A few thoughts on job and career fairs, part 1: Niche Events like Military MOJO

I have participated in more career and job fairs than I can count, and I have also had plenty of conversations with others who have made the circuit of job-seeking events.  Many of those I chat with are frustrated, and some of them have reached the point of “job fair fatigue” that they are giving up on attending them.

A lot of their frustration comes from an unclear set of expectations for what job fairs are about.  Not all job fairs are the same, and not all career fairs have the same goals, opportunities, or areas of interest.  Just like everything else in life, job and career fairs are different, and if you don’t recognize that going in then you, as a participant, will likely become frustrated and disillusioned.

There are many different types of fairs, and each of them provides a different service and experience for the transitioning military or veteran participant as well as for the companies and organizations that attend.  The underlying goal for fairs is universally the same – to provide avenues to employment for vets and those in transition – but how that goal is achieved varies with each and every fair.  To help those who are not familiar with the differences am writing a string of posts to highlight different types of events.

The first type of career fair is one that is focused on a specific niche of transitioning military and veterans.  Military MOJO is one organization that specializes in matching transitioning and veteran military officers and noncommissioned officers who have earned college degrees.  They have four conferences spread across the country throughout the year (in Austin, Virginia Beach, Washington D.C., and San Diego)  Dozens of companies are on hand at each conference to meet with hundreds of veterans, and a part of the engagement process includes resume review and placement of resumes onto a database that is accessible by participating companies.

Military MOJO’s next conference goes in Austin, Texas on March 27 and 28.  To learn more about the conferences, you can read the Military MOJO Conference Press Release.  If you for some reason you cannot follow the link, I have reposted the contents of the release below:

MOJO (Military Officers Job Opportunities) is a premier hiring event pairing commissioned military officers, senior non-commissioned officers, and non-commissioned officers holding degrees with national employers seeking veterans for leadership opportunities.  MOJO will be hosting four events this year in Austin, TX; Virginia Beach, VA; Washington, DC and San Diego, CA. Candidates and companies interested in this unique opportunity are invited to visit Military MOJO’s new website at http://www.militarymojo.org for more information on how to attend.

These events will showcase Commissioned Officers (formerly and currently commissioned): meet exclusively with Junior Military Officers (JMOs) and Senior Military Officers (SMOs) from the ROTC, OCS, CWO (Chief Warrant Officers), National Guard and graduates from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, Naval Academy, West Point, Norwich College, The Citadel, Villanova, VMI, and other military schools. Senior Non-Commissioned Officers: meet with SNCOs (E-7, E-8, E-9) who are experienced high-potential, skilled leaders. They have hands-on technical and functional training, four-year college degrees.  Transitioning Non-Commissioned Officers:  meet with young, ambitious, college-degreed transitioning NCOs who potentially have previous corporate experience. These candidates have a minimum four year B.S. or B.A. degree from an accredited university and some have their MBA’s.  Candidates skill set/experience will include: STEM, Six Sigma/Supply Chain, Operations, Logistics, Project Management, Sales/Marketing, Manufacturing, Cyber/Intel, Consulting, Government/Defense, and many areas of Engineering.  Most candidates have TS/SCI, CI & FS POLY Clearances.

Candidate registration includes individual resume review and career coaching, a networking reception, industry seminars and face-to-face interactions with national companies. Our volunteer team in comprised of former military officers and corporate executives who are committed to the mission of supporting veterans transitioning into the private sector. Company registration includes booth space, interview space, a recruiter focus group (best practices military hiring), networking reception with complimentary food, beverage & bar. Companies will receive resumes of registered candidates 2-3 weeks prior to the career fair. There are no extra fees for hires. For a list of companies currently attending the event click here.

The dates and locations for the 2014 hiring events are:

  •     Austin, TX – March 27-28, 2014
  •     Virginia Beach, VA – June 19-20, 2014
  •     Washington, DC – September 25-26, 2014
  •     San Diego, CA – December 4-5, 2014 

Each event will feature a company check-in, recruiter focus group, industry seminars/sponsorships and networking reception on the Thursday prior to the career fair to bring the companies and candidates together. The career fair will take place on the following Friday from 9am-4pm with a one hour lunch break.  To learn more about the conference and registration for the different locations, visit http://www.militarymojo.org.

About Military MOJO: Military MOJO hosts exclusive hiring events throughout the year to pair military officers with high profile employers. The niche career conference showcases candidates who are currently and formerly commissioned officers: ROTC, OCS, Service Academy – West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, Citadel, VMI, VA Tech, Warrant Officers. Some in attendance will be Wounded Warriors Officers.  To learn more about Military MOJO and upcoming events, visit http://www.militarymojo.org.

Their career fair is a great example of one that focuses on a specific niche of veterans, and if you are in that group then you should certainly check it out.  In my next post we’ll take a look at job fairs on military bases.

 

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Transitionnews: Military/Veteran Jobs and Benefits news of the day for for 3/21/14

Good news story of the day

Marine lost leg, but not passion for serving  (The Tennessean)  Two and a half years ago Lance Cpl. Jeremy Vanhoose lost his leg in an explosion in Afghanistan, but the Marine did not lose his purpose: to serve.

Military Transition News

Military MOJO Announces 2014 National Hiring Events for Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers  (PR Web)  MOJO (Military Officers Job Opportunities) is a premier hiring event pairing commissioned military officers, senior non-commissioned officers, and non-commissioned officers holding degrees with national employers seeking veterans for leadership opportunities.

Confusion continues over TERA, VSP application approvals  (Air Force Times)  Despite an announcement Saturday that the Air Force had decided to resume processing applications for voluntary separations and 15-year retirements after a “strategic pause,” airmen are still being told that processing is on hold, an airman told Air Force Times on Thursday.

New veterans’ initiative to aid transition to civilian life  (The Aiken Standard)  A business, education and nonprofit collaboration will lead to part-time employment opportunities for student veterans enrolled at the USC Aiken and Aiken Technical College campuses.

Higher jobless rates for Iraq, Afghanistan vets  (The Sacramento Bee)  Military veterans are having better luck finding jobs, outpacing their civilian counterparts in many states, but younger former troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan still lag behind.

The Ozarks: A ‘Good Place to be a Veteran and Get a Job’  (KSMU)  The Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Career Center in Springfield hosted the Hiring Our Heroes Veterans Job Fair Thursday, aimed at finding employment for military veterans and their spouses. KSMU’s Shane Franklin was in attendance, and has this report.

‘Transition GPS’ helps troops re-enter civilian world  (Hilltop Times)  Feedback on “Transition GPS,” which prepares service members to enter the civilian workforce, indicates it improves on the program it replaced, the director of the Defense Department’s Transition to Veterans Program office said here March 11.

Helping hand: Readiness course assists with job hunt  (Army Flier)  Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, once said that change is the only constant in life, and it was Louis Pasteur who is quoted as saying, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”

Recent veterans struggle to find jobs  (USA Today)  Despite downward trends in unemployment across the country, veterans who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars still have difficulty finding work, according to government jobs data issued Thursday.

Veterans unemployment rises in Texas, falls nationally  (Dallas News)  The unemployment rate of military veterans rose in Texas last year, showing it’s still tough for returning soldiers to find a job even as the economy improves.

Veteran employment decrease first since 2001  (Dayton Daily News)  New Labor Department figures show the unemployment rate for working-age veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces since September 2001 edged down slightly in 2013, to 9.0 percent.

Veterans News

Governor Cuomo Holds First New York Veterans and Military Families Summit  (LongIsland.com) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today held the first New York State Veterans and Military Families Summit.

SBA working to get loans into veterans’ hands  (Rochester Business Journal)  Our nation’s veterans have served our country proudly and bravely. They are true American heroes, and we must make sure we’re doing everything possible to support them once they re-enter civilian life.

House committee moves bill to let judges consider PTSD, brain injury in sentencing combat vets  (The Republic)  The House Special Committee on Military and Veterans’ Affairs moved a bill Thursday allowing judges to consider post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries as a mitigating factor during sentencings of combat veterans.

Veterans fight the organic fight at Delaware Valley College training program  (Philly.com)  With his burly physique and woolly beard, Brandon Barnhart looks every inch the laid-back country kid from tiny West College Corner, Ind.

Tuskegee Airman recalls his career and an aviation pioneer honored on a new stamp  (The Washington Post)  The U.S. Postal Service has released a stamp in honor of C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, a black aviation pioneer who taught hundreds of Tuskegee Airmen as chief flight instructor at the historic Tuskegee Institute.

Benefits News

What’s in Veterans Affairs’ $164 Billion Budget?  (The New York Times)  The secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, last week, outlined President Obama’s 2015 budget for the department before hearings of the House and Senate veterans affairs committees, calling for total spending of $163.9 billion, a 6.5 percent increase from last year.

VA-DoD common records system may still be possible  (Military Times)  After being jilted again and again by the Pentagon in pursuit of a common digital health records system, the Veterans Affairs Department is hoping a new makeover will finally get its own system noticed — and perhaps get defense officials to commit to a long-term relationship after all.

Veterans First lives by this motto: Never say ‘no’ to a vet  (Orange Country Register)  We could talk about today’s ribbon-cutting. About the grand opening of a new Veterans First service center.

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Have a great day!