Your How-To Guide for a Positive Experience at a Hiring Our Heroes Career Summit

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Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes Career Summits are a hiring-event hybrid, designed for both military community members and employers to have a positive experience.

Typically, the events are held on military installations and open to job seekers that have base access. Local, regional, and national employers participate in the interactive panel discussions and industry-focused workshops. Military hiring experts provide guidance on resumes, networking, LinkedIn profiles, and job interviews. The event culminates with a career fair.

Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, Hiring Our Heroes hosted only three Career Summits in 2020. Typically, we host around 45 Career Summits worldwide annually with successful results. In 2019, 43% of Career Summit attendees received a job offer after making a connection with a hiring manager or recruiter at a Hiring Our Heroes event.

Soon, Hiring Our Heroes will be offering in-person Career Summits again. For a list of upcoming HOH events, visit Hiring Our Heroes Events calendar.

If you’re attending a HOH Career Summit for the first time, here are five steps for you to take before, during, and after the hiring event that may help you have a successful experience.

5 STEPS FOR SUCCESS AT A HIRING OUR HEROES CAREER SUMMIT

Let’s start with what you need to do before the event.

4 Weeks Before the Summit: Register for the Career Summit

After registering for a Hiring Our Heroes Career Summit through the Hiring Our Heroes Events page, you will be contacted via email by a HOH Career Connector. The connector will review your registrant profile, your resume, and help you prepare for this hiring event.

Career Connectors serve as the primary point of contact for individuals inquiring about Hiring Our Heroes programs or events. As liaisons, they provide high-touch, individualized guidance ensuring veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses are given the right support at the right time. Email the Hiring Our Heroes’ Career Connector team to learn more about HOH programs and events. They are ready to connect you with resources and referrals including Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program, Salesforce Fellowship Program, Solar Ready Vets Fellowship Program, and Military Technician Education Network (M-TEN) apprenticeship. These industry-focused internships connect veterans, transitioning service members, military spouses and caregivers with training and professional experience in high-demand career fields with innovative employment partners.

If you do not receive an email from a Career Connector soon after completing your event registration, check your spam folder.

Our Career Summits can host 200 employer booths. By registering early, you will be privy to the most up-to-date event information, to include the employers that will be participating in the career fair portion of the Career Summit. 

3  Weeks Before the Summit: Prepare to Talk about Your Experience, Education, and Future Aspirations

We recommend that you update your resume and ask for feedback on this resume through your local transition office before attending the Career Summit. If you aren’t able to schedule an appointment with your transition office, ask Hiring Our Heroes Career Connectors for free military resume writing resources!  

If you are transitioning out of the military, visit your installation’s transition office and review our resource guide to find out if you qualify for the DoD SkillBridge program.

Bring many copies of your resume to the event. Use a folder or portfolio to store your booth priority list and resumes. Have your elevator pitch and a few questions ready for your conversations with each booth representative. Your elevator pitch should explain who you are, what your skills are, and what your career goal is. Practice your elevator pitch and common interview questions leading up to the event. 

2 Weeks Before the Summit: Research Participating Employers

It is important to know a bit about the employers who are attending the Career Summit. Make a priority list of which booths you want to visit during the event. Familiarize yourself with each company’s mission, vision, and career page. Search Google News for any relevant news centered around the company booths you want to visit.  

During the last year, Hiring Our Heroes hosted virtual employer spotlight webinars. These informational interview-style webinars offer military job seekers the opportunity to learn about opportunities and hiring processes from employers like Booz Allen Hamilton, USAA, Capital One, Prudential, and many more. Browse our Resources library to learn about these employers and their military recruiting efforts.

It’s go time! As you walk into the Career Summit, keep in mind that it’s going to be a busy day.

On the Day of the Event: Waiting in Lines and Interruptions During a Booth Conversation Are Common

Our Career Summits are loud, busy, and fast-paced.

There may be a long line for one of the employers listed as your priority. Be prepared to stand in line and wait your turn to make your first impression. Try to limit your initial conversation to less than 10 minutes, especially if there’s a line of job seekers.

If only one booth representative is present at the Career Summit, you may get interrupted during your conversation. That’s fine. Try not to expect too much from this initial interaction; the post-event follow-up is critical to progress your candidacy for further employment opportunities.

Visit as many booths as you can throughout the Career Summit, you never know what types of opportunities are available unless you ask.

You’ve left the Career Summit, but your work isn’t done yet. This last step is critical to your success.

Less Than 24 Hours After the Career Summit: Following Up Is Critical to Your Success

During the summit, ask for a business card or write down each booth representative’s name and email address for those that you talk with. Send this person a connection request on LinkedIn with a personal note in your request.

Our Career Connectors recommend that you email them a short thank you note for taking the time to speak with you at the Career Summit.

These two actions will go a long way in furthering your employment opportunities at a particular company. In your notes, thank them for their time at the summit and ask to speak again in the near future. The goal is to continue the conversation and further your progression with their hiring process.

Once the Career Summit is over, it is up to you to take what you learn and apply these principles for employment. The Career Connector team is here to begin this journey with you, so utilize your Career Connector at any point of your employment journey. They are ready to help you through your military transition and look forward to supporting your civilian career goals.

Military community job seekers meet, network, and interview with regional and national employers at Hiring Our Heroes Career Summits. Visit HiringOurHeroes.org to find a Career Summit near your military installation today.

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