Navigation Tips for Transition True North

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

I see three things on LinkedIn that Service Members in transition do that make me cringe. Consider this article the first in a series of SOPs to navigate you toward your Transition True North.


Your Resume does not belong on LinkedIn

I see large numbers of LinkedIn profiles for military professionals and in the summary field, they’ve uploaded their resume. Maybe someone in a transition workshop told them to do it?


Please don’t do that. Here’s why:


1.Your LinkedIn profile allows you to present your career story in a much more engaging and visually appealing way than a one or two-pag resume.


2.Use those multi-media fields to add visual design elements such as images or video to help tell and validate your career story.


3. Once you have completed your LinkedIn profile and you’ve added content that lets the reader know about your career, experience, expertise, and professional accomplishments, you export that as a PDF and use that to upload to a job board, email to a hiring manager or give to someone who needs a ‘resume’. I guarantee you it will look better than most of the DIY resumes I see come out of transition workshops.


Remove your address details from your Resume

I see way too many Military Resumes with a home address on them. Please avoid this. I know in the Military we’re accustomed to sharing everything about our career, our health, our living conditions, our family, our personal information and we become too trusting with the most personal aspects of our lives. Now you’re about to enter a digital global marketplace, and you will have NO CONTROL over that information—and who sees it—within seconds of you uploading your resume to any digital platform. In the civilian sector, where you live is nobody’s business—unless they’re ready to hire you! Please be conscious that military families have been targeted by people who want to do us harm, so be very protective of all aspects of personal information—including your home address. I usually encourage job seekers to include a city and zip code ONLY if it is of benefit for you to do so. An example is, if you live in Hawaii and you’re applying for a job in Texas, I wouldn’t include a city or a zip code. If you’re in Houston, Texas and you’re applying for a job in Houston, Texas, then I’d include the city, state and zip code.


Strategically Optimize your Professional Headline

When you’re creating your LinkedIn profile, the line underneath your name is called the ‘Professional Headline’ and it is some of the most valuable real estate on the whole system if you want to be found for your expertise. So, in order for that to occur, you need to do things a little differently. I’ve learned how to master this over about 8 years. For too many service members in transition, I continue to see this field under-utilized and I see this precious space being wasted like this:

"Transitioning Military Professional seeking new opportunities"


The professional headline has 120 characters, here’s how you can use it strategically:

 1. Focus on your top five or six fields of expertise and use valuable words—I call these ‘Value Tags’ to define your expertise.


2. Jazz it up by using visual design elements like symbols, which also help define the Value Tags The majority of Military professionals have expertise in the following areas: Leadership, Management, Project Management, Logistics, Operations, Coaching, Risk Management, Supply Chain, etc.


Try to define your expertise using rich key words that head hunters and recruiters will use to find you—and use them in the order of preference for what you want to be found for. I’ll share information in my next articles to help you identify the most valuable words and how to leverage them to strategically optimize your profile so you get found ahead of millions. Thanks for reading and sharing.  


About Vanessa Machin Perez

Vanessa is a professional recruiter and military headhunter and runs the Veteran & Military Spouse hiring initiative with Hawaii Employment, based in Honolulu. The Australian Army veteran of 23 years is also a United States Marine Corps spouse and has worked with thousands of transitioning service members to help them navigate smoothly through the rough terrain that is Military Transition. She’s a master when it comes to innovative professional branding and leveraging LinkedIn strategically to shape global opportunities. She has produced four military books and is working on her fifth—a navigation guide for Veterans in transition. When she’s not working with Veterans to connect them to their dream jobs, she’s spending quality time with Bill and Henry on the beach in lovely Kailua, or painting or gardening. She’s fascinated by people, handwriting and outer space--she even has a 3-mile crater on Mars named after her! 


745 Fort Street, Suite 124, Honolulu Hawaii 96813 808 628 7675  I I helps the military and veteran communities of San Antonio navigate the many transition and employment resources our great city has to offer.

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