteran Learning Portal – a wide range of courses and material designed to develop the skills necessary in today’s workplace.
  • Mobile Veteran Social Network – POS REP, a mobile, proximity-based social network made expressly for the veteran community
  • Resume Best Practices – a PDF of sample resumes, highlighting not only best practices but also mistakes to avoid
  • Disabled Veterans Employment and Education Guide

I hope that I have made the case that it is in your best interest to register in our database. To those who heed my word, let me say, “Welcome aboard!”

Best wishes to all readers of Search & Employ®, and thank you for serving in the armed forces of the United States.

Chris Cravens is the national director of candidate acquisition and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Contact him at chris.cravens@recruitmilitary.com.

By Chris Cravens on Friday August 26, 2016

This article appeared in the September-October 2016 issue of Search & Employ Magazine