Posted on Sep 6, 2014
CPT Jacob Swartout
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What do employers really look for when they see an applicant who was former military? Besides qualifications like education, type of discharge, character, and experience what other traits and qualities do they look for? ACAP only covers so much and there may be something Soldiers are unaware of during the interview/hiring process for a job.

By asking this I'm able to help pass on valuable information for a few NCOs who retire soon from my unit.
Posted in these groups: Jon Jobs
Edited 8 y ago
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MSgt Program Analyst   Joint Certification Program
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I've posted this before and I believe other's have as well. The civilian employers need to read this:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2013/12/04/hiring-mbas-you-should-be-looking-at-ncos/

Then maybe they will get a clue of what we are offering them.
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1LT Medical-Surgical Nurse
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MSgt (Join to see) SGT Richard H..

While the Forbes article may seem to be optimistic for NCOs . . . the reality is that we really need to understand substantial differences between NCOs and MBAs. In brief, I believe that it is critical for the Military and our Servicemembers to understand the competition and adapt our career development strategies to compete with the MBAs.

We need to understand why students pursue PT/FT one or two year MBA degree, why companies hire MBAs, where entry level MBAs are assigned, where MBAs derive their career satisfaction, and why MBAs advance to senior executive positions. Part of the answer may be found in recent MBA corporate hiring and MBA alumni surveys

http://www.gmac.com/~/media/Files/gmac/Research/Employment%20Outlook/2014-corporaterecruiters-final-release.pdf

http://0-files.eric.ed.gov.opac.msmc.edu/fulltext/ED539814.pdf

For example MBAs found their greatest number of employment opportunities through three main channels: networks of personal contacts (23%), school career services (22%), and on-campus interviews (21%). Perhaps the Military should think carefully about the possibility of assisting servicemembers in establishing personal employer contacts of their own, providing career services offices to assist in outplacement, and setting up new interview opportunities.
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1LT Medical-Surgical Nurse
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MSgt (Join to see) SGT Richard H..

So, let's start with some basic intel . . . what do these tables tell us about why companies hire MBAs? What do these tables suggest our NCOs should try to emphasize in their competing resumes?

Would it be worthwhile for an NCO to complete BA/BS degree while on active duty and MBA when they exit the military?

Warmest Regards, Sandy
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1LT Medical-Surgical Nurse
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MSgt (Join to see) SGT Richard H..

Perhaps at a perceptual level the issues may have less to do with any misunderstanding of the military . . . instead they may have more to do with the desire to hire younger MBA graduates screened by both admissions tests and ability to complete problem oriented academic programs . . . who may have as many as two or three years of work experience . . . rather than a 20 year veteran who may or may not possess relevant skill set depending on MOS experience . . . and who may or may not be remoldable into the company style and identity . . .

What else can we learn from these studies of the MBA competition?

Warmest Regards, Sandy
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CPT Jacob Swartout
CPT Jacob Swartout
8 y
MSgt (Join to see) very good article on what NCOs do. I don't understand why employers overlook NCOs from the military. You can have some 22 yr old MBA student with no experience or have a 20+ yr retired NCO who has been leading, supervising, developing, mentoring, counseling, teaching, observing, and advising for decades. I will take a strong NCO over someone who has zero experience. Thanks for posting this article again.
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SGT Richard H.
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Edited 8 y ago
CPT Jacob Swartout For people that I've hired, being a Veteran in many ways works like hiring preference bonus points. All things being equal, the Vet gets the job. Mainly what I look for is experience. Failing that, the next question is "can I train this person". With a Veteran, that is almost always a yes. The applicant does need to find a way to convey that...a non-Vet hiring person won't take it as a given like a Vet will. Poise and confidence means alot too. Can you look me in the eye and convince me that you can do this successfully?
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CPT Jacob Swartout
CPT Jacob Swartout
8 y
SGT Richard H. very good points too. For some it will be an easy transition while for others it may not be. I hope the best for my NCOs who worked a hard 20 yr career to find something they enjoy and can contribute to daily.
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SSG Pete Fleming
SSG Pete Fleming
8 y
CPT Jacob Swartout, it can be tricky for a Vet to find the right place. Even a senior NCO leaving the military will start out as the new guy (I've seen it). Often the companies who go to the job fares either claim to be Veteran friendly or are in the minority of companies who openly seek Vets. CPT Jacob Swartout, it can be a hard adjustment.
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SGT Richard H.
SGT Richard H.
8 y
CPT Jacob Swartout It's out there, Sir. It's not always easy to find, and definitely not always fast, but it's there.

On another note, my hat is off to you for taking the time and energy to try to help these guys. You no doubt have a lot on your plate just doing your day-to-day job. Not everyone takes the time to go above and beyond like that.
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CPT Jacob Swartout
CPT Jacob Swartout
8 y
Thank you SGT Richard H. as a commander, I'm doing what I can to let them know that leaders take time to help them out and transition into a new chapter in life.
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1LT Medical-Surgical Nurse
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Edited 8 y ago
CPT Jacob Swartout. Knowledge, skills, abilities, character, integrity, willingness and ability to get along with others, pre-contact / pre-interview interest / research / general knowledge about our organization / leadership / people / clients / role / mission / products, clean and very easily verifiable background for due diligence civilian pre-employment investigation, existing language skills / ability to quickly acquire new language skills, cultural / geographic knowledge / sensitivity, cross training in multiple mission roles, confidence and ability to adapt / innovate / overcome, recent (within past five years) SSBI / full scope background investigation for military or civilian clearance, and demonstrated maturity / diplomacy / discretion / good judgement over time. We carefully consider formal college education / degrees / grades / equivalent practical experience. In addition, US Citizenship, physical and mental health, good credit, NCO / line officer command responsibility, nature / duration of deployment experience, senior management / supervisor refs.

The reality is for most professional appointments . . . a first rate clean resume briefly and clearly describing your formal qualifications (educational degrees) and experiences (employment) . . . and occasionally exceptionally strong reference letters (from senior managers / supervisors) . . . plus a specifically targeted cover letter referencing a specific position or clearly defined need . . . that is obviously a good fit for your qualifications, experiences, and interests . . . gets your foot in the door. Interviews with multiple managers, background check, and clearance verify the match.

Beyond these key employment criteria points . . . for most non-government / non-defense / non-intelligence related organizations . . . one of the most important factors is your personal ability to translate your military experiences into recognizably valuable civilian terms on your resume.

Have your resume read and edited . . . and practice interviewing . . . preferably with a civilian with extensive education and experience in the target business area of interest. Google your social media and website exposure . . . make a serious effort to remove or at least correct . . . anything that might suggest you may be unreliable . . . due to alcohol, drugs, bad or risky behavior, associates, remarks (e.g. excessive bad talking re former significant other, former employer, managers, colleagues, police, and/or government officials). Consider pulling a full public record / social media background report on yourself from one of the available brokers.

Develop answers to questions you may find challenging . . . turn your answers into plusses . . . be able to give specific examples of how your military training has taught you how to be in complete control of yourself and be courteous, restrained, and diplomatic with difficult people.

When you are being interviewed . . . don't interrupt the interviewer . . . after a question is asked give yourself a few seconds to reflect on the question and consider your answer . . . don't just respond right away . . . appear to be as intelligent, thoughtful, and considered as possible . . .

Bottom line . . . are you the best possible fit for the job and our organization . . . do you really want to work for us . . . do we want you representing our organization? Can you be trusted?

Whatever you do . . . don't lie . . . don't stretch the truth . . . be completely and totally honest.

Warmest Regards, Sandy
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CPT Jacob Swartout
CPT Jacob Swartout
8 y
1LT (Join to see) thank you very much. This will give my NCOs few more tips to ensure they can be marketable and more competitive when they start looking for a job. I keep telling them that they can't just walk in and expect a job without presenting the best resume, qualities, and being confident in speaking about past experiences and expectations. This will give them something more to help them be successful in the job market.
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