You’ve made a decision and are headed back to the office. Perhaps you’re trading in playdates for meetings after a stint staying home to raise kids or maybe you’re finally going after the rewarding job you’ve always wanted, but couldn’t snag because you were moving so often. Whatever the case, you need a resume that actively sells the unique you.
Lucky for you, this is going to be easier than you think. Because you’re a military spouse, you’re made up of a unique set of circumstances that some employers celebrate. These are the companies that understand the truth about veterans and military families – that military spouses, in particular, understand pressure, are highly adaptable and know how to align a vision when they see one.
One word to sum up a military spouse? Resilient. You know how to adapt. You know how to get things done. And you know how to sacrifice. Yup – pretty much sums up the skills that employers love.
Companies like the health insurer, Health Net, actively seek out military spouses to fill positions because of the known value they bring to the workforce. According to Health Net’s Director of Communications, Molly Tuttle, Health Net Federal Services is actively seeking military vets, spouses and families to fill their new Tampa, FL, office. “These are the people who understand the challenges veterans and their families undergo when it comes to health care,” explains Tuttle. “No one knows those challenges better than someone who lives it – the military spouse. These are the people we want to serve our veteran community.”
So just how do you adjust for gaps in your resume? How do you give a strong interview after being out of the interviewing game for a while? Check out the following tips.
Capture your personal development. View your resume as a masterpiece in progress– not something you quickly update right before applying for a job. Tuttle, has hired many people for Health Net, says that she values a candidate who has a new certification in something, a volunteer position on base, or any kind of involvement in military organizations. “List them all,” she advises, “because this is a great place for interviewers to gain insight into your dedication, passions and skills.”
Close the gaps. Most military spouses have gaps in their resumes and/or resumes that are littered with more jobs and transfers than they’d like. “Don’t sweat it!” says Tuttle. What’s most important is that you spotlight your strong skills, detail projects that you crane-kicked in the face and jumped on opportunities that helped you grow personally and professionally. “Military friendly employers want to see that you can connect with the customer they’re serving,” says Tuttle. “There are many ways you can show this attribute even though you were not in an office.”
Be strategic. Read industry-specific publications, spruce up your knowledge, take on a freelance gig and verify that any credentials you may need are up to date. It’ll help your resume, and help you shine in the interview when you’re speaking about your abilities and skills.
Bug a Friend. Call upon other military friends for their contacts. “Interconnectedness in the military and veteran communities is vast,” explains Tuttle. “Seek out experiences that will give you job training, find out about new job boards, immerse yourself in an internship or volunteer opportunity. Use all those military contacts to get ahead of the competition.” And, if you have connections to someone working in your field right now, ask him or her to review your resume and give you pointers on how to optimize and modernize it.
Show confidence. “A spruced up resume will get you in the game, but it’s not going to win you the trophy,” explains Tuttle. “You’ve got to know your value and understand how to sell yourself in the interview. Be proud of what you’ve been doing as a military spouse – whether that’s raising kids, volunteering on base, supporting the military families around you, job shadowing or taking on part-time jobs in between moves.” You have a lot to feel good about as a military spouse. You have qualities that military friendly companies want!
Go to the right companies. Seek companies that value military sacrifice and understand the emotional toll it takes not only on the family, but on the spouse’s career trajectory and successes. Remember, Health Net Federal Services’ new Tampa, FL, office has 500 jobs to fill, and they’re recruiting right now! In fact, they chose this location for the office because it’s close to the James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital. Want to learn more? Check out a sample of Health Net’s job listings now, or learn a little more about Health Net.
Ready to blow a little dust off your resume, Indiana Jones-style? If you’ve got questions (or tips and advice), leave them in the comments. Let’s have an open conversation about your fears when it comes to getting back into the job game.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of HealthNet Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.