Evan knows better than most the programs and resources available to transitioning service members… as well as the keys to success.
55% of those who leave the military are looking to do something different than their MOS. But, are still not sure on what they want to do next… I believe mentorship can help accelerate transition success. Especially when looking for answers to common questions related to employment, education and entrepreneurship.
New York, NY— Evan has dedicated his life to supporting veterans and their families in finding successful civilian careers. Here, he shares some of his top tips for mentorship, success and growth.
DJS: What makes you passionate about helping military veterans?
Honestly, I value my freedom and being an American. And, for those brave enough to protect it, I owe my sincere gratitude.
DJS: You’re a recipient of the Colonel Michael Endres Leadership Award for Individual Excellence in Veteran Employment. What does that mean to you?
Once I learned who Colonel Michael Endres was, the award meant everything!
It now stares at me in my home office as a reminder to always keep pushing and working to support our military community every day and live up to what the award represents.
DJS: What are the most common mistakes or struggles that transitioning service members make when searching for their first job?
The most common struggle is knowing what they want to do when they leave the military. 55% of those who leave the military are looking to do something different than their MOS. But, are still not sure on what they want to do next.
55% of those who leave the military are looking to do something different than their MOS.
DJS: How important is mentorship to veteran transition?
I believe mentorship can help accelerate transition success. Especially when looking for answers to common questions related to employment, education and entrepreneurship. So, in my opinion mentorship is extremely essential.
DJS: Where can veterans go to find mentors, tips and resources?
Well, since I am in the business of identifying and verifying the best resources… The best platform for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses has to be Veterati. In fact, I piloted and vetted this unique digital mentorship platform personally. I recently did an interview with Military.com that offers more details about Veterati and how it helps with military transition.
DJS: What is the greatest barrier to success that many young veterans face?
There are at least 3 main barriers. 1) Not knowing what you want do when you leave the military. 2) Not knowing how to go after what you want 3) Not knowing how to network and build your personal brand.
DJS: What are your personal favorite resources for veteran career advice, resumes and employment help?
ResumeEngine.org is great for those needing some assistance with resumes.
LinkedIn.com is also a great resource that has many networking groups that allows you to network and connect with others. And LinkedIn offers Veterans a one year premium subscription for free. And of course veterati.com is the best resource for the military community.
DJS: What do you believe are the top skills that veterans bring to the table, and how should they highlight these in an interview or on a resume?
Well, I will not be able to answer this fully because it will require a lot of detail and information. Luckily, I wrote an article on this very question called
DJS: What specific advice would you give to junior enlisted, such as E-5 and below who are soon transitioning?
Prepare by reading the 3 Top Tips for Service Members Entering the Civilian Job Market It is exactly what E1-E5 should read to prepare.
DJS: Where do you feel there is the biggest disconnect or what do you wish transitioning veterans did more efficiently?
The biggest disconnect I notice is the ability to network effectively. And you can not rely on job boards. I believe that veterans need to be more efficient in expanding their social networks and connecting with people that can help refer them to others they know. Especially, mentors.
DJS: In your experience, what are these employers looking for? What sets successful job seekers apart from the unsuccessful?
Employers sometimes send mixed messages when it comes to hiring candidates or knowing what they want. Many say they want to hire veterans, but then don’t see how their military experience is a match. That is a discussion for another day.
I believe that no one can represent you better than, You. The successful job seeker knows what they want to do, they network effectively with people in the industry/companies they are interested in… and tap into the hidden jobs market. These are the 80% of jobs not posted online. To tap into this market you will need to network-to-get-work.
This is important because a good social network is how you capture job leads you hear through word of mouth and referrals. If you are only applying for jobs online without networking, you are only working at 20% capacity.
The successful job seeker knows what they want to do, they network effectively with people in the industry/companies they are interested in… and tap into the hidden jobs market.
DJS: What can employers do to better understand the skills and capabilities of military veterans?
A few things come to mind. But the most important and effective way to understand their capabilities is to engage more personally with veterans. Employers can connect with veteran employees and ask them questions related to their military experience. What was it like being in the military? What did you miss most about it? What was your job in the military?
Employers can choose to support a veteran mentorship program that allows their employees to help veterans. By answering common questions, employers will learn so much about them. Veterati is the best resource I can recommend to become a mentor. When you really get to know veterans you too will see the value in hiring them.
DJS: What one piece of advice do you have for anyone reading this?
If you are a transitioning service member, veteran or military spouse, I will say… Don’t give up! Transitioning will not be easy and will take time to see the results you want. Be sure to leverage every available resource you can and don’t forget the importance of networking and connecting with other people. If you are an employer, consider mentoring a veteran today.
Be sure to leverage every available resource you can and don’t forget the importance of networking and connecting with other people.