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Networking critical, though difficult

Army and Air Force Career and Alumni Program

Published: 12:00PM August 1st, 2013
Networking critical, though difficult

Courtesy photo

Coral Levang, a Transition Assistance Program facilitator, extends her hand to reach out to a Soldier while she thanks him for his service as she promotes personal encouragement during a workshop at the Army Career and Alumni Program center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

In today’s tough job market, networking is critical in landing a position. Although hundreds of people continue to search for jobs online, most positions aren’t posted or advertised publicly, says Matt Youngquist, president of Career Horizons.

It is important to network with hiring managers, recruiters, and decision-makers early in the transition process to get maximum exposure and to avoid being lost in the sheer number of applicants vying for the same opportunities.

Networking has become an essential element of a successful job search, yet it can be a nerve-wreking prosepct for some. It is difficult to go out and strike up a conversation with perfect strangers during a networking event.

Service members on Joint Base Lewis-McChord can get help from the Army and Air Force Career and Alumni Program, located in Bldg. 3271, 2nd Division Drive, Lewis Main. AACAP offers a variety of workshops aimed at building networking skills for job seekers.

The Interview Workshop teaches, among others, how to develop and present an “elevator speech” or “30 second commercial,” while the monthly AACAP networking events present a chance for service members to network with prospective government and civilian employers from the surrounding JBLM community.

Service members within 18 months of separation or two years of retirement are eligible to take advantage of AACAP services. The JBLM AACAP is also responsible for providing transition assistance to those assigned in the Pacific and Mountain Time Zones, more than 50 miles from an existing AACAP center.

Editor’s note: AACAP is a joint term used on JBLM: ACAP is used by the Army and still found in email addresses.