Professionals embody practices and behaviors that set them apart.


I recently read THE CHECKLIST MANIFESTO by Dr. Atul Gawande. I have a history in aviation, so I was familiar with checklists and intrigued by the book’s title. Dr. Gawande, a general and endocrine surgeon in Boston, related the checklist concept to medicine and several other professions. Regardless of profession, checklists amplify good behaviors and minimize preventable human errors.


 “We need a different strategy for overcoming failure, one that builds on  experience and takes advantage of the knowledge people have, but somehow also makes up for our inevitable human inadequacies. And there is such a strategy—though it will seem almost ridiculous in its simplicity, maybe even crazy to those of us who have spent years carefully developing ever more advanced skills and technologies. It is a checklist” 



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When I was out of work, I began reading a column in the local paper by a career coach named Eli Amdur. I have actually had the privilege of speaking with Mr. Amdur either on the phone or via email and he is always willing to help, especially Veterans. One of his articles, which I have used to instruct in my resume writing class, was the top 20 resume mistakes to avoid when applying for a job. Below is a list of those 20 mistakes, of which, Mr. Amdur has found 19 on one resume. This is because one of these mistakes cannot exist with the presence of the other.

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Transition is defined as a process or period of changing from one state or condition to another. There may be no greater challenge than transitioning from a life in the military to a life in corporate America. While many of us relish the opportunity and look forward to the change in lifestyle, there are many challenges. There are multiple avenues to take in your transition aside from utilizing a recruiting firm. A solid, simple, and structured strategy will help a Junior Military Officer navigate the complicated and stressful path to a new career. I have read numerous helpful plans on LinkedIn and other publications that have helped me in my transition. Using the knowledge I have obtained from my experiences. I think that these five steps of self discovery, building your corporate knowledge, connecting your knowledge to your unique skills, networking, and targeted job hunting are a blueprint for a successful transition. I hope this article helps simplify the approach a Junior Military Officer (JMO) takes to transitioning and enable veterans to have a smooth, efficient, and enjoyable transition to a new life in corporate America.

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What’s the difference between a Corporate recruiter and a Military headhunter?  Military headhunters are placement agencies that act as an agent for the military member with Corporate America. The purpose of this service is to place transitioning veterans into the hands of client companies for interviews in hopes of a hire. Headhunters are geared towards Corporate America throughout the United States but also can be region based. Read More

I was laid off a few years ago and went through a harsh awakening about how little I knew about job searching. I’d been at the same company for eight years. I was a manager with diverse, but generic, experiences. I had my Veteran status, significant management experience, and a master’s degree in business. I thought finding a job would be easy. I was naive and foolish, to say the least. It took months to find a job and over a year to find the right one. Read More

If there is one thing I know after recruiting for over two decades in the private sector and defense industry it’s that military service members are an elite talent pool. A talent pool that is largely overlooked due to a lack of understanding of military culture and its ultimate purpose. In fact, service members can contribute a lot more to businesses success than those who have never served at all. The biggest challenge facing service members today is articulating their skills and experiences to be seen as viable candidates to individuals who make hiring decisions. This is why I have dedicated my career in helping service members find meaningful careers after service. So listen up!

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As an HR Director for a growing retail grocery company, I interviewed, hired and worked with lots of people, including several veterans. Each time, I was excited about bringing our shared, time-honored and battle-tested values into my company to help accomplish my company’s mission.  When that happened, it was great. However, there were times when it didn’t always work out.

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1. Take care of yourself and stay healthy. Now, this may seem like your traditional new year’s resolution, but of course there is a military twist. Yes, we all know we are more productive when we eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. But as a transitioning service member, make sure you get your health check-ups while you are still in. Remember, once you’re out, you may be paying for health care for the first time and those trips to “sick call” will not be free anymore. This is also important if you were injured while in the service, and may need health care from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. If an injury or condition is not in your medical records, you will be hard-pressed to get help from the VA.

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Network. Network. Network. It’s the name of the game. Chances are you’ve heard about the importance and power of networking.


The numbers don’t lie… 80% of jobs are filled either internal or through recommendation. 80%! In another context eight out of ten jobs actually are never listed. This stat speaks volumes and validates any time spent on networking.


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(1) BE A QUESTION MASTER. Drive the energy of the conversation by researching your mentor and preparing questions ahead of time. Why did you choose your mentor? What do you find interesting about your mentor’s professional background? What questions are top-of-mind for you that your mentor might have an answer to?


(2) SET A PURPOSE. What knowledge would you like to acquire? Express your goal in the first 5 minutes of your conversation.


(3) GIVE THANKS. All our mentors are volunteers, their only reward is knowing they’ve made a difference, and they’ll only know they’ve done this if you let them know. After the call completes, you’ll receive a text message with your mentor’s email address to follow up.


BONUS. Want more? This article gives you 18 tips on building strong networks and mentor relationships.

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