Author: GuideOn (page 1 of 4)

The GuideOn Skills Translation Method

Have you ever been to a Military resume builder or translation website and the system tells you that your Military position doesn’t transfer into a civilian job or it provides few skills for all the experience you have earned and the work you accomplished?

We’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it, and we know you have, too. That feeling you had of “what do you mean?” is understood and felt here at GuideOn.

Unlike many resume builders and websites that know little more than military titles and ranks, GuideOn knows “how the military runs” and more importantly deeply understands the amazing takeaways from your service experience.

We know the complexity of each military speciality and we work hard to fully and accurately understand where you’ve been and what you have done in your specific specialty.

We are able do this because at GuideOn we possess a rich and clear understanding of your military career path, training, education, and position responsibilities that correspond directly to your career experience.

Additionally, GuideOn possesses a real time inventory of job postings to make sure we can match your real capabilities to your future civilian job aspirations.

We do this in a revolutionary way. First, we take a hard look at your military position experience by examining each position held against the official regulation based responsibilities and duty bullets. Second, we research and determine the skills you acquired during your military career path, that includes broadening assignments, training and real world problem solving. Third, we relate your total experience, training, and final position level attained to a compatible civilian industry job position and role. Fourth, GuideOn develops civilian compatible resume statements to compliment your military duties by position. Lastly, with each resume statement, we pair up civilian leadership and technical skills that reflect what you bring to the civilian job market.

As a Military member, your rank and duty title/position may not make sense to a corporate recruiter. Your GuideOn resume bridges the gap between Military and civilian life as you transition. Your civilian compatible job title and resume statements may not be clear to you at first because we are focusing on descriptions of what you accomplished with the mindset of a civilian recruiter/hiring manager at the forefront of the translation. You’ll see differences in what you may have created in the past and what your GuideOn resume states. We match a civilian job title with your Military duty title to support your job responsibilities and level within the Army. That civilian job title is listed on your resume to bridge the gap.

At the top of your GuideOn resume, you will see your top nine civilian skills. GuideOn uses its research based, proprietary Skills Bank and mapping algorithm to accurately map in-demand skills that you have acquired during your military service to your resume statements. Review your resume statements and compare them with the skills listed. Make sure they make sense to you. Then review your top skills and research what they mean and how they relate to what you did in the Military.

We know this transition process is “the road less traveled” for you, your buddies, and even your families. The job search process brings uncertainty and fear to many people. Consider us your battle buddy in your search for a new job. We are here to provide support to veterans along this journey.

How to Obtain your DD214 or ORB/ERB

Your DD214

Many veterans already have their DD214 in paper form or saved to their computer. If you have your DD214 saved to your computer in PDF form, there is no needto go to eBenefits. Simply upload your DD214 (in PDF form) from your computer to GuideOn.

If you have paper copies of your DD214, you will need to scan and save your DD214 to your computer in PDF form, or you can snap a picture with your smart phone and save it in PDF form with one of the many apps in the Apple or Google store.

If you have already ETSed from the Army and can’t find your DD214, you will need to go to eBenefits to obtain it. Access will require either a CAC or Department of Defense Self-Service (DS*) log in:

  1. https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage EB1
  2. Select Log In or Register, depending on if you’ve created an accountEB2
  3. If you have already set up an account, you will be taken to a Login page; you must first agree to the terms before logging inEB3
  4. Select “Request your OPMF Information” button on right side of screen   EB4
  5. You will be taken to DPRIS – U.S. Government Information System page; select the “Accept” button with your cursorEB5
  6. Enter the email you wish to have your DD214 emailed to, check the Army box, check the DD214 box, and press “Submit” with your cursorEB6
  7. The system will email you once your records are ready for view; it can take up to 3 days for your records to be ready; once the records are ready for review follow steps 1-4 above.
  8. After completing steps 1-4; Select “View your retrieved OMPF Information” button on the right side of the page.
  9. Your records will be located at the bottom of the page and will be viewable/downloadable for 14 days only.
  10. Save your DD214 as a PDF, to a location where they can be easily retrieved.
  11. Finally, upload your DD214 to GuideOn.

*DS log in can be created by using the eBenefits website located in step 1 above.

Your ORB/ERB/SRB/2-1

Why an updated and accurate ORB/ERB/SRB/2-1 is important?

The ORB/ERB/SRB can be considered a military resume. It details all of your accomplishments and achievements while serving in the military. To best prepare for transition out of the military, it is an excellent practice to ensure that your record brief is always up-to-date especially with your schooling, awards, and assignments. 

How do you obtain your ORB/ERB?

How to obtain your ORB/ERB from AKO (Active duty Soldiers only):

  1. Go to Army AKO at www.us.army.mil.
  2. Select “ORB: Officer Record Brief”/ “ERB: Enlisted Record Brief” link under Army Links column on right side of the screen.
  3. Once forwarded to the ORB/ERB page, select the “view/print” button.
  4. Save as a PDF to your desktop, where they can be easily retrieved.
  5. Finished!

How to obtain your ORB/ERB in the Reserves/National Guard:

  1. Contact your Unit Administrator (UA) for assistance in building your 2-1/SRB.
  2. Ensure that you have all documentation required to help the UA build out your completed and accurate 2-1/SRB.

Feel free to contact us for assistance or with any questions in gathering your military documents and records.

-The GuideOn Team

Veteran Transition Story

Hear from Cali Arboleda, a member of the GuideOn team, on how he was able to make a successful veteran transition from the military to the civilian workforce.

All my life, I had to fight for the things I wanted. I always had some interest in joining the military since I was a child. As I grew up, I decided to go to college. I joined ROTC while I was attending the University of South Carolina to pursue my bachelors in Criminal Justice. Some cadets found the ROTC course and training regimen pretty easy, but unfortunately I was not one of those people. I remember I failed the PT test the first time. So, I started exercising more and more. Then, I went to the Leaders Training Course in Fort Knox, KY, which was my first exposure to the US Army. It was like a watered down version of basic training. It was hard — I got yelled at, did a lot of push ups, stood in formations, exercised, marched, learned to shoot, and got lost during land navigation.  

Somehow, I managed to graduate the course. Then, I had a year to improve my warrior skills and tasks with ROTC. I worked hard — I developed and persevered and made it to my culminating exercise. During this, I choose to join the National Guard versus going to active duty. I went to the Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course in order to become qualified as Armor Officer. I went in 2011 and graduated in 2012. Shortly after, I returned to the South Carolina Army National Guard and went straight into a pre-mobilization for Kosovo.  I was deployed to Kosovo as 1LT where I started developing all sorts of skills that I thought would be applicable to any civilian career such as project management, working with teams, and strategic planning. In 2013, I came back to US from Kosovo and felt confident that I had a launching point for my career as young professional, but really I had no idea what I was getting into.

I decided to move to San Francisco, CA from my childhood home of Greenville, SC. My first job here was a security guard manager working graveyard shift from 12am to 8am making 18 dollars an hour. Initially, I was pretty excited to pursue this new job and start my new life in San Francisco. I started working and eventually began to realize how under utilized I would be as a security guard manager. Furthermore, I began to realize how much 18 dollars an hour really is worth in the SF bay area. I grew frustrated with the awkward hours and low pay that is typical to most private security jobs and eventually left the company.

I wanted to do more with my life but I realized I had no clue what to do. So I applied online, but had no success whatsoever with online applications. I went through many JMO-centric recruiters like Bradley Morris. Despite setting me up with interviews, they offered very little advice or career guidance and just seemed interested in meeting quotas. A thousand rejection emails later, I decided to go to graduate school. I started perusing my Masters in Advertising degree at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, but it wasn’t really my cup of Tea. The program was too expensive and too focused on art and creative components of advertising and less on the business side. So I stopped two semesters in transferred to the Hult International Business School to to complete my Masters in International Marketing. During this process, I met GuideOn CEO Anthony Garcia while I was studying, and I explained to him my dilemma. He introduced me to the concept of GuideOn, which sounded like the thing I was missing from the military.

The whole move from South Carolina to California was hard enough, considering the cost of living laws and weather, but adding on the military elements made it nearly impossible. There were many days I looked at meager earnings in my bank account and wondered how I was going to make it through the week. I spent a lot of time wondering how I could have avoided this predicament. Maybe if there were some resources that were more relevant to the things I needed, I could have avoided it. In spite of of all my trials and tribulations, I managed to succeessfully complete my masters and become a Marketing Analyst with GuideOn. I don’t consider myself the most military person, but the one thing I took from the army is that with the right amount of perseverance, you can overcome anything.

Want to start getting the help you really need to get your career off the ground? Download our free eBook below!

The First Civilian Job: Advice from a Veteran After Securing their New Job

You have traded in your camo for your new work clothes. Your day doesn’t start with PT. Meetings start 3-5 minutes after their start time. You are now in the civilian workforce.

Last year, you had a chance to meet one of our team members, Wayne Ludwig, in his Transition Blog regarding his active retirement process after 22 years in the Army as a 31A MP. In the early spring, Wayne began a job search for a full-time position in the Boston area as a GS Security Specialist.

We checked in with Wayne six months after the start of his first civilian job to see what advice he had for Veterans during their ETS and how it went from point A to B.

What are the most important lessons you learned from your time between activity duty to your first civilian job?  I learned that it is important to spend time before you officially retire and even before transition leave to actively look at what opportunities are out there in the job market.

An early start enabled me to have many different applications in for not only civilian companies, but also on USA Jobs for federal jobs. If you are looking for a shortened transition, it is really important to try for that head start. I also found that talking to my friends, old colleagues, and former bosses led to many possible job solutions for me. It enabled me to get a job working in my initial transition period with an amazing start up company [GuideOn] and ultimately to my current federal job that I occupy.

The military network is strong, so never forget to use those opportunities. And then also remember to try to be there for others in return when they begin their transition journey.

What are two resources you used while transitioning (workshops, websites, etc)? I went through the Soldier for Life transition program which provided some general guidance. I tried a few other websites, like Hire our Heroes, but achieved little success. I also used a military transition group on LinkedIn that provided a lot of perspectives from other people on what they were going through on their transitions.

My real benefits came from my job initially working with GuideOn. It was there I started realizing how to capitalize on my military experience by relating it back to the civilian job market in ways they can understand. As I assisted in the translation of combat arms job skills to civilian job language, I began to see the relevance to the leadership and training gained from the military and how it brings the necessary skills to the civilian job market that managers are all looking for. We, veterans, have so many skills and experiences to offer in the civilian world, we just have to understand the right way to promote it.

What advice would you give another Veteran for finding a job, negotiating salary, and/or interviewing?  I would say avoid forcing the fact you were in the Military as the reason to hire you. Tell them what you did in the military in terms they can easily understand and show them you are more than qualified to hold the position you are looking for. Sell the leadership skills and teamwork that is so often missing in a lot of civilian agencies. DON’T sell yourself short! I have often heard now that I am “out” of the military that I don’t act like I am still in. I think that is important to know because that “in the military still” attitude can be a big negative to people that have not been in the military. I am very proud of my military background but don’t force it down people’s throats.

Again, it is what you bring from your time in the military that sets you apart; a working attitude in your new environment is just as important. In my interviews, I used terms I knew that my interviewers would easily understand, stayed away from acronyms, and kept a positive, confident vibe throughout. My interviews all seemed to go well because I prepared myself on knowledge of the job position and the company it was with. I made sure my lasting impression was what I could bring to the table in that position to make the company more successful. I also negotiated a higher scale for my job by very thoroughly detailing my military job experience to the requirements of the position I was hired into. That attention to detail allowed me to start in the middle of the scale versus the beginning. It definitely makes a difference.

I guess I would end by saying: Use the amazing skills you gained from the military to propel you to the next platform in your civilian job, but make sure it is in ways the interviewers and hiring authorities can understand.

The Value of Your Military Experience In the Workforce

Military experience is complex. Trying to explain it to someone who has never been a part of the community or even known a soldier, personally or professionally, is even more complex. When you sit down to look at career exploration, start with resume translation and interview preparation. Breaking down the process into two phases can be helpful. The resume will be the written, first impression that a potential employer sees as it slides onto the desk amongst possibly hundreds of other qualified applicants. The interview is your opportunity to present yourself as the qualified, professional you are — in person, in real time.

So when you’ve made it through the application process, translated resume in hand, you look good on paper, but what other qualities may an employer be interested in talking about in person that you can directly relate to from the framework of your military experience?

Deadlines

A mission-oriented life means deadlines are non-negotiable. There is most likely a sequence of events either happening, about to happen, or already happened and in review and your task falls or fell somewhere on that spectrum. Every day of your life has involved deadlines that were a part of a much larger objective. While the civilian workforce hold deadlines in high regard as well, your ability to respect, meet, and go above and beyond will supercede the majority of your civilian counterparts. Bottomline: You know how to get the job done.

Teamwork

A successful military career breaks down to your ability to work as an effective, functioning member of a team. The level to which this meant life and death during your time in the military is paramount and has shaped your definition of a team for life. While your future civilian career and the teams in which you’ll interact may not function at such a high level, your success will still lie on the basic ability to work well in a team. Effective communication, respecting opinions, and appropriately executed actions add great value to all career experiences.

Community

A large part of your military career has been laced in and through a community. You have thrived not only in a work environment that required teamwork but a larger community that knows the importance of family, communication, outreach services, and looking out for your fellow man. This heightened awareness and sense of community may not be as commonplace in a civilian work environment, but your ability to connect, give back, and be socially aware of work and social events will position you well as someone who is cognizant to the people, places, and events surrounding them.

Now that you better understand the real value of your experience, take the first step towards transitioning into a civilian job! We’re here to ensure it’s as easy as possible.

GuideOn + Stanford = Veteran Opportunities

GuideOn officially placed our first Veteran to the Stanford Ignite program, a program within the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Amanda Taplin, Air Force Combat Veteran from San Antonio, TX, will be attending the Ignite program this coming summer. For the past 6 months, we have been evolving a partnership with Stanford’s Business school to not only place Veterans in their program but also place Veterans in jobs.
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The Ignite program is a one month crash course in entrepreneurship. It is designed to prep potential entrepreneurs for a career in technology. Recently, Stanford has created a program exclusive for Veterans. In our first year working with Stanford, we submitted five GuideOn candidates. The process for submission was resume creation, one on one coaching by our Candidate Services team, and completing an interview with a Stanford representative. We are so proud of Amanda for her recent acceptance into the program and we have one other GuideOn candidate on the waitlist. This is a very competitive opportunity, but we have no doubt we will provide the bulk of their veteran candidates next year. If you are a veteran and interested in this opportunity, please contact
GuideOn Candidate Services.
 

 

 

 
 
 

Meet the Team: Wayne Ludwig

WAYNE

Hi, I’m Wayne Ludwig, a Behavioral Scientist Researcher at GuideOn.
I am working very hard with all the members of our research team at GuideOn to ensure that your hard earned military service is translated into a quality resume. Our goal will always be that every veteran is able to use our resume to showcase their vital skills that civilian companies are looking for, and be compensated at their worth.

I currently live in Boston with my family, and my priority remains to spend as much time with them as possible. You can count on me cheering on my boys playing high school sports and enjoying newly discovered outdoor hobbies with my wife like kayaking and geocaching.

I’ve just recently retired from the Army with almost 22 years of service in the Military Police. I served two combat tours in Iraq and also served in six other countries throughout my career. I am so excited to be helping other vets find a great jobs and being a part of a team who helps and assist with easing transitions.

~Wayne

 

Gaps in Employment

Explaining the gaps in your employment history can be both nerve wracking and confusing for most people. As many Veterans decide to leave the Military and use additional vacation time to transition into their next career path, this additional gap combined with military service can prove confusing to potential employers too. In our September 2015 blog, ETS Equals Active Job Seeker, we discussed what employers might assume of a candidate with a gap in their employment and often “…employers believe the best workers are the ones who already have work.” But as with life, things happen. Unemployment happens, transitions happen, and in the end, honesty is always the best route. 

From family emergencies, illnesses, layoffs, and even luck, each person can be faced with the decision to work full-time or use their time and attention for something else. Overall, honesty will be your main champion on your resume and in your interview.

First, let’s discuss your resume. Your resume is a brief overview of who you are and why a company should sign you up for an interview. Most recruiters are looking at your last two positions in less than 30 seconds to determine if you are a quick fit for the job. If this is where your gap in employment resides, it’s time to make sure your resume is setup to answer questions with clear and concise information. (Note: GuideOn users can add the following information to your Civilian Job or Skills Sections.)

  1. Professional Experience versus Employment. An Employment section of a resume just tells the reader that you worked, but a Professional Experience section can cover a variety of experience and skills learned over time. This avoids you putting more than one sentence about why the gap is there if it works. Use your cover letter to explain any additional information if needed; your resume should include all the achievements and experiences in the past 10 years.
  2. Volunteer work. Add Volunteer positions into the Professional Experience section. Why? You either provided part-time work for free which the organization appreciated or you provided a skill they did not have but added to the organization’s success. Talk to the organization about being your reference and the title you could list as your “job”. This could include PTA officer, Troop Leader, and Volunteer Coordinator if you gained experiences due to parenting or a personal break in employment.
  3. Stay Active and Share. Emphasize any activities you undertook during the gap to improve your professional standing. School, certifications, volunteering or major personal projects can be mentioned as well as consulting, freelance or contract work. The time you dedicated to a project will show your active learning ability. Additionally, mentoring and coaching peers and children should be noted to share your ability to be a part of another person’s development.
  4. Importance of the Skills Section: Having this at the top shows what you bring to the table regardless of gaps in time. Add years of skill experience to enhance that element if the company has it listed in the job description. For example: “10 Years Project Management”, “Bilingual- Spanish (Read/Write)”, or “2 Years Fundraising”. You can add additional Skills to your GuideOn resume by clicking on the Skills section and adding a new Skill at the bottom.

Next up: How to discuss your gap in employment during your interview. Remember, you want to tell the hiring manager or recruiter why adding you to the team is the best option for both parties, don’t feel that you need to give all the details of your gap. Compare it to purchasing a quality used car. The goal is to find out how well the car will help you and be an asset to your life; not all the bad things it went through and how it might not work in one year due to a previous issue or change.

  1. Job cuts. Why are you no longer with your last employer? Identify if you aren’t at a company because of a restructuring or downsizing. Those two words are important to why you no longer work at a company in a time where there are cutbacks, even in the Army.
  2. Your Choice to Leave. Explain your reason for leaving a company in a positive way during an interview. What were your achievements? What did you learn that you want to use in your new job?
  3. Focus on the future. Rather than dwelling on or apologizing for the break, you want to let the interviewer know that you are excited and ready to work. Be prepared to answer questions based on your previous jobs, experiences, and values. Provide positive, future focused responses and be proud of the accomplishments you’ve had at a job, in school, when volunteering and in life.
  4. Be Honest. At the end of the day, just be honest if asked what you were doing during a gap in employment. How you verbally respond to the question and your physical behavior portraying confidence will allow the person to best understand why you were without a job for a specific period of time. 

With ever changing career mobility and economic tides, gaps in employment are becoming more and more common. Don’t let any taboo fears override your instincts to just be honest and explain periods of unemployment in your professional life. Honesty and confidence in your journey will be your best accompaniment in a resume and interview setting.

Ted Talks for Veterans in Transition: How to Talk so People Will Listen

Ever wonder if people are really listening to you? As we’ve seen in previous TedTalk highlights, there are great behavioral methods to adopt to be not only a more effective communicator, but also someone who others’ actually listen, absorb, and react to. As your transition from military to civilian life involves many conversations where you
need answers, assistance, opportunities, and results, Julian Treasure has some great tips on how to speak so that people WANT to listen.

 

 

 

Meet the Team: Kristin Aguilar

KRISTIN-2

I’m Kristin Aguilar and I’m part of the research and behavioral science team (aka the resume makers) at GuideOn.

As an Army Brat, I’ve grown up with the military as part of my life. It’s how I describe who I am because it has shaped my values and allowed me the opportunity to be around various people from different backgrounds. I believe it’s part of what has propelled me into the fields of higher education and leadership development over the

years.

I combine all of that experience and knowledge to find the best elements of a resume for you because I understand your background, your work ethic, and your worth. I am also part of the team that can coach you and prepare you for an interview.

I love social media, working out to PiYo and Cize, and spending time with my family and furbabies. My hometown is San Antonio, but as you know, Army Brats have a hard time claiming one place- my heart is also in Heidelberg.

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