Sunday, November 15, 2015

Culture Clash: Silicon Valley Versus Veterans

Normally I keep my postings to the PSYOP world, but as we know, these are not ‘normal times’. As a volunteer for the DOD ESGR I get to visit units and employers. Sometimes ESGR is on the agenda as a major speaker and other times we’re a ‘vendor’ like other organizations whose mission it is to serve veterans.

Last week I had the occasion to attend a “Veteran’s Resource” event hosted by a major Silicon Valley firm. They might it quite clear that this was not a job fair, but a place where veterans could learn skills needed to help land them a job in today’s job market.

Services included resume review, mock interviewing and more.

Before I address LinkedIn and Facebook – I’d like to share two areas where the military culture sharply diverted from the culture of Silicon Valley. One of the more recent 20ish veterans shared the following:

Teamwork – in the military we are used to working together to accomplish a mission and take care of our ‘buddy’.  In Silicon Valley I couldn’t believe it when someone else took credit for my project right in front of me.

Promptness – the military teaches us that timing is critical and you needed to be counted on to be where you are supposed to be on time. This individual typically arrived a meeting 15 minutes early only to find that many colleagues didn’t arrive until 15 minutes AFTER the scheduled start time.

Let me save you a day’s worth of your time: most jobs today are still based on networking and prospective employers will be checking your bona fides on LinkedIn while checking your good judgment on Facebook.

LinkedIn is a recruiter’s best friend and you need to be sure that your LinkedIn profile is optimized. Here are some tips offered by information security vendor FireEye:

1.     Pick a professional and engaging photo. No cuteness – no dog.
2.     Make sure your 120 character headline is accurate and describes what you do in a creative way.
3.     Be certain your e-mail address is correct and is the one you check the most frequently.
4.     Use the summary to provide some additional details about yourself, your goals and accomplishments.
5.     Have a credible but not lengthy work history. Make sure it is in synch with your resume. Don’t go beyond 10 or 12 years.
6.     Get recommendations – they support your reputation and build credibility.
7.     Join Groups as a way to keep up with your profession and build credibility.
8.     Be complete to include your education and your volunteer work.

LinkedIn is for business and FaceBook is a social site. Your integrity and professionalism are on display – so be sensitive as to what you post and others post on your page.

Before closing, let’s take a moment and think about our French colleagues. We and our history owe them a debt.

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