Lessons Learned for Vets

Lori Norris

Supporting veterans to achieve career success as they navigate the challenges of transitioning out of the military. Each week we will bring you a new mentor who will teach you the lessons they have learned as they traveled the military transition path before you.

Season 2 - Episode 35: Determining Your Value and Strategically Networking with Adam Getz
6d ago
Season 2 - Episode 35: Determining Your Value and Strategically Networking with Adam Getz
When Adam Getz first joined the military, his plan was to finish his initial enlistment as an Army musician and separate. As his roles changed within the military, Adam decided to serve for 20 years with the goal of having a second career in the private sector.  Adam earned an MBA, PMP and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certifications to prepare him for his next career in project management. When Adam left the military4/2021, he spent a year as a Senior Project Manager in pharmaceutical contract manufacturing. Today, he is a Senior Project Manager in Supply Chain Operations at Indiana University Health. Adam finished his MBA earlier in his Army career. Once he focused on becoming a project manager, he completed his PMP and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt closer to retirement. Adam used a full 24 months to prepare for his transition by attending TAP classes, leveraging LinkedIn and networking . After using The 20-Minute Networking Meeting book as a guide on how to conduct an informational interview, Adam conducted close to 100 interviews. With each conversation, Adam learned more about project management in the private sector, gained new mentors and ultimately confirmed that he did want to pursue project management. His interactions helped him to translate his Army skills to industry standard terminology. As an introvert, networking did not come naturally to Adam. At first, he felt like he was imposing on people but then realized after a few informational interviews that people are eager to help.  Adam reflects on the differences of project management between the military and the private sector. Because rank is not a factor in his current position, it’s not always obvious how to get something accomplished. The job of a project manager is to lead cross-functional teams as an individual contributor and yet influence people to meet deadlines and finish projects. Building relationships and having expert knowledge are keys to being a successful project manager.Adam discusses how asking questions has earned him respect with coworkers and supervisors in his post-military roles. He learned that people are eager to help and asking questions builds teamwork, relationships and rapport. Adam encourages veterans to check their ego and stay humble. While some people will show appreciation toward a veteran, others are indifferent.When job searching, many roles do not post a salary range.  Adam discusses how his informational interviews and mentors gained through LinkedIn helped him uncover a desired salary range based on his background and skills. Adam and Lori end the podcast discussing leaving jobs in the private sector, sometimes even in the first year. While Adam acknowledges that finding a job that you are passionate about is ideal, it’s not realistic for everybody. He instead encourages people to find jobs that match their skillsets and ones they enjoy in some capacity. When a job isn’t right for you, it’s okay to find something that is a better fit. Sometimes you have to make a change to move forward. Head over to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus clip on struggles and surprises Adam has encountered during his first 18 months out of uniform.You can connect with Adam at The 20-Minute Networking Meeting book by clicking here.SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
Season 2 Episode 34: Test Driving Your New Career as a Volunteer with David Nava
Sep 14 2022
Season 2 Episode 34: Test Driving Your New Career as a Volunteer with David Nava
After spending 20 years as a US Navy Flight Officer, David Nava was ready for a new challenge. He started preparing for his transition four years in advance with a goal of landing a role in project management. After earning his MBA, PMP, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Scrum Master certification, David realized he did not want to be a project manager. A mentor introduced Salesforce (SF) to him, and he immediately began utilizing their free resources. After gaining hands-on experience through volunteering and using the DoD SkillBridge program, he landed an internship which led to a full-time role as a Solutions Architect. Even if you have no interest in the tech industry, keep listening. Dave shares his wisdom on how to define your military skills, translate them to an employer and find career fulfillment. Dave discusses how volunteering not only helped him test-drive different roles within Salesforce but also gave him work experience to leverage with his soft skills, education and training. While informational interviews hold immeasurable value, volunteering is a way to determine what role best fits your goals and personality. Just three months into a year-long free SF program for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses, Dave volunteered for FourBlock using his skills as a Salesforce Systems Administrator. Wanting to learn faster, he also reached out to Merivis and began volunteering for them as a SF Consultant. The SF Military program provides free certification, courses and training vouchers to the military community. To get started a person signs up for a free profile and chooses one of 18 learning paths. After completing the guided learning path through Trailhead, a course voucher and eventually a certification voucher are issued. To date, Dave has earned 14 Salesforce certifications and has paid $0. He believes his certifications were more than enough to establish him in the SF ecosystem and be successful in his roles. Providing not only certifications, SF has also built a community of 40,000 like-minded individuals from the military that form a powerful support network. The Salesforce Hiring Alliance is a partnership that includes 300+ companies that guarantee a first-round interview for military trailblazers that have earned at least 1 certification. This opportunity is a great way to get your foot in the door and provides instant relationships. When David was preparing to leave the military and the field of aviation, he knew he would need to leverage his soft skills while he was learning new hard skills. He believes the military community can be successful in any environment given their ability to learn quickly, adapt to various situations and pivot when necessary. He challenges people to not overlook their work ethic, flexibility and critical thinking skills when writing their resume and during the interview process.Each week, David offers Trailblazer office hours for the military community. Current SF employees, in a variety of roles, are interviewed by David with a goal of providing collaborative mentoring to a large audience. It’s a great place to start researching SF and the positions available. Plus, the office hours are recorded and housed on David’s YouTube channel. Head over to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus clip on personal branding. You can connect with Dave at Salesforce military certification programs at Dave on his YouTube channel at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW!
Season 2 - Episode 33: Career Fair and Networking Event Success Strategies with Lori Norris
Sep 7 2022
Season 2 - Episode 33: Career Fair and Networking Event Success Strategies with Lori Norris
This week, I will be leading you through a solo episode focused on career fair and networking event success strategies. Preparation before the event will give you confidence during the event and increase your chances of success after the event. Whether events are in person or virtual, my tips and tricks will set you up for success.Before the Event Ø Prepare a results-focused resume that showcases your unique value. Your resume should be targeted to a specific industry. Ø Find out what companies are attending the event. Ø Research the companies and their openings. Do an analysis of each company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Ø Focus on 5 companies. You may need to adjust your resume for each company. Ø Pre-register online if offered.Ø Prepare questions you will ask employers. Think through how you will start conversations. Day of EventØ Bring plenty of copies of your resume. Remember you may have different resumes for each targeted company. Ø Dress to impress. Do not wear your military uniform. You want the employer to see you as a potential employee, not a service member. Dress as though you are interviewing. For some roles, a 3-piece suit is expected. In other positions, a collared shirt and a pair of slacks are appropriate. A good rule is to dress a notch above what you would wear every day on the job. Ø If you are attending a virtual event, consider your background. The area visible in the camera should be free of clutter. Choose a quiet area. Ø Meet the recruiter for each of your targeted companies. Get their name, business card and connect with them on LinkedIn at the event or shortly after. Ask your prepared questions and let them know your unique value proposition. Be respectful of their time. Ø Even though you are targeting certain organizations, network with all recruiters and be open to new possibilities. Ø You should leave the event with contact information, notes and details about your new contacts, company information, a better sense of your options and confidence. Ø Remember it’s unlikely you will be offered an interview or a job at a career fair. In most cases, the recruiter may look at your resume and ask you to apply online. After the EventØ Follow up with all recruiters through LinkedIn, voice mail or email. Thank them for their time and sharing information with you about the organization. Ø Create a focused resume for each role and apply. Follow up again with the recruiter and let them know you applied. Ø Take time to ask yourself what went well and what areas need improvement for the next event.The purpose of creating your networking value proposition is to start a conversation with a potential employer. It’s an opportunity to explain to someone who you are and how you can add value to their organization. Keep your proposition relevant to the company you are targeting. Focus on where you are going, not where you have been. For example, you will want to avoid introducing yourself with your title in the military. Only talk about where you have been with how it relates to where you are going. Remember to smile and make eye contact. Head over to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus clip on mistakes made at career fairs and networking events and questions you NEVER want to ask at an event. Download a FREE worksheet at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
Season 2 Episode 32: Blazing a Non-traditional Transition Trail with Amber Kulesza
Aug 31 2022
Season 2 Episode 32: Blazing a Non-traditional Transition Trail with Amber Kulesza
Amber Kulesza served 12 years in the Air Force and Air Force Reserves. Her transition was unexpected, and she wasn’t given much time to plan. Despite these challenges, she navigated through the transition with the help of a robust network and leveraging certifications to upskill. After working in human resources for the State of Florida, she took a year to travel, decompress, explore career possibilities and position herself for her next chapter. The transition process is just that, a process. It doesn’t happen overnight and isn’t complete once you land your first role. Most veterans will tell you they are still transitioning in some way or another. When Amber made the decision to continue her service in the reserves, she was given the opportunity to attend the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Like so many service members, she created her LinkedIn profile and let it sit, untouched. Six years later, Amber began the process of separating from the reserves and was not able to attend TAP again. She took it upon herself to begin aggressively connecting with people on LinkedIn and having intentional conversations. Her transition occurred pre-COVID and certain technology, like Zoom, was not commonplace. Living in California with a goal of relocating to Florida, it became apparent Amber needed to move to Florida to continue the job search process in person. Amber earned her B.S. in Social and Criminal Justice with the intent of pursuing law enforcement. Injuries prevented her from continuing that path, so she made the decision to learn about human resources in the civilian sector. Having worked in HR for the Air Force, Amber thought it would be a smooth transition. After conducing informational interviews, she realized HR in the military versus HR in the civilian world were very different. Amber connected with Onward to Opportunity to learn more about the industry and earned her PHR certification.After 16 months in an HR position and realizing the industry wasn’t right for her, Amber made the decision to take one year and travel across the country with the intent to decompress and plan her next chapter. She engaged her network once again and met many connections in person during her travels. Although she didn’t necessarily know the job title she wanted, she identified the skill sets she wanted to use and relied on her network to help her plan next steps.Amber reflects on the mental shift of leaving the military. She felt the loss of her military family and their support. After Amber was separated and building her network through LinkedIn, she found a new support system in programs like Veterati and American Corporate Partners. These groups offered her a safe environment to ask questions, learn about careers and focus on her unique value. She checked her ego and opened herself up to listening and learning. Amber discusses the importance of learning how to ask for assistance during the transition process.Many people are afraid to take big risks and make big changes. Amber acknowledges that she was fortunate to have the opportunity to take a year to travel and explore. Having a space of time between your next career and the military is important – even if it’s just 2 weeks. Give yourself time to decompress and recalibrate. Amber stresses the importance of having a solid network to lean into and reminds people that your job, whether in the military or after, does not define you. You did not do the military alone, neither should you do your transition alone.Head over to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus clip of lessons learned from Amber’s transition.You can connect with Amber at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
Season 2 - Episode 31: Don't Do Military Transition Alone with Jeremy "Monte" Montgomery
Aug 24 2022
Season 2 - Episode 31: Don't Do Military Transition Alone with Jeremy "Monte" Montgomery
After serving 10 years as active duty Air Force, Jeremy Montgomery, who goes by Monte, served an additional 12 years in the Air National Guard. When he retired in 2020, he used LinkedIn to grow his network and ultimately land a role with Fusion Cell as their business development manager. Although hired right away, Jeremy reflects on his transition and shares his mistakes and offers advice to ensure a smoother transition for others. Monte is a visible presence on LinkedIn and a fierce advocate for the veteran, transitioning military and spouse community.When Monte made the decision to retire, he was unaware of the resources available to him. Although the Transitioning Assistance Program (TAP) was valuable, it also lacked the depth he needed to fully navigate his transition. He admits he believed he would be able to transition without the aid of others. Looking back, he realizes his decision to isolate himself led to mistakes which could have been avoided and prevented had he reached out for assistance. How do you overcome not knowing what you don’t know? You network. Using LinkedIn to network exposes you to an environment that will teach you what you don’t know. Monte’s experience with going through it alone isn’t unique. In his current position as Director of Business Development at Fusion Cell, he has mentored hundreds of people through the transition and job search process. His biggest advice – do not go at this alone. While you may have valuable experience from the military, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be translated in job applications without you networking alongside.Monte discusses the different seasons of LinkedIn. In the inaugural season, people build their network and form relationships to assist them with getting a job. Once hired, many people abandon LinkedIn only to resurface when they are looking for another job. Monte encourages people to stay active on LinkedIn when happily employed. During Season 2, network with people who have similar roles with different companies and expose yourself to new and different ideas. Become a subject matter expert in your industry and start researching your company’s competitors. In Season 3, reach out to others and help them through the transition process. As a subject matter expert, you have a lot to offer. Be Genuine. Be Deliberate. Be Consistent. When posting on LinkedIn, follow this formula to build organic content. Post something that is meaningful to you and don’t get caught up in the approval ratings. At Fusion Cell, Jeremy has found his own voice and style on LinkedIn after regularly posting and engaging on LinkedIn. Fusion Cell seeks to pair military veterans and spouses with meaningful careers with companies who support the military community. Companies are vetted before they become partners to ensure their dedication to hiring and retaining veterans and military spouses. One of the programs near and dear to Monte is Mil/Vet Spouse Mondays. After reviewing the data for underemployed and unemployed military spouses, Monte created this virtual opportunity to highlight this community and share resources and opportunities. Monte challenges all military service members to acknowledge the sacrifices their spouses have made in support of their service. Head over to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus clip on how to reverse engineer your job description. Check out Fusion Cell at Fusion Cell on LinkedIn at can connect with Jeremy “Monte” Montgomery on LinkedIn at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
Season 2 - Episode 30: Applying Your Same Military Skills in a New Industry with Sarah Ostrowski
Aug 17 2022
Season 2 - Episode 30: Applying Your Same Military Skills in a New Industry with Sarah Ostrowski
Having served 7 years as a US Army intelligence officer, Sarah Ostrowski decided she was ready for a new challenge. Her transition plan included going back to school, however, when the acceptance letters started to arrive, her gut was telling her to go in a different direction. Today she is the Manager of Global Intelligence and Threat Analysis for the Walt Disney Company. Her job search was full of mistakes and blunders, but she used informational interviewing, networking and an engaging, open and honest communication style to ultimately land her role at Disney. Sarah discusses how she showcased her military skills in her interview and as an employee, who was promoted during her first year.For the first four years of her military career, Sarah served as a field artillery officer before moving into the intelligence field. During her service, Sarah noticed the need for better access to quality mental health services. Her interest in pursuing a PhD in the psychology field spurred her toward military separation. During her last deployment with Special Forces, she applied to schools. When the acceptance letters came in, she realized she wasn’t 100% sure this was the right path. She made the decision to defer school and seek out other opportunities in the private sector. Her first stop was LinkedIn.As an intelligence officer, Sarah used her intelligence skills to gather intel on LinkedIn. However, you don’t have to have a background in intelligence to utilize all the functions of LinkedIn for your job search! She relied heavily on the algorithms already built into the platform during her searches. For example, she searched military intel officer and analyzed the profiles to learn what military intel veterans are doing. If a person continued to work in the intelligence community, she poured over the profile to learn the civilian intelligence language. Her next step was reaching out to individuals for informational interviews. During a late-night job search session on LinkedIn, Sarah came across an intelligence analyst role at Disney. At this point, she didn’t have a civilian resume but also knew job postings don’t stay live for long. She pulled together a resume that was far from perfect. Knowing her resume was not going to be enough to capture the hiring manager’s attention, she did a search on LinkedIn for Disney global team members. She cold messaged every single one of them and was pleasantly surprised at the 50% response rate, including one from the hiring manager himself. Through her conversations, she learned the job posting was intended for an internal candidate but that didn’t stop her from asking questions and learning and understanding the company’s needs. Not long after, she received a phone call for an interview.Sarah highlights the importance of asking questions, listening and learning how to be a solution for an organization’s problems. Through her informational interviews, Sarah formed relationships which overcame her weak resume full of military jargon, acronyms and even a misspelling. Sarah discusses how she identified transferable skills and pitched them in her interview. Skills she cultivated in the military such as building teams and understanding systems and processes felt like soft skills when she applied and wrote her resume. After progressing in her career at Disney, she now realizes the value of those skills and mentors others to showcase them on the resume and in the interview.Please head to the LL4V YouTube channel at to hear a bonus clip on Sarah’s career progression and lessons learned during her first year at Walt Disney Company.You can connect with Sarah on LinkedIn at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
Season 2 - Episode 29: Two Sides of the Military Transition Story with Nathan Wallace and Kelsey Wolf-Wallace
Aug 10 2022
Season 2 - Episode 29: Two Sides of the Military Transition Story with Nathan Wallace and Kelsey Wolf-Wallace
Husband and wife team Nathan Wallace and Kelsey Wolf-Wallace share the microphone on this episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast. After serving 5 years in the US Army as a junior enlisted soldier, Nathan decided to separate in 2019. Not prepared for his separation, he shares his struggles and the resources that helped him get back on track. While Kelsey was supporting Nathan through his service, she was pursuing her own education in counseling. Around the same time as Nathan’s separation, Kelsey Wolf-Wallace was searching for opportunities to serve the military community. Leveraging her connections on LinkedIn, she landed an interview with Hire Heroes USA and was offered a position as a transition specialist and career coach. Today, they share their two different sides of the transition story. When Nathan decided to separate from the military, he assumed his 5-year military service would be enough to land a job. The two-week TAP classes flew by and felt more like an exercise in checking all the boxes. He drafted a resume, requested his medical documents and even created a LinkedIn profile. However, very little explanation was given to him on how to create an effective resume, network or prepare for an interview. After receiving his DD214, he found himself with 0 income and 0 benefits. Kelsey encouraged Nathan to register and take advantage of the free resources through the 100% completely virtual Hire Heroes USA organization. Hire Heroes USA is a non-profit with a mission to empower transitioning service members, spouses and vets in the job search until meaningful employment is secured in the civilian workforce. Clients receive a draft resume as well as coaching on networking, interviewing and leveraging LinkedIn.The Junior Enlisted Program was recently created to address current data on the junior enlisted servicemember who is separating. The program offers specialized services and addresses specific needs for this population. Junior enlisted servicemembers 🔹 Face financial instability 🔹 Earn lower salaries 🔹 Experience greater underemployment issues 🔹 Possess less formal education 🔹 Face career uncertaintyMany people utilize Hire Heroes USA for their resume writing services. The resume is produced from a template and usually targeted to a specific industry. Kelsey discusses the importance of using the provided resume as a draft – meaning it should be tailored for each job application. It is a stepping-stone and a foundation to build upon. Tailoring a resume includes researching the company and conducting informational interviews.Nathan used Hire Heroes USA to define his career goals and choose the best education path. He admits he slipped through the cracks while separating from the military. The military failed to provide information on additional available resources. Prior to leaving the military, Nathan had never heard of the SkillBridge program. As unfortunate as this may be, Nathan’s transition isn’t unique in this way. At some point, a separatee or retiree must take ownership of their transition. Part of this means seeking out additional resources.Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus clip on transition advice from both Kelsey and Nathan.You can connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn at can connect with Nathan on LinkedIn at for services at hireheroesusa.orgIf you are junior enlisted, join a special LinkedIn Group at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
Season 2 - Episode 28: Exploring Sales as a Career with Mark Rothschild
Aug 3 2022
Season 2 - Episode 28: Exploring Sales as a Career with Mark Rothschild
After serving 10 years as a pilot in the US Navy, Mark Rothschild was ready for something new. Knowing his strong work ethic, his need to connect with people and desire for a career where pay was connected to effort, he decided on a career in tech sales. After completing a training program to gain a base foundation on the tech world and a framework for how to be successful in sales work, he was hired at a vet-friendly company. On this episode, Mark shares his transition story, programs he used to build his skills and insights into why veterans make successful salespeople.After researching tech training programs, Mark chose Tech Qualled – a program designed for transitioning service members looking to make a career change into sales. Mark experienced challenges and recognized his identity was still tied to his military services during the first few months in his new role. Overcoming his setbacks and reframing his mindset, Mark is now enjoying a lucrative sales career.The first piece of advice Mark offers to anyone transitioning, regardless of industry, is to ask questions in your new role. In the military, he acknowledged that he often sat in the back and did not ask questions with the goal of blending in. When asking questions realize that people generally want to help but also come prepared when seeking help from a coworker or manager. Do your own research and share your insights. People are more likely to want to build on your own findings than do your work for you. Find a veteran mentor or buddy at your workplace or in your industry that you can bounce ideas and questions. Veterans need to have a safe avenue to ask questions and a productive area to level up on industry knowledge.The second piece of advice Mark shares is finding a way to build systems in both the transition process and in your new role. Every veteran knows how to mission plan. Why should the transition, job search and first 90 days in a new role be any different?Mark discusses how to leverage sales programs to gain training. While Mark utilized Tech Qualled when he transitioned, there are many options now including the SkillBridge program. Research all of your options, find a program that partners with the company you want to work for and then start networking. Sales often gets a bad rap. Most of us instantly go to a place in our mind of a sleazy used car salesman. However, a career in sales offers the opportunity to be compensated for your efforts and help people and companies solve problems. Mark discusses how he views his role in sales as both a guide and an instructor. He shares how his product or service will address a problem and walk the customer through what a partnership would entail. For people who may be nervous about how to make money while they are building their sales skills, Mark encourages looking for positions that offer a base salary. Veterans have several skills that transfer into a career in sales. Those who have worn the uniform learn and adapt quickly and are able to instruct and teach others. Good salespeople teach their customers about their problem, tailor their message to the people they are interacting with and take control of the situation. Any veteran has encountered this methodology in the military. Mark is a mentor with Veterati and often talks with mentees about the importance of networking. Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus clip on Mark’s networking recommendations.You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn at Tech Qualled by clicking here.SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might benefit from the show.
Season 2 Episode 27: Clearing Up Resume Myths with Lori Norris
Jul 27 2022
Season 2 Episode 27: Clearing Up Resume Myths with Lori Norris
You know me, Lori Norris, as the host of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, but did you know I have been providing education resources to the military community since 2005? I have owned my own resume writing business since 2004 and I've written close to 5,000 resumes. There are lots of great resources out there on LinkedIn, networking and job searching, but there are only a few voices talking resumes. On this solo episode, I am here to clear up some resume myths.Myth #1: The resume is the most important thing to focus on in your transition. Contrary to popular belief, the resume is not the most important thing to think about in your transition. Your first step is to find your FOCUS. Myth #2: Your resume is a storage area for everything you’ve ever done. Your resume should not be a storage area for everything you’ve ever done. During the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), you are taught to create a master resume. While I agree that creating a document of all your jobs and achievements is helpful, it should not be called a resume and it should not be shared with anyone.Instead, think of the resume as a strategic marketing document and YOU are the product. You should be showcasing your unique skills and the value of them to your employer.Myth #3: The resume is about you. The resume should not be about your needs. It should be targeted toward the employer. They are going to invest time, their reputation, other employees, customers, money and effort into you as an employee. They want to know what your ROI is going to be. How are you going to earn the money they are going to pay you?Myth #4: Writing one generic resume will appeal to everyone. There is no such thing as an effective generic resume. Appealing to Everyone = Appealing to No One. If you are consistently meeting the majority of job qualifications on job postings and not getting interest, it’s very likely you are not effectively marketing your value and conducting a targeted job search.Myth #5: The employer wants to hear about your team’s accomplishments. The employer only cares about the part you played in your team’s accomplishments. While acknowledging your role on the team is important, you need to showcase your unique contributions. Myth #6: Hiring you is their first priority. While getting a job is your first priority, the reality is many hiring managers are looking for reasons to not hire you. You need to give them reasons to hire you. Focus on your unique value proposition. Companies want to make money or save money. Help the hiring manager understand how you can do that for them.Myth #7: The employer will translate and understand your military skills. It is NOT the employer’s job to translate your military skills. YOU must adapt to THEM.Myth #8: The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an evil robot waiting to say NO to your resume. The ATS is not an evil robot just waiting to say no to you and your resume. Yes, there is an ATS, and yes you need to write resumes that can easily be read by the ATS. However, the ATS is just the initial screener of the resume. The ATS looks for keyword matches and will rank applicants in order of highest to lowest match, so that a HUMAN can read the resume. Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus tip on how to rewrite bullets to make them more impactful.You can connect with me on LinkedIn at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
Season 2 Episode 26: Learning from Military Transition Data with Brian Niswander
Jul 20 2022
Season 2 Episode 26: Learning from Military Transition Data with Brian Niswander
After spending 27 years in the USAF on active duty and in the reserves as an intel officer, Brian Niswander continues using his background in data and analytics as the founder of Military-Transition.org, an organization that uses data analytics and visualizations to assist with the transition process For 21 years, Brian worked in both the public and private sector in market research and supply chain management within the consumer goods industry. During this time, he noticed trends among transitioning service members. With a passion for ground truth and a quest to dispel rumors and myths, he created Military-Transition.org. as a resource for the transitioning service member and military spouse.Brian discusses the 5 key takeaways from 2 decades of working with TSMs, veterans and spouses. 1) Transitioning will be difficult and challenging because you are transitioning into the unknown. There are ways to reduce the confusion and uncertainty before, during and after the transition process.2) Education and awareness are critical. Vets tend to make the same mistakes as those who have gone before them. Using data, we can study the past to avoid those mistakes. We can learn how to replicate success.3) Transition is personal. Although there are many one-size-fits-all solutions offered across various resources, individual plans tend to be most effective. You must take personal responsibility for your transition.4) Utilize the full range of options and services available to you such as TAP and VSOs.5) Your past does not define your future both in terms of rank and position. Don’t feel constrained by your job in the military. Start early to get the education you need to be successful in a new role in the civilian workplace. Do not feel entitled in the civilian sector based on your rank in the military. Data from Military-Transition.org shows 5 actions that veterans say are important for transition success.1)  Start early.2)  Have a transition plan. The process starts with self-reflection. Ask yourself, “What do I want to do? Where does my family want to live?” 3) Build your network through LinkedIn, informational interviews and organizations like Veterati and ACP.4) Learn how to translate your hard and soft skills both on your resume and during an interview.5) Be patient. Your transition will not happen overnight.Brian has published several FREE books that can be found on Military-Transition.org. The transition guidebooks are 20-24 pages in length and are meant to offer information backed by data. A goal of his organization is to be the first point of contact for a transitioning service member. To close out this session, Brian shares a significant analysis of veterans and his discovery of 3 groups of members that transition. No matter what category you fall into, Military-Transition.org has resources to aid in your transition. Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear more from Brian about the importance of self-reflection before starting your transition. You can connect with Brian Niswander on LinkedIn at can learn more about Military-Transition.org and access the FREE guidebooks at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!Connect with me on LinkedIn and check out our website at www.llforvets.com.
Season 2 - Episode 25: Common Military Transition Lessons Learned with Lucas Connolly
Jul 13 2022
Season 2 - Episode 25: Common Military Transition Lessons Learned with Lucas Connolly
When Lucas Connolly retired after a 20-year career in the US Army as a Field Artillery Officer, he accepted a position at a Fortune 500 company. After reevaluating his career goals and values, Lucas made the decision to rejoin the military community working first as a TAP counselor and then TAP Program Manager at Fort Drum, NY. Today he continues serving the needs of transitioning service members working for RecruitMilitary as their DOD SkillBridge Program Manager.Lucas quickly realized the Fortune 500 job he accepted not only came with a sizeable paycheck, but also a sizeable work and time commitment. The late nights and early mornings turned into consistent 60–70-hour work weeks with little time for family. This week’s podcast focuses on the most common lessons we have learned through the last 80+ episodes of the show with added insights from Lucas.Start Early. Consider at least 18-24 months out if you are retiring and 12 months out if you are separating. Lucas discusses the importance of establishing a goal and then working backward. When a service member joins the military, they should always be asking themselves what they are doing to set themselves up for success after the military. As your end date draws near, it is crucial to communicate to leadership your transition needs. There are times you will need to say “I can’t” or “I won’t” in order to focus on your transition. Take the time you need to execute your plan.Write your resume only after you have a focus.Sending out a stock resume to 100 employers is a recipe for failure. Instead, Lucas encourages a person to focus on 3-4 companies they want to work for and then find 5-10 jobs within these companies. Target and tailor your resume for each job after researching the company and networking with current employees. Generic resumes that try to appeal to everyone appeal to no one.Build your network BEFORE you need it.There are many ways to build your network, but LinkedIn is the best for online networking. Start building your network long before you transition. Consider a spider starting its web. It starts small, in the center, and then gradually spins its web out. First, connect with people you already know such as family, friends, work colleagues, those who are willing to write you a recommendation, TAP counselors and job fair connections.  Get on LinkedIn NOW.LinkedIn is a professional network that allows people to search you and learn about your skills. Include keywords in your profile and be strategic with your connection requests. Think about LinkedIn as a tool in your toolkit. Just like a hammer isn’t useful unless it’s picked up and used, LinkedIn is only as useful as the content you provide and the network you build.Transition is more than finding a job.Transition isn’t just accepting a job and checking the transition box. It’s all encompassing. You are going from one life to another, one culture to another. And it’s not just about you - your family is also transitioning with you. Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets brand new YouTube channel at to hear Lucas give a BONUS piece of advice to those transitioning. You can connect with Lucas Connolly on LinkedIn at can learn more about RecruitMilitary by clicking here.SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!
Season 2 Episode 24: Backwards Planning Your Military Transition with Jason Shockey
Jul 6 2022
Season 2 Episode 24: Backwards Planning Your Military Transition with Jason Shockey
After serving 20 years in the United States Marine Corps conducting cybersecurity operations, Jason Shockey has successfully held 3 different chief information security officer roles in the private sector. While his transition may sound “easy”, a lot of hard work, careful planning and deliberate action has placed him at the top of the cyber industry. His methodical approach to his own transition and his desire to help others led him to create My Cyber Path, a resource designed to help students, veterans and HR departments successfully navigate a career in cybersecurity. Jason’s advice on mastering your mindset is relevant to anyone, regardless of career field. About halfway into his military career, Jason began to focus on what he wanted for a career in the civilian sector once he retired. After researching job titles, he began to craft his own education pathway to prepare him for the qualifications he knew he needed. While he pursued his education, he was deliberate to apply the concepts he was learning to his duties in the military. Jason believes luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Find a way to apply what you are learning for the future to your day job. By assimilating new knowledge and practicing repetition, real learning and practical application occurs. This is applicable to anyone, whether they plan to continue their military role in the private sector or plan to enter a new career field. Jason discusses how his fear of not finding employment after the military motivated him to seek ways to stay positive and confident. First, you must believe in yourself. Figure out where you want to go and then work backward to craft a plan on how to get there.  For 8 years, Jason listened to motivational speakers and practiced visualization to keep his mind in the right place. Reflecting on his roles in the military versus civilian sector, Jason believes the main difference is the way he interacts with people. In the military, rank dictates what a person knows, where they’ve been and how they are going to respond to you. That’s not the case in the civilian world. It’s important to be attuned to the people around you and know how you fit into the organization. You should be doing everything in your control to better yourself and the company. Although it may sound harsh, if you are not contributing to the organization and its mission, you are easily replaced. For those considering a career in cyber, My Cyber Path matches interests and personality traits with cyber work roles and shows the pathway to get to that role through certifications, experience, training and education. It’s also a tool for the cyber professional who is ready to progress and grow into a more complex role. Jason has generously offered to give 10 people a complimentary lifetime access to My Cyber Path on the day this podcast is released. Please visit the Lessons Learned for Vets Podcast page on LinkedIn to learn how to take advantage of this offer!Jason attributes his continued success and consistent growth in the cyber industry to his focus on personal excellence and the outcomes and outputs he produces for his employers. He also focuses on details and establishing small habits to increase his productivity. Jason discusses how what you eat, watch and listen to can all influence your success. Choose what you consume both in mind and body. Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets brand new YouTube channel at to hear Jason's bonus question that will leave you motivated.You can connect with Jason on LinkedIn at more about My Cyber Path by visiting  SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW&nbsp
Season 2 - Episode 23: Making Sure Your Message is Understood with Julie Sanders
Jun 29 2022
Season 2 - Episode 23: Making Sure Your Message is Understood with Julie Sanders
Julie Sanders served 4 years in the US Army as an Arabic Linguist and Intelligence Analyst. With a high-level security clearance, impressive military job and veteran status, she assumed the companies she would get hired right away. However, the only place she found that valued her skills was as a contract employee with the FBI. When she decided that was not the career route she wanted, she took a job in retail and started pursuing her education.Although her transition was many years ago, her story is not unlike so many transitioning today. Going to school full-time and working full-time presented many obstacles, but she persevered knowing a college degree would open more doors for her. While she was confident in her writing, her math skills were lacking. A decade out of high school, she knew she needed extra help. After joining a study group, Julie not only passed but did well in her math courses. Her response to service members who are nervous to get back into the classroom is to jump in with both feet and go for it!Earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, she successfully climbed the corporate ladder in B2B sales. Julie now works for Veterans Upward Bound where she advocates for veterans who want to pursue postsecondary education. Veterans Upward Bound is designed to motivate and assist veterans in developing academic and other skills necessary for acceptance and success in postsecondary education. The program provides assessment and enhancement of basic skills through counseling, mentoring, tutoring and academic instruction in the core subject areas. The program provides short-term remedial or refresher courses for veterans who are high school graduates but have delayed pursuing postsecondary education. While a degree will help to open doors of opportunity, learning how to translate your military experience to a future employer is equally important. Julie discusses the need to talk about your military experience in civilian terms. You cannot expect your audience to understand military lingo and what it implies. The responsibility that the message is received and understood is the responsibility of the sender. Julie also discusses her role with Bold Vets, a networking group for veterans. Bold Vets hosts free, monthly virtual networking events for active duty military and veterans to expand their referral networks. These events are a safe environment for service members to practice networking and learn to leverage their best selves. In addition, vets receive coaching. To wrap up, Julie gives 4 pieces of advice for anyone transitioning out of the service. - Network. Start now and never stop.- Don't assume that back home is the only place you can go when you get out.Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear Julie finish discussing her advice for anyone transitioning.You can connect with Julie Sanders on LinkedIn at more about how Veterans Upward Bound can help you reach your education goals by visiting for the next round of speed networking with Bold Vets at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to others who might need help as they transition from the military!Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn! Or check out our website at www.llforvets.com
Season 2 Episode 22: Military Transition Q&A with Tyler Burkholder
Jun 22 2022
Season 2 Episode 22: Military Transition Q&A with Tyler Burkholder
Tyler Burkholder recently began a SkillBridge program after his service in the Navy. As a loyal follower of the Lessons Learned for Vets Podcast, Tyler has used previous podcast discussions to his advantage while building a strong network on LinkedIn. In this Military Q&A session, Tyler reflects on his transition process and looks ahead to learn how to best serve those who will transition after him. How can vets do a better job supporting each other?  This very question is why I started the Lessons Learned for Vets Podcast. I wanted to provide a platform for veterans to share their stories. While each veteran has a unique transition journey, the feelings of struggle and victory are universal.  Your story is worth telling and someone will benefit from it. Get involved and give back through service organizations. With TAP just 5 days long, what is the best way to get information to those transitioning since not every person sees the value in social media?Though many veterans are against social media, LinkedIn is different than other platforms. Creating a LI profile is as important as creating your resume and the information you provide is as important as the answers you give during a job interview.You often use the term focus: For those who lack a focus on what they want to do next, what are options that people could use to assist them in finding that focus?Two books I recommend are Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type and Now, Discover Your Strengths. Paint a picture of four concentric circles in your head. 1 – Values and Preferences. Focus on what you love to do.2 – Marketability. Does the world need what you have? Is there a market for what you do?3 – Salary Needs. Can you get paid for what you love?4 – Transferable skills. Are you good at it? Do you have the required qualifications? At the center of these four circles – where they overlap – is your career focus.>  There is an overlap between Values/Preferences and Marketability. This overlap is your company research where you see if your values align with the market research of the industry to identify the best companies to target.>  The overlap between Marketability and Salary Needs is where you conduct career and industry research. Does your target role pay what you need, and is it located where you want to live?>  Between Salary Needs and Transferable Skills, this overlap is where we start to learn to market ourselves, translate our military skills and showcase the value we bring an organization.>  Lastly, overlap between Transferable Skills and Values/Preferences help ensure you love what you do.What are some ways for people to regain, or relearn, their worth after being told or shown, or both, that their life means nothing?First, your life has meaning. You were put on this earth for a purpose. Although you may not understand your purpose yet, you will figure it out. In terms of finding your value in the workplace, I suggest doing an assessment of your transferable skills. Write out a list of all the things you CAN DO. Put a star next to the things you WANT or LIKE to do. Then write a story that showcases a situation where you used that skill to benefit or add value to the Navy. Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets brand new YouTube channel at  You can connect with Tyler Burkholder on LinkedIn at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!&
Season 2 - Episode 21: Transforming from Victim to Victor with Robert Washington
Jun 15 2022
Season 2 - Episode 21: Transforming from Victim to Victor with Robert Washington
Robert Washington joined the Navy after 9/11 and served for 9 years before separating to pursue a full-time career as a professional MMA fighter. After retiring from professional fighting, he found himself underemployed when he reentered the traditional workforce. By tapping into the very qualities that made him successful in the cage and in uniform, Robert reframed his mindset to launch him into a successful career at Microsoft. In his book, No one owes you a F*ing thing: It’s your responsibility to fight for the life you want, Robert explores how mental toughness can transform your personal and professional life.Robert attributes his resilience to the adversities he faced beginning as a young child growing up in poverty and dysfunction. He has learned to become a victor, not a victim, of his past. We discuss how character is often built from challenges and how rising from victimhood is a choice.During his transitions from both the military and MMA fighting, Robert kept his core priorities as his focal point. His goal to keep every decision he made in line with his core priorities has kept him fulfilled both personally and professionally. As a motivational speaker, Robert has noticed that it is the “how” that paralyzes people from taking action toward their goals. Robert discusses the ways in which he keeps moving forward to overcome his tendency to overthink.When Robert retired from his professional MMA career, he had to find ways to leverage the skills he learned both in the military and in the cage to find meaningful employment. He soon learned that having a degree and a veteran status on a resume wasn’t enough to set himself apart during the job search process. He came to the realization no one owed him anything for his prior service. After experiencing 200 job rejections during a 2-year period, Robert knew he needed a new approach.Robert talks about how to leverage the skills learned in the military to a future employer. We discuss connecting your story to the organization’s needs and how your prior service is of value to an employer. Silence the voice in your head that says your story is not worth telling. Robert uses LinkedIn to highlight not only who he is as a career professional but also to showcase his other interests. By contributing content on a regular basis, he hopes to be a resource for transitioning service members navigating the job search process.Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets brand new YouTube channel at to hear Robert answer a BONUS QUESTION about ways he is helping veterans get into the tech career field.You can connect with Robert Washington on LinkedIn at can learn more about his book at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn! Or check out our website at www.llforvets.com and listen to the previous episodes here!
Season 2 Episode 20: Taking an Active Approach to Your Transition with Joshua Atkinson
Jun 8 2022
Season 2 Episode 20: Taking an Active Approach to Your Transition with Joshua Atkinson
Joshua Atkinson served 11 years active duty in the US Marine Corps and 2 years in the reserves. He now works as a logistics SME and consultant for Whitney Bradley and Brown and as a Business Development Director for PM-ProLearn, a veteran founded project management training company. Josh was not expecting to leave the USMC after 11 years. It was an unexpected process that was full of regret and bitter feelings. As a result, his transition was pretty rough. He wishes that he had started preparing for his post-military career very early in his military service, so that he would have been better prepared. Josh discusses hunting versus fishing, or an active versus passive military transition. When you blindly send out your resume and have no idea the type of fish you are trying to catch, this is a very passive approach where you are hoping to just “catch” any job. In the hunting analogy, you are very strategic in your approach of figuring out the “what and why” so you can create a targeted plan. This requires you to figure out your strengths and determine what best fits your personality and your own personal “why” behind what you want to do in your career. Josh compares your resume to using the right ammunition when you are hunting. You have to create a resume that is focused on the target or you won’t have the desired outcome.  This will increase your likelihood of success. Josh compares being a veteran to being a “foreign orphan.” The military shapes your personality and builds commonality among all of its service member starting with boot camp. If you don’t learn to speak the language of the private sector, you may find yourself as an outsider. It is very important to learn how to effectively communicate with employers in a language that they will understand.Josh is the co-founder of PM-ProLearn and he discusses the importance of certifications. Certifications can help you improve your marketability against your civilian competitors in the job market. Taking the training for a certification in a new career field can also help you assess whether you enjoy the industry or not. However, it is important that you not become a “certification collector” and you remain targeted in your approach to completing certifications. Gaining certifications helped Josh regain his confidence after his rocky military transition. He sees a certification like a well-fitted suit, they both give you the confidence that you look the part when you go into the job search process. Josh advocates for doing your military transition YOUR way. It will be unique to you and you have to take your own approach, feel your own emotions and travel your own path. He advocates treating LinkedIn like a “bar” and advocates for starting your LinkedIn networking by seeking out the people you have things in common with first. Be willing to reach out and take initiative to ask for information or assistance.Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets brand new YouTube channel at to hear Josh answers a BONUS QUESTION about what he'd do differently if he had to do his military transition over again. You can connect with Joshua Atkinson on LinkedIn at can learn more about PM-ProLearn on their website at: & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn! Or check out our website at www.llforvets.com and listen to the previous episodes here!
Season 2 Episode 19: Fighting Imposter Syndrome with Hayden Barnes
Jun 1 2022
Season 2 Episode 19: Fighting Imposter Syndrome with Hayden Barnes
Hayden Barnes served 4 years in the Utah National Guard and 7 years as an Army Infantryman. After participating in the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) in 2021, he landed a great job with an impressive salary at a tech firm in software development management. Hayden was told by senior military leaders that he’d never make it as a civilian and should stay in the military. He is very passionate about being a voice of what is possible for junior enlisted servicemembers, especially in the face of the many programs out there that are specifically targeted to senior enlisted, retirees or officers. Throughout both his military career and private sector career in tech, he had to make several unplanned pivots and career changes due to many different factors. Part of why he struggled was due, in part, to “imposter syndrome.” Hayden experienced these doubts about whether he was up to par with his peers, many of whom he thought had a better background, more training or intelligence in his comparison with them. He learned that he had to stop looking at others and comparing himself and simply focus on his own journey and situation. Fear is often a tool that is used my more senior military leaders and veterans. Instead of arguing or getting upset at those “scare tactics,” focus on achieving success for yourself. Instead of proving them wrong, simply focus on proving yourself right. Consider the fact that those who are often using this fear-based tactic on you are often coming from a place of their own fear, a lack of knowledge or perhaps they are trying to gain or sell something. Before reacting to these fear tactics, stop to consider their motivation.Hayden discusses some of the transferable skills that he gained in the Army as an infantryman that helped him achieve success in the tech career field. He leveraged his transferable skills, that were not really tech related, as well as what he learned in the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) program. We discuss some of Hayden’s biggest challenges in adapting to the private sector such as dealing with a more casual and less structured environment. It has been more of an adaptation than a struggle. Be open to the process of adapting to new cultures and new environments, much like you’ve done throughout your career. After starting as a small project manager, Hayden has progressed through the company into higher level, more strategic roles. He sees his military skills as his foundation, his education and training are the reinforcements of that foundation and he built his career from that. You have to believe in those skills as your foundation and it will help you achieve success after the military. Hayden goes over what skills he highlighted on his resume. It was not focused on his infantry experience, instead he highlighted his achievements translated into his target industry key words and pain points. Do your research and change the story from military language to corporate terms that your new employers can understand. Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets brand new YouTube channel at to hear Hayden answer a BONUS QUESTION about his key to success after his military service.  You can connect with Hayden Barnes on LinkedIn at & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn! Or check out our website at www.llforvets.com and listen to the previous episodes here!
Season 2 Episode 18: Dealing with the Emotional Challenges of the Military Transition with Olivia Nunn
May 25 2022
Season 2 Episode 18: Dealing with the Emotional Challenges of the Military Transition with Olivia Nunn
Olivia Nunn retired from the US Army in 2021 as a Lieutenant Colonel. You may recognize her as the host of the US Army’s Soldier for Life Podcast. Olivia gets honest with us in the podcast about some of the challenges and struggles that she went through during her transition out of the military, many of which have driven her to be a passionate advocate for mental health. On the surface her transition was seamless, she landed a great role in marketing that aligned with her background in public affairs and communication. Although Olivia had access to all the best resources available to support her in her military transition, the emotional and mental process of the transition caught her off guard. It is important to know that there are tools and education available to service members to support them with dealing with the emotional and mental health struggles that they may face during this process. In her transition, Olivia practiced what she preached. She started early and began planning at 24 months before her retirement. She created a LinkedIn presence early on and began to post authentic, branded content. She attended events and built a solid network. When she made her announcement that she was preparing to wrap up her Army career, within a short time she started getting leads on opportunities because of the work she had done to prepare. The early parts of the 24-month preparation period need to be spent on research, determining what you want to do in your career after the military, where you want to live and figuring out your personal brand. Once you decide what you want to do in your career, you may find you will need additional training, certification or skills. This extended prep period will give you time to get ready for what is next!Olivia found herself struggling with mental health issues during her transition. She felt very much alone and was not willing to ask for help and support. She found that the resources available to her during her struggles, especially during the COVID crisis, were seriously lacking and that the system was overtaxed. Once you get past the shame and guilt of asking for help, or even needing help, and share how you are feeling, you will find that there are so many people willing to help and just listen to you. Olivia shares her personal story of how she came back from her struggles. She leaned on her faith, prayer, therapy and a handful of friends who she talked through her issues with.You may be used to being the strong one who supports people, but you have to be willing to reach out your hand and ask for help so that it does not weigh you down. Olivia talks about she is constantly figuring out who she is as a person outside of the military. She has been trying new things and has launched her own business. Though the Soldier for Life Podcast lives on without Olivia as a host, she is now hosting the Never Stop Serving Podcast for the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). You can find that new podcast series here: can connect with Olivia Nunn on LinkedIn: & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn! Or check out our website at www.llforvets.com and listen to the previous episodes here!
Season 2 Episode 17: Getting Inside the Mind of the Recruiter with John Axtell
May 18 2022
Season 2 Episode 17: Getting Inside the Mind of the Recruiter with John Axtell
John Axtell retired from the Marine Corps in 2014 where he was a military police officer, infantryman and a recruiter. He and I met many years ago when he went through my TAP class and I helped him see the value of his skills and experience in recruiting to land a role in talent acquisition with an airline. He went to Wells Fargo as a recruiter and is now on the Military Talent Programs team.John went into TAP with the fear that he was only qualified to go into security or law enforcement. He and I spent some time one-on-one to help him understand how to translate his military skills and leverage his experience into a talent acquisition role. John has been in talent acquisition in the private sector for 8 years. He shares “insider” knowledge to get inside the mind of a recruiter. He shares best practices on things like resumes, networking, LinkedIn, the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) “bots” and interview prep. Some highlights:RESUMES:- Think about human nature when you are laying out your resume. They naturally read from top to bottom and left to right. Organize and prioritize your resume layout with this in mind. - The human eye is drawn to numbers and companies like to see measurables. - Resume writing is a science and a skill. - Focus on “Return on Investment” statements that show how you can add value. BEATING THE ATS:- Even a large company like Wells Fargo has humans that read the resume. - The best way to “beat” the ATS, you need to network and create connections on the inside of the company. Networking can help you understand the company where you are applying and focus on their priorities. NETWORKING:- Networking helps you get a leg up on the competition and get past the ATS in the job search. - Networking is all about making connections and having conversations with people who can give you inside information on their company. JOB POSTINGS:- Required qualifications you must have, this is where you can match and mirror the key words in your resume. Desired qualifications are a bonus and you don’t HAVE to have them. When trying to determine if you meet the qualifications, these desired qualifications don’t count against you. - At Wells Fargo, if you see “other desired qualifications,” pay special attention to these skills and focus on showcasing them on your resume. - Think of the job posting as a “cheat sheet” that you can use to focus and target your resume to the company and the specific role. INTERVIEW PREPARATION:- Know your resume and be able to speak to everything on it. Prepare your STAR statements (Situation, Task, Action, Result) in advance and be prepared to answer behavioral questions with stories and examples.- Do your research, both on the company and the people who are interviewing you. - Be comfortable and be confident! If they invited you to an interview, they've already expressed that they like you as qualified candidate. USING LINKEDIN:- Be strategic with your connections. Focus on quality over quantity. Build a network of people that are engaged and willing to assist you with your search. You can connect with John Axtell on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/john-axtell-ii-77887093/SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn! Or check out our website at www.llforvets.com and listen to the previous episodes here!
Season 2 - Episode 16: Military Transition Q&A with Andro Infante
May 11 2022
Season 2 - Episode 16: Military Transition Q&A with Andro Infante
Andro Infante is wrapping up a successful 20-year career in the U.S. Army. With just a year until his retirement date, Andro is taking an active role in his own transition to ensure success. In this Military Q&A session of the podcast, Andro comes to the show with some questions for Lori.Since recruiters are only spending a few seconds on each resume, what are your thoughts on the summary section, Should I keep it or dump it to use the valuable space?   While the answer may be yes, there are ways to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Listen in as Lori highlights a few strategies to optimize the time that recruiters spend scanning your resume. Learn from Lori how to build a Headline and Tagline to grab the recruiter’s attention and why the content supporting the Headline is so vital.Most are attracted to big name companies. How do you combat being stuck behind a name brand for a potential employer? Are we setting ourselves for failure focusing on the name? What about start-ups?   Often it’s the industry giants that garner the most attention for being military-friendly for transitioning service members and veterans. During the job search process, don’t discount smaller companies or startups. What are some questions to ask recruiters and hiring managers to decipher what kind of culture their organization has?   We discuss how to assess what environment and culture is best and discuss the positive and negative of both small and large companies.If you are someone who doesn’t know what work environment is the best option for you, start doing research on yourself! Take advantage of self-assessments and books such as Do What You Are and websites such as www.16personalities.com. Keep all your options open during your job search.When you’ve landed the interview, come prepared with 6-8 questions. Listen to Lori as she speaks into how to research a company before interview day. She’ll guide you with questions to ask during the interview that will help you decide if the culture is a good fit.Why do the majority of veterans leave their first job after the military within 6-12 months? While the answer is complex, Lori dives into several reasons as well as the mindset of so many transitioning service members, especially retirees. Learn how to weigh staying versus leaving a job and more importantly learn the value of choosing a job wisely and strategically and not accepting one out of fear. What is a good time frame to stay in a position before looking into applying within or outside the organization without it damaging your “resume” and making it seem like you are a “job hopper?”Make strategic decisions about your career. While you CAN leave when you want to, it is important to make careful decisions – both about accepting a role and leaving a role. Andro ends this podcast on how to make real impact with your networking using LinkedIn to announce your job search. Andro used a great video that clearly communicated what he was seeking. We go through some steps on how to do this effectively. Check out the LinkedIn post and connect with Andro here:  SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn! Or check out our website at www.llforvets.com and listen to the previous episodes here!