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.
Your résumé comes across someone's desk or, more likely, computer screen. Assuming that it piqued his or her interest, the next thing a recruiter or hiring manager will do is Google your name or search for you on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the No. 1 online business and social-networking site and essential if you're a professional, technical, managerial or executive job seeker. Other sites in this category include Spoke, Plaxo, Ecademy, Ziggs, Xing, Ning, Tribe, Facebook and Twitter. These sites are interactive, encouraging you to communicate with others.
Google Profiles belongs to a different category: online identity and reputation-management sites. Others are ZoomInfo, Naymz and claimID. These sites are static; you upload your profile for hiring authorities to review. Here are a few rules to manage your online identity:
-Be consistent. If you're an expert in supply chain and captured $2 million or more in savings, be certain that all of your career communications brand you similarly - as the supply-chain professional whose No. 1 expertise is cost reduction.
-The key to success in social networking is who you know. Join online communities where the people you want to know belong, and start working each network to your advantage.
-Join the "right" online groups. Join groups that focus on topics related to your professional goals.
-Update your profiles and online-identity tools frequently. Monthly or quarterly is best.
Wendy Enelow is co-author of "Expert Résumés for Military-to-Civilian Transitions" and "Executive Résumé Toolkit." http://www.wendyenelow.com