20 Things Job Seekers Can Do During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on businesses large and small. From hospitality groups to financial firms to tech companies, businesses paused to figure out what comes next.

What does this mean for job seekers? Can you still find a post-military job when unemployment claims are skyrocketing and furloughs are becoming commonplace?

Yes, many companies are hiring. While recruiting, interviewing and onboarding are mostly done remotely now, there are still people finding jobs, getting promoted and growing their careers.

Whether you’re getting ready to transition out of the military or you’re in the job market currently, here are 20 things you could be doing to secure your next position:

Strategy

  1. Clarify your personal brand. Who are you, what do you want, and what can you offer? You need to be an expert on you, so spend the time to understand your brand and goals.
  2. Consider your values. What is your moral compass, and what are your non-negotiables? What do YOU stand for, and how will you move through your values to create value for others? Write down your values.
  3. Decide what will be your career path. Are you looking for a job or a career? What path have you laid out, starting with the first position and including any education you may need to arrive at your desired career? Map this out.
  4. Understand your ideal employer. Who are they, what do they want, and what value do they seek? Write down what you believe this employer needs from ideal employees.

Networking

  1. Who do you need to knowAre you connected to people with the influence, information and ability to endorse you to your ideal employer? Make a list of people you need to connect with.
  2. What do you want them to know about you/feel about you? Make lists of your goals regarding perception: What should your networking contacts know about you to best empower them to serve you?
  3. What do you need from them — information, introductions, referrals? Each person in your network can provide a different value to you. Write down, next to their name, how you believe they can serve you.
  4. How can you help them? Are you returning value, gratitude and referrals? Offer to write a recommendation on their LinkedIn profile, send a personalized thank you note, or introduce them to someone of value to them.

LinkedIn

  1. Connect on LinkedIn with people you’ve identified you need to know. Personalize the connection request and indicate how or why you believe a connection would be mutually beneficial.
  2. Initiate the conversation on LinkedIn. Personalize the message and perhaps suggest a phone call to learn more about their business.
  3. Review your LinkedIn contacts. Remove those who might reflect negatively on you because of their posts, comments or reputation.
  4. Solicit endorsements and recommendations to your profile. Send a personalized note to the contact you’re requesting the recommendation from. Offer specific keywords and phrases you’d like them to use, to strengthen your positioning and reputation.

Resume and Cover Letter

  1. Update your resume. Reflect any new certifications, knowledge or credentials.
  2. Check your keywords. Ensure specific, targeted keywords are used throughout your resume and cover letter, and are consistently promoted on your social media as well.
  3. Customize your resume to every open position you apply to. It takes time, and it’s worth it. Show the employer specifically how you are the candidate they seek.
  4. Look at the formatting of your resume. Is it clean and professional or overly designed? Can a reader find the information they need quickly or is it packed with irrelevant information that you could delete to streamline it?

Career

  1. Learn new skills by taking online courses to expand your certifications and credentials. Consider LinkedIn Learning courses that support your skills and experience and give you insight about the civilian sector.
  2. Assess the goals you initially set when you started your transition. Do you still want a management position or has that changed? Are new opportunities — given the job market — interesting to you? Write those down.
  3. Deploy a feedback survey to evaluate your current reputation. With your growth goals in mind, how much work do you have to do on your reputation to achieve your ideal career?
  4. Find a mentor. Now might be an ideal time to find someone who can coach you, guide you and offer support as you search for your next career move.

The job market certainly looks different in May 2020 than it did in February. But that can also reveal tremendous opportunities for job seekers willing to do the work and get creative in how they position themselves to employers!

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Source: Military.com

June is LGBTQ Pride Month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

Core Terms

  • ally: a (typically straight and/or cisgender) person who supports and respects members of the LGBTQ community. We consider people to be active allies who take action on in support and respect.
  • bisexual: (1) a person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to some males/men and females/women. (2) a person who is emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to people of their gender and another gender. This attraction does not have to be equally split or indicate a level of interest that is the same across the genders or sexes an individual may be attracted to.
  • cisgender: a person whose sex assigned at birth and gender identity align (e.g., someone who was assigned male at birth and identifies as a man). A simple way to think about it is if a person is not transgender, they are cisgender.
  • coming out: (1) the process by which one accepts and/or comes to identify one’s own sexuality or gender identity (to “come out” to oneself). (2) The process by which one shares one’s sexuality or gender identity with others (to “come out” to friends, etc.).
  • gay: (1) individuals who are primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to members of the same sex and/or gender. Can be used to refer to men who are attracted to other men, and can be applied to women as well. (2) An umbrella term used to refer to the queer community as a whole, or as an individual identity label for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual.
  • lesbian: women who are primarily attracted romantically, erotically, and/or emotionally to other women.
  • queer: used as an umbrella term to describe individuals who don’t identify as straight. Also used to describe people who have a non‐normative gender identity, or as a political affiliation. Due to its historical use as a derogatory term, it is not embraced or used by all members of the LGBTQ community. The term “queer” can often be use interchangeably with LGBTQ (e.g., “queer folks” instead of “LGBTQ folks”).
  • transgender: (1) An umbrella term covering a range of identities that transgress socially defined gender norms. (2) A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that assigned at birth based on anatomical sex.

Source: https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/

LGBTQ Pride Month Video

Take Time to Write and Solicit LinkedIn Recommendations

Today, it might feel like transition has slowed down. You may have approached your separation with excitement and enthusiasm, but suddenly find that the civilian sector stopped abruptly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interviews aren’t scheduled as quickly, offers aren’t made as quickly, and you have time on your hands. Now is a great time to write LinkedIn recommendations for people in your network, and to ask for some from your close contacts.

Why Recommendations?

Recommendations on LinkedIn carry weight and influence. They are written by someone with a LinkedIn profile (so the viewer can check out the author’s credentials) and, if done correctly, recommendations can speak to your value, skills and experience in ways you can’t.

When you write your LinkedIn profile, you know you must promote your accomplishments. This is not the time to be obscure and subtle when highlighting your value. If you’ve done great things and are capable of creating tremendous value for your employer, you can share that on LinkedIn. You’ll list your job experiences, point to the results of your actions, and share the many ways you serve your communities through volunteerism.

But how do you say what a great person you are? How do you let potential employers know that you’re someone who’s overcome obstacles in life? Either would be difficult to say about yourself. This is where recommendations come in. A focused and well-crafted recommendation can say things about you that would be awkward to say about yourself.

How to Write a Recommendation

When writing a recommendation for someone else, start by asking whether there are any topics, qualities or skills they would like you to highlight. Hopefully, they have a personal brand strategy with specific keywords they are promoting on their profile. Use those.

Make sure you speak only about what you know. Don’t feel you have to stretch beyond your knowledge and comfort. For instance, if you’re asked to write a recommendation that points to skills you haven’t witnessed or claims to have experienced their character in ways you haven’t, you open yourself up to risk that could harm your credibility. When in doubt, leave it out.

Note the value of your recommendation to them and their future success. For instance, I am in the branding and marketing business. If I write a recommendation for a graphic designer, it would carry a lot of weight, since I’m an expert in the field. That carries a lot of responsibility for me to be sure I’m careful about who I recommend publicly.

Similarly, say you were to write a recommendation for a soldier you served with, one who is transitioning to a career in graphic arts. You know them to be resilient, focused and patient because of the context from the Army. Are you qualified to speak about their creativity, imagination and computer skills unless you have experienced those as well?

How to Ask for a Recommendation

Asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn can feel like asking someone to tell others that you’re nice/cool/fun/worthy. But LinkedIn recommendations are not popularity gestures, they are strategic brand builders.

Ask for a recommendation from someone you trust, who’s seen your work or experienced your value. Then, offer to assist them in crafting the recommendation. You might suggest the keywords they could include that are most meaningful to you or the area of focus you are striving for.

Do you want the recommendation to speak to your past (what you did in the military) or what they believe you’ll contribute in the future? Do you seek a recommendation that speaks to your character and integrity or one that highlights your unique skills and talents? When you drive the formation of the recommendation, you are controlling the narrative around how you’ll be presented.

When time permits, LinkedIn recommendations are great to give and get. Be sure to periodically reorder them on your profile so the most relevant ones are on top, not just the most recent. This means you are being strategic about how your LinkedIn profile communicates your value.

Source: Military.com

Tricare Drops Telehealth Copays

Tricare will now cover telephone services for some medical appointments and will eliminate copayments for beneficiaries who use telehealth services in place of an in-person visit to the doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective Wednesday, the Defense Department’s health program will cover audio-only remote services for office visits “when appropriate” and will not require copays for telemedicine, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

The coverage will extend through the end or suspension of the national emergency as declared by President Donald Trump, according to the ruling.

The ruling eliminates cost-sharing, including co-pays and deductibles, for in-network telehealth services for both Tricare Prime and Tricare Select beneficiaries in all geographic locations.

It also lifts Tricare’s prohibition on medical services via telephone, allowing physicians or other providers to evaluate a patient’s symptoms by phone. While the ruling is clear that appointments via telehealth — with audio and video capability — are preferred, phone calls are acceptable for those who may not have access to high-speed internet or a computer with Wi-Fi access.

The service applies to any illness or injury covered by Tricare, including COVID-19, but calls must be considered medically necessary and conducted by a network Tricare provider within the scope of his or her professional license.

To be eligible for reimbursement for a telephone consult, providers should determine that a phone call is “appropriate for accomplishing the clinical goals of the encounter” and must document it, according to the ruling.

Any visit requiring a physical exam would not be appropriate for a phone consultation and would not be covered, Tricare officials added.

The ruling also lifts some restrictions on providers practicing medicine across state lines. Under normal circumstances, Tricare requires that providers must be licensed in the state where they are practicing, and they can treat patients only in that state.

Under the temporary rule, providers will still be required to be licensed but can provide telehealth and audio medicine to patients across state lines. For example, in Washington, D.C., Tricare providers would be allowed to provide telemedicine to their patients who reside in Virginia. Previously, this was prohibited.

The change was made to ensure that providers can deliver care as needed to beneficiaries, regardless of where they are located.

The licensure change also would let Tricare providers treat beneficiaries in other nations, as long as the host nation allows it and is not on a sanctions list. Under such circumstances, the host nation will still regulate the provider’s ability to practice; the ruling simply ensures that it is allowable in places where it is permitted and would be reimbursable under Tricare.

The change could help Tricare beneficiaries who need mental health services during the pandemic; some military families living overseas have said they are unable to access quality behavioral health care because mental health treatment practices and availability vary widely across countries.

Source: Patricia Kime, article found on Military.com