To wrap up this week’s posts on ways to connect with other veterans, I’m going to talk briefly about LinkedIn’s Military Groups. I joined LinkedIn awhile ago at the request of one of my former NCOs. I didn’t do much more than add my name and accept his request to connect and then I basically forgot about my account. When I started this blog, I updated a few things on my profile, including listing that I was the creator of this blog, and then, once again, basically let my account sit there. I didn’t really start to see the impact LinkedIn could have until I happened to do a book review for the blog. The author of the blog mentioned me in a LinkedIn discussion group for senior military officers and the effect was instantaneous – traffic to my site increased by 300%. If one mention in a LinkedIn conversation can do that for my blog, imagine what it could do for you and whatever endeavor you might be embarking on.
I did a quick search on LinkedIn to see exactly how many military and veteran related groups exist. At the moment, there are over 4,000 groups with the word “military” in them, 212 with “military veteran” – a number which jumps to 698 if you add an ‘s’ to the end up ‘veteran,’ and 307 with the words “military business.” There are also groups for Navy SEALs, military logistics, military-to-civilian transition, military mental health, military history and strategy, military spouse professionals, Iraq War veterans, West Pointers, and a whole host of other military and veteran oriented topics.
I want to mention one group specifically that I happened to come across during my search tonight – the Veteran Mentor Network. The Veteran Mentor Network Group is designed to provide “effective coaching, mentoring, and advice to military veterans.” From getting your resume reviewed by an HR professional to which veterans organization might be best to join, there’s plenty of advice in this group, especially for jobseekers. Also, there’s a subgroup to this group called “Ll Job Seeker Subscription,” which offers a one year free job seeker premium upgrade for veterans, which gives you, among other things, direct access to hiring managers.
I realize I’m only scratching the surface of what LinkedIn can do; clearly, I need to spend a little more time exploring it myself. However, I have seen enough to know that it has a wealth of information and connections on there, including in groups targeted specifically for military veterans, and, if you’re not on it, you should be. To create your own LinkedIn account and start exploring what it has to offer, go to: www.linkedin.com
© 2014, Sarah Maples. All rights reserved.