Did you know there are three levels you can tap into for your job search? Many people focus on what could essentially be called cold calls. Sending your resume out anywhere and everywhere. Luckily, there are other ways that you can leverage your network while in your job search. And as a veteran, your network is even larger than you might understand.

The Three Levels of a Job Search

As you get out there and look for a job, here are your three levels of job searches and ways to leverage your network.

1. Cold calls or resume blast.

Even though I mentioned this in the intro I think it is important to dive deep into what cold calls are. We also need to discuss how much work is required to find a job through this method. First, you need to know what you are looking for in a job before you start submitting. Only having a vague idea of what you are looking for will make it harder for you to find the right job after service. Once you have general parameters, start applying.

It will require a lot of applications through the cold call method. So, apply, apply, apply, and then apply some more.  It is important to know that you will likely need to send out a lot of resumes.

When I left the military, I had no idea how much work was required to find a job. That is likely because most of the stories I heard didn’t come from the cold call process but instead through the second level or third level of job searching that leverages your network. Even if you use your network, you will still likely send resumes directly to companies. It is part of the process, and you should use all options available to help you find your new career.

2. Someone you know knows someone.

The second level of applying for jobs is to get connected. It’s better than cold calling too. If you know someone who is working in the industry you are trying to get into, set up a time to chat. Ask them questions not only about the work they do but also if they know of a company that is hiring. The goal of meeting with people is not for them to get you a job. Instead, it is to build a relationship and let them know you are looking for opportunities.

You can even use social media for this step. If you have a strong social network and know what you are looking for, you can post that your timeframe for leaving the military and that you’re looking for new opportunities. I have seen this happen and veterans regularly are ready to help people looking for a new career. Using these types of networks can be invaluable.

3. You know someone who can open a door for you.

The last level of searching for a job is by reaching out directly to someone you know who can open a door for you. Remember this step is only effective with people you have a relationship with and should be used with discretion. This is the exact opposite of step one. If there is a particular job you are looking at and you know someone who works at the company and you have a relationship with them, reach out to them to see if there is a way they can help get your resume moved forward. Always be gracious and humble – especially, if they are unable to help you.

The Veteran Network

It’s easy to not realize the different options available in the job search process. Creating a resume and distributing it to as many places as possible is just the first step in your job search. And you as a veteran are part of a special group of people and have a network that can help you in your job search so utilize that but don’t forget that it will require a lot of hard work. But in the end, that hard work will be worth it, and you will have a new career after your military service.

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Amanda is a military spouse and veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career. She published her first book in 2019 titled Women of the Military, sharing the stories of 28 military women. In 2019 she also launched her podcast also titled Women of the Military. In 2020, she was published as a collaborative author in Brave Women Strong Faith. And in 2021, she launched a YouTube channel to help young women answer their questions about military life, Girl’s Guide to the Military. You can learn more about Amanda at her blog Airman to Mom.