By Britni Miltner, Navy Spouse
Military spouse employment.
Is it possible to turn job hunting as a military spouse into a positive thing?
Yes! I say, embrace your military spouse status! In fact, I have it displayed proudly on my LinkedIn.
Military Spouse Employment and Networking
Use our network to our advantage. We want to help each other!
In my opinion, our network is our greatest mil-spouse advantage. We are a mighty network and tend to look out for each other.
This is really where LinkedIn comes in handy. Create a profile and connect with as many contacts as possible. Use the search function on LinkedIn if you want a job with a specific company. You can also use LinkedIn to check if any of your contacts have a connection with a desired company. Additionally, you can see if they’ve been employed by that company at any time in the past. If they have, you can request an introduction. Remember, sometimes it’s who you know, not what you know, that will help you.
Think Outside the Box
Get creative with your resume. Companies receive thousands of responses to a job listing, especially if it’s a remote position. Out-of-the-box applications and resumes help you to stand out.
Use Your Resources to secure Military Spouse Employment
Network with other military spouse professionals and expand your network by utilizing networking groups. Groups, such as Hiring our Heroes, provide resume and interview prep, as well as other helpful resources.
The Mil-Spouse Advantage
There are resources available exclusive to military spouses! Instant Teams is mil-spouse owned and pairs military spouses with remote positions. Setup a profile and apply for the positions you’re interested in.
Military One Source is also a great spot to look for jobs available through the Military Spouse Employment Partnership. The Paradigm Switch is exclusively for military spouses. It “puts military spouses first by building a community dedicated solely to helping them achieve their career and personal goals. Through access to resources, scholarships, and connections with other like-minded spouses, TPS empowers spouses to unleash their unlimited potential and take control of their careers and their lives.”
Additionally, the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network helps mil-spouses develop a plan of action. They also assist with resume building, creating a LinkedIn account, and gap skill training.
Use your volunteer roles as experience. I know, you’ve heard this one before. But you CAN, and you SHOULD use your volunteer experience to your advantage. Military spouses are known to be excellent volunteers. And even though it is unpaid, it’s still experience.
If you’re not volunteering now, get started! Volunteering is an easy way to gain experience in a field you’re interested in and gets your foot in the door.
Owned & Operated
Look for military spouse or veteran-owned companies. They are familiar with the military life and recognize that resume gaps aren’t cause for concern.
Also, being a military spouse might help you score a work-from-home position. Some companies love the idea of hiring military spouses and understand that remote work is a great option to support military families. Use this information in your pitch to work remotely. You can also turn your position into a remote one when it’s time to PCS. It also wouldn’t hurt to include numbers and research to back up your argument. Point out how working remotely can save the company money, and how you don’t need to utilize company health insurance.
I Speak from Personal Experience
It worked for me in the past. I was initially employed in a corporate office. When I left due to relocation, I proposed the idea of working remotely. At the time the request wasn’t granted. But, about a year and a half later, I was called back! They knew that I would be a loyal employee, and because I knew the systems, there was no training needed. Ten years later, I’m still working remotely for the same company!
We Can Do It!
Being a military spouse is tough, but we are resilient, and flexible. Networking, utilizing available resources, volunteering, and creativity, can help alleviate some of the difficulty that comes with job hunting. Turn your military spouse status into a positive!
Setup that LinkedIn account, connect with fellow mil-spouses, list all of your work and volunteer experience, and display “proud military spouse” on your profile! Remember: We Can Do It!
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Britni Miltner is a Navy spouse, self-proclaimed “Expert Googler” and seasoned networker with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business from Auburn University. With Gables Corporate Accommodations since 2006, she is also a volunteer Mentor for Military Spouse Advocacy Network’s New Military Spouse Support Program. Britni started MilSpouse Resource in November 2015 to share remote work, entrepreneurial ideas, and inspirational stories.