“The perfect date” — Kentucky ESGR offers insight on getting noticed by employers

Story by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Employment Transition Coordinator Tammie Hollar (left)  speaks to an employer and Soldiers at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 1, 2012. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — It’s been said that getting a job is lot like dating.  (If you’re already married, think back to when you weren’t.)  You don’t want to go out with just anybody, right?  You know what you want in terms of lifestyle and compatibility, and you’ve got standards.  Or at least you think you do.  So you look around, see what’s available, and you think about what you want out of “that perfect relationship.”  Eventually you find the right person — you hope — and you know you’ll have a great time if you can only get him or her to notice you.

And therein lies the problem.  Getting noticed and scoring a date with that special someone.

There’s no arguing that military life gives Guard members training and experience that can be used in civilian employment.  After all, that’s one of the great things about joining the Guard.  But translating those traits into a relevant job-related language and building a proper resume is all too often the biggest stumbling block to getting a date, er, um … job with the right employer.

That’s where Tammie Hollar comes in.

Hollar is the employment transition coordinator with Kentucky Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.  One of her jobs is helping service members find their voice, get their training and experience down on paper — or online — and help them on the road to a successful and happy career.

It’s a mission she is very passionate about.

“I’m a big believer in the employability of our Guard members,”  said Hollar.  “It’s just a matter of getting the attention of the right employer and matching up skill sets and culture fits, and selling them on who you are and what skills you have.”

Hollar has nearly 20 years experience in human resources, recruiting, managing and supporting diversity initiatives in corporate settings and working with community agencies that support people with disabilities and veterans.

In short, she’s “been there, done that.”

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Tammie Hollar (center) speaks with a civilian contractor at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 1, 2012. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Sgt. Scott Raymond)

One of the most crucial things that Hollar pushes is proper resume building.  Sometimes job seekers have a tough time understanding the resume building process.  Hollar is determined to get help overcome the wording.

“The people I work with usually have the skeleton idea or outline on what they want to say,” she said.  “But they’re not always sure on the latest resume trends and job search techniques.  That’s where I can help them.”

Hollar explained that because we are now in an age of automation and electronic search engines — think Google — companies use these same kinds of systems to screen applicants.

“If your resume doesn’t have the right key words, it may not even make it to an actual person,” she warned.   “You have to know the right words and phrases to put in your resume.  Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance in translating your skills to fit the workplace.”

Your resume is your branding, Hollar contends, so you have to personalize it with your abilities and training.

“It’s always surprising to me how many people act modest when it comes to listing their capabilities.  Remember, you’re not bragging — you’re looking for a job and they need to know what skill set you bring to the table.”

One other thing she suggests is personalize the resume to the targeted employer.

“That can make a huge difference.  It shows them that you’ve done your homework, that you’ve taken the time to learn what they’re all about and that you are eager to be part of their team.  Think of it as flattery.”

And a little bit of flattery — whether you’re looking for a job or a date — goes a long way.

To find out more about Kentucky ESGR and getting on with your career contact Hollar at Tammie.Hollar.ctr@ng.army.mil or message her through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KYESGR

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