When you leave the military, the biggest question is "what's next?" It's a scary job market right now, but the skills you've received in the military make you highly marketable. The Legion sponsors dozens of veterans hiring fairs each year, and our employment experts also provide tips to writing resumes, networking and making a strong impression in the interview process.
One of today's most important job-search tools is your LinkedIn profile. Prospective employers, recruiters, networking contacts and colleagues will review it to learn about you. Follow these tips to write a profile that generates interest, action and opportunity:
-Your LinkedIn profile is not just your résumé. Include all relevant highlights of your professional career, from on-the-job achievements and projects to community-based leadership roles, honors and awards.
-Write a headline that commun-icates who you are. For example, "Logistics Specialist with 10+ years of experience in Global Logistics, Transportation, Distribution, Warehousing and Materials."
-The Summary section gives you 2,000 characters to showcase your career. Use short paragraphs, concise bullet points and ample white space.
-LinkedIn profiles must be keyword-rich. Use all 500 characters in the "Specialty" section to list keywords and phrases related to your goals. Separate them with commas.
-Write job descriptions filled with key responsibilities (paragraphs) and achievements (bullet points). Summarize older positions in one description box.
-Always include a photo. If you're dead-set against this, consider an avatar, which is becoming more accepted (though not preferred).
-Update your status frequently to remain visible. Share information about your industry and profession, jobs, networking events and more.
-Strive for 100-percent profile completeness.
Wendy Enelow is co-author of "Expert Résumés for Military-to-Civilian Transitions" and "Executive Résumé Toolkit." http://www.wendyenelow.com