Changing careers is tough. When you’ve been working with an organization for years, it can be hard to adapt to a different way of doing things, especially these days. In today’s unforgiving job market, many employers are emphasizing direct experience (experience in the exact role that they’re advertising) as the end all and be all of candidate value. The only problem with demanding direct experience is that, if the desired talent is in short supply; your candidate pool will be more like a candidate puddle before too long. Most of the jobs being advertised right now are for positions that have only just been created, further decreasing the likelihood of your candidate search producing a candidate with the direct experience that you’re looking for.
Due to this overarching employer preference to avoid risk and hire for direct experience, it has become harder than ever for job seekers to get their foot in the door, even if they have experience closely related to the vacant position. And this goes double for veterans. After departing completely from civilian life, living and fighting in foreign lands and sacrificing for your country, making the transition back to the working world can be a challenge. And this is especially true if, say, you went into the military right after high school. Many veterans are trained extensively in technology and are generally highly disciplined and highly valuable employees. Given what our veterans have sacrificed, it’s great to see more resources emerging to help job seeking veterans make the transition from a military career to the next step in their working lives.
One of the toughest adjustments for job seeking veterans to make is that of translating their experience in the military into something that will aid them in their job search. One of the main recruiting points for the Armed Forces is that you will be given extensive training; training that, one day, will lead to a better job back home. The only problem is that it can be hard to translate experience in the military into something that’s meaningful and attractive to employers.
Luckily, as I just mentioned, there is a new social network for job seeking veterans to connect and find work that falls into line with their military training. The network is Rally Point and it has been called “LinkedIn for the armed forces,” which really isn’t too far off. Just like other social networks, Rally Point gives users the option to re-form old connections and keep in touch about job opportunities. Where Rally point really shines, however, is through its worldwide map of active military professionals. A recent Forbes article covered the job seeking efforts of Richard Becker, an army telecommunications officer, who turned to Rally Point as his 10 year military career was drawing to a close. Here’s how Forbes described Becker’s Rally Point experience:
“The most stunning thing about the site is its extensive graphic organizational chart that shows almost every location around the world where members of the U.S. military are working, from large, well-known bases like Fort Bragg, N.C, to tiny outposts like Lajez Air Base in the Azores Islands. At each of those locations, it shows how many people have Becker’s rank and qualifications.”
Where military HR falls short with a generally limited selection of jobs, Rally Point fills the void with its 325,000 active members across the world. Another great feature of this professional network is its usefulness for employers. Hiring managers and recruiters need only enter a civilian job title to see candidates with a matching military skill set. While there are already a few military skills calculators for veterans to see how their skills translate into the civilian workforce, there are very few resources for employers to see what sort of veteran could fill their next open job.
That’s why Rally point, up from 25,000 users 18 months ago, is such a great step for veterans. This network helps to fill in the gap between a military and a civilian career that so many veterans find themselves. If you’re interested in recruiting one of our country’s best and bravest, check out Rally Point or another veterans network to get started.