Translating military experience into civilian job matches can be difficult. Experienced coaching in writing resumes and other job search skills is a staple of the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Veterans Employment Services (VES). These job seeking skills trainings were interrupted by the COVID-19 health emergency. Training sessions are now resuming with live online events, such as the Employment Readiness Workshop hosted by Steven Cohen Military Family Clinic at Endeavors with the VES South Texas District team.
Held April 28, this virtual employment search training included a demonstration on building a LinkedIn profile, resume writing tips and more. It was interactive as well with questions and comments from the audience. Questions included when to follow up after an interview, the need for cover letters and career specific job matching.
It attracted a larger crowd than expected.
“When we first planned this virtual workshop; we expected about 40 at the most. There were 71 attendees,” said VES South Texas District Outreach Coordinator Laurie Pimentel-Johnson.
She explained Endeavors initially contacted VES prior to the COVID-19 health emergency to partner in an employment class for their clients, military in transition, veterans, and family members. To make the training available under new health precautions in place, Pimentel-Johnson worked with Endeavors staff member Andrew Santos on how to conduct it in a virtual environment. Endeavors virtual platform, a Zoom Business account, would be used. Roles and responsibilities were divided between the two. With her producing a presentation and conducting the workshop while Santos created the registration, monitored attendees and chat room questions.
In addition to giving veterans a helping hand with their job search, the event strengthened the relationship between Endeavors and VES.
The workshop was well received, and attendees rated it 4.5 stars out of 5. They commented favorably on having learned new communication models, LinkedIn profile setup advice, tailoring resumes and more.
For those job coaches preparing to host their first virtual event, Pimental-Johnson offers the following tip. “Ensure that all technology is connected and operational by conducting test runs the day prior to the event. Be sure to have additional staff members in the workshop to monitor the chat questions as they come in.”
Job seekers wanting to hone their skills may view a recording of the workshop, click Employment Readiness. The recording is of the entire event which includes presentations from The Cohen Military Family Clinic at Endeavors and Grand Canyon University as well as TVC .
Pioneering virtual outreach for TVC Employment is Laurie Pimentel-Johnson, pictured.