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The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

“I…Um…Well…” The 5 most difficult interview questions – and how to answer them by CAROLYN HEINZE, Contributing Editor


ach year, publishes a list of the “Top 25 oddball interview questions,” questions shared with them by job seekers. You probably won’t find yourself put on the spot with questions like, “If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?” or “How many ridges [are there] around a quarter?” There are, however, simple questions that can be just as challenging that you are very likely to be asked. Providing a confident, clear, and concise answer will go a long way to keeping your cool during the interview. To help Civilian Job News’ readers prepare for their own interviews, we asked the experts this question: What are the five most difficult interview questions job candidates are likely to be asked? Here’s what they had to say: “Tell me about yourself.” While this first one is not really a question, it can stump anyone who isn’t properly prepared. This requires candidates to have in mind their own ‘elevator pitch’ – a 30- to 60-second summary of their past experience, the skills they have acquired, and how they apply to the employer’s organization. “They want to know about your career, your goals and your mission,” says Jon C. Sosa, career coach and founder of Aries Career Systems. “They want to know what makes you a good fit for that position.” “Why should we hire you?” This question demands not only that you are knowledgeable about

the company – including a bit of background on its founding, its mission and its values – but how the available position resonates with your skills as well. “If you are prepared, you can match your skills and ability to all of the requirements of the position,” Sosa says. “I would say, ‘The position requires X. As you can see on my resume, I have not only fulfilled those needs, but I also have accomplished this.’” “What do you want to do?” Matt DeLuca,senior consultant at Management Resource Group, Inc. in New York, and co-author (with Nanette DeLuca) of ‘Best Answers to the 201 Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions’, underlines that for this one, candidates must focus on why they are a good fit for the company. “You are there to convince the employer that you have three things they are looking for: the skill to do the job, the motivation to do the job, and the chemistry that is going to work in the organization,” he says. “If you did your research and you know about the organization, you say, ‘I’m a hard worker. I really want to work for an organization that has unlimited potential.’” Then, he adds, “you close by connecting these statements to the specific company: ‘This organization is one that I would really like to work for, because I could quickly add value with the skill set that I have and the position that I see you have open.’ This draws a link between what you have and what they need.” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Sosa reminds candidates to be confident about their strengths and, where

you can, to make references to numbers: “How many people did you manage? How many promotions, commendations, honors or awards did you receive over a certain period of time? Did you increase profits? Did you decrease loss? Everything should be measurable.” But what about your weaknesses? John DiPiero, Colonel, USAF, Ret., a specialist in military recruiting at the insurance and financial firm USAA, notes that candidates can portray their weaknesses as strengths. “Your objective isn’t to discuss your weaknesses as much as it is to discuss how and why even your shortcomings make you an ideal candidate,” he says. “For example, you may be a detail-oriented workaholic that neglects family and friends. You can turn these weaknesses around by saying that you’re very meticulous and remain involved in projects until you’ve ironed out all the problems, even if it means working overtime. Most interviewers aren’t expecting you to be perfect – and they’re unlikely to believe that you will reveal your true weaknesses. They’re just probing for soft spots.” “What are your salary expectations?” Money is a touchy subject, but candidates should be prepared to know what they are willing to accept from a salary perspective. Many times, a candidate has already had to consider this prior to applying for a job as a salary range is advertised as part of the position description. Be cautious about proceeding with the interview unless you are willing to accept a salary within

"Your objective isn’t to discuss your weaknesses as much as it is to discuss how and why even your shortcomings make you an ideal candidate." the advertised range. Companies will rarely publicly post a position unless it has been budgeted for and approved. Don’t think that you will “wow” them and achieve a salary higher than the advertised range. With that said, what if you have to answer the “salary expectation” question? Sosa counsels candidates to research what a comparable position pays in the city and region where you are interviewing. Salary. com is one online resource. While you shouldn’t take publicly available salary information as gospel, this research enables candidates to have some type of reasonable expectation for what the position could potentially pay. “Have two numbers ready,” says Jason Cook, executive consultant with military placement firm Bradley-Morris, Inc. (BMI). “The first number is your no-brainer number. This is the salary you would be willing to accept on the spot,” Cook explains. “Phrase it as ‘Based on research that I have done on area salary ranges for this

position and the experience and skills I bring to your company, my preferred salary would be $X. I would be excited and honored to accept an offer for that amount.’” Cook advises to follow this up with your minimum number. “Giving a fall-back number is advisable to keep yourself in the hunt, just in case you’ve priced yourself out of the salary range for the position. “You can say this followup phrase ‘However, I would be willing to strongly consider $Y. This salary would enable my family’s living standard to remain relatively stable.’ This shows you have put some thought into your salary requirements.” Although any question can stump even the best candidate, projecting confidence is the key to a successful interview. Companies need great employees. Take your time, listen and project the qualities of a high-value employee. Carolyn Heinze is a freelance writer/editor.


Are you Linkedin?


Job Fairs

What’s in a Name?

Military strategies to determine your career path. ........................... page 3

Connect with the world of civilian business ....................... page 4

Get a pencil out and see where you are in the transition process 6-7

Dust off your resume, job fairs want you! ..................... page 8

Decoding civilian job titles 10


JAN/FEB 2012

Ask the Recruiter Q: Most job applications ask if an applicant has ever been convicted of a crime. I have something on my record from when I was 18. I’m concerned if I disclose it, I won’t even be considered. Is that usually the case? A: I can’t speak for employers, but I always advise that honesty is the best policy, especially if you received an Honorable Discharge from the military. I would be up front with the hiring manager. With technology as it is today, a criminal record is nearly impossible to hide. Q: Are there speciďŹ c documents I should take with me to an interview? A: Always bring at least 10-15 fresh copies of your resume to provide to additional staff members that join your interview process. Other paperwork such as your evaluations, transcripts, letters of recommendation or your DD-214 should be accessible if needed, but they aren’t necessary to bring to an interview unless requested. Q: When the interview is over, what should be my follow-up? Does it sound desperate if I say, ‘I really want this job?’ A: The ďŹ nal impression is just as crucial as a ďŹ rst impression. If you want the job, say so. Be direct, but conďŹ dent. Acknowledge the hiring manager’s time spent with you, and let them know that you look forward to next steps and are available by phone or email for any follow-up. As soon as possible, within the ďŹ rst 24 hours,

send a handwritten note to the primary interviewer(s). The note should contain a reminder of your skills and your interest in working with the company: Dear ___________, Thank you for meeting with me today to discuss the position of ____________ within your organization. My experience as a ________________will allow me to immediately make a positive impact. I look forward to next steps. Sincerely,

Q: Can I send an email instead of a handwritten note? A: There’s nothing wrong with shooting off a quick email to the people you met during your interview process, but remember that a handwritten note will set you apart from your competition and really go a long way to reect your character and attention to detail.

Mike Arsenault is Director of Candidate Services at Bradley-Morris, Inc. He can be reached at (800) 330-4950 ext. 2105 or by email at

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Publisher Managing Editor Art Director Associate Editor Contributing Editors

Director of Technology Executive Consultant Account Representative Account Representative Account Representative

Bill Basnett Kathy Scott Alec Trapheagen Anthony Morris Janet Farley Carolyn Heinze Heidi Russell Rafferty Tom Wolfe Don Nowak Marla Smith Don Johnson Corey Branning Duane Neumann

Civilian Job News is published by: 1825 Barrett Lakes Blvd., Suite 300 Kennesaw, GA 30144 1-866-801-4418 Reproduction or use without permission of any editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. The inclusion of advertising is considered a service to our readers and is not an endorsement of products or advertising claims. Opinions expressed in articles are the opinions of the contributors and do not necessarily express the opinions of Civilian Job News or its staff. Subscription rate: $12 per year (6 issues). To subscribe, call 1-866-801-4418. Š2007-2012 Civilian Jobs, LLC. All rights reserved. Civilian Job News and are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Bradley-Morris, Inc. (BMI), the largest military-focused placement firm in the U.S.

JAN/FEB 2012


Painting a Successful Post Military Career by JANET FARLEY, Contributing Editor


our military-to-civilian career transition might be something you have dreamed about for a long time. Even so, it can be a stressful and challenging move to make in the best of times. In our recent economic environment, it can be downright scary. Relevant words of encouragement are in order. “Transitioning out of the military is a turbulent time in a service member’s life. It certainly was one in mine,” said Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) Byron Barron, Airborne Ranger and owner of CertaPro Painters, a residential and commercial painting franchise in Northeast, Georgia. After almost 27 years of service, Barron retired from the military in 2007. Like others in the same situation, he wasn’t exactly sure what to do next. “To help me figure out what I wanted to do as a civilian, I used the decision making process that the Army taught me,” said Barron adding that he made his decision by turning it into a simple mathematical equation. “I literally wrote down the things I wanted out of my next job and the things I didn’t want. For example, I knew I didn’t want to work weekends and I knew I did want to have more control over my schedule,” said Barron. “By the time I identified all those wants, along with the pros and cons, everything pointed to a job in the service industry for me,” said Barron. According to the now successful business owner, he then researched various options. “I knew I had to get a mentor and then either start a business or buy a franchise,” said Barron. “After weighing my options and talking to other business owners, I decided to buy a franchise. The painting business has proven to be a good choice for Barron who employs 25. “Usually I have four crews of painters

working for me throughout the year. In the summer, when things are very busy, we may have five or six crews on jobs,” said Barron adding that business is beginning to slow down a bit with the arrival of the holiday season. His post-military career has also turned into a family affair of sorts. “My daughter, Valery, works as an officer of the company and does a little bit of everything. As soon as my wife gets tired of working for someone else, I’m going to hire her too,” said Barron. Key Factors to Franchise Success If you are thinking about getting out and purchasing a franchise, Barron suggests you aggressively buy down your personal debt, get a solid education and capitalize on the leadership skills and technical abilities you learned in the military. “Leave the military owing as little as possible. When I retired, the only debt that I carried was a mortgage. That enabled me to effectively leverage my assets and overcome my cash flow management issues,” he said. Barron believes that it is also helpful to have a strong educational background and a practical understanding of cash flow management in order to be successful as a franchise owner. “It helped that I earned my Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree while still in uniform,” said Barron who encourages service members in and out of uniform to take full advantage of their education benefits. “While I knew and understood the words of the business world, I didn’t necessarily understand the practical application of them. To fill that gap, I networked with others, friends and associates who did understand it and who were willing to share that knowledge with me,” said Barron. “As a business owner, you have to understand how all things work, because those you employ and their families are counting on it,” he said. Barron also feels that the leadership

skills and technical abilities that you learn in uniform go a long way to helping you in the civilian world. “It’s all about leadership. The skills I learned and used as an Airborne Ranger are directly applicable to my civilian job. It’s about being in the right place at the right time and saying ‘what’s going on here?’ “For example, when I was in the Army, I was in charge of small units or self-directed teams who worked in vast terrains and were trained to do specific tasks. As a leader of those teams, I had to supervise others. Occasionally that involved reminding someone to tie his or her boots or to secure their chinstrap,” said Barron. “As a leader of painting crews, I occasionally have to remind someone to put the tarps down before they paint or to put out our [advertising] sign in the front yard,” said Barron. “People know what they have to do, but they don’t always do it. It’s the leader’s job, in uniform or out of it, to lead,” said Barron. According to Barron, militarylearned technical skills are also highly marketable. “The [military] taught me to be a learning and adaptable individual,” said Barron. “When I was first issued a computer in the Army, I didn’t really know what to do with it. I learned how to use it, though,” said Barron. “I’ve found out since I became a civilian myself, that the technical skills we learned in the military are usually greater than those of our civilian counterparts,” said Barron. Solid Transition Advice for Everyone Whether you consider franchise ownership an option or not, Barron has several solid suggestions to help you make your career transition a smooth one. “In the process of getting out, you need to do your due diligence. Ask the questions. Read the reports. If you don’t understand what you’re reading, ask

someone to help you figure it out,” said Barron. You may be worried about finding a new job and accompanying paycheck, but Barron suggests you avoid panicking. “Take it easy. If you are retiring and you plan properly, you can actually live off your retirement. There’s no need to panic,” said Barron. Barron also suggests you take advantage of the available transitionrelated resources.

"To help me figure out what I wanted to do as a civilian, I used the decision making process that the Army taught me." “Use the transition assistance program [Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) for Army] and the Veteran’s Administration (VA). They can help you find the answers and make the good decisions,” said Barron. “Enjoy your transition. It’s an amazing process. Go where your heart leads you. Listen to that passion and let it lead you. You will be just fine,” said Barron. Janet Farley is the author of the forthcoming book, “Quick Military Transition Guide: Seven Steps to Landing a Civilian Job,” (JIST Publishing). For timely transition tips, follow Farley @Mil2CivGuide on Twitter.


JAN/FEB 2012

Are You 7 Steps to a


Great Public Profile

by HEIDI RUSSELL RAFFERTY, Contributing Editor


t’s considered one of the top three social media networks behind Facebook and Twitter, and a must-have for professionals. No, it’s not MySpace or Google+; it’s LinkedIn. It might seem like just another place to put your resume, but it is so much more! Not only can you search for jobs, you can join groups, like our own Linkedin Group,, and connect with military that have transitioned or are transitioning. LinkedIn Groups can offer invaluable information and great contacts. Here are seven ways to create a winning public profile. 1. Get a decent photo. According to Nashville-based Managing Director for Reputation Advocate Steven Wyer, author of “Violated Online,” the most important step to creating your profile is posting an appropriate picture. “It is amazing how many people don’t put one in, and if they do, it’s not a professional head shot. We don’t want to see you at the beach on Thanksgiving weekend,” Wyer says. 2. Try to be as specific as possible. What you post on your profile is used when prospective employers are searching for potential hires. However, if your goal is to work in the defense industry, defense contractor recruiters may be searching LinkedIn for specific experience that can be best related in military acronyms. For instance, if you repaired a certain type of aircraft or piece of electronic equipment, including the acronym for it could help you be found. So it may be wise to have both – a civilian-worded area and a military acronym area – for each area of your experience. 3. Join groups, then participate. Each LinkedIn member can join up to 50 groups. All told, there are 871,000 groups. “In those groups, participate and drill down into your specialization,” Wyer says. “If I’m a headhunter for an engineering firm, I’m in 50 engineering groups, and I’m reading threads, looking to see who is articulate, intelligent and knowledgeable. It’s the greatest screening process in the world.” 4. Connect. This is the fun part. Search for friends under “people” in the search box at the top right of the page. It’s also completely appropriate to connect with people in your group. The benefit of connecting is like any other kind of networking, it’s a way to get your foot in the door (if you’re connecting with someone at a company where you are interested in working) and to build your own personal network. You can also find out what your peers have done. One of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn is that you can use the people search tool to see what others in your

branch of service, and perhaps even in your rank and Military Occupational Specialty, have gone on to do in the civilian world. You should also try to connect with any person you served with that can give you advice about your job search, or even more importantly, a positive recommendation. 5. Realize the power of a LinkedIn recommendation. “Those are, in essence, referral sources. On a traditional application, you’d list three employers, and the interviewer calls them. Now they have the ability to see where you’ve worked, who recommended you and actually have a dialog with them without calling,” Wyer says. To request a recommendation, you go to your profile, scroll down to “recommendations” and send a request to someone to whom you have already been linked.

Social Integrity Musts Insulate your job-hunting presence online with a few ethical and reputational safeguards. Here are some tips: Social media is about transparency. You have to be truthful. In your profile, remember that specificity drives credibility. Use a professional email address. Gmail is considered professional nowadays, because of its business suite of services like Google Docs. Get a professional individual gmail address. Addresses such as JoeandColleen@ or don’t make good first impressions. If you sync Twitter to LinkedIn posts, be careful. Only sync the accounts if your Twitter content relates to professional information. Be careful about what you post. Try to maintain a certain amount of dignity even on Facebook. Don’t assume that those pictures you posted from your friend’s wild party won’t be seen. And, most importantly, if you feel the urge to comment on something, and it won’t put you in a good light with employers, don’t. What you write online can, and will, be found. Be careful.

6. Create a vanity link: When you first create your LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn also creates a personal link, which usually looks like: Joe-Smith//22/z00/x52. To create a link that is more easily found, simply log into your profile and click on “Edit my Profile.” Scroll down to the words “Public Profile” and to the right side of the link click “edit.” Most people use their first and last name, but depending on how unique your name is, you may have to try a few combinations to get what you want. If your proposed name is already taken, LinkedIn will let you know after you click “set address.” Once you have your link, you can include it on your resume. 7. Treat connection requests like you would at a networking event. “A good rule of thumb is to accept all [requests to connect] and not try to filter people out,” Wyer says. “What that individual person has to say to you may not be of particular interest, but you gain access to their network, and someone in their network may be of high interest to you, or you may be to them.” Secret Tip: Once you log into your profile, click on “Home.” Then, halfway down the page, you’ll see a box that says, “Who’s Viewed Your Profile.” Some people don’t realize that this lists everyone that has looked at your profile within a certain time period. Sometimes, it may just say, “Anonymous LinkedIn User,” but more often than not, you will see a list of people. Even after you transition to civilian life, LinkedIn provides peer-to-peer networking and ways to enhance your professional career. Keep linking and joining groups. Remember, “It’s who you know,” that counts. Freelancer Heidi Russell Rafferty is a reporter with 19 years of experience who writes about employment and business issues.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Baysa maintains computer networks at the Joint Network Operations Control Center at Camp Victory, Iraq, June 14, 2011. (DOD Photo. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tristan English/Released).

JAN/FEB 2012


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The experience youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gained in service to your country is worth everything to you. And a great deal to us. We encourage you to consider the Air Force Reserve as part of your next career move. The beneďŹ ts alone make it a smart choice. For youâ&#x20AC;Ś and for your country. :VgcVhZXdcYeVnX]ZX`Â&#x2122;Adl"Xdhi]ZVai]^chjgVcXZ[dgndjghZa[VcY^bbZY^ViZ[Vb^anÂ&#x2122;Ij^i^dcVhh^hiVcXZ A^[Z^chjgVcXZÂ&#x2122;GZi^gZbZcieaVchÂ&#x2122;@ZZendjggVc`Â&#x2122;9dcÂźibdkZ!ndjXVcXdci^cjZida^kZVi]dbZVcYhi^aahZgkZ#

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JAN/FEB 2012

70 Steps to Transition Success The Civilian Job News Military-to-Civilian Job Search & Transition Checklist

Phase I: When and organized you are in the 12- to 18-month by taking thes window, you sh e steps: ould get inform ed 1. Beco

28. Investigate the possibility of job me familiar with the search/transition Transition Assistan temporary duty (PT no-cost TAD/TDY Veterans Employm ce Program (TAP) an DY) to support thi orders; s ent and Training Se d the Departmen 29. Work to expa s. rvice (VETS). 2. Visit www.turb t of Labor’s nd your network for a comp of personal connec tho se reh pe tions; consider no ople know. ensive summary of Departments of Lab t only w transition tools off or and Veterans Aff 30. Ask for and ered by the 3. Verify the actua airs. arrange informati l date of separatio on al int 31. erv iew Learn how to use s with people in yo n, retirement, end 4. If you will have social media sites ur network. of contractor or EO unused leave on 32. Join web-b to expand your ne S. the books, determi ased special intere leave is best for yo twork. ne whether sellin st u, from both a fin groups affiliated wi g it foc ba us, ck an suc or cial and timing pe 5. Develop a perso taking it as termina th social network h as U.S. Military Ve rspective. s. Target l nal transition plan terans Network an 33. Identify comp and timeline. d Link-Military Ve 6. Determine the anies and organiza terans Emplo paperwork requir tio ns wi th every issue of Civilia strong “hire a veter ements necessary 7. Compile a list n Job News. an” programs, s to support your sep of everyone you kn 34. Schedule a aration, discharg ow who might be 8. Expand that ne discussion with a e, or retirement. come a potential twork through co rep res en 35 tat . job ive Lea sea of rn mm a rch ho pla un lea w cement company. ity service activitie to research comp d, i.e., your network and operational tem We reco anies now so that s and volunteerism . po allows. 36. Research yo you will be profic , if duty station 9. Identify and fos urself. Who are yo ient at doing so ter mentors; ask for u? Wh 37. at ma En kes hance your self-kno you tick? Strength their help and gu 10. Subscribe to Civ s? Attributes? Va wledge by doing idance. ilian Job News and the exercises in bo by Bolles and ‘Ou read it religiously. 11. Review your cu oks like ‘What Color t Of Uniform’. rrent education an 38. Look in the is d tra ini ng inventory, lookin mirror and make prior to leaving the sure you live up to g for any gaps tha military. being a military ser the positive physi t might be filled 12. Obtain sealed vic e cal me original copies of and groom mber. 39. Take the tim your academic tra 13. If continuing e to identify your nscripts, if appropri education is need weaknesses. Be pre ate. What are you doing ed, begin the sch pa red with strong veter to discuss failure and ool application pro to correct or comp ans preference rep sho 40. Find out if yo cess focusing on ensate? Turn nega utations, many of 14. If necessary, sch ur trade school or academic institutio tives into positive which are featured edule and prep for college offers caree ns s. 41. Co or mp ad co ile vertise in Civilian Job 15. Identify, monit llege entry exams a list of personal an r services to its alu such as the SAT an or and track the ac mni and part News. d professional refere 42. Gather togeth d GMAT. tivities and progre nces. Learn from their ex er the documenta ss of other individ perience. tion necessary to 43. Assemble a uals who are going 16. Speak with pla de ve pe lop rso your resume. through transition. nal paperwork po cement specialists rtfolio, consisting transcripts, copies in both the privat 17. Become fam of resumes, refere of diplomas, acade e and public sector iliar with USAJobs.g nce list, sep 44. Read civilian mic transcripts, cer s. ov and consider em 18. Research possi trade journals, ne tificates of complet ployment with the ble civilian job an ws let ion, and ter 45 . s, bu De fed sin d -m ess magazines, ne eral government. career options. An ilitarize your vocab Labor’s O*Net On wspapers, e-zines, excellent resource ulary and your res Line; visit a acronyms and jar is the Departmen ume; learn to expre 19. Recognize the or ww go t of n. ss yourself without w.mynextmove.o fact that you must 46. Learn the rul us rg/vets for details. invest in the succes monthly basis to es of job search an s of your job search support that fact. d interviewing etiqu 47. Become fam and set aside mo 20. Track your job ette. iliar with the differe ney on a search expenses an nces between mi 48. Determine d save receipts; ma litary and civilian the on your tax return ap pro pri ny of the costs of ate attire to suppo compensation an s. ch rt your job search anging jobs may 21. Research pla and interview activ be deductible cement companies Phase III: Whe ity, sh that specialize in mi We recommend n litary-to-civilian tra Bradley-Morris, Inc preparations by you are in the 4- to 9-month nsition. . (www.bradley-m 22. Obtain a copy window, you sh accomplishing of a military-to-civ oul the following: ilian transition ma Successful Militarynual; we recomme to-Civilian Career Tra 49. Make sure yo nd ‘Out of Uniform nsition’ (www.out-o ur bo : Yo dy ur Guide to a language says wh at you want it to say Ask for feedback Phase II: When from a friend or fam . Handshake? Eye contact? 50. Assemble a ily member and ma preparation ph you are in the 9- to 12-month list of questions yo ke adjustments as ase of your sear window, you sh u will ask in an int necessary. 51. Ob tai n erview and modif a list of questions ch with the follo ould begin the y you might receive them as your searc wing steps: 52. Practice answ in an interview an 23. Locate and ering interview qu d prepare your an visit your base or estions in front of swers. post TAP/ACAP offi ask for feedback an a frie including initial gu nd , a mirror, and/or a ce and become fam d adjust according idance on writing video came 53. Learn how ly. iliar with the transi 24. Consider the your resume. to write a good cove tion assistance pro value and/or the r letter and how to vided, 54. Become co need of professio use it in your search mfortable with fol We recommend Mi nal assistance with . lowing up on your lita ryR 55 yo . esu ur Lea me res rn how to write a ume. 25. Attend an int applications, interv go od interview follow roductory TAP/ACA iews, etc. 56 . Do at least one pro -up/thank-you let P seminar. 26. Identify any active job search ter. additional on-base activity every day: existing application or on-post resource base or post educ apply for a new po , ask for an inform s available, such as ation offices. sition, follow up 57. Actively partic ation interview, pe Family Assistance 27. Visit your sta ruse a job board, ipate in TAP/ACAP Centers and te and local emplo make a call, knoc workshops, semina 58. Join or renew yment services, esp rs, and interview da your membership ecially the Local Em ys. in professional soc ployment Veteran and the like, espec ieties, alumni org s Representative. ially those that off anizations, trade ass 59. Post your res er career transitio oc n programs and sp ume on job board onsor networking s, specifically those We recommend that focus on veter the one powered an s. by www.CivilianJob

JAN/FEB 2012

see if you qualify


for permissive

ho you know but

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those with a milita ry experience oyment. such as the ones you will find in mmend Bradley-M orris, Inc. o when the actua l need arises. alues? Motivators? s Your Parachute’ ing standards ass ociated with rtcomings in your life. ticipate, if available. paration paperwork , awards, d the like. and blogs. sing military nd benefits. hop accordingly.

ld finalize your Posture? ch continues. era;

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Record New Message!

Please n countd ote that we d o id to acco wn 18 month not choose m in Phas plish everyth s out becaus to start this whe e e w! this list I can start so ing on the lis it takes that t. lo o c 18 day ould be acco ner than tha Some of the ng s, if nec t. mplish items Most o e whatev e er lead ssary. The key d in 18 weeks f what is on -time y ou do h is to make effi , or even ave and cie Additio n prioritiz nt use of checkli ally, keep in e accord mind th st of th ingly. is kind is differe is not p at a “one size n t a n d fi ossible Your du ts all” y o u w . il backgro ty station, bra l modify the Everyone’s sit u li n your tim und, and ope ch of service st to fit your n ation , ra each it eline, but als tional temp specialty, edu eeds. em on o o the list. the relevanc will not only cational e and im im (Check portan pact li ce of contrib st created by T u Guide to ting editor an om Wolfe, Civ il d ia a Succe ssful M author of Ou n Job News ilitary-t o-Civilia t Of Uniform: Y o n Caree r Transi ur tion)

ecially tho veterans – ards – esp the job bo redisposition to hire se ru Pe . 60 rest. s with a p companie job postings of inte to ssional and apply ail is profe ur voicem and delivery. yo n o e g ns, essa sure the m t, instructio 61. Make ness-like in conten and busi f reserve ailability o tion and av p o e th e igat 62. Invest s if appropriate. d by program those place especially in publications s, ad t en el n n loym s nd to emp ilitary perso 63. Respo ations that target m ing – Civilian Job New ad re e organiz ar u yo e n o e g and such as th interviewin port of searching, ositive action in sup activity. b jo e tiv ac p g ro e in p n r w o u t ie as yo rv le e u inte at 64. Contin ing activities. Take w up on previous llo network ery day. Fo We ev n tio si nferences. your tran r career co and /o d an irs tend job fa by www.CivilianJob d r for and at 65. Registe end those sponsore recomm le d ra tary www.B tion of Mili —Verifica 86 25 rm Fo t your DD 66. Reques nce & Training. Experie

ould er, you sh arch is oavs follows: e s r u o y When riately Phase V:ings up approp th d in the p ra w ht way an

s the rig e job offer t and declin ep cc A . . 67 der quence may consi correct se ations that iz an rg o er ith any oth the loop w 68. Close to be open. at your e your fil ce know th n of assistan e job market. ee b as h o th eryone wh are out of 69. Let ev over and that you o has search is eryone wh k you to ev an th y sa tion. an effort to 70. Make you make the transi helped

The job isright there fout m or



JAN/FEB 2012

Job Fair Calendar Date: January 10, 2012 Location: Career Expo. Ft. Polk, LA Warrior Community Center 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sponsor:, 866-801-4418

Date: February 16, 2012 Location: Career Expo MCAS Beaufort, SC The Officersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Club 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sponsor:, 866-801-4418

Date: January 18, 2012 Location: Career Expo. Ft. Benning, GA Benning Conference Center (formerly Benning Club) 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sponsor:, 866-801-4418

Date: February 17, 2012 Location: Ft. Belvoir/Springfield (VA) @ Amer Legion-Springfield Sponsor: JobZone, Janet Giles, 540-775-4199,

Date: January 19, 2012 Location: Career Expo. Robins AFB, GA Heritage Club 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sponsor:, 866-801-4418

Why Join the

Estes Team? s Great schedulesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Most drivers are home daily or every other day s Competitive wages s Comprehensive beneďŹ ts

Date: February 29, 2012 Location: Career Expo Naval/Marine Corps San Diego, CA Scottish Rite Event Center 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sponsor:, 866-801-4418

Date: February 15, 2012 Location: Career Expo. Ft. Stewart, GA Stewart Club 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sponsor:, 866-801-4418

s TerriďŹ c work environment s Company stability (Celebrating 80 years of service!)

Positions Available! sDrivers

Date: March 1, 2012 Location: Career Expo. Camp Pendleton, CA South Mesa Club 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sponsor:, 866-801-4418

Date: January 24, 2012 Location: Patuxent River NAS Job Fair, Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, 22156 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, MD 20653 3 p.m-7 p.m. Sponsor: JobZone, Janet Giles, 540-775-4199,

s Growth opportunities

(Class A CDL with Hazmat and Doubles)


sDock sClerical sMechanics (Power and Trailer)

Date: March 14, 2012 Location: Career Expo Tampa/MacDill AFB Wyndham Tampa Westshore 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sponsor:, 866-801-4418 Date: March 23, 2012 Location: King George VA (15 min from Dahlgren Navy Base) Sponsor: JobZone, Janet Giles, 540-775-4199,

For more job fair dates and locations, go to


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JAN/FEB 2012






Top 40 Under 40 Military Spotlight:

Brian Valhuerdi

Former Marine Sgt. Brian Valhuerdi, a recipient of’s “Top 40 Under 40 Military” achievers in 2011, successfully transitioned to a civilian career as project manager for Flowserve Corp. (Hanover, PA), an industry leader in industrial pumps and motors. We sat down for a Q&A on how he did it: How far out did you begin working on your transition? It was spur-of-the-moment, three months shy of my end of service. At first I was skeptical, but I worked with BradleyMorris, Inc. (BMI), a military-to-civilian recruiter, and they took the burden off my shoulders. Did you have a particular location in mind? I had a region in mind, and believe it or not, I didn’t take a position in the area where I was looking. There was a BMI military hiring event in Virginia Beach. After listening to a presentation, I saw the benefits of establishing a career versus a job. How did you find your recruiter? Through a TAP (Transition Assistance Program) class on preparing military personnel for civilian life.

Do you have a family? If so, how did that affect your transition? I do have wife and two kids. It had caused me to make sure I had a solid foundation on exiting. I didn’t want a regular job with no background in what I was doing. Do you have any good resources for military transitioning out? I did use websites, but nothing that gave me any solid leads – nothing solidified. I think being in the military, you make your connections, a lot that are militaryrelated. Bradley-Morris also established networking with the companies. They took the edge off for me. Was there anything you learned that you would pass on? Two things – the first thing is to begin your job search as soon as possible, anything from six months or better (to your release). The other is to pursue a degree while in the military. There were times I did classes while deployed on a carrier and while in Japan.

Do the best work of your life. At URS, we believe that when you create an environment that encourages individuals to collaborate and solve complex problems, you attract the best people. As a leading provider of management and technical services to the U.S. Government, URS values the wealth of experience, discipline and integrity that veterans bring to our business. So if you thrive on meeting complex challenges and are looking to do the best work of your life, we invite you to explore careers at URS.


Visit us at



JAN/FEB 2012

Thousands of job titles â&#x20AC;&#x201C; What do they mean? CAREER COACHâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CORNER by TOM WOLFE Career Coach and Contributing Editor


ith all of the uncertainty that surrounds the transition from a military to a civilian career, one thing that is certain is the high likelihood that you must continue to work. Career transition is a stressful time for most people, and that is particularly true for those in transition from the military to civilian status. Although the job search can be difďŹ cult for civilians, they at least know the terminology and the titles. Militaryto-civilian job seekers on the other hand not only have to deal with the stress of the search but also the lack of knowledge about career options and job titles. How about you? Are you wrestling with that uncertainty and wondering what to do next? That is perfectly normal. Take some comfort in knowing that thousands of veterans have dealt with that stress successfully and help is available. Elsewhere in this issue you will ďŹ nd 70 Steps to Transition Successâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;The Civilian Job News Military-to-Civilian Job Search & Transition Check List. Please take a look at Step 18, which encourages you to research possible civilian job and career options and points you to a couple of helpful resources. As important as that step is and as valuable as those resources are, I suggest that you do a bit of homework before you jump into that process. The following information will get you started. What jobs are available? The good news is there are hundreds of companies hiring thousands of people like you into jobs with hundreds of possible job titles. The bad news is that there are far too many titles to cover here. I can however discuss the three general categories of jobs available and in so doing perhaps give you some insight into which category is best for you. Every one of those jobs can be categorized in one of three ways: Individual Contributor, Team Member, and Team Leader. Furthermore, every job you have held in the military can be similarly categorized and a comparative analysis will do much to point you in the right direction. An Individual Contributor is one whose contribution to the mission comes directly from that individual. The work product is his or hers alone. He or she is not directing the efforts of others. The blood, sweat and tears are those of

the individual. Do not however confuse individual contributors with loners. Individual contributors can have much interaction with others, both internal and external to the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;e.g., co-workers, vendors, clients, suppliers, and managers. They enjoy autonomy. They do not have to supervise others to be fulďŹ lled. They prefer to see a direct link between their individual effort, their work product, and, perhaps, their compensation. Examples of individual contributors include tradesmen, tech reps, accountants, analysts, consultants, sales reps, designers, engineers, ďŹ eld service representatives, and recruiters. Sometimes a group of individual contributors band together, either formally or informally, and form a team. This leads us to the second categoryâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Team Member. There are many situations where no one single person can handle all the responsibilities of a project or tasking. It often makes sense to put together a group of individuals to form a team. Although levels of expertise are often similar, each member has a different area of expertise and is responsible for his or her own contribution to the team as a whole. Whether or not there is a designated team leader, often an informal leader will emerge. Regardless, it is the combined, collective effort of the entire team that constitutes the contribution to the goals of the organization. An excellent analogy is the athletic teamâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;individuals playing different positions on the team, with the goal of winning the contest. You can ďŹ nd examples of the team member role in matrix organizations, companies that use self-directed work teams, product development, and brand management. The ďŹ nal category, Team Leader, is the one that probably requires the least explanation. The team leader is assigned personnel, material, ďŹ nancial resources, and a task. The areas and levels of expertise among the team members vary. The team leader builds the team, trains the team, motivates the team, and provides a safe working environment. The collective efforts of the entire team under the direction and control of the team leader become the contribution to the mission. Sound familiar? Most military personnel spend the majority of their time in team leader roles. Many civilian organizations are aware of this experience and focus on hiring veterans because of it. Some typical team leader roles include operations manager, crew leader, production team leader, and manufacturing supervisor. Which category is best for you? To answer that question, review your time in the military. You have probably held jobs in all three categories. In which ones

were you the most effective? SatisďŹ ed? Happiest? Answering those questions will give you some clues. By knowing in which one you tend to thrive, you will be on your way to ďŹ nding the best category for you. Although you will not necessarily be any closer to articulating exactly which job you want, you will at least be able to focus on jobs in the

category or categories that are best for you. Tom Wolfe is contributing editor & columnist for Civilian Job News and author of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Out Of Uniform: Your Guide to a Successful Military-to-Civilian Career Transition.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;



Tom Wolfe, USNA â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;72




JAN/FEB 2012


CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING Hot Job Opening SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR - Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) seeks a professional, innovative and detailed individual for our System Administrator position. If you are looking for an opportunity to manage a large virtual infrastructure, then this position is for you! SEL’s corporate office is located in Eastern Washington where you’ll enjoy an unmatched quality of life. Enjoy the smaller town life: country space, freedom from traffic, easy access to recreational activities in nearby mountains, rivers, and forests, as well as great schools and universities. Design and implement Windows servers. Manage Active Directory environment. Administer virtual infrastructure. Perform capacity planning for servers. Administer server security. Monitor/improve/troubleshoot servers. Plan and manage projects. Maintain required ISO 9001 documentation. Stay abreast of industry developments appropriate to computer services. Follow and improve Information Services area processes. We ask all candidates to submit their resume through our website at

4316 to find out more information concerning this position with Benjamin Moore & Co.

$"t$BMJGPSOJB WAREHOUSE DISTRIBUTION SPECIALIST - Our Warehouse Operations are looking to fill a variety of positions in our shipping, receiving, order fulfillment, and stock replenishment departments.We are searching for qualityminded individuals capable of excelling in an environment that is both physically and mentally challenging. The ideal candidate will have at least 3 years of relevant work experience and demonstrate a proven degree of success in their previous roles. Schedules include daytime hours, Monday - Friday. We work in an achievement-based environment where success is recognized and rewarded. If you are looking for a challenging and rewarding position at a company that understands the value of hard-working employees, we encourage you to apply with our company, McMaster-Carr Supply. Email: mayann., phone: 562-463-4294


National/Regional COMMUNICATIONS MAINTAINER/TECH - This position is DRIVER - TRUCK DRIVER / OWNER-OPERATOR - More owner-operators are choosing Schneider National than ever before, making it easy to see why we are the nation’s premiere transportation company. If you are a professional owner-operator who’s looking for the advantages of being leased on with a big company but values the support to help you run your business your way, look no further. This opportunity features the strength of Schneider’s extensive freight network and trailer fleet, providing for more drop and hooks, and 24/7 business support that can dramatically improve the success of your business. Go to to apply directly or contact Marissa at 1-800-285-3273 ext. 592-6086 if you would like to learn more about this exciting opportunity!

100% travel away from home, five days a week, often times in excess of 300 miles. You will work as a member of a team away from home five days a week to install, maintain, replace and repair electrical and electronic communications equipment. Primary Activities and Responsibilities: Ensure compliance with all railroad rules and regulations for safety, operations and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Install, maintain, replace, and check communication equipment including, but not limited to, cables, antennas, computers, printers, monitors, radios, telephones, modems, wireless components, security cameras, batteries, connectors, various parts and testing equipment. Apply on line at www. , Req#: 034978.



operation and maintenance activities required to ensure upkeep of all facilities, structures, and related systems assigned to the CDTF. Maintenance includes installation, modification, assembly, repair, replacement, adjustment, calibration, construction, test, and operations of boilers, steam and hot water generators, distribution systems, accessories and components; Waste Water Treatment Plants and Water Distribution Systems; mechanical equipment associated with sewage collection and processing systems; and domestic and industrial year-round air-conditioning and heating units. Other systems include horizontal and vertical doors, laundry equipment and vent systems, compressors, vacuum systems, exhaust fans, sump pumps, gas pumps, etc. To apply visit, "-t"MBCBNB Requisition Number: EGG62413

MECHANICS, WEAPONS REPAIR TECHNICIANS, SUPERVISORS AND CLEARED CANDIDATES - If you are looking for a job that requires courage and determination, we have a place for you. We provide maintenance and logistics work for U.S. military troops stationed in Afghanistan. As the prime contractor for maintenance and sustainment support, we are proud to support U.S. military personnel in various locations in Afghanistan. We provide the Army with the maintenance support it needs, so that soldiers can focus on the mission. If you are interested in the working in these critical support roles, email your resume to epaul@

MAINTENANCE MECHANIC -PSM 1ST SHIFT (304600570) - Follows all safety guidelines and rules; environmental and regulatory guidelines; uses all required safety equipment. Maintains quality and cleanliness of the work area and equipment. Troubleshoots and repairs machinery. Participates in preventive maintenance programs including process machinery/equipment lubrication, adjustments, cleaning and operating diagnosis. Coordinates with outside contractors and supplemental support when necessary, including repairs, installations, security, fire prevention, loss control, etc. Proper record keeping of all maintenance, security systems/controls, fire prevention systems/controls, etc. Maintains proper facility, and assets integrity including structural, HVAC, lighting, electrical, plumbing, boiler operation, repairs and improvements. Call 630-614-

59t5FYBT SHIPPING AND DISPENSING COORDINATOR - This position cross-references daily couriered shipment delivery information for DaVita Rx against shipment manifests to ensure products are delivered on time, and if not, follow up with the Courier and / or recipient to ensure successful delivery, often requiring multiple delivery attempts. This position also researches, analyzes root causes of issues, and resolves shipment exceptions including initiating re-shipments as necessary. This position will flex into other Dispensing Operations areas as necessary, including performing inventory functions as well as packing and shipping prescriptions. Why wait? Explore a career with DaVita today. Go to to learn more or apply.

JAN/FEB 2012


BdhieZdeaZVgZajX`nidÅcYdcZXVgZ ZZgii]Znad dkZ# H]Z[djcYild# As a major in the Army Reserve, Becky Hamilton is proud to continue servvin ingg he herr country. She is also proud to work for CSX, a company that truly values her mi milililita tary ta ryy commitment and the skills and experience that it gives her. Our jobs start with exxte tens nsiv ns ivee iv paid training and can be the transition into a rewarding career. For more information on job openings, click on the Careers link at


Qualified candidates will be contacted by e-mail for interview, aptitude tests and drug screening. No applications accepted by phone or after the deadline. Equal Opportunity Employer. ©2010 CSX Corporation

January/February edition of Civilian Job News  

The January/February edition of the Civilian Job News

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