So you're leaving the Armed Forces and looking to get a job on Civvy Street?
Are you ready for it?
If you are, then great. You probably don't need to read this article.
If you're not feeling 100% confident about what your future holds on Civvy Street, then you might want to read on....
You might be feeling the same way?
So let's cut to the chase. I'm going to try and sell you something at the end of this article, so let's just get that out of the way now.
But first I want to share a few things that I think will be valuable to you in your journey from the British Armed Forces to a job on Civvy Street.
There are all sorts of things I could talk about, that I cover within the imgettingout book, but let's face it; earning money is the most urgent task right?
The quicker and faster you can get a job on Civvy Street, the quicker and faster you can put down some roots and start to settle down.
The process of leaving the Armed Forces usually includes three ridiculously stressful life events:
- Moving house
- Leaving an established network of colleagues, friends, systems and routines
- Finding a new job
Not just for you personally, but for your family too, if you're accompanied.
I like lists, so here are a few tricks that can help you secure a job on Civvy Street sooner...
#1 - When it comes to jobs, you can't hit a target that you can't see
You need to specify the job that you want, otherwise you're going to be throwing darts in a warehouse. The more specific action you take, the more specific results you get. You shouldn't settle for the first offer because you're desperate to secure any old job. You should clearly define the job that you want, and how you can apply for it.
You should prepare your CV tailored to this specific type of work, and you will see more positive feedback. If you start applying for every job going, you won't know where you're going wrong. Even if you don't succeed with your first few job applications, if you're targeting a specific line of work you can soon systematically increase your chances of being hired in your dream job, through trial and error.
#2 - Applying with online job websites is probably a waste of your time
When I left the Army, I would get up in the morning nice and early and go for a run (that lasted about a week). I would then spend my days browsing the internet looking for jobs on websites like Reed, Monster, JobisJob etc. I thought this was a productive use of my time.
I wish I could go back and slap my ignorant face and tell the younger me how the world works.
Firstly, if you're spending loads of your time online looking for jobs like I was, then you need to stop it. There's a much more effective way of securing a new job.
The jobs advertised on the big job websites, are placed there by recruitment agents. Recruitment agents need to find the best candidate for a position ASAP so that they can earn a commission from the hiring company.
This means that things move really fast when it comes to online job websites, and the chances are by the time you're applying for a job online, the recruitment agent has usually already got a shortlist of candidates and arranging their interviews.
So how can you get around this? You need to make sure your details are already registered on the website so that you can be found when the recruitment agent goes looking for candidates - before he/she places the advert on the website.
So make sure you have your details squared away on the big job websites.
#3 - The biggest mistake you're making with your CV right now
FACT: I've looked at thousands of CV's
And I can give you one takeaway, that is an absolute game changer when it comes to getting a new job.
Here it is: Everyone's CV looks and sounds pretty much the same.
A good 70% of CV's I've looked at over the years, always starts with the same opening profile...
"I'm a confident and professional individual, with a great sense of humour. I work well in a team, but am capable of working well on my own too. I have a wide range of skills and can prioritise and manage my time effectively....."
Look I get it, you have to write something don't you, and that seems to be what everyone else does right?
With just a few simple tweaks you can make your CV stand out from the crowd, and speak directly to the hiring company. It's not about having broad, generic language, it's about having a very specific tone that will only appeal to a very narrow cross section of the market.
#4 - How you can use Linkedin TODAY
When I left the Army, Linkedin didn't exist, but I've now had a few years to play around with it, and I can see it is hugely beneficial.
In the first point I told you it's really important to focus in on a specific type of work that you want when you leave the British Armed Forces. This means that you need to write down the exact job title that you want and create a list of employers that hire people who do this work. You may need to put a few hours in on the old interwebs to do your research, but it'll pay off ten times over in the long run.
Once you've got your desired job title and list of hiring companies, you should hop on Linkedin and start searching for people who do the exact job you want.
The aim here is not to beg for a job, but to get yourself a mentor, of sorts.
Don't waste time trying to figure out your path on your own. Go and find a few people who have got the exact job that you want and start a conversation with them.
Try and find out the exact steps they took to get where they are. You don't want to come across as too creepy or anything like that, a simple message like this should do the trick:
"Hi [insert name]
I was doing some research on Linkedin and saw that you are currently employed as [insert job title] at [insert company name].
I'm currently serving in the Armed Forces, but am due to leave in [insert leaving date]. I'm hoping to find and secure employment as [insert job title] and would love it if you could share any advice with me on how best to do it. Just hearing from somebody who has already walked the path I'm looking to start on would be a great help.
I appreciate this is a big ask, so please don't worry if you don't have the time.
Many thanks in advance
[Insert your name]"
If you send out 10 messages, I'm positive you'll get at least a few responses, who will be able to offer you the current industry specific advice that almost nobody else can give to you. Not even me!
#5 - How to handle the interview question "What are your salary expectations?"
This is a toughy. There are so many interview questions and answers out there, and this question in particular is what trips most people up in the interview.
So if you've read this far then clearly you are in a position where I can help you.
You see, after I wrote and published imgettingout back in 2010, I went back to my roots in training and development. I created and delivered training courses to help all sorts of people get a new job.
I would go as far to say I'm an expert on the matter. So I decided to film some videos and put an online course together, to help people get a new job in 30 days.
So far, this online course has been taken by over 11,200 people from around the world.
The course has helped so many people get a new job, some at cool places like IBM.
In this course, I show you step by step...
- How to create a CV that wows hiring companies
- How to get head hunted by recruitment agents
- How to dominate the "hidden job market"
- How to prepare for an interview the right way
- How to present yourself as the best interview candidate
- And, how to deal with tricky interview questions like "What are your salary expectations?"
The title of the course is How to get a new job in 30 days (or your money back)
Now I know what you're thinking...
It sounds like one of the awful infomercial things on the TV, but the truth be told I've tried all sorts of titles and this one works the best. Particularly those guys in America - they seem to love it. Just take a look at the reviews on the course page.
This course sells online for £153.
But if you use the link below, you can have massive discount and get it for £15-ish (The fee is set in $US Dollars, so the actual price will vary due to exchange rates. It's still cheap as chips though!)