Friday, November 10, 2017

6 Great Steps Toward Veteran Career Management Success

More than anything, military veterans want to feel productive and useful after their service. In
addition to the stress of transitioning into civilian life, many veterans are concerned about post-deployment career opportunities. The military offers awesome training, experiences, and education but it can be challenging to translate military experience into skills and qualifications that employers understand.  Below are a few practical ways to arm yourself for today’s job search:

1. Determine the job you want in the civilian market. Many veterans will leverage their skills from their time in the military to align with the civilian equivalent. Use these skills translators to help tighten your focus.
2. Play up your moments of brilliance. This is not boasting. Cite specific, performance-based achievements on your resume. Here is an example bullet point:
  • Saved company $100,000 yearly by developing new shipping and inventory system.
 Learn how to create effective accomplishment statements.

3. Build your LinkedIn account to highlight your Professional Headline. Your LinkedIn "Professional Headline" is the one-sentence description of you that appears below your name on your Profile.
It appears with your name and photo in everything you do in LinkedIn (make a comment, start a discussion, send an invitation to connect, etc.). “Civilianize” your military job title on your Profile so that employers will understand how your experiences can fit into their organization.

4. Join groups on LinkedIn that relate to the career you are searching for. Engage in conversations with other professionals to make connections and become well-versed in the industry happenings. Join WGU – Western Governors University Alumni and Students  group to connect with other WGU military veterans to build your professional network.

5. Develop a list of target employers and research each company you are interested in. Know what they do, how long they’ve been doing it, and what their current needs might be so you can target your resume and talk about how you can be their solution with confidence in your interview.

6. Go to job-fairs well prepared to network with targeted companies. Research companies and prepare thoughtful questions ahead of time so you are able to focus your day on making REAL connections with representatives, without wasting their time.

We are proud of and support all of our military veterans and have curated Resources for Veterans to assist you on this journey toward career success. We empower and encourage all WGU students and graduates to explore, develop, and actualize individual career paths by providing current resources and strategic guidance. Please do not hesitate to contact a career specialist for personalized student-veteran career assistance.

For personalized, one-on-one career support, contact WGU Career & Professional Development today!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

3 Tips to Starting Your Own Business

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit with dreams of owning your own business one day? With this in mind, WGU Career & Professional Development has compiled resources for students and graduates.

First, explore business ideas.
Many pathways can lead to a successful and rewarding business venture. Maybe you want to make a business out of your passion, or you have discovered an unmet need in the market. Perhaps you are interested in purchasing an existing business or franchise. Here are a couple resources that can help you determine which business idea might lead you down that path to success.
  • Entrepreneurial Aptitude – Select CareerBeam Self-Assessment Tools from the Self-Assessment webpage and complete the Entrepreneurial Aptitude assessment to help determine if entrepreneurship might be the right career path for you.
  • Market Research Tools – The Small Business Administration has a collection of free tools to help you find that competitive edge.

Next, do your research and make a (business) plan.
Once you have a solid idea in place, it is time to get to work researching the ins and outs of building a business. The U.S. Small Business Administration is a government agency that provides an array of free services for entrepreneurs. Are you unsure of how to write a business plan? Do have questions on how you are going to fund your business? Overwhelmed with where to start? Don’t worry! These resources provide valuable information on how to turn your idea into a successful business reality.
  • 10 Steps to Get Started – (Start here!) You will find tools and information related to creating a business plan, funding your business, and making key decisions to help you successfully get your business off the ground. 
  • Workshops & Learning Resources – Browse webinars and live workshop opportunities offered by SCORE, a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Finally, build a support network.
Starting a new business can be exciting and rewarding, but unforeseen challenges and obstacles can also accompany the process.  Make sure to seek a support system to gain expert advice and to help maintain motivation and momentum. Get involved with your local chamber of commerce or small-business chapter. Find a mentor who can help you test your ideas, and seek information about the nuts and bolts of getting your business started. Here are a few places to start looking for support.
  • SCORE Business Mentor – Search through thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the United States.    

Although you will certainly require support beyond the scope of our services, contact the Career & Professional Development team for career management support and assistance to help you achieve your goals. You took a leap of faith to earn your degree; this can be one more success-chapter in your life!