Top Five Steps for Winning the Job

How can veteran job seekers put their best foot forward? Brian Howe, senior recruiting manager at RecruitMilitary, has a few ideas. The former Air Force Captain has spent the last decade finding, coaching, and cultivating veteran talent to assume roles with the top companies in America. He recently shared these observations:

###Don’t Discount the First Offer###

The first job could indeed be the one for you. “I’ve had so many candidates turn down the first offer they get because it came very fast and seemed too easy, only to remain unemployed 3-6 months later because the grass was greener on the other side,” said Howe.

###Know the Role Cold###

If you were the decision maker, who would you want to hire? A candidate who asks, “So, what do you do here?” or someone who knows the role so solidly that a recruiter can picture them doing the job? “You must be educated enough about the opportunity to show how your relevant skills and experience make you a good choice to hire,” said Howe.

###Offer A Little More / Accept A Little Less###

Companies and candidates that leave wiggle room in their salary range often come out ahead, said Howe. “Candidates should try to look at the big picture and not be so dead-set on a certain salary,” he advised. “If you delay your job search for an extra month, you probably could have made up that money by taking a job in a lower range and be busy putting in the effort to gain a promotion. If everything else makes sense, consider taking a bit less.”

###Find a Mentor###

Mentorship is a big part of military service and finding an encourager can reap dividends in a new environment. “When you start any new job, you will need to learn something - maybe a little, maybe a lot. There are a lot of folks who’ve worked at your new company for a long time who are more than happy to help you - if you ask,” said Howe.

New team members who successfully find a mentor/mentee relationship should remember that it’s not a one-way street. Springing for lunch, bringing coffee every so often, or helping mentors out with administrative or other tasks as appropriate can deepen the connection. “A good mentor/mentee relationship can help you make a fast start and keep you on the radar of the company’s movers and shakers who can ultimately determine your future there,” said Howe.

###Make Your Job Search Job #1###

“Too many candidates take a loosey-goosey approach to their job search and assume they will get interviews and do well in them,” Howe advised. “It takes work and effort to become successful at interviews. Put in the time up front to learn about the company, the interviewer, the company’s needs, and how your background, skills, and experiences are a SOLUTION to those problems or shortcomings.”

Next? “Practice. And practice. And practice some more - out loud, because people sound perfect in their heads. Only then will you be able to effectively interview and see tremendous gains in terms of follow-up invitations,” he said.