Comedian Jeff Foxworthy has written more than a handful of jokes poking fun at those with jobs that require your name to be sewn on your shirt. Over the years I've had plenty of those jobs, including my stint working for Uncle Sam. Even while in the Army, however, I quickly came to understand that one of the most powerful tools available to job seekers is the ability to effectively network. It's important to do good work, but it's also important to develop relationships with people and companies that may be able to benefit from your skills.
The ability to effectively network has increased in importance with the proliferation of social media and online inter-connectivity. Increasingly employers are becoming less dependent upon cold hires acquired through posting help-wanted ads. West & Dunn is no different, with the vast majority of employees we've hired having been referred to us via trusted relationships.
Against this backdrop, LinkedIn provides a tremendous benefit to veterans of the US Military by offering a free, one-year subscription to it premium service. For those unfamiliar with LinkedIn, or who don't already have a free account, the website provides a social platform for connecting with employers and other professionals. It is commonly used for recruitment and hiring, and allows users to connect with others in a more professional capacity than most other social media sites. By comparison, the cost of the lowest tiered subscription available is $30 per month -- a total of $360 per year. Normally I am reluctant to shill for another company, but given the cost savings, there are few excuses for veterans not to take advantage of the offer. This is particularly true if they are seeking work or are employed in professions that depend upon the creation of relationships.