5 Tips to Stand Out During Unprecedented Job-Market Turnover

5 Tips to Stand Out During Unprecedented Job-Market Turnover
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Even before the pandemic, human resource specialists anticipated lots of movement in the labor force. Now, with unemployment rates declining and GDP rising at unprecedented rates, experts predict voluntary job-leaving will increase significantly as employees resume job searches they were putting off.


One expert called it “pent-up turnover demand” in a recent CNBC article. And whether you call it a “turnover tsunami” or the “Great Resignation,” about 55% of people in the workforce are likely to test the waters for a new job in the next 12 months, according to Bankrate’s August jobseeker survey


What does this mean for transitioning servicemembers, veterans seeking career advancement, and military spouses contemplating workforce re-entry?


Well, it may translate into a lot of opportunities.


[RELATED: Visit MOAA’s Job Board, Powered by Indeed]


As people move around the workforce – whether they seek upward mobility or a better quality of life – it creates a new employment landscape for jobs that maybe didn’t exist, weren’t being filled, or simply weren’t unavailable a few short months ago (or at the height of the pandemic) because they were occupied by a tenured employee.    


So whether you are just exploring or actively seeking new opportunities, here are few tips to help you find the right fit and stand out in a crowded job market.


1. Assess

Make sure you are building your future on the right wall. Conduct a thorough self-assessment. Reflect on your “why.” Determine your preferences, motivations, values, and strengths, as well as your personal and professional priorities. 


Studies have indicated nearly 43% of veterans seek new career opportunities within their first year on the job, and the average job tenure for veterans in their first job post-military career is just over two years.  Although many veterans indicated they would like to remain with their employer, they ultimately left in search of increased salary and benefits, career advancement/promotion, and lack of professional development. The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University authored a comprehensive study on veteran job retention in 2016. 


2. Prepare

Once you have examined and identified your motivators – whether they be passion, purpose, job title, compensation, or quality of life – share them with your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to help you refine your objectives and set your strategy. 


As you conduct your market research and comprehensive review of the employment landscape, continue to grow and expand your network of strategic contacts and relationships in a targeted and systematic fashion through professional sites such as LinkedIn and networking/hiring events like MOAA’s Virtual Career Fair.


[REGISTER TODAY: How to Work a Virtual Career Fair (Sept. 27) | MOAA’s Virtual Career Fair (Sept. 30)]


3. Focus

Refine your options from general concepts of “what” you would like to do and begin to translate them to specific industries, sectors, and locations. The MOAA Job Board is a great tool and resource to research job titles and position announcements to identify the education level, experience requirements, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities you will need to demonstrate through your professional competencies. 


You might even identify some gaps you can address with additional training, certifications, or licensures to make yourself more competitive. Once you’ve narrowed down the most promising options, you can begin to select from the best available opportunities.


4. Execute

At this stage, bring your knowledge of the marketplace to best posture yourself to land the position. All employers have a problem to solve and bottom line to attain. Identify it, and then be prepared to articulate your value proposition through your cover letter and résumé, and during the interview process.


State why you are uniquely qualified to hit the ground running to address their specific needs, can produce a solid return on their investment, and are clearly the person they should hire for the job over the other candidates.      


[RELATED: MOAA’s Résumé Critiques and Reviews (Available to Premium and Life Members]


5. Closure

With these tips in mind, capitalize on the knowledge gained through your unique transition process to achieve your personal and professional goals, secure lifetime employability, and enjoy fulfilling career success. Remember: You can do this!


Looking to explore other offerings and want trusted advice? MOAA’s Transition and Career Center serves as a one-stop-shop for a suite of resources, offering links to upcoming events, recorded webinars, member-exclusive programs and publications, the latest in transition news and guidance, and much more.


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About the Author

Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)
Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)

Anderson joined the staff of MOAA's Career Transition Services Department in August 2011. He served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force in a wide range of command and staff assignments. Connect with him on LinkedIn.