Written by: Meghavaty Suresh
It is safe to say that every student close to graduation will experience exponentially increasing levels of stress as the daunting task of landing a job is not far away. Like all students, student veterans will struggle with this pressure as well. Here are a few pointers for student veterans looking for jobs upon graduating.
University Career Services
Career Services is a great avenue for help with numerous elements like getting your resume and cover letters in order. Sometimes your resume needs to be tweaked to reflect the value you have gained at school and you may not know how to integrate that most effectively. Speaking to somebody from career services can help greatly with this.
It is an ever-changing digital world and you must maintain an updated LinkedIn profile. Make sure to edit your profile so that ALL relevant experiences are reflected on it. While sending out resumes for a particular job you should structure your resume so that only relevant experience appears, however with LinkedIn you have the liberty of maintaining a complete log of all your experiences.
This is a two-fold note. One, it helps to research the top military/veteran friendly employers. Numerous websites online have information on this. Applying to employers known for recruiting veterans will not only improve your chances of being hired but also you can be assured that you will find a robust veteran community at the workplace as well. For further resources on this check out the Vets for Hire post on the IVMF website. Second, research the position that you want to apply to. Speak to people in the company and in similar roles to see if the role is a perfect fit for you. Job descriptions alone are weak indicators of your success in that role.
Network, network, network! This cannot be emphasized enough. Connecting with people is the best way to land a job. Some say applying to jobs online is a perfectly good waste of time as hundreds of people are applying to those very same jobs that you are applying to. You will have to find a way to skip that step and that is only possible by networking and connecting with the right people. University alumni directories are a great way to start connecting with people in the industry. They will always be receptive to hearing from a fellow graduate from their alma mater. LinkedIn is the next best way. Joining veteran and military groups on LinkedIn is a great to meet influencers. New online services targeted towards veterans are also emerging, such as RallyPoint. It would also serve you well to keep discussing opportunities and avenues will fellow students. Always seek to keep conversations going with those you meet who might be working in the field you want to be in.
Finally, even though most student veterans probably have years of experience gained through service, some dream jobs still must come through internships. Yes, internships are sometimes thought of as something for young graduates, given that they are relatively inexperienced. However, many internships are paid and many of them connect the dots for a future permanent career. Internships give you access to show the right people your skills and also help you make great connections. So if an internship is in your dream field, consider taking that first step in hopes of earning your dream position.
Syracuse University provides strong support for veterans to develop their professional skills and enhance their careers. Learn more about the career development resources offered at www.careerservices.syr.edu
For more information for student veterans at Syracuse University check out http://veterans.syr.edu/
Meghavaty Suresh is a Graduate Assistant at IVMF currently pursuing a Master of Science in New Media Management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She holds a Master’s in Management and Bachelor’s in Commerce from Mumbai University.