At LeaderQuest, our primary mission is to teach our students everything they need to know to get certified and excel in their current or desired position. To that end, we hire expert instructors with years of industry experience in cyber security and information technology to teach our classes. Our training will give you the skills and IT certifications to make you an attractive candidate for the kind of jobs you’re looking for. But we don’t stop there. We also provide an Employment Development Manager at each of our campuses, whose only job is to help connect our graduates with amazing jobs.
Get to Know Your Friendly, Local Employment Development Manager (EDM)
At LeaderQuest, we’re deeply committed to finding employment for each of our graduates. Your EDM is your personal employment advocate, and they have many tools they can use to help you find the perfect position. Though LeaderQuest is not a placement agency and can’t guarantee a job, the IT market is thriving and certified individuals are in high demand. Read on to learn more about how your EDM can help.
Discover the Ideal Career Path
If you’re not sure where in information technology you’d like to land, talk to your EDM! They can help you plot out a career path and choose the certifications that will help you get there. They can also advise you on which certification exams to take first to help you qualify as quickly as possible. Connecting the dots is much easier when you have a little help!
Learn Inside Tips on Resumes, Cover Letters, and Applications
Our EDMs are experts when it comes to making a convincing case for why a company should want to hire you. They can help you write stellar cover letters, resumes that stand out, and know online applications inside and out. They can offer the inside perspective on what employers are really looking for and how they think when assessing candidates. You may think your resume is perfect, but a resume custom tailored to the job you want is the most powerful one of all.
Optimize Your Job Search
Are you wasting time with inefficient searching techniques? Our EDMs are seeking jobs for our graduates day in and day out, and they know all the secrets to find the right jobs and do it quickly. They can help you put your time in the right places and increase efficiency. By focusing your job search correctly, you’ll save time and energy and get the interviews you’ve been seeking.
Advance Your Networking Skills
When it comes to networking, nobody knows how to do it better than our EDMs. If you haven’t been able to make deep, powerful connections at networking events, your EDM can help. Your network is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal when it comes to getting hired. Your EDM can help you identify connections you already have and look for places to make new connections.
Hone Your Interviewing Skills
When you walk in the door and shake hands, nothing beats confidence. Whether you want to try a mock interview or you just want to go over the basics, your EDM can help you gain confidence in your interviewing skills. Our EDMs are experienced interview coaches, and they can help you polish your skills until you outshine every other candidate. They know what hiring managers are looking for and can help you practice the kind of questions you’ll be asked.
Benefit from your EDM’s Connections
Each EDM has strong contacts with employers in the community and wants to help you get hired! IT employers in the community often come to us looking for candidates. Our EDMs help line up our graduates with these companies so they can get the interview. EDMs are also familiar with top IT employers in the area, and form relationships with the hiring managers there. This is their number one job: helping our graduates get considered for the roles they really want.
Are you ready to get started?
EDMs are here to help you with everything we’ve mentioned above! If you want to gain access to this powerful employment advocate, enroll with us for IT certification training! Your instructors will impart the knowledge that employers are seeking, and your EDM will help to make you look like an amazing candidate that local employers are eager to hire. Start your new career and get hired in IT today!
You spend years of your life in the dedication and protection of your country and the people you love, only to return home after all that hard work to a job market that doesn’t know how to value your dedication and evaluate the learning you’ve already done.
A corporate IT career path is about as different from the military promotion system as civilian life here in the US is from the time you spent as a soldier overseas.
You send in countless resumes only to get back one rejection email after another… without so much as a chance to meet someone for a face-to-face interview to show them how capable you really are.
It’s totally unfair, we know.
And it’s frustrating. Beyond frustrating.
But the silver lining is, there’s always, always a way to swing your military experience in your favor without making life-long desk jockeys uncomfortable around you or sounding like that old man down the street who sits on his porch with a shotgun and a can of warm beer talking about his own good old days in the Army.
Because the truth of it is, your status as a veteran and your experience in the military are an advantage in the IT job market… you’ve just got to do some reverse-engineered thinking to figure out how to put a spin on things so your resume, cover letter, and interview make you a no-brainer to hire.
Here’s what we mean:
1. Incredible Attention to Detail is Needed for an IT Career
In the military, those tiny details you had to pay close attention to and worry over could literally make the difference between life and death.
Information Technology, though usually not life-threatening in any way, is what it is because of the small details and the attention to how to optimize even the smallest things for the greater good.
It’d be rare to find a non-veteran with the respect and attention towards even the smallest details that you’ve had to learn in your time in the armed forces.
2. Post 9/11 GI Bill® = IT Training for Veterans
The desk jockeys of corporate America may not realize the gravity of the work you’ve done in the military (try not to hold it against them). But they almost always respect the desire for quality education.
As a veteran, one of the best advantages you have access to is the Post 9/11 GI Bill®. You can fund some quality IT career training and IT certifications for yourself once you get out of the military to get a head start in your civilian IT career.
If you’ve already used it, flaunt that shamelessly. Show off that you dove head-first into an IT education so you’d be able to do the best job possible once you landed a new IT career.
If you haven’t used it yet and you know what IT field you want to go into, you can add to your resume when you’ll be starting your new educational program, or even just mention what you’ll be using your GI Bill® for.
If the reason you’re reading this article is that you are currently considering all of your different options, be sure to read “5 Reasons Why Veterans Make Perfect Network Security Administrators.”
Pro tip: If the company you want to work for doesn’t have any openings, ask for a 30-minute informational interview, presenting yourself as a veteran interested in their line of work. During the interview, you can ask for suggestions on which IT certifications for veterans to pursue and what programs they recommend. Keep in touch with your interviewer thanking them for their time and again when you’ve enrolled in an IT training program. It’ll keep you top-of-mind for when a new position opens.
3. Leadership Is Your Way of Life
Confidence, being able to take charge to solve technology problems, and a having a knack for creating workable solutions are some of the best assets you can have in the IT world!
In the military, leadership gets ingrained into you at a much younger age than most young people who go directly into a corporate IT career path.
For example, most people join the military rather young (some at only 18), so by the time you’re 22 (the age most people graduate from college), you’ve already got a couple of years of experience leading and managing a team of people.
Most corporate hiring managers don’t realize this, though, so make sure you carefully point it out on your resume.
4. No-Nonsense Management Systems
Along with early leadership, the army and the other branches of the armed forces do not mess around with wasting time, money, or resources when it comes to getting things done.
There might be a bit of puffery in the corporate world that you’re not used to, but at the end of the day, the main decision-makers of any company are looking to run their businesses with that kind of no-nonsense, goal-achieving work system you learned in the military.
So while your fellow entry-level tech colleagues may not ‘get it,’ your bosses and managers definitely will.
5. Perseverance & Calm Thinking During Chaos
To say things get chaotic in an office environment after the things you’ve experienced in the army may seem like a bit of a joke to you.
But when there’s loads of money on the line for one particular business deal, tensions can run pretty high between co-workers if it looks like things might not be going your way and the deal might be lost.
Or, particularly in cyber security, if you’ve got a hacker that’s advancing quickly and you can’t seem to figure out what to do to stop him, panic can quickly take over for the average IT professional. But not you…your training gives you the ability to think clearly and react better, which makes cyber security training for veterans a good fit!
You’ve been taught how to persevere when things get tough (heck, most of your corporate colleagues probably couldn’t make it through boot camp), and you know how to calm your mind to think progressively and analytically during chaotic situations to come to the smartest course of action possible.
Revamp Your Resume & Start Advancing to Your IT Career
Another thing that’s different from the military in the corporate world is speaking in “I” instead of “we.”
The military is all about group honor and value, which is great. But when you’re getting hired in the corporate world, it matters less what your group as a whole accomplished and more what you did individually to contribute to your group’s success.
So while you might have the right information on your résumé, you’d be surprised what a difference in wording could do for you!
And while we’ve only listed five here, the University of Colorado made a list of 21 advantages you can easily list out on your resume and cover letter as a veteran, depending on the job in IT that you’re going after.
For more help revamping your resume to get hired quickly into the career path you want, check out our IT career services and our free 10-step checklist that walks you through a successful job search.
Did You Know?
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Reading through a stack of resumes is boring… like sitting and listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher ramble all day long.
A big part of our advice on this blog has been to help you stand out as a job applicant so you can get noticed in a sea of faceless resumes.
This advice isn’t going to be any different.
You see, the reason reading resume after resume is so boring is because they’re all painfully the same. Sure, one person may have worked a year longer than another, but other than these tiny differentiators, it can be a tough call who will be a good fit for a new position because 99.99999% of all resumes lack any hint of pizzazz or personality.
The good news for you is that taking an extra 30 minutes to an hour on your resume to quantify your experience into numbers and emphasize the things you’ve accomplished will almost guarantee that your resume stands out from the rest.
Why Results-Based Resumes Rock
Results-based resumes showcase the results you’ve worked hard for and your value as a potential employee.
They show that you’re a go-getter—not just another desk-sitter and clock-watcher.
Results-based resumes work incredibly well for people who’ve had a slew of short-term contract positions and internships, or for people who explored something unrelated for a while. They’re also great for people who want to turn their hobbies into a career, because while they might not have a background of impressive ‘professional’ titles to slap on a piece of paper, they have accomplished some real things of worth.
How to Quantify Your Results
If you’ve already got a resume written out, take a look at it.
For each position you have listed, pick out one to two things you did that really blew the socks off your boss or your clients.
If you were a web developer at an SEO agency, how much faster did the websites load once you were finished with them?
If you worked as a security support analyst, how much time and money did the systems you put in place save your clients?
The types of numbers your future boss will care about the most boil down to three types of statistics: money, time, and percentile improvement. When you quantify your results, make sure it’s in one of these terms.
The CAR Format
CAR is an acronym to help you format and present the results-based sections of your resume. It stands for:
If you stepped into a contract position and their internal database was a total mess, that’s your challenge. Action is what you did to fix it. And the results can include quantifying the improvement made on the database.
Formatting the Resume
Formatting the resume is important. For the most part, you don’t have to vary too far away from what people typically recommend for a standard resume.
Here’s the sections of a typical resume:
- Name & Contact Information
- Executive Summary
- Core Proficiencies
- Professional Experience
If you like, you can merge the executive summary and core proficiencies into one section (still labeled along the lines of ‘executive summary’) that acts as a host for keywords present in the job description and a teaser to pique the interest of the HR manager to read further and set your resume in the ‘yes’ pile.
The professional experience section is where you want to shift your focus. Instead of being headstrong about doing everything in reverse chronological order and listing everything by job title, company, dates, and job responsibilities, you can make each section based on a specific ‘CAR.’
You’ll still want to mention what your job was an where you worked at the time, but those are secondary factors in comparison with the wow factor of the quantified result you were able to achieve that you’re showing off.
Considering the ATS
Honestly, unless you follow our advice and get to email your resume directly to your immediate supervisor, your resume will probably go through an applicant tracking system, or ATS.
These systems are there to scan your resume for keywords and to parse out details on your work history… which means they’re tailored for a typical reverse-chronological resume instead of your kick-ass results-based resume.
If you’re left with no other option than to submit your resume through an ATS, then you actually might want to format your results-based resume in the same way you’d format your typical resume.
The thing you’d want to change is the bullet points under each position you list to still show the CAR format of presenting information, with a heavy focus on the numbers. You might even want to bold the end results so they stand out more.
If you can work around the ATS and present a better formatted results-based resume to a real person, then do it. But if not, this is a nice secondary option that still focuses on results and adds some pizzaz to your resume and makes you more memorable than everyone else.
Be Proud of Your Resume – Flaunt it Shamelessly
Now that you’ve got an incredible results-based resume, be proud of it and flaunt it shamelessly in front of your network and anyone hiring for a job related to your skill set.
Send it in for the jobs you want, knowing that you’ve got a much higher chance of landing yourself in the ‘yes’ pile that gets called in for an interview than the hundreds of other lame, boring resumes that don’t showcase anything special.
If you want some help making your results-based resume even more impressive, check out our Career Services for scheduled career workshops and individual career advising.