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When is it too early to apply for posted positions?

Advisor

Don Bowker, PMP, MAE Oak Harbor, WA

I am six months away from transitioning. Is it too early to begin applying to posted positions I am interested in? Is it a good idea to post a generic resume to the company's talent network or the company's career job seeker profile and then tailor the resume at a certain time later as another position opens up that I am interested in that falls within the 30-90 day hiring window? Thank you in advance for your replies and your ACP mentorship.

29 September 2015 19 replies Resumes & Cover Letters

Answers

Advisor

Timothy Strickland Frederick, MD

Don,

From my experience six months out is perfect. Ideally, you should have been building your contacts and researching companies/jobs in the months prior. However, now is defiantly the time to start applying. Just make sure you are clear in the interview (and application) what your start date is.

Post your generic resume, but make sure you appropriately tailor your resume to the job you are applying for.

Good luck.

Timothy

29 September 2015 Helpful answer

Veteran

Brian Kurtz Glen Allen, VA

Hello Sir,

Actually starting to plan your career with the way the job market is right now, starting to apply for jobs a year out is paramount. You have to look at what industries your interested in and start looking at companies your would like to work for, (i.e. Forbes Top 500). Start networking with HR Managers in those companies now and get their input. The key is getting your foot in the door! Next, establish a profile on USAJobs.gov. All Federal Government jobs are posted on that website and the positions are posted 6 months to a year out from being filled. You can build your Federal Resume on that site and occasionally, they have video resume writing classes on that site. Veterans get preference points on those jobs. USAJobs has a Facebook page as well in which you can ask any question you have and they are very helpful!! Finally, if your not on LinkedIn, get on it!! It's a valuable networking site. I'm on it and would be honored to have you in my network. My profile id Brian Kurtz. We can connect on there and I can give you more transitional guidance, and show you my resumes. My email is bkurtz1957@comcast.net. Veterans look out for veterans!

Respectfully,

Brian Kurtz
1stSgt. USMC (Ret.)

5 October 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Walt Overfield Virginia Beach, VA

Don,
For many high quality positions, many employers don't post job openings to the public until they have looked at possible internal candidates or others in their network. When jobs are advertised broadly, employers receive hundreds or thousands of resumes and have to spend time and energy narrowing down the choices to a handful of the most qualified people.
My preferred method to find employment, especially when you have the time, is to use networking. Networking steps include:
- Figure out what you want to do for your next job. This begins with research. Are there a number of employers in this line of work in the area where you most want to live? What are the most likely qualifications of this work and do you currently meet them? Are the potential employers growing or declining? How would you most enjoy spending your day at work? Who are the best potential employers that would most likely meet your long term needs? Does the job you are looking for meet your long term goals for salary, benefits and advancement?
- After you figure out exactly what you want, look for professional organizations that people in your line of work would like join in your current community. For example, if Project Management is your goal, Google "Project Management Professional Organizations" and you will find many organizations. Professional organizations offer many services: chances to meet and network with similar professionals and their bosses, career information, job leads, and much more depending on the organization. Attend all the meetings of your local chapter and build relationships with all the members locally or nationally depending on what your are looking for.
- Focus your resume on your education, knowledge, shills, experience and accomplishments related to your target job. Employers want to only interview the best candidates for their job openings. Generic resumes are good for entry level jobs but probably won't be effective for professional positions. Share your targeted resume with your professional network. This is a great way to market yourself with managers in your preferred employer market.
- When you are ready, apply for any posted positions that appeal to you and include your targeted resume. Take any interviews you can get so you can work on your communication and interview skills and focus yourself on your goals. Employers are trying to answer three broad questions: Can you do the job, Do you want to do the job, and Do you fit in? If you know yourself and what you want, you will do well answering interview questions.
- Expect your job search to take six months to a year if you are looking for a good job. Make sure you have income to support your needs until you get a good job. Consider a lower level job with an employer that has the potential to lead to your desired job. I know you can do any job but I suggest focusing on the best opportunities for you in the beginning, then expand your search if you are not having good success.
I retired from the Navy in 1990 and tried out many careers until I finally found the perfect work for me. I was good at finding work but I didn't focus enough on corporate culture, opportunities for advancement, working conditions and meeting my family needs.
Good Luck on finding your new career!
Walt

30 September 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

James Bishop Columbus, OH

You are obviously already applying as you are asking other questions as well. It is very reasonable to think that it could take a year to find a position so don't worry about the 30-90 window and apply directly to positions of interest. You posting your generic resume will not be reviewed (my opinion).

All the best.
Jim Bishop

29 September 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Randy Goodman Virginia Beach, VA

Don,
It's never too early to start networking. Establish contact on linked In with your old bosses, friends, family, acquaintances, etc. in industry. In your invitation tell them your plans and timeline. If you are already on linked In, consider sending an update on your status and timeline. Ask these people for help with job search and networking. Your friends that have retired / separated and are in industry will not think it odd that you are asking for their assistance.

Your highest probability for employment is through someone you know.

Depending on what industry you are going into impacts the timeline for submitting resumes. If you are going into defense, it is very unlikely that you will get hired less than 3 months from your availability, unless you have some very unique skill set.

Also in defense, as an officer, you can not work on a gov't site while on terminal leave. It's illegal. Build this into your timeline. You may consider selling back leave, in lieu of going on terminal leave, if you have built up a lot of leave. This gives you more flexibility and will put a few extra bucks in your pocket as your retirement pay will be more than your housing allowance.
You also need to see your JAG and get a letter to recuse yourself from contractual dealings with any contractors that you intend to apply with; the JAG should be quite familiar with this.

best wishes,
Randy

8 October 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

martin kelly Wilmington, DE

Hey Don.

Six months is NOT at all too early.

Start networking and building relationships.

If you do apply to a generic site, be certain you have a personalized and compelling "cover-letter" and, address it to someone. Go on the website, or call to determine who to correspond with.

Also, think about ID'ing companies in sectors your skills speak to. Get a name -write them - even if there is no apparent opening. You never know and, if there is one soon to be, you may be the only applicant!!

good luck!!!

Best,

Martin

Best,

Martin

6 October 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Gerald Thomas Tulsa, OK

6 months is a good time to post your resume and start networking. You may not be available for immediate positions but companies do have future plans to hire positions and could keep you into consideration for those. Also if someone likes you enough in interviews they may be willing to hold the position until you are out.

I would strongly recommend you post resumes and network now

5 October 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Ric Osuna Norcross, GA

First, a generic resumé is not a good idea. Depending on the recruiter or company's talent system (I.e. Taleo) keywords are sought and scored based on the job description. The more in your resumé that match the posting, the more likely you will be selected to begin the process.

Next, yes six months out is too early to apply for a job. In fact, I would not apply for any job. The rules have changed. It is about networking (previously good advice) and finding the right recruiter. If it was me, I would target internal recruiters. Keywords via Google search (I.e. XYZ company recruiter) works and, even better, use LinkedIn.

Start making connections with the company you want or find a consulting/recruiting company that services them now. Send them a professional resumé that was created by a professional resumé writer that knows the industry you are trying to get in. Then, make sure your LinkedIn profile matches it to the "T."

Good luck.

4 October 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Gerald Mannikarote Houston, TX

I saw this article and thought it would be of some value to you...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/one-ceo-says-r-sum-164641592.html

2 October 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Don Hammond Jacksonville, FL

Hi Don,

I would like to assume that based on your nearly 20 years of service, you are looking to apply for more tenured or possibly even management positions. That being said...

I think we are finding more and more that companies are treating hiring processes similar to product inventories - meaning, no one wants to hold on to inventory too long because it adversely affects the bottom line which not so coincidentally is the same opinion of taking too long to hire for a posted position - i.e. if you need the position badly enough to post it publicly, you will want to find that talent in an immediate fashion - usually in no more than 90 days and that timeframe is relevant up to approximately Director levels.

Consequently, six months may be a bit too early if you won't be available.

Not sure what you mean by a "generic resume" but I can say with a great level of confidence that search tactics and recruitment departments today are not very apt to "hold a place in line" for anyone other than highly sought after and already trained players that are currently predisposed to an employment contract - which is rare.

In other words, whatever resume you are using - make sure it is the "latest and greatest" and be sure that it is position-specific so as to ensure your best opportunity for reciprocated interest.

I hope this answer finds you well and of course, thank you for your service.

Regards,
Don Hammond

2 October 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Douglas Lavelle Chatham, NJ

Don,
I think that window of time is fine and even a benefit in some cases. I would suggest staying away from the generic resume. I would tailor for your benefit. Thanks for your service.
Best-
Doug

29 September 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Clifton Murray Lorton, VA

It really depends on the company, its internal policies on holding on to talent pools (some will not hold on to resumes longer than 90 days), and the market you are interested in. In high demand markets, it is never too early to apply and a good HR recruiter will maintain your resume for future openings. However, for more generalized positions and specialties, that's harder to say. Just glancing at your name and title, looks like retiring military with a project management certification and hopefully an active clearance. That's a good background to have, but not necessarily distinctive and will probably put you into the latter category. If you can provide more information on what you are looking for, what you specialize in, and/or what companies (or type of companies) you are interested in applying to, I can give you a better idea of a better timeline.

29 September 2015 Helpful answer

Advisor

Doug Hill Kearneysville, WV

Many times, especially in government contracts, a potential employer will post job listings to find candidates to fill the positions in the bid contract. It may sound unethical and it can be discouraging, to have a job dangled out there, you apply and nail the interview and then never hear from them again. They used your resume to "fill in the blank" for a bid. For example, the government contract stipulates a "Project Engineer with 10 years experience, PMP certification, and a TS clearance." They talk to you, you qualify, they plug in the filler for the bid contract. They don't get the contract and that is that. It wasn't that you didn't get the job, the job didn't exist yet. It is a good question to ask in the interview...a VERY good question about WHEN the job will START. Government contract jobs are about as stable as NFL coaching positions. ;-) Good Luck!

Advisor

Brandi Perrigo Albuquerque, NM

Hi Don,

There are many people looking for a PMP if you are willing to relocate or travel. I would try Booz Allen Hamilton and Sandia National Labs as a thought. Having your PMP is huge!

Cheers,
Brandi

Veteran

Derek Ricke Lake Forest, CA

Apply, absolutely! Just don't expect it to do much good. Unless it's in something with direct and blatantly obvious equivalent (basically, so close that the plagiarism software would think you copy and pasted from the job description) you can count on that getting you nowhere without networking.

That said, actually applying for a job is an important step for satisfying equal opportunity employment laws, or so I've been told.

Once you've done that, figure out where you want to work and in what role, and do targeted development on that exact relationship. Be patient, genuine, persistent and open to learning, and you'll eventually wind up in a role that's right for you.

For my experience, it took me 4 months of engaging the company before a suitable opportunity opened up, and once it did they had me interviewed and hired in about 3 weeks.

Best of Luck!

Derek

Advisor

Der-Min Fan Fremont, CA

In general, a generic resume is not very effective. When HR searches talent pool for filling a position, they often search with several key words. Since you know what positions you are interested, you can tailor your resume for those positions; emphasizing those skills you have that can contribute to the position.

Six months away is not too early, it really depends on the nature of a job opening. One of the keys for finding a job is keeping trying. Good luck.

Veteran

Michael Del Vecchio Killingworth, CT

Good morning,

You are a field grade officer, a mid-level employee in business - I would not post anything, typically posted positions are for lower level jobs. I would start conversations with retained search firms in you area of specialty. Check out Kennedy's Red Book in the local library or Riley's http://www.rileyguide.com/recruiters.html. It worked for me as a business executive. I did find most jobs through networking, so if you know anyone in your field of interest, I would also start conversations there.

Generic resumes accomplish little and will waste your time and others time, be as specific - citing results - as you can. Translate military accomplishments into civilian business terms.

Good luck, welcome home.

Advisor

Maria Erchul Springfield, VA

Hi Don,
Due to the 'background' requirements for some jobs, you will want to evaluate when to 'apply'. Some employers (especially on the civilian side) can't wait more than 30-45 days. Hence - small recommendation - add a note on your cover letter of your timeline. On the other hand, after an interview if you feel that you can hit the job with 'boots on' (due to systems familiarity, etc.)- use that to negotiate a start date - employers may be flexible with start date based on 'minimal learning curve'.
Best wishes - Maria

Advisor

martin kelly Wilmington, DE

Hey Don.

Six months is NOT at all too early.

Start networking and building relationships.

If you do apply to a generic site, be certain you have a personalized and compelling "cover-letter" and, address it to someone. Go on the website, or call to determine who to correspond with.

Also, think about ID'ing companies in sectors your skills speak to. Get a name -write them - even if there is no apparent opening. You never know and, if there is one soon to be, you may be the only applicant!!

good luck!!!

Best,

Martin

Best,

Martin

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