Building A Strong Network After Your Military Career
Landing a career after the military can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to get a jump start on your career path, and several helpful resources to leverage. You can successfully create a web of people and organizations to advocate on your behalf as well.
First, you want to build a five-star resume. We have provided information here on how to do just that (riosalado.edu/news/2020/salute-your-military-skills). Once your resume is completed (Tip: Do this first and have it ready to hand out or send via email or online applications), it’s time to start getting the word out about who you are and the type(s) of jobs you are looking for.
The next step is to start networking while you send your resume out to employers for consideration. This is where developing a strong network comes in. Networking is very effective in landing the career you want, making it easier on your transition. Start your journey at Vets.PipelineAZ.com, and get connected to a vast employer community looking to hire veterans for their current job openings (you can build a resume here too if you don’t already have one).
Next, choose the best place(s) for you to personally network. There are many ways to network including connecting with local Veteran Service Organizations, community agencies and support groups, veteran employment centers, local community colleges, online employment networking groups, and job fairs and hiring events. Don’t forget your social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. It is very important to use family and friends for word-of-mouth networking as well. The stronger your network, the easier it will be for you to gain employment in your field of interest.
Here is a sample list of excellent networking organizations for you to choose from:
Largest Phoenix Area Veteran Owned Businesses Network with Veteran Owned Businesses
East Valley Veterans Education Center-Tempe-SBDC 2055 S. Cottonwood Drive Tempe, AZ 85282 https://clients.azsbdc.net/center.aspx?center=93010&subloc=53
Meetup.com https://www.meetup.com/Network-After-Work-Phoenix-Networking-Events/. Build meaningful connections with a professional community of entrepreneurs, professionals, executives, and thought leaders.
Career Connectors- https://careerconnectors.org/job-seekers/. A non-profit 501c3 organization connecting professionals in career transition to hiring companies and quality resources.
Military/Veteran Employment Resources Center-AZ ADVS Employment Services—Provides veterans with employment assistance and connects them with azstatejobs.gov and the Arizona Department of Veteran Services (ADVS) recruiting team.
Arizona At Work firstname.lastname@example.org – Provides veterans priority of service and a comprehensive, statewide system of supports and connections with employers, DVOPS and LVERS (veteran employment reps), and education and training programs.
Phoenix Vet Center-4020 N. 20th Street, Suite 110, Phoenix, AZ 85016 (602)-640-2981-Employment referrals and other veteran resources.
Be Connected-Be Connected AZ – Connects Arizona service members, veterans and family to employment supports and other resources.
Arizona Coalition for Military Families-Arizona Coalition-Multiple services including employment supports.
U.S.Vets in Phoenix- https://usvets.org/locations/phoenix - Helps with housing and workforce development a.k.a. job placement.
Additionally, social media via online platforms can quickly get you noticed and in front of hiring managers and decision makers. Keep your information up to date and be sure to give a shout out to your family and friends on any platforms you use such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Simply mention you are seeking employment and the positions you are interested in. Then ask them to forward your post to anyone they know may have job openings in your field of interest. You can also ask them to repost your messages as this will give you a farther reach on your employment journey.
Remember, all of these resources are places and spaces that provide opportunities for you to put your best foot forward! Talk to as many people as you can, ask them to network on your behalf and forward your resume to others who are hiring. Use this strategy to promote yourself! Finding the right career path takes work, and with the right networking, makes it easier for you to land the perfect job.
In conclusion, cast your networking web far and wide, and you will certainly reap the benefits!
Contributed by Jane Denton-Project Manager-Senior-Student Affairs-Rio Salado Community College