Monday, May 07, 2012

Job skills

Earning a college degree and obtaining skills are not one-in-the-same. After reading articles online and seeing recent college grads complain about not finding a job I think people need to be reminded of this fact.  During your time in the military, college, or both, obtain specific skills in the areas where you want to pursue a career.  Employers want to see three (3) things from candidates -

1. Skills
2. Examples of them demonstrating those skills
3. The ability to be self-directed

An accounting student goes to college and take courses in bookkeeping, finance, etc.  That student can also work a part time job as a book keeper for a local non-profit.  After that person graduates and goes on an interview, their resume reflects that they have specific skills in bookkeeping, a work history of using those skills, and an example of their self-direction (getting a part time job).

Another example is a member of the U.S. Navy.  The Sailor might have a specialty in satellite communications.  That Sailor earns certifications plus has a demonstrable skill set with examples of real-world experience.  The Sailor gets out of the Navy, goes for an interview, and has a marketable set of skills that a telecom vendor or multinational corporation need.

In the end it boils down to what can you do for the employer.  The student who majored in Accounting can say, "I can keep your finances."  The Sailor can say, "I can build & maintain your communications infrastructure."


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