Want to Impress Potential Employers? Become a ‘Known Commodity’

Want to Impress Potential Employers? Become a ‘Known Commodity’
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A previous MOAA.org article addressed the pros and cons of local talent – whether employers could limit their scope to nearby candidates in an ever-expanding, remote-friendly job market.


Despite the prevalence of nationwide job boards and online applications, some employers still recruit using traditional methods, such as nearby civic organizations or even ads in local publications. Why? Because they want a “known commodity” – someone readily available, someone with ties to the community, and someone who they feel will adapt quickly to their workplace culture.


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These preferences extend to nearly all employers, including those comfortable with larger applicant pools – they want a good fit, no matter where it may come from. So, how can you become that known commodity, even in a virtual setting (like MOAA’s Virtual Career Fair on Nov. 29)? Try these three steps:


1. Know the Terrain

Research the employer’s website in advance. Many companies have a “Careers” or “Join Our Team” component on their website or LinkedIn profile. This is especially important to set yourself apart during career fairs – this valuable information will clue you into a company’s mission statement, current openings, and military/veteran programs.


For example, a little research into participating employers at the Nov. 29 MOAA event would reveal:

  • Clearance Jobs is “the largest online marketplace for professionals with federal government security clearance working in national security.”
  • Synchrony offers deep dive into the company’s culture.
  • The Military Veteran Program at Leidos – Operation MVP – covers both veterans and military spouses.


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2. Polish Your Presentation

Whether you’re interviewing in person or remotely, you’ll have limited time to make a strong first impression. That’s why it’s critical to have your elevator pitch, or 30-second commercial, down pat.


Not sure where to start? Learn how to build the perfect 30-second commercial from a webinar hosted by Capt. Pat Williams, USN (Ret), MOAA's program director for engagement and transition services. Premium and Life Members can watch the recording here (MOAA.org login required); others can register here for access.


3. Look the Part

The best way to make a connection virtually is to make the conversation seem as non-virtual as possible – that means checking your tech before a career fair or remote interview. It’s tougher to project an aura of presence when you’re busy reattaching cables or adjusting your camera.


Get tips on acing your virtual interview from MOAA at this link.


Are You Ready?

Are you interested in seeing what is available, or actively seeking employment opportunities? Register today for MOAA’s Virtual Career Fair on Nov. 29 – it’s free and open to all ranks of uniformed servicemembers, Veterans, military spouses, and surviving spouses.


Get even more transition and career guidance at MOAA.org/Careers.


Download Marketing Yourself for a Second Career


Learn what you can do to prepare yourself for a successful transition from military career to civilian career. This handbook shows you how to create an attention-getting resume, cover letter, and more. Get tips on self-marketing, job search, interviews, and interviewing. (Available to Premium and Life members)

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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.