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The Best Way for Transitioning Vets to Answer 'Tell Me About Yourself'
When I first started telling people I was leaving the Army, I didn’t have an elevator pitch ready to trot out. I stumbled over what to say and how to say it when people asked the inevitable “So what’s next?” I knew I needed to have a succinct, snappy answer once I started interviewing for positions, but I didn’t realize how useful it would be to figure out a short personal statement before I even started job searching.
Luckily, I found help from some internet research before too much time had passed. One of the best ways to frame your answer to “tell me about yourself” comes from an article I read on The Muse by Kathryn Minshew, the career company’s founder.
The formula: present-past-future
For example, say you’re at a networking event and someone says to you, “So, tell me about yourself.” Using the formula, you could say: “Currently, I’m an intelligence section chief in San Antonio. I supervise 10 individuals and focus on terrorism threats in fifteen South American countries. Before that, I worked as a ground intelligence analyst. Now, I’m excited to find a fraud prevention position at a large bank in Dallas. I think it’s a perfect match for my analytical skills and career interests.”
How to use the formula
To break it down, first, you craft a sentence or two about what you’re currently doing. Try to make it as strong as possible. For example, highlight your leadership if you’re in charge of anyone.
Next, you need a short statement about your prior experience. Try to pick a position that makes sense for the career you’re transitioning into, if you have many past positions to choose from. For example, you may have worked in logistics early in your career before you changed MOSs. If you’re aiming for a civilian logistics job, you should highlight that experience in your “past” blurb.
Last is your future statement. This is where you explain where you want to be. In general, the more specific, the better. If you give a vague answer, such as “I’d like to work in management,” it shows that you’re desperate and unprepared. When you give a vague answer, you show you haven’t done any research to find a particular industry or company that suits you.
When to use this formula
Many people are eager to help job seekers. If you give specifics when you’re networking or even chatting with friends and family, it’s easier to help.
Take, for example, the intelligence section chief in the first example. With that statement, you get a place, a position, and an industry. The person you say that to can pull from multiple resources. Maybe he or she has a colleague in Dallas that you can meet up with. Perhaps the person has a friend who works in USAA’s financial crimes unit and you can speak with her before you leave San Antonio.
While it might take you a few days or weeks or even months to figure out what exactly you want to do post-military, once you know, craft your elevator pitch. You never know who may have connections. And you won’t find out unless you give a clear indication of where you want to go and what you want to do.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."
A video has emerged showing a U.S. military vehicle running a Russian armored truck off the road in Syria after it tried to pass an American convoy.
Questions still remain about the incident, to include when it occurred, though it appears to have taken place on a stretch of road near the Turkish border town of Qamishli, according to The War Zone.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.
Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.
Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.
Survival expert and former Special Air Service commando Edward "Bear" Grylls made meme history for drinking his own urine to survive his TV show, Man vs. Wild. But the United States Air Force did Bear one better recently, when an Alaska-based airman peed in an office coffee maker.
While the circumstances of the bladder-based brew remain a mystery, the incident was written up in a newsletter written by the legal office of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on February 13, a base spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose.