The busy PSC season is approaching, and if you’re in the midst of exiting the service, it could mean that you have more difficulty than normal narrowing down potential job opportunities. Though finding employment after an ETS can be challenging, the influx of new service members around duty stations means that you need to make sure your resume shines.
Here’s a list that will help you accelerate your job search so you can continue to focus on the other aspects of ETSing.
Narrow down your ideal job. Ideally, when you initially received your ETS date, you should have started this right away. Generally, it’s easier to search for a job when you know what you’re looking for. Do you want to stay in the same field? Do you want to explore a new field? How far are you willing to commute? Do you want to work for a larger company? Are you more content at a small company? Narrow your job search focus by answering these questions. Once you have narrowed down your ideal job, start researching companies in your new geographic location that match your dream job.
Update, Update, Update! Spend the time now, before you ETS, to make sure everything is current on your resume. Did you learn a new skill at your recent job? Have you obtained a new certification since you last updated your resume? Are you now proficient with a new computer program that you weren’t skilled in before? Take some time to review your resume to see what information needs to be updated. If you have not updated your resume in the past few years, you will also want to study current resume trends. Start applying forjobs before the final ETS date, even if you don’t have an address for where you’re heading. Just include the city and state and mention that you and your family are in transition.
Revise your LinkedIn profile to reflect your resume. Once you have updated your resume, spend an hour or two reviewing your LinkedIn profile. Is your profile lacking information that shows off who you are? Do you have all of the fields filled out to make your profile complete? Have you double checked your security and visibility settings recently? Change your geographic setting to your new location. Once you update your LinkedIn profile, reach out to 10 new connections. Bonus points if they’rein your new area! Try to join a few new LinkedIn groups and start networking as soon as possible.
Connect with a recruiter or employment agency in your new location. Make an appointment with a local recruiter or employment agency. This is important mainly if you have been applying for jobs but do not seem to be receiving calls for interviews or have been going on interviews but have not accepted a job offer. A recruiter or employment specialist at an employment agency in your new location will most likely have insider information to the local job market, know which companies are hiring, and have a working relationship with hiring managers. Remember that temporary employment can always lead to full-time placement, so don’t count that out either.
Seek out professional development, networking events, or volunteer opportunities in your new location. Networking is key to your job search. But what if you do not know anyone in your new area? The easy answer to this is to look for professional development classes, networking events, or volunteer opportunities. Look into your new local Chamber of Commerce, community college, or regional associations to see if there are any events that you can attend. Find local nonprofit associations or military-affiliated organizations located on or near your new installation to see if they have any volunteer opportunities. Each of these experiences will help you meet new people and will also help you maintain or even gain new skills that you can use in your career.