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Military Life 101

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Bring Your "A" Game to the Job Search

I want to share the story of a spouse I've been working with since August 2009. She just relocated to a new area, received an MSCCN invitation to join a virtual seminar, "Desperate is Not a Job Title," and decided to participate. She warned me in advance that she was shy.

After the seminar I received an email from her thanking me for the information. She also requested that I review her resume and keep her up to date on open positions in her area. I made a few suggestions regarding her resume, sent her some websites and companies to watch, and mentioned the MyCAA spouse scholarships to her.

We started corresponding on a regular basis, and she mentioned that she made a list and broadened her job search. This spouse also did her homework and didn't rely solely on job boards to find positions. She made an appointment with the military family center to get more information to help with her job search and was already signed up and approved to start taking classes through MyCAA.

She told me she knew the competition was fierce for every position and she'd have to bring on her "A" game to the job search.

She continued taking training courses with MSCCN, attended an MSCCN event at her base, learned about elevator speeches, wrote her elevator speech and practiced it until she delivered it naturally. In September, I asked her to take part in an experiment. I met another spouse new to the area and wondered if she'd like a job buddy. They started trading information about jobs and job fairs and in October she went to her first ever career fair. She's now a job fair veteran and encourages other spouses to attend, as well. She was truly enjoying her job search.

In early January, after six long months and only one interview, her hard work paid off. She interviewed with a number of companies over the past few weeks and even turned down a position that wasn't a good fit for her. She practices several hours a night before each interview.

This week she went to a panel interview (after a very difficult phone interview). She'd already interviewed at another company that morning, and went fully armed to the big one. She knew the company wanted someone who took initiative so she prepared a portfolio for each interviewer that included a really nice cover letter, her resume, references, two letters of recommendation and two examples of work she'd done at her previous position - professionally bound in the hiring company's colors ($2 each) and blew the panel away.

She received a call on the way home from her interview from the employer telling her they were very interested in her.

Get out your "A game" it takes time and effort but the payoff is huge.

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