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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.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) will announce legislation Wednesday aiming to "fix" a new Trump administration citizenship policy that affects some children of U.S. service members stationed abroad.
The inside story of how The Village People shot the Navy's most controversial recruiting video onboard an active warship
The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.
Then the rhythmic clapping begins.
This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner (FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.
"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday casually brushed aside the disturbing news that, holy shit, MORE THAN 100 ISIS FIGHTERS HAVE ESCAPED FROM JAIL.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Esper essentially turned this fact into a positive, no doubt impressing public relations and political talking heads everywhere with some truly masterful spin.
"Of the 11,000 or so detainees that were imprisoned in northeast Syria, we've only had reports that a little more than a hundred have escaped," Esper said, adding that the Syrian Democratic Forces were continuing to guard prisons, and the Pentagon had not "seen this big prison break that we all expected."
Well, I feel better. How about you?
On Wednesday, the top U.S. envoy in charge of the global coalition to defeat ISIS said much the same, while adding another cherry on top: The United States has no idea where those 100+ fighters went.
A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday the White House's understanding is that the SDF continues to keep the "vast majority" of ISIS fighters under "lock and key."
"It's obviously a fluid situation on the ground that we're monitoring closely," the official said, adding that released fighters will be "hunted down and recaptured." The official said it was Turkey's responsibility to do so.
President Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday about what was happening on the ground in northeast Syria, when he announced that a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was expected to be made permanent.
"Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries," Trump said. "We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."
The president boasted that the U.S.-brokered ceasefire had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Kurds "without spilling one drop of American blood."
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.