How to Compete With Internal Job Candidates

How to Compete With Internal Job Candidates
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Whether you plan to enter the public, private, or nonprofit sectors in your post-military career, oftentimes your future employer will hire you because of your ability to make or save money. Focus on what specific skills you possess to help your next employer do exactly that by helping them achieve their organizational goals and objectives. 

Then, as you review employment opportunities, try to determine whether the organization is considering both internal and external candidates. In most cases, if a search has started, the company might not be overly enamored with their internal talent or is looking for candidates with a fresh perspective to generate new ideas and stimulate change.

As an external candidate competing with internal talent, it becomes even more important to generate networking connections inside the company or organization to help identify challenges and opportunities that might be known only to insiders.

[Related: Find networking tips in 8 Strategies to Master Networking Post-Military]

The greatest enemy of the internal candidate is complacency. The greatest challenge for the external candidate is understanding the informal organizational structure and identifying those opportunities where your skills, experience, passion, and education can help the organization with its ultimate goal to make or save money. 

Today's civilian job market is highly competitive and demands well-prepared, articulate individuals who are able to stand out from their military and civilian competition. Let MOAA help you to develop a comprehensive strategy to land the right job and achieve early success in your new position. Register and attend our next Military Executive Transition Seminar on June 20 in Arlington, Va. Learn more.

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About the Author

Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)
Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)

Anderson joined the staff of MOAA's Career Transition Services Department in August 2011. He served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force in a wide range of command and staff assignments. Connect with him on LinkedIn.