Bridging the Knowledge Gap: A SkillBridge Success Story
Did you know that RecruitMilitary offers remote internships through the DoD SkillBridge program, providing experience in the professional staffing and recruiting industry for transitioning servicemembers?
Interns receive world-class training, professional mentorship, a behind-the-scenes look at the industry, and personalized job search assistance. Many of our graduates find positions elsewhere, but every now and then, some find their next role at RecruitMilitary.
Meet Anthony Wagner.
He completed his SkillBridge internship as a Candidate Success Representative (CSR) in August 2022. During his internship, Wagner’s professionalism and work ethic became evident to his leadership team, and he was offered a role at RecruitMilitary, where he is now DoD Program Manager.
What is the DoD SkillBridge program?
The Department of Defense (DoD) SkillBridge Program is an initiative to bridge the gap between military service and the civilian workforce.
While there are specific requirements and permissions needed from the participant’s command, approval into the program provides valuable civilian work experience during the last 180 days of military service.
SkillBridge internships give a head start on civilian career paths, so begin your research and conversations with leadership early in your transition planning in order to take advantage of the program.
Why did you use the SkillBridge program?
Anthony Wagner: I knew early on that I wanted to utilize SkillBridge. For me, it was an ability to take 24 years of military experience and translate that into the civilian workplace.
People think the SkillBridge program, is just about making sure that you have the right skills to do a job - and that's a good portion of it, but a lot of times what they don't understand is it also helps remove the uniform for a little while, find for yourself what you want to be when you “grow up”.
And for me, that was the biggest probably roadblock - just figuring out what I was going to do once the uniform actually came off.
SkillBridge helped me find that path and RecruitMilitary was right there and ready to give me an opportunity.
What should potential SkillBridge candidates know about this program?
AW: I would definitely like to put a plug in for RecruitMilitary. I was able to join the Candidate Success team to make phone calls to veterans who had signed up for RecruitMilitary’s job board or career fairs.
We would contact new registrants, talk about their profile, make sure they had an uploaded or an updated resume, and point them to a bunch of resources that RecruitMilitary has available, which was great.
RecruitMilitary offers training on things like how to do interviews, creating your thirty-second pitch, (imagine you get on an elevator with a CEO at a company you absolutely love, and you have 30 seconds to tell them who you are), salary negotiation, finding the right culture fit, things like that.
A lot of us in the military haven't had to really think about that. We may have sat in front of a board, but we've never had to put ourselves completely out there in the hopes of landing an actual job - for the most part.
How was this internship helpful in your military transition?
AW: This program helps us get over those gaps in our knowledge. You get the feeling right out the gate that you're not doing this alone.
There are a lot of other people that are going through this with you. There are people who have done it before you. Why not make it a little bit easier for yourself by learning from people who've already been there?
As a Navy career counselor, I used to remind people, ‘It’s your career, own it.’
I've since kind of tailored that to say, ‘It’s your transition, own it.’ And I don't say that lightly. I say that with the understanding that there is work, there are occasional struggles, just like our career, just like the military.
RecruitMilitary is a phenomenal tool for military folks to utilize. It doesn't cost them a single dime.
I had an opportunity to write an article for RecruitMilitary's publication, Search & Employ®. I can't imagine having that opportunity anywhere else. I don't know how you beat that as far as a tool for your toolkit.
What makes RecruitMilitary different?
AW: Passion and culture are the two words that come to mind.
The culture here is unlike anything I've experienced - the camaraderie, the selfless nature of everybody that works here. We're not machines, you are not just clicking things on a website.
The CSRs were developed with the SkillBridge program in mind, understanding that we want to have that human interaction that's happening, so you know that our passion, the culture that we've developed here is real.
Everybody here cares.
By Elizabeth Stetler, U.S. Army veteran