Networking & Your Job Search –
Creating a Personal Brand
According to recent data collected from
military veterans*, 5 of the most
important elements of the military-to-
civilian transition process are:
Networking - 68%
Being patient - 66%
Start preparing early - 65%
Have a transition plan - 59%
Translate military skills - 59%
* information collected on-line from 2015-2016 by Military-Transition.org with data
indicating the percentage of veterans that claimed this element to be “extremely
important” in the transition process.
Average cost to hire a candidate = $3,000
Job Board Costs:
1. Monster = $18K for 4 recruiters over 1 year
2. CareerBuilder = $20K for 4 recruiters over 1 year
3. LinkedIn = $195 for 30 days (Recruiter License)
1. Job Slots – 15 slots = $28K/year
4. Indeed = Post for free but pay per click
5. Glassdoor = $7K for 4 recruiters over 1 year
6. Bullhorn Reach = 2 job postings for free
Who are you?
• “Seasoned project manager who excels at identifying
and solving problems”
• “I am a seasoned project manager with experience enhanced
through service in the Air Force. I have been recognized for my
unique ability to creatively solve problems. I interested in how
we can do business together .”
• “I have a documented track record of business development,
operational planning, and leadership. My ability to find solutions
that lead to success, foster team cohesion, and work with a high
degree of integrity. I have led the Air Force in projects that have
saved the government over $15M.”
What is a Brand?
• The powerful, clear, positive idea that comes to
mind whenever other people think of you.
• It is what you stand for – the values, abilities, and
actions that others associate with you.
• Professional makeup designed for the purpose of
influencing how others perceive you , and turning that
perception into opportunity.
People Brand Themselves Too
Think about the way the following people
have branded themselves:
Define Yourself & Become an Expert
Who are you?
• Use words like: collaborative, resourceful, flexible,
forward-thinking, connected, visionary, diplomatic,
intuitive, precise, enterprising, ethical, genuine, loyal, etc.
Create your branding statement:
• I help people to transform their businesses, their careers and their lives.
• I employ cutting-edge technologies to speed manufacturing so
companies can grow revenues, cut costs and increase profits.
1. Social vs. Professional – Friends & Family can help
4. Find and follow companies
5. 25% of recruiters vet candidates on Facebook
6. Define who you are as a person
2. Update your profile
3. Post content relevant to your job search
1. Use your real name for account (@johndoe)
2. Profile with branding statement and link to LI account
3. Implemented your branding statement
4. Same picture as LI
5. Professional tweets only
6. Follow companies and experts
7. Professional tweets & re-tweets only
Profile Picture….which one?
The Headline gets 120 characters. (extra
weighting in search algorithm)
A. Mary Smith
Transitioning Military Member
----- or -----
B. Mary Smith
Experienced Marketing Professional
----- or -----
C. Mary Smith
Strategic/Product Marketing Analyst
w/5 Years in Consumer Products (B2C):
Market Assessment and Competitive Positioning
• Location & Industry
Gets 2000 characters.
• The digital first impression
• Does it have spice?
• Is it authentic?
• Where is the value?
• How is it formatted?
• Are there keywords?
Victories: A sentence for each significant accomplishment.
VPs (Values & Passions): What inspires your; describe your core principles?
Valiant Superpowers: What can you do better than anyone else?
Vital Statistics: Quantifiable facts; interesting figures.
Verve: What makes you different/unique? Can be quirky but professional.
Validation: A quote from someone else or a special award.
Job Title – 100 characters (extra weighting in search algorithm)
• Description: 2-3 sentence overview (paragraph) with 2-3
• Front load achievements
• Use action verbs
• Use keywords
• Less is more
• Proper grammar and spelling
Skills & Endorsements
• Extra weighting in search algorithm
• 50 skills to be endorsed, make them count!
• Allows connections to quickly affirm your
skills and expertise
• Keep skills relevant and up to date
They solidify you as a person, employee, and talent. Very important to
You can ask your connections to write a recommendation of your work
that you can display on your profile:
• Go to your profile and click the down arrow to the right of the button
near your profile picture.
• Click Ask to be recommended from the dropdown.
• Follow the prompts to request the recommendation. Click Send.
Hi [first name],
I hope all is well with you. I am preparing to depart from the military and
pursue a civilian career.
I have been reflecting on my past accomplishments and I really enjoyed
working with you on/at [project/company], and I was wondering if you
would write a brief LinkedIn recommendation of my work.
I'd love it if you could touch on Y initiative and our collaboration on Z. Just
three to five sentences is all I'm after.
I know a recommendation from you will significantly elevate my profile. I
greatly appreciate your time, and hope to hear from you soon.
• 50 connections for a complete profile and
500 connections to be taken serious.
• Always add to the connection request.
• Connect to 2nd degrees (co-workers, peers,
recruiters, decision makers).
• Participate, Post, Participate.
• Save connection templates for future use.
Build Your Network
• Scott Raether – AFRC
• Jason Boone – SAIC
• Donna Baylor – TAP
• Lisa Herbert – Accenture Federal Svc
• Brian Scott – Adaptive Solutions
• Matt Miller – ADB Companies
• Ken Miller – Air Products
• Chris Walton – Apex Systems
• Dean Espenschied – Archer Daniels
• Ashley Maetas – Ascent, LLC
• Katelyn Blair – BJC
• JD Skaggs – BJC
• Chris Coughlin – Beacon Hill
• John Wesley – BNSF Railway
• Bunge – Samantha Graham
• DeAnn Mooney – C5T
• Sanford Artman – CASY/MSCCN
• Brian Draper – Centene
• Sean Sawyers – Chameleon Integrated
• Ola Ayeni – Claim Academy
• Corey Williams – Combined Insurance
• Andrea Sanderson – Defense Intel Agency
• Ann Heinly – Enterprise
• Patrick Christie – Express Scripts
• Christine Wojda – Jet Aviation
• Jay Miller – MasterCard
• Chris Anderson – Mercy Hospital
• John Hansley – Monsanto
• Alejandro Cornejo – Monsanto
• Brian Dillard – NGA
• Lewis Collins – NJVC
• Jonas Patterson – NJVC
• Linda Hoffman – PNC Bank
• Anna Carr – Rose International
• Direct Networking
• LinkedIn’s Job Board
• Update Feed
• Group Jobs Tab
• Company Pages
Leverage the Job Search
1. Make your Profile complete and robust, adding your accomplishments.
Make certain that you go above and beyond just listing your current and
past employers and roles to include relevant accomplishments.
2. Research your competitors.
Do your own search for people who currently have the jobs you are most
interested in pursuing, and mimic them.
3. Leverage LinkedIn Groups and Updates.
Join the same LinkedIn groups as the people who hold the jobs you seek
belong to. Look at the updates they post, and post similar things.
4. Focus on your target employers.
Network and get connections in your target companies. That way, you will
show up as a connection for LinkedIn’s recruiters referral search.
Groups to Join
• Scott AFB – Community Job Board
• St. Louis Networking Event
• St. Louis Employment Network
• LinkedIn Working St. Louis
• AFCEA Scott – St. Louis Chapter
• Metro East St. Louis Network
• St. Louis Recruiter Professionals
• US Air Force
• Full Scope Poly Recruiters
• Scott AFB Cleared Professionals
• Military Spouse Employers
• The Recruiter.com Network
• St. Louis Job Angels
• Military Spouse Professionals
• Top Secret Careers
• Job Postings Group
• Veterans Hired
• G.I. Jobs
• Scott Air Force Base
• Military Veteran Recruiters
• Hiring Our Heroes
• Veteran Mentor Network
• Social Media for Job Search
• Scott AFB Transition Recourses
• Connected STL – Networking Group
• Veteran Job Opportunities
• Military Transition Assistance
• SAFB IT Professionals
• St. Louis Talent Acquisitions Network
• We Hire Heroes – Veterans Employment
10 Things to do Today on LinkedIn
1. Update your profile
2. Add skills
3. Get Involved
4. Give Endorsements
5. Give and ask for recommendations
7. Join Groups
8. Review Job Board
9. Follow Companies
10. Go there daily