Whether you're planning to start a brand new chapter involving civilian clothes - or you've already taken the leap and have left the armed forces, there's a lot you can do to improve your chances of finding not just any job, but the right job.
May 19, 2017
4 Top Ways Ex-Forces Can Make Use of LinkedIn
In this article we share some tips on how you can use LinkedIn to help you do just that.
Positioning, networking and standing out from the crowd will go a long way towards improving your chances of finding employment - and there's one particular social media platform that offers you a great starting point. With over 415 million members, LinkedIn can be an incredibly powerful tool in your career search. Except, to use it effectively, you need to think a little less conventionally about your job hunt.
Here are four ways you can use LinkedIn to help you in your next career move:
1. Be Discoverable
Your LinkedIn profile is how recruiters can find you. It's also the way recruiters and future employers are able to find out more about you, so invest time to build your profile ensuring it looks and reads well. While we would NEVER suggest 'de-militarising' your profile - or your CV - we would recommend asking your civilian friends to give it the once over to see if what you've written makes sense to them. Do they understand what you did and what you accomplished in the Armed Forces? If they don't, then work at re-writing your profile with them.
And don't forget about your profile pic; this is the first impression people will have of you. Ensure your picture is recent and looks like you. Also, make sure your face takes up around 60% of the picture, wear smart clothes and, most importantly, smile!
Expand your reach by connecting to as many old friends and acquaintances as possible. You can do this be joining LinkedIn Groups that are relevant or are of professional interest to you, such as the Forces Recruitment Services group and HM Forces.
Use some of your group invitations to join groups outside of your network too. LinkedIn allows you to communicate with others based on your shared connections and whether you are a member of the same group. Doing both increases your ability to reach others and network.
Also, follow up meetings and conversations with LinkedIn connection requests as a matter of habit. This is a great way of keeping your network vibrant and up to date.
3. Get Writing
This is the perfect time to begin writing posts and publishing them to your network and groups. You could write about your military experience, how you hope to apply your skills to the civilian job market, or even your experience searching for a job. Whatever you choose, we recommend you staying away from politics and religion. LinkedIn is a professional forum and your writing should reflect this.
4. Follow Influencers
Use LinkedIn to search for people who live in your area and work in the industry, or even the company, you want to break into. Send them a short, professional note asking if you can buy them a cup of coffee and solicit some career advice.
Even better, see if a mutual connection can make an introduction. People often respond better when an intro comes from someone they know, rather than out of the blue.