6 Steps to Translating Military Experience to a Civilian Resume

February 25, 2019

6 Steps to Translating Military Experience to a Civilian Resume

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Assume the Employer Doesn’t Understand Anything About Your Military Resume

Write your resume and cover letter with this in mind, no matter what. Avoid military jargon and make things clear for them. While staffing agencies are full of people experienced in this, most future civilian employers probably won’t know their meaning. When you explain skills, experiences, and what your military job entailed, future employers will understand how you’d help out, even if they don’t understand the title.

Provide a Complete Picture

Explain your technical skills, such as understanding communications gear. Try to use examples where your interpersonal skills would be useful. Explain about being under stressful situations or taking direction from leadership or leading a team through a project. When going into an interview, you’re often up against a college graduate whose idea of teamwork is limited to a group project online or a presentation. This area is where military soft skills give you the strongest advantage. “Teamwork skills” means something different when you have to collaborate with someone else for every assigned task for several years, and “works well under pressure” means something completely different.

Ask About the Hiring Process

Depending on the company, hiring a new employee can be extremely quick or take several weeks or longer, depending on the position. Never assume that you know how that particular company works internally.

Stay In The Same Field

While you may be tired of your career, keep in mind that the civilian version will be a more comfortable version of the same work. It will be easier to translate those same skills, abilities, and experiences, and also help you make the transition to civilian life on a daily basis.

Be Patient

There’s no such thing as a perfect resume or perfect cover letter, so don’t take it personally if the phone doesn’t start ringing immediately. While your past assignments had clear-cut results, applying for work is much less defined. Make sure to apply to as many positions as you are even slightly interested in and then either email or call those places directly to make sure they received your application and resume.

Are you a veteran looking for work? Try our Veteran’s Talent Network

Need to leverage your resume further? Try 3 Ways You Can Leverage Your Resume Beyond The Interview

Been awhile since an interview? Brush up with How Do You Know If Your Interview Skills Are Good Or Bad?

Top 4 Engineering Careers for 2019

February 5, 2019

Top 4 Engineering Careers for 2019

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Aerospace Engineer

While you immediately think of airplanes, aerospace engineers also work on multidisciplinary teams, engineering, design, develop and test spaceships, aircraft and missiles, and using knowledge spanning aerodynamics, avionics, propulsion, and materials science. Generally this requires years of experience, but not necessarily. This does require at least a related bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions. This position can require security clearance. This field can be either in private or public spheres, with both having a wide variety of openings.

Do you have the skills companies are looking for? Check here.

Electrical Engineer

Although they work in fields closely related to computers, electrical engineers develop electrical equipment involved in generating power, including controlling and transmitting. They are required to have in-depth scientific understanding about electricity and technology in various products and services. Electrical engineering encompasses power systems, communication, and can include industrial robot control, aviation, microprocessors, and digital broadcasting.

Software Engineer

Surprisingly, software engineers have to focus on more than just testing the software. There is evaluating the software, with both a variety of automated and manual tests, showing if the software is doing as it’s expected. After running the tests, software test design engineers write up reports detailing the progress and outcome. This is crucial for any company to decide how to proceed. Software test design engineers also have to collaborate with others, both with developers at the beginning of the project to offer input on the potential pros and cons of structuring a program.

Along all the steps on the way, software test design engineers make suggestions regarding changes, improvements, and alternative to try. As part of their job, experienced software test engineers get called upon to monitor the work of technicians and other testers. This position requires paying great attention to detail and at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, or a similar field.

Should you take a contract position? Check here

Quality Industrial Mechanical Engineers

Being a mechanical engineers means spending your time designing, developing, and manufacturing tools, machines, manufacturing systems, engines, and other mechanical devices.

Mechanical engineers focus on how things work and ways in which to improve old devices and systems so that the machines run at optimal levels of efficiency and productivity. Mechanical engineering is the broadest of the engineering specialties, in that they work in a variety of areas, including production operations, manufacturing, agriculture, maintenance, sales, and possibly even administration and management.

USPRO staffs for all of these positions and shows openings at jobs.uspro.net

6 Ways Turning Down a Job Offer Hurts Your Future Chances

November 29, 2018

6 Ways Turning Down a Job Offer Hurts Your Future Chances

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Most employers understand that candidates might turn down offers, and that there is never a requirement to accept an offer, and only a particularly strange employer would hold it against you if you did.  You’re absolutely entitled to turn down an offer as an employer is to turn you down, and reasonable people understand that.

It is possible to mishandle turning down an offer in a way that could hurt your chances with that company in the future.

  1. If you accepted a job offer and then changed your mind on the exact date that was supposedly going to be your first day, then no one at that company will offer you a position. The hiring manager now sees you as unreliable, and changing the hiring manager’s mind may require a small miracle.
  2. If you insisted you were definitely leaving your current position, and would never accept a counter-offer and then accepted the counter-offer
  3. If you negotiated a higher pay rate or extra benefits, asking the hiring manager or recruiter to go to bat for you, and they did (which now is associated with their own decision making), and then you turned it down anyway, even though they met your requests.
  4. Accept the offer initially, but then backed out.
  5. Staying silent on some key information until the offer stage – such as you can only work from home but never mentioned this earlier, want a higher salary than the range they shared with you earlier.
  6. Insisting throughout the process that you’re ready to move, change fields, or some other large change for the position – and then changing your mind once you actually got the offer. This isn’t bad behavior, but it makes you appear unreliable or that you don’t know your own mind. This will make recruiters and hiring managers less likely to be interested in investing time in you again.

If you have done any of these things, start a new search. We can help you with a new search, but only you can make the final decision.

Is Engineering the New Gig Industry?

November 5, 2018

Is Engineering the New Gig Industry?

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Define “Gig”

Freelancing, contracting, moonlighting, side hustle, or the gig economy. Call it what you like, but it’s a gig if it’s a short-term project instead of or in addition to the traditional nine to five. These projects usually have a start and end point. Both parties know that the work might be temporary.

Why Would Projects be Popular With Engineers?

The new generations of engineers found a recession economy, where entering the workforce full time wasn’t a possibility. New employees often become nervous after watching full time employees be stripped of benefits, laid off, or forced into early retirement. It’s understandable that committing to one company for the next decade sounds impossible.

What’s the Benefit?

Contract work offers more control for choosing personal insurance, working on specific skills, and choosing interesting projects. Most millennials see all of these aspects as an advantage, no including further networking and negotiating salary.

It’s Mainstream.

Americans have an increasing preference to work where they want, when they want, on what they want, according to Freelancing in America 2018 latest study. Contract work has been on the rise for the last five years, despite the tightening labor market. At the moment, there’s 56.7 million American freelancers. That’s one out of every three Americans. There’s a gig waiting for you!

Tough To Find Skills You May Have That Companies Are Looking For

August 28, 2018

Tough To Find Skills You May Have That Companies Are Looking For

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It may come as a surprise to you as a job seeker, but employers are ready to fight for the industries top talent to make sure they have the professionals they need to grow and succeed as a company. That means they are eager to hire employees just like you. But oftentimes they are having a hard time finding the right person for the job.

Part of the reason behind that is simply the range of technical experience and skills which they are currently looking for. Many jobs require very specific technical experience, and employers tend to default to candidates who have that experience in just the way they expect it to be presented.

Probably the most important thing you can do to address the skills gap is to confront it head-on. That means acknowledging the existence of a possible gap, and planning and communicating how you expect to address the issues within the new position. Employers know that candidates are unlikely to know all the ins and outs of a new job right off the bat. Candidates who refuse to acknowledge the issue of a skills gap are unable to provide the assurances that businesses need when it comes to transitioning new employees into a critical position. Show prospective employers that you understand their position and provide a game plan for reducing that transition time for increased confidence in your abilities.

Beyond that, there are several key job skills that employers are actively looking for that you may already have.

Here’s a look at those tough to find skills that may just win you the job


Project Management

The most in-demand skill for almost any industry is project management. These skills are considered essential to the success of a company. Project management skills include organizational skills, communication skills, and delegation skills to make sure the project gets done on time and on budget. Being able to effectively delegate to make sure the right people are working on the right amounts of a project is a big part of managing your people and your resources. This means being able to trust in other people and their abilities, otherwise, you will only end up micromanaging or simply doing all the work yourself. These skills are naturally earned through working closely with project leads, and even pursuing your own passion projects.

Team-Building and Soft Skills

Teams are how companies accomplish their goals effectively. Without the support of a team, no company would not be able to do what they need to do. And team building is a big need from an employer’s perspective. Making sure a team is functional and effective takes work, as is keeping the lines of communication wide open.

Social Media Skills

Social media has become more and more of a professional tool. It’s particularly relevant from a marketing perspective. Having a solid understanding of the popular social media platforms and how they impact day to day business is a definite bonus for your administrative resume. Corporate social media outreach is often a task assigned to clerical staff when there is a lack of otherwise skilled staff. It is important for admins to understand how best to interact on social media from a corporate perspective. This can include translating long-form content into short-form content for social media, managing editorial calendars, and creating a consistency of message across multiple platforms.

Collaboration Software

Collaboration software is becoming more and more critical to successful project management today. Programs like Google Drive and Microsoft SharePoint allow people to access and modify content without loss of document control and encouraging remote access to critical information and tools. Admins should understand how these programs are used, and should be able to access information within these databases to provide support for other staff members as needed.

Are you looking for the next step in your career?

For more tips on what your next career step may be, connect with the US PRO team today.

4 Reasons Why Temp Work Can Be a Great Career Choice

August 27, 2018

4 Reasons Why Temp Work Can Be a Great Career Choice

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While many people might see temp work as interim work or something to fill in between permanent jobs, for some people temp work can be a great long-term career choice. Here are some of the perks of temp work for the long haul.

  1. More Flexibility

Working temp assignments can offer you the flexibility that some long-term career positions can’t. Temp work allows for employees to focus on interests and commitments outside of the office. Sometimes working in permanent positions can sometimes make people feel pressured to work long hours or on problematic projects. Contract work offers built-in boundaries that can help you pursue hobbies, personal passions, or family commitments.

  1. Meet More People

Temp work can be an extroverts’ dream – or just a great opportunity to network and meet new people, personally and professionally. Having a temp-work career brings you into contact with all kinds of personalities and work styles.  This can help you grow your communication skills, build your collaborative ability, and create important and influential relationships.

  1. Learn New Skills

Working temporary job assignments can expose you to several industries and opportunities that people in permanent positions might miss out on. Temporary work will usually last anywhere from days to months. In that time, most people have the chance to take their skill set and add to it through exposure to technologies, policies, and programs at different businesses. This can help you grow personally and make you a better job candidate for new and interesting assignments.

  1. Less Stress, More Stability

For some people, working as a temp employee is the opposite of stability.  But committing to regular temporary work means there is potentially less at stake for a career when it isn’t attached to the future of one company. Temporary employees feel secure in knowing that they can be matched with more projects and keep working if their current company is downsizing or restructuring.

 

Working with a staffing agency can help take your existing talents and match them up with temp projects or contract work that can grow your network and your skill set.  Our contract job recruiters can help you find the assignments that are the best fit for you. To start a more permanent commitment to temporary work and find a better balance and more flexibility, give us a call today.

Tips For Getting Your Security Clearance

August 21, 2018

Tips For Getting Your Security Clearance

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As a contractor, it can be very rewarding to pursue and obtain a security clearance. This helps differentiate you from your competition, and many non-government employers find it helpful in gauging whether you are a trustworthy and committed employee. Here are a few tips to help you ensure you have what you need to get cleared.

3 Tips To Get Your Security Clearance


1. Keep Track of Where You’ve Been …

Traveling outside of the U.S. is good for your broader employment experience and education, but it’s important to have all that information logged somewhere you can refer to as you go through the background searches required for security clearance. Extensive time abroad can, in fact, lengthen the clearance process.

All time spent outside of the US in the last ten years must be reported (unless you were on US government business). Record the day, month, and year when you begin and end a trip. Keeping up with where you live is just as important as travel, especially if you stayed in a place for 90 or more days. Document all your addresses and maintain the contact information of your landlord to use as a reference as well.

Keeping track as you go will help you accurately recount these details without having to chase them down when time is of the essence. Even if you spend time in a place without formal street addresses (such as Peace Corps service in a remote village), write down any indicators that will enable an investigator to confirm your information.

2.   …And Who You Know

The people you have relationships with, especially while abroad, can also impact your clearance process. Hiring agencies researching your clearance case need to know about all your interactions with non-US citizens. As you build relationships with people from outside the country, make a note of the day, month and year when you began contact, as well as your most recent contact with them. As much as possible, research their affiliations with foreign governments or employers. If you have a member of your immediate family serve as a consultant, intern or employee for a foreign agency, you will need to disclose those contacts and contracts.

While this can be especially difficult if you travel extensively, or if you have family or friends living abroad, focus on those with whom you have had the closest ties or most interaction with over the last seven years. That will give the researchers the information they need as they clearance process proceeds.

3. Maintain Relationships

An important part of background investigations are built on gathering information to determine whether you are a reliable, trustworthy individual, of good conduct and character, and loyal to the U.S. That means that your security clearance depends heavily on the relationships you have with friends, colleagues, roommates, or other associates whose combined association with you covers at least the last seven years. These individuals will be called on to speak knowledgeably about you, your character, and your activities. They cannot be family members, and ideally, they should currently live in the U.S.

When preparing for a security clearance background check, select people from different parts of your life and career. These individuals should speak to your conduct outside of the U.S. as well as here at home. If it’s needed, prepare your contacts by reminding them of when you first met, what activities you did together, and what you’ve been doing since you met. That little extra preparation can help make sure they are ready to answer the questions the background check will require them to answer accurately and fully.

Are you looking for your next job?

For more advice on how to get the clearances and skills you need to succeed as a contractor, connect with the team at US PRO today an explore these available opportunities.

4 Industries That Are Looking For Skilled People Like You

July 30, 2018

4 Industries That Are Looking For Skilled People Like You

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It really is amazing how many jobs and how many markets are available to professionals in the modern day. Whatever your unique talents and skills are, there is a job opportunity waiting for you. But it’s important to know where to look. There are several industries in particular who are in constant need of skilled workers to accomplish their business goals. These industries are willing to hire students and experienced professionals who have the skills they are in need of throughout the year.

So, whether you are new to the job market or returning to find your next big opportunity, here are four industries that are on the lookout for you.

4 Industries That Are Hiring

1. Manufacturing

Manufacturing is an industry which is growing steadily for several years now, and its growth is hinting at the fact that the industry is changing. Companies are struggling to find the skilled and responsible workers who are able to keep their machine and business running smoothly. Manufacturing jobs are well-paid with a high level of technical knowledge required, but for the right people these opportunities are hard to pass up. Technical skills are needed to step into these new roles, but for those who have the right experience or an interest to learn how manufacturing is changing the world today, this is an exciting market to be in.

2. Technology

Technology is another field that is evergreen when it comes to careers. It keeps changing and keeps looking for workers who are eager to try new and improved processes and advancements. Nowadays, from using an electric toothbrush to sending a satellite on to a planet, technology covers every part of our life. It is also expected by 2020, that the number of software programmers and IT related jobs will increase by 20%. The whole world is dependent on technology and it is clear that this field will never disappoint you in terms of its diversity and work culture. Technology is also a sure fire way to gain more knowledge and experience, so if you are looking to learn new things this is a great career for you.

3. Engineering

Engineering combines a person’s talents with their imagination. It gives space to experiment. From solving complex problems to finding the right way of connecting two circuit bridges, engineering jobs are increasing in demand without a reliable supply of skilled workers. Companies are always on the lookout for good and smart engineers who will take care of business without burning it down. But 85 to 88% of engineering companies are struggling to find suitable candidates for their job openings. That’s why, if you are a builder, a thinker, an innovator – engineering is an engaging and growing industry that just might be right for you.

4. Cleantech

Energy is one of the most aggressive markets for hiring these days. Almost 20,000 to 30,000 jobs are added every year. And a huge part these new jobs are based in clean technology, sustainable and renewable energy. Opportunities include work as machine technicians of the wind turbine, solar panels installer, clean fuel car technicians, and a lot more. This business requires you to have the technical knowledge various machines and their working parts. But even with almost 7 million workers, technicians and managers working under this group, the industry is always thirsty for new skilled talent.

Looking For A New Career?

For more advice on building a career in these and other top industries, connect with a recruiter at US PRO today.

3 Ways You Can Leverage Your Resume Beyond The Interview

July 25, 2018

3 Ways You Can Leverage Your Resume Beyond The Interview

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Resumes are a powerful tool. They tell your professional story in a succinct and easily digestible way. But don’t think that they are built for the single purpose of setting you up for an interview.

Here are 3 ways you can leverage your resume beyond the interview.

1) Networking

The importance of professional networking hardly needs to be reiterated but your resume can be a helpful foot in the door when it comes to connecting with other professionals. While networking used to be all about attending meetings and mixers arranged by employers, today’s professional networking is much more flexible and innovative. Your networking strategy should be a balance of digital networking and personal connections.

When reaching out to new connections, send them a copy of your resume. That way they know who you are and why you are interested in building a relationship with them. You could even go so far as to ask for advice on how to write a stronger resume or what experience you should pursue to be in a situation where they would consider hiring you. The information you can receive based off a conversation around your resume can be very valuable. You might not get a job offer out of the conversation, but there is still plenty to learn from your professional network is you have the guts to ask.

2) Social Media

If you don’t already, you should consider LinkedIn as the necessary digital equivalent to your resume. In fact, your LinkedIn profile should be structured very similarly to your resume. It should highlight your most impactful achievements, the results you have gained from your experience and hard work, and the value of your work for employers. It can build off those basics to supplement with links to other content, conversations with industry and interest groups, and also, of course, your connections with other professionals in your industry. If you are not actively building your network online, through social media, your resume is the perfect place to start. From there you can build a social media profile that gets you the industry attention and respect you deserve.

3) Online Portfolio

Your portfolio of previous work is one of the most engaging pieces for employers reviewing your professional marketing material. An online portfolio is a more visual representation of your resume. You can add video and photos, or other graphic elements to make the reading experience more interesting. You can build off the bullets and basic information to really tell the story of who you are on the job. If your resume tells employers what they need to know to interview you, your online portfolio shows them why they should hire you. Buffer a bare-bones portfolio with the interesting personal projects and volunteer work that help add depth to your resume. Make sure that just like you would in your resume, the projects in your portfolio are the best examples of the work you are capable of, and keep your portfolio updated as new opportunities come along.

Looking for a new career?

For more advice on building a career in these and other top industries, connect with a recruiter at USPRO today.

 

How Do You Know If Your Interview Skills Are Good or Bad?

June 27, 2018

How Do You Know If Your Interview Skills Are Good or Bad?

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Many candidates struggle with the interview process. It can be very difficult to know whether you are doing everything you need when so little feedback is provided from an interviewer. If you get an offer after an interview, it’s a pretty good sign that your interview skills are where they need to be. But if all you hear is a no thank you with no elaboration on why, how are you supposed to know whether you’re hitting all the right notes when you are in the interview chair. The harsh reality is that if you do not get the offer you’re looking for, then you are missing out on something when it comes to your interview skills.

Here are some things you might not be thinking of when preparing for the interview process.


Are You Connecting with Your Audience?

The most important thing you should know about being successful in an interview is the need to connect with your interviewer. Help them get to know you both as a candidate and as a person. Be real. Be memorable. Give them a reason to want to continue the conversation at a later date. Building that emotional bridge will help you engage with your interviewer, help them see you as a potential teammate, and get them thinking about how you can add value in the role you are applying for.

You can count on every other candidate they interview having a similar set of skills and level of experience that make them qualified for the role. But it’s the candidate who is able to connect and built rapport with their interviewer that will land the job.

Use Storytelling Strategies

A tried and true emotional engagement strategy is the simple but powerful element of storytelling. This works well for businesses and for interviews both. Storytelling is a communication style designed to engage the listener. Stories are powerful because they allow the listener to put themselves in the shoes of the storyteller. It creates near-instantaneous emotional connections, and allows the teller to take the audience on a journey of discovery, where they can experience the history and achievements of the candidate in a real-world scenario. Storytelling helps bring those bullets on your resume to life, and give them meaning in the greater context of the role, making you a more interesting and personable candidate than anyone else just sticking to the facts of their resume.

How Are You Showcasing Results?

Too many candidates focus on their responsibilities and tasks from previous roles when they really should be focusing on their successes and their results. Employers want to know what they did that made a difference for their past teams and past companies. What would you bring that is unique to you, if you were to join the team? If you can put your actions in context and highlight those positive results in a quantitative way (focus on the numbers), then you place yourself on a scale which they can easily compare other candidates to. Make sure you are highlighting the best of your work to bring your resume to the top of the pile, both during the application process and in the interview itself.

Are you looking for a new job?

For more advice on how to shine in an interview, connect with our team of industry-leading career recruiters at USPRO today.

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