3 Ways to Get Your Application in Front of Someone Who Cares

3 Ways to Get Your Application in Front of Someone Who Cares

You’re a veteran. That’s an advantage you have over 99% of your fellow job seekers. So then naturally, it makes sense to apply to companies that seek veteran diversity.

 

Last year, I spent a significant chunk of time sending out dozens and dozens of applications, resumes, and carefully crafted cover letters. I’d wait — anxiously, of course — to get a response. Almost none came through. Long story short, I could have saved myself a whole lot of time and effort if I had strategized how (and who) I applied to. The job offers I eventually received all came from following one of these three rules, rather than from following a sheer quantity approach.

Target Your Job Search

You’re a veteran. That’s an advantage you have over 99% of your fellow job seekers. So then naturally, it makes sense to apply to companies that seek veteran diversity. Many states give tax incentives to corporations for every vet hired. That means hiring managers actively seek former service members. Your focus should be getting your resume and application in front of those people.

Instead of using general purpose job boards like Monster.com or Indeed.com, use a veteran-focused one (oh, hey Hirepurpose!). Shameless plug, but that’s the whole point of Hirepurpose — a one-stop-shop for veterans on the job hunt. When you apply to companies that pursue veterans, you’re one step ahead of your competition.

Find a Human Connection

Let’s take it back to your time in service. Remember when you had a pay issue, or you needed your awards updated on your records? In the Army, that meant a trip to your S1’s office, after five unanswered emails, and at least a dozen unanswered phone calls. The only way to get your paperwork fixed was to go in person, and talk to someone face-to-face. However, if you were my warrant officer, you would have had your documents squared away after one, short, effortless phone call. Why? The warrant officer mafia. That network of WOs could not only transmit information faster than a WARNO, but had the enviable ability to get stuff done, with none of the hassle.

The civilian world works very much the same. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go wait outside a potential employers office for the chance to get your resume looked at, nor am I suggesting that calling to follow up after an application or interview is a great idea either (use email!).

Instead, I’m talking about the human connection it often takes to get your application in front of the right people. This means — you guessed it — networking. Most cities have veteran hiring events, job fairs or career-related classes. Give one (or two or three) a try. While you might not find the perfect job at the actual event, you could meet someone that puts you in touch with your dream job. Another method is to find the diversity representative at the company you’re hoping to work at. This position is common at larger, more established companies. Try LinkedIn and company “about” pages to find them.

Follow Someone’s Path

If you’re struggling to either figure out what to do next, or to get a job (any job!) in general, feel free to follow another vet’s path. Go on LinkedIn, read our “My AAR” stories, talk to your old battle buddies and find out what steps they took to get their first job after service. This also ties back to the first two tips: you’re networking as well as targeting your job search by find out which companies hire vets. In my case, I reached out to an old instructor of mine through LinkedIn and chatted to him over the phone about his position at American Express (a vet-friendly corporation). He offered to connect me to his friend in the marketing department, a career path I was pursuing at the time, and she gave my application and resume a look.

While none of these tips are 100% foolproof, finding a veteran connection is always more advantageous than blindly applying anywhere and everywhere. Why not give it a shot?