Thanks For Your Service But….

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Thank You For Your Military Service — Now Here Are 9 Reasons Why I Won’t Hire You –
(link to actual article)

So, you’ve decided to hang up the uniform after years of distinguished service to our great nation. You’ve attended a few transition classes and have your interview suit and shiny new resume as you make the leap into the civilian world. See link above for more on this story. See below for my thoughts.

(My Thoughts)

To follow along its best to click on the link to the actual story, then you can read what I have to say as the story progresses.

This is a good one for all the newbies coming out of the military. This one strikes a personal cord with me. Coming out of the Navy after six years where I served honorably, I assumed it would be no problem getting a job doing something in the field (medical admin, Corpsman) that I did while enlisted. Boy, I sure was wrong. I left active duty in May 2013, and still till this day I have not worked at a job I applied for.  Companies say that they are veteran friendly, but I scoff at that. Tell me what that means? Is that suppose to mean you will hire veterans? Does it mean you will consider hiring veteran’s? Or does it more than likely mean, we say we are veteran friendly so that we look better in the public eye? I would have to say its the latter of the three. Why do I speak such harsh words? After applying for well over 350 jobs in a year and a half and only receiving five interviews, I find that veteran friendly is really just a bunch of crap spewing out the companies mouth. So there are question’s why did I not get any of the jobs I applied for? Great question and one that I would love to know the answer to, but I will try and answer the questions that the article posses.

 Question 1)      You Can’t (or Won’t) Accept That You’re Starting Over

When I first left active duty it was because I wanted to pursue a career working in professional baseball. I was willing to clean the toilets if they would have just said your hired. All the while I was applying for medical admin jobs. Not CEO jobs, but MEDICAL ADMIN jobs. I had just left active duty where I was the equivalent of an executive administrative medical assistant. Here is a brief description of what I have on my resume: Provided high-level administrative support for three executive military officers. Managed over 19,000 donor accounts (civilian speak) worldwide. Maintained a database on all members, provided full cycle service on electronic data records submitted for approval. Reduced a 120 day back log within three months after accepting the position. But here I am applying for jobs that were in warehouses, that were for being a delivery driver, or whatever I could find. I got 5 interviews and never a call back.

Question 2)    You Believe You’re Unique (Just Like Every Other Transitioning Person That Day)

Well no kidding. Doesn’t everybody in their right mind think they are unique? If you don’t you may want to have yourself checked out. Why? Because there is nobody else like you. Thats the definition of unique. As quoted from the Merriam Dictionary: “being the only one”, I am who I thought I was. Yes I am unique just like each and every one of us. Now that doesn’t mean I portrayed that on my resume. While pursuing a career in professional baseball, my motto was: I will sleep under the bleachers and work for free. That is for sure unique. How many of you out there would do the same for a career in what you thought was your passion?

Question 3)       Your Resume Is Longer Than the CEO of Our Company’s (or Shorter Than a Recent College Graduate’s)

Now I will admit to being guilty of this one. When I first came out of the military I hadn’t written a resume ever, I don’t think. Before I went in I did construction and jobs of similar competencies. They don’t normally require you to turn in a resume if you can swing a hammer. So, when I came out, I wanted to apply for federal jobs. With federal jobs, your resume is like nine miles long. I was able to reduce to three pages for jobs that I was applying for, but still if you got over one page, your more than likely going to find file 13 before they even read your name.

Question 4)      You Didn’t Proofread Your Resume

Well kind of, but you are correct. I paid someone else to write and proofread it.

Question 5)       You Don’t Have a LinkedIn Profile (Or, Even Worse, It’s Not Complete)

Wrong, LinkedIn will allow any transitioning veteran to use its site for one year free (check out Veteran Mentor Network on LinkedIn, ask them they will get you going in the right direction).

Question 6)     You Think Social Media Is For Kids or Sharing War Stories

I would like to know what the percentage of people didn’t think that at one point in time in their “social media life”? Sure for a bit I did. But, the closer I got to getting out, the less I used social media. I use to be the type that would post all the time, you know the type. “Going to gym” 1349, “Back from gym drinking a protein shake: 1500, “Watching them there Razorbacks, lets go” 2000. You get the picture, and were probably like that too, in a not so distant past.

Question 7)     You Didn’t Prepare For The Interview

Hah! What veteran is not prepared for any interview that they know about? Raise your hands, don’t be shy. Yeah thats right, not many hands going up here. With the different awards, or boards that we get nominated for, marching in, doing facing movements, sitting up straighter than the wall. Shoot, I was on point every time. Prepared is not the word for it. Hyper prepared is more like it.

Question 8) You Wrote a Thank You Note (But Only to Say Thank You)

No I didn’t. I didn’t write one at all. Why am I going to write a thank you note for talking to me? Is it the right thing to do? Maybe, but who wants to be the jack knife that writes a thank you letter for letting me speak to you (after your done reading this please go to our Facebook page and write me a thank you note)?

Question 9) You Don’t Know What You Want to Do

This one doesn’t need to be answered by me. If it wasn’t clear that I wanted to work in professional baseball up top, then you must have fell asleep while reading my babble.

There you have it, my answers to the nine myths of why I didn’t get a job. Sure, I am a little rough around the edges. but I don’t go in guns blaring, mad as hell, I want this freaking job, to the interview. I go in nice an calm shake some hands, smile, yes sir no sir, and thank them when I leave. For me, I will never understand or even get the benefit of knowing why I never got a job at a veteran friendly company. Honestly, it was probably for the better. Now, I own my on business, I say when I work and don’t work, and I don’t have to laugh at the boss’s idiotic joke when he tries to be funny.

If you have struggled to obtain employment after leaving active duty, share your thoughts. After reading the article and my thoughts where do you think you went wrong? Share so that, others that might be in the same situation, can learn what or what not to do. You’ve been a great crowd thanks for coming out, we’ll be here tomorrow.

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