So you’re a military veteran who just returned from years of active duty. Though you had a fulfilling experience, you’re ready to get back into the job market and work for an organization that can help you achieve other career goals. Well, after months of searching, you still can’t find a job, which puts you in a group with other unemployed veterans — 7.3% of unemployed veterans to be exact.
What do you do?
While it’s always frustrating to be unemployed, veterans may have a harder time in the job search process due to their time away, medical issues, or even discrimination. However, using technology in your job search can dramatically improve your chances, especially if you’re particularly savvy about it.
Check out some suggestions for the modern-day job searching veteran.
Beef Up Your Online Presence
Many veterans use online tools to stay connected with loved ones. However, what about a professional online presence? If you don’t have an online presence or have a poor professional one, chances are you may get looked over. This is because more than 90% of employers are searching for candidates online.
So, if you’re a veteran ready to tackle the job market, beef up your online presence by creating conversations on Twitter, posting industry thoughts on Facebook, completing your profile on LinkedIn, etc. This way, when an employer Googles your name, your presence will not only be active, it will be positive.
Build A Portfolio
Portfolios are a great way to show off your skills, particularly if they are transferrable or can be used in multiple settings. Plus, creating one online makes it easier for employers to check out your work on their time, whether they’re on-the-go or just need to reference something quickly.
What can veterans do to be different, though? A few options include showing off the skills — particularly if they are transferrable — you acquired during your time away, such as leadership accomplishments or knowledge of a complicated software system. This can show an employer you do have the necessary skills needed to excel in the job, even if you spent years overseas.
In addition, there are lots of free portfolio resources, as well. Check out these options. (Note: WorkSimple’s portfolio option is no longer available.)
Look Into Veteran-Friendly Tools
Online job search tools are always helpful. The best part though? There are tons of veteran job friendly tools available on the web. Not only do these tools cater to you, they can also point you in the right direction in terms of veteran-friendly employers, referrals, resume help, and even legal assistance. For some options, look into these resources.
Tell Your Story
Your story is what makes you, well, you. Though some employers may not actively promote hiring of veterans, it’s a part of what makes you a great candidate. Don’t shy away from this story. Instead, tell it in the most optimal possible so you’re seen as a great potential employee.
For example, blogging about your job search as a military veteran is a great way to not only show you are job searching, but also you’re job searching under special circumstances. You can illustrate what hurdles you’ve had to cross in your search, present your achievements in a way that shows off your skills, note some testimonials, and even use your blog as a sort of job search diary. This can communicate your eagerness for a job, while also presenting your professional history in the best light.
To the many job searching veterans out there, don’t give up hope! Adjust your job search by beefing up your online presence, building an online portfolio, using veteran friendly job search resources, and by telling your story. In the end, these tools can show why you’re a great candidate, while emphasizing your dedication to your country as well.
What do you think? What are some other ways veterans can utilize technology to find a job?
Mashable Job Board Listings
The Mashable Job Board connects job seekers across the U.S. with unique career opportunities in the digital space. While we publish a wide range of job listings, we have selected a few job opportunities from the past two weeks to help get you started. Happy hunting!
Development Writer at UCLA Health Services in Los Angeles, Calif.
Data Analyst Berkley Risk Adminstrators Company, LLC in Minneapolis, Mn.
Communication Designer at Optimizely in San Francisco, Calif.
Image: Getty/Chris Hondros