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Networking is Important! Your Next Job Could Depend On It!

Maintaining contact with friends and associates has always been a challenge for military personnel and their families due to their frequent relocations and changes to their address, phone numbers, etc! But...the internet has changed all of that with a worldwide resource for maintaining relationships! Add in Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Plaxo and other social and professional networking tools and the opportunities for maintaining a network of friends and employer contacts continues to expand!

How important is networking? When was the last time you heard of a great assignment opportunity in the unit, or talked on the phone, emailed or responded to a friend on your Facebook accounts? All are networking opportunities and create knowledge and opportunity for the military member and family members as well! A recommendation from a friend, military supervisor or a family member of a military contact to the hiring authority can be key to that next job!

How about membership in professional organizations such as the enlisted/officer or spouse club, that volunteer job, military organizations such as the VFW or American Legion, church groups, your childrens' room parent and youth team contacts? All are potential networking opportunities and a means to spread the word that you are looking for employment! Don't be hesitant to tell others about your desires for a job!

We asked a military recruiter at USAA to give us some thoughts on military spouse employment. John DiPiero, USAA Military Recruiting, and a retired USAF Colonel, sent us some great ideas for you to use during your job search. Notice his emphasis on Networking!

"A big challenge for military spouses is frequent moves requiring multiple job changes. Military friendly employers understand this, but you may find some that don’t have an appreciation for the military lifestyle. During the interview, don’t be bashful about explaining why you’ve had frequent moves and that it’s tied to your spouse’s military service obligations. Ensure the interviewer clearly understands your intentions are to remain employed for as long as your spouse is stationed there. They may ask how long that might be. You should explain most military assignments last for about three to four years. The interviewer will be able to see how long your employment lasted for previous jobs on your resume. Just be able to explain why. And remember, NETWORKING is your most powerful employment tool. Use your connections to improve your opportunities."

Finally, a new tool on MilitaryAvenue, Military Answers allows you to ask for assistance while finding employment information at your current installation. Or if planning a PCS move you can look ahead and ask for opportunities at your new location! What a great way to start a new network of military friends as well!

Best wishes for that job search in a brand New Year!

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