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Hiring Our Heroes Event – Columbus, GA

Join us Thursday, September 11, 2014 from 10:00am to 1:00pm for a job fair for veteran job seekers, active duty military members, guard and reserve members, and military spouses at the Goodwill Industries, 2601 Cross Country Drive Columbus, GA 31906.

This event will be a one-of-a-kind FREE hiring fair for both employers and job seekers.

This University of Phoenix sponsored hiring event is being conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, the Department of Veterans Affairs, The American Legion, the Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (DOL VETS), the Georgia Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, NBC News, and other local partners.

A workshop for veterans and other military job seekers that focuses on resume writing, tips for successfully navigating hiring fairs, military skill translation, and interviewing will start at 8:30 a.m.

Hiring Our Heroes – Columbus GA
Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers
2601 Cross Country Drive
Columbus, GA 31906
Thursday, September 11, 2014

For registration and details, please visit:

Warriors to the Workforce Workshop Schedule

The American Freedom Foundation will host a Warriors To The Workforce Hiring Event presented by SourceAmerica™ in association with Still Serving Veterans in conjunction with the 2014 Space and Missile Defense Symposium on August 12-13, 2014 in Huntsville, AL. This one of a kind event is part of the American Freedom Foundation’s nationwide initiative to help veterans find jobs. The event will bring together major companies from throughout the country to profile their services and provide employment opportunities for our veterans. Attending veterans will have the chance to talk with employers and submit qualifications.

In addition to the hiring event, Warriors To The Workforce will include a variety of workshops for veterans each day providing resources and information on subjects such as mental readiness, confidence building, networking and presentation skills, resume writing, interviewing techniques, job searching, career planning through goal setting, translating military skills and training into civilian life and corporate experience, among others.

For more information on the event or to register please visit the Warriors to the Workforce website.

Below is the workshop schedule (Speakers, topics and times subject to change):

Tuesday August 12th

1000-1100 – “What is Your 30 Second Interview Elevator Pitch?” with George Garrell of Deloitte

1100-1200 – LinkedIn with David McElhaney

1200-1300 – Lunch

1300-1400 – “Transitioning: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” with Mayor Troy Trulock (City of Madison) and Grant Heinrich (COLSA)

1400-1500 – “How Not to Conduct a Job Search with Bill Koch of Still Serving Veterans.


Wednesday August 13th

1000-1100 – “Transitioning: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” with Mayor Troy Trulock (City of Madison) and Grant Heinrich (COLSA)

1100-1200 – Linkedin with David McElhaney

1200-1300 – Lunch

1300-1400 – “What is Your 30 Second Interview Elevator Pitch?” with Mark Vaporis of Deloitte

1400-1500 – “How Not to Conduct a Job Search with Bill Koch of Still Serving Veterans.

7 Keys to a Successful Job Search

from Route 360, posted by Nancy Collamer, April 19, 2013 More by this author

How to find a job in today’s competitive world


I’m always trying to keep on top of the latest career trends and recently read through the mother lode: The 2012 white paper published by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium. It’s full of useful tips, strategies and ideas for job seekers and I want to share my favorites with you.

The report summarizes the key findings of the consortium’s annual Global Career Brainstorming Day, an international, multicity event that brings together nearly 100 career professionals — including coaches, resumé writers and college career services professionals — from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. “What’s consistent every year is the very fast pace of change,” says Louise Kursmark, co-director of consortium and one of the co-editors of the report.

Here’s what the experts said are seven keys to a successful job search in today’s competitive environment:

1. Keep your resumé short and succinct. Despite reports of its impending demise, the experts said a resumé is still very much an essential tool of the job search. But hiring managers (and the computers they use to sort through resumés) are in a rush. So you need to format your resumé to be read quickly and in small bites. These days, a typical resumé is scanned for just six to 10 seconds, often on a mobile device.

Eliminate filler words, use numbers to quantify your impressive results (such as “boosted sales 83 percent”) and include relevant keywords that appeared in the job posting.

Limit your contact information to just one email address (old-fashioned AOL, no; contemporary Gmail, yes), one phone number and your LinkedIn profile URL.

Residential addresses aren’t needed, although it can be helpful to list your region (for example, New York Tri-State), so the employer knows you’re located near the open position.

2. Create a portfolio of job-search documents. Want a way to distinguish yourself from the crowd of applicants? According to the Career Brainstorming Day pros, many job seekers are supplementing their resumés with collateral leadership briefs, blogs that establish their robust online professional identity and, among senior-level managers, one-page executive summaries.

3. Consider hiring a coach to perfect your video interview skills. More employers are relying on Skype for long-distance and initial screening interviews. As a result, more job seekers are using coaches to help them excel in video presentations.

4. Dive deep into LinkedIn. Over the past few years, using LinkedIn to find work has gone from a good idea to essential. “Having a sharp LinkedIn profile may be even more important than having a great resumé,” Kursmark says.

Nonetheless, the experts said, all too many job candidates fail to fully embrace this tool, especially older job seekers. To maximize the use of LinkedIn, engage more frequently with your LinkedIn networks. One of the best ways to do this is to actively participate in LinkedIn’s industry and interest groups.

Find relevant groups by going to your LinkedIn home page, clicking on the Groups tab and search the “groups you may like” or “groups directory” tabs. Then join a few groups and post links to interesting articles, participate in discussions and share helpful resources. You will become known as a go-to resource and improve the likelihood that you will get noticed by recruiters, referral sources and hiring managers.

5. Use Twitter and other forms of social media to attract the attention of employers who are hiring. According to the white paper, “employers will move from using external recruiters to an internal hiring process that will depend heavily on identifying prospective employees through their online presence and through referrals of existing employees. Personal websites, social media presence, development of subject matter expertise and a well-defined personal brand will be the requirements for gaining the attention of prospective employers.”

6. Limit the amount of time you spend on job boards. As Next Avenue has noted, job boards are one of the least effective ways to get hired. The Career Brainstorming Day experts said it’s generally only worth applying for a position through a job board if your resumé matches 80 to 85 percent of what an employer asks for in a posting.

Job seekers continue to be frustrated by computerized Applicant Tracking Systems that scan applicants’ resumés for keywords. “This finding underscores the importance of direct, targeted search with networking as its core component as the most important method for finding a job,” Kursmark says.

To maximize your chances for success using job boards, focus on smaller, regional and industry-specific job boards, as well as aggregator sites, like and

7. Start your search sooner rather than later. The hiring process has been growing longer, with more steps and delays between the time people apply for jobs and receive offers.

It helps to approach a search as though you are in sales: keep building your network pipeline, don’t let your momentum flag and expect to hear “no.”

All is not doom and gloom, though. The report says career professionals are finding “growing demand for workers” and that businesses are worrying about losing managers and other key talent. I hope they’re correct.

City to offer tips on getting hired at Remington & Toyota

Two career-readiness seminars will be held soon in Huntsville to help job seekers find work at Remington Outdoor, Toyota and the Huntsville Police Department.

Remington announced in February it will create 2,000 jobs over 10 years at its new gun plant in the former Chrysler building near Huntsville International Airport. Three months later, Toyota launched an education-to-work initiative with Calhoun Community College to close the gap of unfilled skilled technician jobs across the state.

Just last week, the city said it will take applications through July 31 for its next police academy class. Full-time Huntsville Police officers make between $38,188 and $58,302 on average.

A “What it Takes” seminar will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 29 in the Dr. Richard Showers Recreation Center Community Room at 4600 Blue Springs Road. Ken Smiley, Alabama Industrial Development Training project manager, will discuss how to land a job at Remington, while Bethany Shockney will give details about the new FAME program between Calhoun and Toyota.

The Huntsville Police Department also will present information about applying for the 54th Huntsville Police Academy.

A “Taking Action” resume writing and interviewing class will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5 with Alabama Career Center Manager Mike Fowler.

How to Repackage Military Skills on a Resume to Attract Civilian Employers

We’vRepackaging Military Skills How to Repackage Military Skills on a Resume to Attract Civilian Employerse all heard that unemployment is a serious problem in the U.S. However, for our country’s servicemen and women who are in the process of transitioning out of the military to resume their lives in the civilian world, the situation is worse.

With July 2013 unemployment numbers showing 7.7% for post 9/11 veterans (above the national average of 7.4%), military veterans continue to struggle to find jobs. But in addition to entering or re-entering a really tight job market, they also face the added challenge of positioning their military skills and experience onto a resume that gets the attention of civilian employers.

For example, someone who served as a gunner’s mate—responsible for operating and maintaining missile launching systems, rocket launchers and other ordnance systems and equipment—would probably have a tough time describing how their skills could benefit a prospective employer.

Yet if you think about it, a gunner’s mate has to be analytic and detail-oriented. They need to be problem-solvers, strategic thinkers and good at training and supervising crews. In addition, the job demands a high comfort level with operating and maintaining machinery. All of these skills are easily transferable to today’s job market and desired by many employers.

So the challenge, then, becomes figuring out how to extract the desirable experience and qualifications gained in the military and repackage them to impress prospective employers.


What Skills Are Employers Looking For?

The first question to answer when applying for a position is: How can I make this employer see and believe that I have the skills to fill this position and bring value to the company, especially as a result of my time in the service?

The answer will depend on the kind of position you’re applying for and the specific skills required for that job. For example, the gunner’s mate mentioned earlier–or sailors who served on ships or submarines–could talk about their mechanical and technical talents and their ability to learn quickly how machinery and mechanical systems work.

Another example may be technicians trained in radar systems, high tech communications or cryptography, who could cite that experience and relate it to today’s information and digital technology. Personnel involved in military recruiting, training and public affairs can easily adapt their communications, organization and management skills to the civilian world of sales and marketing positions, public relations, trade associations and non-profit organizations. And service members involved in construction, welding, electrical work or facility maintenance and repair services can describe how their experience gave them specific knowledge and skills that would be useful in the building trades, repair and installation work and plant maintenance.

The point is to make the job application and resume stand out from the crowd by communicating how your military experience and past employment history can be of value in fulfilling the company’s needs and the requirements of the position.


What Qualities Do Employers Look For in Candidates?

In addition to work experience, there are personality traits that many employers also desire. Traits associated with military veterans—such as being responsible, disciplined, dedicated and hardworking—are highly desired by employers. (Click here to tweet this thought.)

A quick review of classified ads and online job sites reveals some of the general character traits and attitudes employers are seeking in job applicants. Here are some key phrases frequently seen in job descriptions and ways you can use them in your application, resume or interview:

  • Hardworking, motivated – Highlight examples of a strong work ethic and the desire to succeed.
  • Disciplined, reliable – Communicate that you are serious about the job, are willing to do what needs to be done and will follow through even when faced with setbacks.
  • Team player – Convey that you are able to work cooperatively with coworkers, follow direction and also lead the team when called upon.
  • Can-do attitude – Display self-confidence and a positive attitude in presenting your skills and experience and answering any question.

Ask any employer, and they’ll tell you that a positive attitude, honesty, integrity, commitment and a willingness to do what it takes to perform the job well are major factors in their hiring decisions. Whether it’s in sales, construction, manufacturing, technology or any other industry, knowing how to position your skills and experience, combined with a great attitude, can help land you on an employer’s hiring shortlist.

Resources for Veterans

Combined Insurance is committed to helping veterans transition into the civilian workforce. We work closely with the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), a partnership among the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.

TAP was established to meet the needs of servicemen and women transitioning out of the military and into civilian life by offering job search assistance and workshops, support and counsel. Combined Insurance participates in TAP classes to help transitioning servicemen and women translate their military experience, re-purpose their skills and revise their resumes to help make them more attractive to civilian employers.

We consider it an honor and privilege to serve those who have served our country. Be sure to watch for upcoming posts, where we’ll discuss choosing a career and brushing up on interview skills.

 How to Repackage Military Skills on a Resume to Attract Civilian Employers

Peter Leighton is Senior Vice President of Recruiting for Combined Insurance, a leading provider of individual supplemental insurance products and part of the ACE Group of Companies. Combined Insurance is a participant in several military veteran career recruitment programs and plans to hire 1,000 vets.

10-Step Personal Branding Worksheet

There’s a lot of talk about “personal branding” when it comes to job searches. “You need to brand yourself,” they say. “Distinguish yourself from your competition with your brand.” But what exactly is personal branding and how do you go about developing your own? This article by Meg Guiseppi from does a great job explaining what a personal brand is and gives you the right questions to ask yourself in order to develop your own, unique brand to help you through your job search AND includes links other resources. (Original article:

Your personal brand is more than the brand statement you use as your elevator pitch when you introduce yourself in real-life encounters or to market yourself in your paper, digital, and online career marketing communications (resume, bio, Linkedin profile, website, etc.).

Your brand is your reputation – the perception of you held by the external world. It is the combination of personal attributes, values, drivers, strengths, and passions you draw from that differentiates your unique promise of value from your peers, and helps those assessing you determine if they should hire you or do business with you.

You need to identify those qualities and characteristics within you and communicate a crystal clear, consistent message across multiple channels – online and offline – designed to resonate with your target audience.

I’d like to take you deeper into defining your brand than I did in my earlier Job-Hunt article, Creating Your Authentic Personal Brand Statement.

I developed the following 10 brand assessment and defining exercises based on my training as a Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, and use them as I guide my clients through executive brand development. Be prepared to devote time to this. In the end, I think you’ll find your efforts eye-opening and invigorating.

1. What are your vision and purpose?

Look externally at the bigger picture of your vision for the world, and then internally at how you might help the world realize your vision.

Think about one world problem you would like to see solved or one area of life that you want to see transformed or improved. This is your vision.

What role might you play in making your vision happen? This is your purpose.

2. What are your values?

Your values are your guiding principles – things like:

Balance, being the best, agility, calmness, challenge, decisiveness, perseverance, drive, honesty, integrity, pragmatism, sensitivity, structure, teamwork, sharing, vitality, zeal.

3. What are your passions?

What do you most enjoy doing – in your personal life and work life? Think about the activities, interests, or conversational topics that fascinate and energize you. Your passions make you get out of bed at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning or get you talking enthusiastically with others. How do your passions converge with what you are best at doing?

4. What are your top goals for the next year, 2 years, and 5 years?

Work on projecting what you intend to accomplish so you can put together a strategic action plan to get there.

5. What are your top brand attributes.

What 3 or 4 adjectives best describe the value you offer? What words do you use to define your personality? Once you pinpoint what you feel are the right kinds of words, it’s a good idea to consult a thesaurus to precisely nail the exact words. Here are some possibilities, but don’t limit yourself to these:

Collaborative, resilient, forward-focused, risk-taking, connected, international, visionary, diplomatic, intuitive, precise, enterprising, ethical, genuine, accessible.

6. What are your core strengths or motivated skills?

In what functions and responsibilities do you excel? For what things are you the designated “go-to” person? What gap would your company be faced with if you left suddenly? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few suggestions:

Analyzing, collaborating, leading, delegating, empowering others, forecasting, crunching numbers, anticipating risk, mentoring, visioning, selling, innovating, managing conflict, defining needs, writing, listening, communicating.

7. Get feedback from those who know you best – at work, at home, anywhere.

The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. How does your self-assessment jibe with their feedback?

The 360° Reach Personal Brand Assessment, a confidential, web-based tool that collects anonymous 360-degree feedback in real time from your choice of respondents, is a good option to accomplish this step and the basic account is free.

8. Do a SWOT analysis (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats).

Strengths and weaknesses are internal, and speak to your potential value to an employer. Opportunities and threats are external, and help you foresee what you’re facing in next career steps.

SWOT is an invaluable personal branding exercise that also helps prepare you for interviewing and future career growth and stability.

[More on SWOT analysis for your career.]

9. Who is your target audience?

Determine where you want to fit in (kind of job position and industry). Learn what decision makers in that field are looking for when they’re assessing candidates. Create your personal brand messaging around what keywords and content will attract them. Find out where those decision makers hang out, position yourself in front of them, and capture their attention.

10. Who is your competition in the marketplace and what differentiates you from them?

What do the people competing for the same jobs as you typically have to offer? What is it about you that makes you the best hiring choice? What added value do you bring to the table that no one else does?

Bottom Line

The work involved in uncovering and defining your personal brand may seem daunting, but your efforts will benefit you immeasurably. In job search, defining and communicating your personal brand can help pre-qualify you as a good fit and strategically position you to land your next great gig faster.


About this author…

Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt’s Personal Branding Expert and 20+ year careers industry veteran, has earned 10 certifications, including Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Reach Social Branding Analyst – LinkedIn Profile Strategist, and Certified Executive Resume Master.Meg is the author of “23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land.” Connect with Meg at for c-suite personal branding and executive job search help and on Google+ and Twitter (@MegGuiseppi).