job search advice
“People from the Services have been very carefully selected and are very well trained. They are accustomed to learning new skills the whole time and, of course, they have a sense of duty, responsibility and a work ethic which is a byword. Anybody who does not look at this source of manpower for the future is, in my opinion, really missing out” – Sir John Harvey Jones
Forces people have “The ability and confidence to learn quickly” – Colin Cullimore CBE
“Eighty percent of success is showing up” – Woody Allen
This package is not a Rolls Royce product but I do hope it provides some food for thought – like a CV, its gestation has been, and continues to be, an iterative process. Job Seekers (JSs) need to be aware that there is no Directing Staff (DS) solution to a campaign and, at the end of the day, it is the individual who decides on the optimum way to conduct it. Of course sheer hard work and intuition are key components.
While not a panacea this brief may stimulate some thoughts; for now it offers some ideas for your Campaign (it invites feed-back since the more relevant the document is the greater its value to your successors). The word Campaign is appropriate to all JSs all of whom would be well advised to assume that looking for a second career is going to be hard work; as a natural pessimist, it is perhaps inevitable that I should offer such advice. The corollary to this suggestion is that if you do not find it hard work do, not tell others since that would send the wrong message.
Allow me to offer four other thoughts. First, never dismiss a particular avenue of job search, rather decide how much time you should allocate to each one. For example, I have met many ex Forces folk who have secured employment through responding to a newspaper advertisement but few would suggest that the printed medium offers a primary route to success. So, you might allocate less time – but time none-the-less – to responding to newspaper advertisements while accepting that a greater proportion of your effort would be directed, say, to networking. History suggests that a job can be found via any number of means.
Second, please note that this package is directed at Tri-Service/All Rank audience so there will be bits that do not either apply to you or interest you
Third, for many the Service Pension should be taken into account. Pensions are a complex area and it is strongly recommend that leavers contact the Forces Pension Society. https://forcespensionsociety.org/
Fourth, some ‘to do now ideas’ are offered; if I were to suggest some immediate actions they would be:
- Register with The List and join their LinkedIn Group as well as other relevant Groups
- Post a quality a Profile on LinkedIn which needs to be of the highest standard since instant judgments will be made by other Members – you do not get a second chance to make a first impression. This quotation underlines the impact of LinkedIn: Richard L…. on 13 January 2012: “Mike sorry to prevaricate! I also meant to say that the power of Linkedin to generate jobs is pretty awesome. I think the days of the covering letter with CV are over. My advice now is to get all the right words on your linked in profile and sit back and wait!”. As with any examples it should not be seen as ‘one size fits all’ since Richard was highly qualified and in demand by employers. However the point is made – LinkedIn is a powerful Job Search tool
- Attend Liquid List meetings either in London or elsewhere. Keep attending after you have found a job since nobody has a job for life, and few want one, and you can also help the next generation; indeed it is prudent to spend the rest of your working life developing a network
- Avoid Professional CV writers
- The List and LinkedIn content will be a matter for constant updating as your ideas and experiences develop; including, for example, short courses, Proshare or other investment clubs, charity work etc
- Arm yourself with a fistful of Business Cards – and by all means use your imagination with design to grab yourself attention!
The above ideas, and many others, are developed in depth in this downloadable Brief below. So, for now, good luck with your Campaign.