It’s hard to overstate how quickly technology has changed over the past ten years—it literally touches every part of our lives. And as technologies continue maturing, their capabilities become increasingly effective. And as people continue to adopt key technologies, their use becomes expected by employers and employees alike. In other words, if you aren’t using certain technology or applications, you are actually putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage and make it harder to find a job after you get out of the military.
This is why we want to spend time in this article ensuring you have a handle on the essential technologies needed for employment preparation, post military. The three minimum requirements are not just having, but also being proficient in, the three following areas: personal email address, LinkedIn, and Zoom. Yes, there will be others but these are the essentials.
The first is the most basic—having a personal email address. We realize you probably already have a personal email address, however, let’s talk about why it’s important and why all email services may not be the same.
First, you need a private email address to put on your resume so that prospective employers can easily contact you.
If you already have an email address, be sure the address is professional and cannot be mistaken or misread easily. For example, if you were an employer and you saw an email address like “firstname.lastname@example.org” what kind of impression would you be left with? Yes, it’s just an email address but, believe me, people are looking at all of the details. Your email address needs to be professional looking and simple enough to allow for the fewest possible errors when using it or verbally articulating it over the phone.
Beyond a professional, personal email address, other considerations are all the additional capabilities you get with some email services. I am talking about document, spreadsheet, and presentation software that comes free with the email service. A great example of this is the amazing capabilities present in Google’s suite of services you will receive when you sign up for a free Gmail address. Once you sign up for a free email address, you will also get Google Calendar, Documents, Sheets and Slides, Notes, and Hangouts with your email. This entire suite of applications is very powerful and useful in helping you think through communication strategies as you plan for your unique military transition.
The next critical piece of being tech ready is opening a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is THE go-to platform for business professionals. At the time of writing, LinkedIn’s membership was around 690 million users with the majority of them in the United States. 95% of Fortune 500 companies use LinkedIn for talent sourcing, and this number will continue to grow.
As a prospective employee, if you don’t have a digital presence, you’ll be at a competitive disadvantage in the employment marketplace. However, if you create a digital presence on LinkedIn, not only will you be visible to future employers, human resources people, and hiring managers, but you can also begin networking with key subject matter experts and begin learning more about specific jobs you may be interested in.
The last critical piece of being tech ready for transition is using Zoom. Zoom has grown to be the most popular teleconferencing application in the world, particularly in light of COVID in 2020. The vast majority of companies, schools, and organizations use Zoom to keep students connected to teachers and teams communicating effectively while travel and face-to-face meetings are restricted.
Relating to employment specifically, initial video interviews are very common these days. It saves the company a lot of money up front and allows them to get to know prospective employees like you.
At PreVeteran, we also use Zoom for all of our current and future courses to hold live weekly sessions and webinars.
At a minimum, you will need to know how to accept a Zoom meeting and ensure your computer has the necessary audio and video components to participate in the call. If you are using a laptop—especially if you have a newer one—you will have the resident audio and video needed. If you are using a desktop computer, you may need to purchase a video camera and microphone or use your Airpods for the audio portion.
PreVeteran Can Help You
We know that preparing for military transition can be daunting and confusing, with lots of moving parts. Creating a successful military transition that is as unique as you are will take the right framework, individual tools, and support.
Part of the framework we provide in our initial course, “Employment Prep,” takes you through the steps of getting tech ready for transition and so much more.
To get ready for employment post-military, sign up for “Employment Prep” by clicking this link and also download our 5-step guide to getting the job you want after the military.
Also, be sure to watch and subscribe to our videos on YouTube and leave you comments on our LinkedIn company page.