I met Troy towards the end of his time in the military; he’d been working with a recruiting firm for about 10 months prior to his transition. What struck me about Troy was his energetic personality; unlike many military officers I’d met, he oozed charisma and confidence. I envied his ability to know exactly what he wanted to do! He started early and found success in the short amount of time I was able to observe his transition.
“I wanted to get it right the first time, job-wise,” Troy said, “Any recruiting company can get [JMOs] a job because we are in demand, but what sometimes happens is you are placed in a job that you don’t like, leave it after a year, and then are back on the market.”
Troy ended up choosing a different firm than I did (we both agreed they were our two favorites) and liked the training and preparation. He felt the recruiter put a lot of effort into him, though he felt the reading lists were all pretty similar amongst firms.
The most valuable part of the experience was the resume assistance.
“It was my first time doing a resume,” Troy said, “I needed help getting it down to one page, grouping things, and only listing the most prevalent and quantifiable items.”
Troy also participated in mock interviews.
“I am very appreciative of the time they invested in me and educating me on the process,” Troy said, “At the conference, I was presented with 11 companies with opportunities across the U.S. There were a couple of companies in locations I couldn’t see myself living, but there were 7 that I singled out as my top choices. I received follow-up interview offers from all of them, but in the end chose to visit three.”
Troy has been working as a civilian for about 5 months now, and really likes how his life has changed. He credits the recruiting firm for his successful transition.
“They did a great job of bringing in quality companies that I could [see myself] growing in.”
Troy’s Tips for Success
- If you want to use a recruiting firm, shop around. Troy decided that there were two firms he preferred, both of which had exclusivity agreements. He chose one over the other because he felt like it was a better ‘fit’. You should feel comfortable; they need to work for YOU! Troy just needed someone to tell him what to do, so he could get it done!
- Choose the right job, something you’ll want to stick with! “As an officer coming out of the military, you should seek a job where you can stay at least 4-6 years and reach that next level of management in a company. You’ll then have some legitimate civilian experience and achieved pay increases and promotions more than once.”
- Be energetic. “The initial interview is about likeability. The follow-up is where the company will see if you are a good fit for them. Treat every opportunity as if it is your “#1″ and close your interviews well.”