Military “Vetrepreneur” Success Story

This week Dannielle Ramos Rash, M.S., CPRW, Founder of First Class Résumés & Career Services was featured on www.militaryoneclick.com.

Below is the write up:

Dannielle Ramos Rash, M.S., CPRW, Founder of First Class Résumés & Career Services, understands what veterans are going through when transitioning into the civilian workforce.

As a fourth generation Army veteran that lives the Army values and has a vast knowledge of military organizations she has walked a few miles in their boots.  Growing up with parents who encouraged her to “Be All you Can Be”. She flourished in her academics and holds an extensive military background.  With over twenty years of experience in the human resources field and serving in the Army; Dannielle founded First Class Résumés in 2013 to provide dynamic resumes & career documents for veterans around the globe.

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Prior to Dannielle being a “Vetrepreneur” she facilitated weekly military decoration boards, and mentored Soldiers to place them in special careers at the United States Army Human Resources Command. She had always been the go to person, in an unofficial role, to assist others in writing their resumes and career documents.  After being laid off due to a Base Realignment and Closure and her son diagnosed with Autism she knew becoming a business owner would be ideal for herself and her family.

Over the last eight months, Dannielle has had some incredible opportunities as a business owner.  Some of the highlights include winning two Capital One Business Pitch competitions; the first with Empowered Women International, and the second with The Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps.  She had the chance to write resumes with military veterans at Google Headquarters in Washington D.C. and is an awardee of Count Me In’s renowned 9 month Business Accelerator Program.  Dannielle’s passion for her brothers and sisters in arms is what drove her to work alongside veterans.  This passion continues to enable her to thrive in her next mission.

Training and education has always been an important aspect in her life. As a result, Dannielle has been recognized both as a Soldier and a civilian receiving numerous military decorations, service awards as well as leadership and achievement awards.

Dannielle Resume

However, her greatest awards come from those she has inspired through her own story of commitment, courage and excellence, that they too can, “Be All you Can Be.”

Dannielle is the Principal writer of First Class Résumés & Career Services, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) and member of Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches. The next time you or someone you know needs a Professional Resume Writer, send them to First Class Resumes and remember, they stand by their motto and promise to design and deliver dynamic résumés to win interviews by “Taking YOU Higher to get Hired”!

http://militaryoneclick.com/military-spouse-vetrepreneur-success-story/

MilitaryOneClick is a great organization for the military community.  They  enhance the lives of military families and friends of the military community in just one click! Their site connects you with the latest news, job opportunities, deals, and countless other valuable resources. – See more at:  http://militaryoneclick.com/

 

Top 5 Do’s of LinkedIn!

Let’s face it, LinkedIn is known as one of the largest professional social network sites! Professionals come together from all fields and are able to build relationships and showcase their knowledge and experience.  It’s also a great place where companies can highlight their organization to prospective clients and prospective employees. To assist you with getting started on LinkedIn we have listed our top 5 Do’s of LinkedIn.

1.       Professional Headshot

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it can have a huge impact on your profile and its overall appearance.  Don’t leave the photo area blank, nobody wants to see a ghost image of you.  More importantly they want to ensure to connect with the right individual.  One of the biggest mistakes I see is having no photo at all.  Believe it or not, you are more likely to have your profile viewed when having a photo listed.

Unfortunately, people assume there must be something wrong if there is no photo at all. Others are cautious about connecting with someone if they don’t have a photo, as it may be a fake profile.  In addition, let’s say you leave a networking event with a bunch of business cards.  You get home and jump on LinkedIn to follow up. The person you link to may be the wrong person because they have no photo listed and it may lead to a missed connection.  But above all, keep it to a professional headshot.   Don’t put up a picture of you with your spouse, child or cat! Instead, place a professional headshot of yourself.

2.       Join Groups

Try to join at least 40 groups.  If you join 40 groups, you still have leeway to add more if you are interested in another group at a later date. Joining groups are how you get things accomplished on LinkedIn.  Don’t just join LinkedIn and not join groups, throw yourself out there! What’s the worst thing that could happen? Others will get to know you by joining groups.

3.       Participate in discussions

Don’t just join the groups, but rather participate in them!  Nobody likes a lurker, jump in there and participate.  Share articles, post discussions and share your opinions on a regular basis. Ensure your comment or article is of value to the group.  Ask for advice and discuss a topic that is relevant to the group.  This will also engage others in the group to participate in the discussion and group.

4.       Networking

Build your network as much as you can.  Don’t worry if you don’t have any interest in networking with an individual who invites you into their network.  They may have a person in their network that you have an interest in, but you won’t know unless you add them! When you connect to them it then gives you access to that network of people.  The more connections you have, the more likely it is that someone you want to connect with will be in the network.

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5.       Update, Update, Update.

Make sure you are continually updating your profile.  Your position may be changing as well as your needs. Ensure you don’t keep the same phrases in your profile and make updates.  It’s essential to keep all of your profile information up-to-date.

I encourage you to apply the 5 strategies above to build your following on LinkedIn.  LinedIn is an excellent tool to add to your professional arsenal.

Dannielle Ramos Rash is the Founder and Principal Writer at First Class Résumés & Career Services.  www.first-classresumes.com She is an Army Veteran and a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) as well as a member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches.  Dannielle provides powerful résumés & career documents for job seekers around the globe.

If you would like a complimentary resume review, feel free to forward your resume to support@first-classresumes.com.  If you would like to stay in touch, please “like” us on Facebook.

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Top 10 Tips for Your Next Mission

Are you ready to transition out of the military? Many veterans make a few mistakes when they make their transition into the civilian workforce. When departing the military you have many options. This is a topic that will impact your life in numerous ways, so take some time to seek out and absorb this information.

Launching:

The typical military transition process should be started as far out as 18 months. Many transitioning military don’t get the chance to start up their transition this far in advance. Nevertheless, if given this chance to jump start the transition process, take full advantage of the time to get your ducks in a row, so you are well prepared.

Failing to Plan:

Veterans need to figure out what career they want to target when they transition out of the military. It would behoove you to have a target for your job search needs. This will ensure your resume will showcase your career highlights and will make you shine in your job search. Take the time to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.

Toot Your Horn:

The military tends to take away the focus of the individual. During your career the military showcases team accomplishments and not so much on each individual. Although team work is vital, ensure to give yourself recognition for what you brought to the team. Also, how you can and will add worth and value to the employer. By performing your research in advance, you should be able to identify your prospects and what skills will fit into which companies.

Utilizing Resources:

Many veterans don’t use the many resources that are available to them. Each military installation has many resources and programs to assist you with your transition. In addition, you may be approved for unemployment insurance benefits if needed. Check with your local transition office to see what resources they may have to assist you. Take advantage of the many classes and resources that are available to you. In most cases they are free and you are entitled!

Civilianize It:

Most Veterans don’t typically know how to “demilitarize” their military skills and service. Many civilian hiring managers have never served in the military. This makes it difficult for a hiring manager to see how you fit into their corporate culture, especially if these potential employers don’t speak the military lingo or terminology. Just make sure to eliminate the military language from your resume and career documents.

Resume:

As far as the number of pages for a resume, it depends on the individual and their experience or lack thereof. However, don’t write a 2 page resume just to create one. One should ensure to highlight their career history. As long as you can concisely quantify your accomplishments and be able to explain how you enhanced a project or role, then it may be necessary to craft a 2 page resume. If you feel compelled to utilize a 2nd page, just make sure to be strategic and ensure the information is relevant.

If the hiring manager specifically asks for a one page document, then send them what they ask for. If you send them a 2 page document when they specifically ask for a one page resume, yours may end up in the trash can. Keep in mind when it comes to a resume never follow the “one size fits all” approach.

Networking:

I would also like to add when performing your research find out which corporate managers have military backgrounds. They’ll be glad and willing to hire like-minded workers. Don’t play it safe and not utilize your military connections to land a job. By all means tap into your military network!

The reality is 80 percent of jobs in the civilian world are landed through networking. Contact all of your former colleagues and merely ask them for leads and references. It may ultimately be one of your best assets in your job search!

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Career Fairs:

For transitioning military there are many Veteran career fairs you can attend. In addition to seeking out recruiting firms that specialize in placing veterans is also recommended. Don’t forget to explore all employment options, such as federal, state as well as civilian opportunities. Don’t settle for the first job offer that comes along that may not be the best fit.

Services:

There are many services offered from agencies such as the VA, veteran service organizations as well as county operated veteran services. These agencies can be particularly helpful to veterans who are seeking to transition. You would be surprised on the amount of services out there to assist veterans with their transition besides the VA or the DOD.

Benefits:

Take advantage of all the benefits afforded to you. There is a plethora of military benefits out there waiting to be utilized. The number one benefit that comes to mind is the GI Bill. If you never took advantage of the GI Bill while you were serving you need to take advantage of it now! You earned it!

Finally once you land your new career in corporate America, make sure you hit the ground running. Just like in the military, you only get one chance to get off to a great start once you get your “boots on the ground”.

Top 5 Ways to “Civilianize” your Résumé

Does your résumé have too much military language in it?  Well worry no more; it’s time to learn how to transform your military skills and education into a dynamite civilian résumé! Now that your getting out of the service, it’s time to get ready for the next chapter in your life; a civilian career!  Your most important tool in your arsenal is your résumé during your job hunt.  However, getting your military service to convert over and be understood by the civilian world can be difficult.  We have listed the top 5 ways to “civilianize” your résumé.

It only takes 10 Seconds!

How long should your résumé really be? You should always aim for one page for every 10 years of work experience/military service and no longer than two pages.  However, the question you need to be asking yourself is: Will it pass the 10 seconds?  A civilian hiring manager sees hundreds of résumés to find a handful of qualified potential candidates.  Your résumé has to first survive this initial process.  Let’s assume that each candidate’s résumé will get 10 seconds of the hiring manager’s attention.  During those 10 seconds the hiring manager has to immediately find the keywords that match the position being sought.  If you feel your background and experience deserves more than one page, make sure all the great accomplishments are on the first page!

Speaking about Accomplishments:  

Organizations hire job seekers for their potential, their experience or a combination of both.  If your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) has a civilian equivalent and you want to stay in that field, by all means highlight that information on your résumé.  If on the other hand you’re not staying in your current field then you should be selling your potential more than your experience.  The most important in either case, is how well you perform in the job.  So instead of listing your job descriptions, rather list your accomplishments.  It’s your accomplishments that sell you and your potential, your work experience sells your past. Ultimately, I assume you want to look towards the future in your career, not your past.

“Civilianize It”

Most of what you did in the military service may make sense to our civilian counterparts.  However, there are some positions, tasks and functions that have very little or no civilian equivalence.  (Grenade Handler)  The fact that you were assigned as your unit’s S1 or S3 shop, may get lost in translation.  You don’t need to take them out of your résumé, but rather “civilianize” it!  Therefore, it might read “Maintained and kept up-to-date personnel records for more than 400 employees; reduced financial error rates by two-thirds in one year saving $70 million.”  These positions are significant positions with a huge amount of responsibility.   Therefore you should translate it into a language a civilian manager can understand.

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Take out the Alphabet:

There is much about your military experience that works in your favor!  The issue lies within most military folks typically don’t know how to “civilianize” it.  In addition, the hiring managers don’t understand the military terminology.  This is the biggest challenge in being recognizable to these companies. i.e.. (TRADOC, SITREP, FORSCOM, DOD) etc.

Most military service members are under the impression that they should completely remove all things military in their résumés.  However, going to this extreme can be a mistake. There are hundreds of civilian employers that want to hire you because of that military experience! Whether you’ve been in 4 years or 20 years, transitioning Military & Veterans need to ensure they demonstrate the value to an employer as well as make your career document visually appealing to the hiring manager!

Training & Development:

Most civilian organizations enjoy hiring military folks. The reason being is they are already trained.  In addition, many prior military already have college degrees.  Don’t worry if you don’t hold a degree, most Veterans have a considerable amount of technical training from their military service.  Don’t forget to utilize your GI Bill if you want to continue with your education.  That being said, companies also like to hire educated folks, especially the ones who have served and performed well in a stressful environment, such as the military.  Therefore, make sure you keep these in mind when creating or updating your résumé.  Don’t forget, it only takes 10 seconds!

 

Top 10 Job Search Trends of 2014

Have you decided to take your job search to the next level this year? Then you should know these latest trends that will have an impact on your job search in 2014!  Improve your job search game by staying ahead of the latest trends and understanding what employers are seeking.  Check out these job search trends of 2014 and hopefully you will land the job you’ve always wanted!

BE TECH-SAVVY

In 2014 you’ll need to become more tech-savvy.  We saw the rise of the mobile job search in 2013 and we’re not just talking about your LinkedIn profile or tweeting several times a day.  Ensure you have perfected an electronic version of your résumé so that it can easily be submitted to hiring managers.  By doing this, it will ensure you’re prepared for your next opportunity that comes along your way.  Hold on to your pants, because this year the job search will become more digital than ever. 

MOBILE APPS

This trend is already here and will continue to rise!  Mobile Apps seem to be the wave of the future for applying for jobs!  Careerbuilder.com has a free iPhone app, where users are able to perform a search for jobs available by using keywords, salaries and descriptions.  Another free app available is The Career Search by LinkUp.  This app allows users to perform a search of job available and research careers. 

TELECOMMUTING

Working remotely will be the norm.  Talented employees don’t have to work in a traditional work setting and employers are beginning to notice.  Agencies are recruiting people and extending them the option to work from home. 

FREELANCE

In addition to working remotely, more jobseekers are choosing to become freelancers.  There has been an increase of workers deciding to freelance their services.  This trend will only increase in numbers over the next 10 years.  Freelance work is becoming a popular trend of employment for job seekers. 

ONLINE PRESENCE

This seems to be another trend there is going to be more emphasis on.  Recruiters are continually checking social media to research candidates.  Ensure you are presenting oneself on these platforms in a good light, as it may affect your job search.  Companies are also taking advantage of video interviews via Skype to screen the best candidates for their company.  Not only is your online presence going to matter during your job search, but the way you utilize technology will as well.

LINKEDIN

Don’t just copy and paste your résumé into LinkedIn.  Your LinkedIn profile should be a complement to your résumé. Your profile is used to connect with people in your network and that is how they will find you on LinkedIn.   Your profile should be more engaging than a résumé and therefore should be more personal.  Don’t forget to be creative in your summary and show passion, motivation and personality!

TWITTER

Ensure to utilize Twitter for following companies you’re interested in with job opportunities.  You can locate job postings and follow companies to learn more if you would like to pursue opportunities with them. Unlike other websites recruiters can post job announcements on Twitter for free!

WRITING SAMPLES

Hiring Managers are requesting writing samples for most professional jobs.  Employers are placing a high value on written communication as they screen candidates.  Candidates are required in some instances to submit writing samples even for internships. In addition, they may be asked to send a writing sample in addition to a résumé or bring with them in a job interview. 

Job Search

TIME

Recruiters are plagued with an assortment of technologies and crunched for time.  The standard résumé review was roughly 20 seconds, now 5 seconds is the norm.   It’s imperative to match your résumé to each job announcement to connect with the employer and the position. Hiring managers have more candidates to evaluate in their search for the perfect employee to their need for talent. Your goal is to reach the top of the candidate list, not get your career document thrown in the trash pile.

POST INTERVIEW LETTER

Follow-up letters are becoming more common sent via email, typically within 24 hours of an interview.  Candidates that want to stand out and be remembered should reference key points uncovered during their interview.  The idea is to stand out from the hundreds of candidates applying for the same position.

A candidate’s job search will continue even if they are gainfully employed.  A job seekers job search doesn’t end after they land a job.  Regardless of your current status, your job search will continue.  A great candidate is continually seeking new positions and opportunities, regardless if they are happily employed. We don’t know what opportunities will present themselves in 2014, so candidates need to be open to opportunities.  So keep these trends in mind when searching for your next dream job!

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF A JOB SEARCH

COMMANDMENT I: Now is not the time to take a vacation.  Don’t take an extended vacation from your job search.  Searching for a full time job is a full time job.  Do not miss out on employment opportunities by taking a break.  You are only harming yourself and your chances to find work when you extend the time between your last job and your next.

COMMANDMENT 2: You will be disappointed.  Expect disappointments and turndowns. You cannot be offered every job you apply for and not every applicant can be hired for the same job.  Your job search is a competition, be competitive!

COMMANDMENT 3: Have a plan.  Establish a daily job search plan.  Know what you are going to do every day to apply for jobs.  Have a schedule of where to look, who to talk to, and what applications you need to call back on.

COMMANDMENT 4: Network, Network and Network.  Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job and what job you want.  Networking is one of the best ways to find employment.  Wherever you go, mention that you are looking for a job.  You never know who may know of a job opening, works for a company that is hiring, or will pass the word along that you are looking for employment.

COMMANDMENT 5: Budget yourself.  Put yourself on a budget.  If you do not have an income, you need to know how to make your existing money go further in order to get you by temporarily.  You also need to know what your living expenses are and what kind of salary you will need once you are employed, as not to live beyond your means.  Spending more than you earn is the quickest way to get yourself in financial trouble.  Know how much money it takes to support yourself and your family.

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COMMANDMENT 6:  Keep up your appearance.  You never know when you will meet a potential employer.  You must present yourself appropriately at all times during your job search.  You are making your first impression the moment you attend a networking event.  You must also be prepared for on-site interviews in case an employer is able to meet with you immediately.

COMMANDMENT 7: Don’t stop applying until you get an offer.  Do not stop your job search while waiting to hear from an employer.  Just because you have a good feeling about one employment possibility does not mean that you got the position.  Keep all of your options open, no matter how badly you want a certain job.  Do not count on any lead completely until you have actually been offered employment with a set start date.

COMMANDMENT 8: Keep in touch.  Stay in touch with family and friends.  Now is the time you need a good support group to help you with a job search and to stand behind you.  Let those you are close to know how your search is going, what disappointments you have faced, and what you are striving for.

COMMANDMENT 9: Don’t forget to follow up.  Follow up on each contact with a phone call.  Let each company you have applied to know that you are interested in the open position.  Keep your name in their head as someone they need to consider for employment.  Ask if the position has been filled, when they are hoping to fill it, and if you can get an interview.

COMMANDMENT 10: Always say Thank you and express gratitude right away.  By showing gratitude it makes people want to assist you in landing a job or even hire you.  Gratitude will help you in your career and will also make you a happier person.