The Need for Professional Online Presence for Defence Veterans and Servicemen in Transition

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Many veterans and to-be veterans have an incredibly good understanding and know the need for online presence. However, their online presence is most of the time limited to Facebook. I see many veteran groups regularly active on Facebook. They use this platform to share unbelievably valuable information with regards to benefits and updates on their achievement in the civil career after their good days at Defence Forces. Many veterans also share remarkably interesting events that they went through during their active service. Some anecdotes and memoirs are worth reaching to vast readers as these have good learning and motivation for everyone to learn adapt in their personal lives. A few writings are humorous and the humor in uniform always has a different flavor and twist. These have the power to bring out a smile in anyone’s face.

However, the social networking sites provides them as a platform to stay connected to their olden days, they also must look at expanding their presence into professional networks, especially, those who are looking to explore a career as a civilian. Professional network sites help in putting up their past achievements and provides as a place for easy reach to the potential employers. There are a few professional network websites and LinkedIn is the most popular among them.

It is apparent that a serving soldier creates his/her professional profile on LinkedIn, besides their resume. Their online profile will help in attracting the recruiters to contacting for a job opening in their organization with ease.  The LinkedIn site provides everything that get your skills projected in a crisp and effective manner. While social networking sites gives place for sharing personal accomplishment and thoughts, professional networking sites gives a place to show professional achievement and an opportunity to share individual opinion and ideas that can help many students and young professionals. It also enables to establish a person as a subject matter expert and authority.

Hence, it is pertinent that all those soldiers who are aspiring to venture into a career in the corporate and private organization. Almost all corporate have their page and presence on LinkedIn. More than 95% of their employees also have their professional profiles posted on the LinkedIn site. Many companies are now moving from the traditional sourcing of resumes to social sourcing of profiles. Its much easier for them to identify the perfect candidate for the roles the companies are looking for. Most companies have given up the traditional route of posting their job descriptions in newspapers and magazines owing to the poor reach, cost and conversion comparing to the reach online.

How can you, a serving soldier benefit from this change. If you are still looking into the newspaper and magazines for job posting to search for your next career destination, you will be disappointed by the results. Its time to shift to your career search into the online professional network sites. LinkedIn is the most recommended site for its ease of use and wider reach.

You also have a chance to reach out to the top management people with an ease as they are continually active on the LinkedIn. Unlike the past, where it is was difficult or impossible to connect with the topnotch personnel in an organization, their connect and advise are available to you with a click of mouse. It is also equally important for you to showcase your profile at an appropriately professional levels for them to be impressed and respond to your request to connect or converse with you.

I have given a few tips that will help you during the process of making a most presentable profile on LinkedIn :

  1.  Choose a professional looking and clearly visible photo of yours for the profile picture. In case you do not have one at the present, please get yourself a photo clicked by a professional photographer. This is not an expenditure; it is an investment. Your photo is the most important part of your profile in any professional network
  2. Think about a clear profile heading that must convey what exactly represents your skill and your target audience is able to understand. Avoid writing headings like “seeking for job after serving in Army / Navy / or IAF”. Use positive and bold statement that is eye catching
  3. Avoid using any military terminologies. These words are hardly understood by anyone in the civil unless it is a veteran-brethren who is in working in the corporate now. Even he / she would have come past these jargon and find it difficult to comprehend
  4. Give a summary of your whole experience of 20+ years in one paragraph in the summary section. This is a difficult task and can be achieved by writing and trimming of your lengthy experience. You can always elaborate your specific experience and expertise in the specific tabs for your years in each unit. However, that will not create any interest in the mind of the reader of your profile
  5. Look for profiles with background like yours and to start with copy from each of their profiles and you will have your complete profile. By telling this, I am not encouraging copycat attitude in you. It is easy to walk the path already walked by someone and is successful than working hard and creating a path that will lead you nowhere. Hence, go ahead and refer to at least ten or 15 profiles before creating yours. Do not spend too much on researching too many profiles
  6. Once ready with the profile, get it reviewed by someone with prior experience. He / she will provide with an insight about your profile that you might have missed out or will help you in improvising your profile
  7. Keep reviewing your profile at least once in a month and make necessary changes as required from time to time. Over a period, you might outgrow your profile and if not updated periodically, your profile will start looking stale
  8. There is a section in LinkedIn to write articles and posts. Make use of this section effectively. Write one articles at the minimum every month. The article must reproduce your opinion on certain areas of professional improvement for the readers who visit your profile. Such period articles will slowly project you as an expert in a long run. Take due care to write articles that deliver value to the readers

So, what are you waiting for? Go on and create your powerful professional profile on the LinkedIn and get heard about your achievement, accomplishment and become the perfect candidate for their next best hire.

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