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Seeking advice for transitioning and landing a job in the midst of COVID-19


Michael Deschene San Diego, CA

I’ll be transitioning in September from the Navy and I’m pursuing a mechanical engineering career in the San Diego area. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has arrived right as I'm beginning to apply for jobs. I'm beginning to worry that in addition to the normal hurdles of landing a job while in transition, I'll now be competing with an influx of more qualified candidates that have recently been laid off or lost jobs due to the pandemic. What can I do to be competitive in spite of this additional hurdle?

As far as specific jobs that I'm interested in, I'm really open to a wide variety of engineering/R&D/design/project management (and potentially sales) roles at this point. Regardless, I'm definitely open to growing my network in the region and keeping all options on the table. I'm also willing to provide my resume! Any assistance would be a huge help. Thank you.

Michael Deschene
United States Military Academy, 2015

17 May 2020 2 replies Military to Civilian Transition



Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Deb gave you some solid advice. I glanced at your LinkedIn profile, you need to start narrow your search. I would do some Informational Interviews-connect with people in fields you are interested in, ask them about the careers. I would leverage your Academy experience, both West-point and Air Force. Keep in mind it is hard to network when you do not have a selected career. Thank you for your support and sacrifices. God Bless

18 May 2020 Helpful answer


Deb Yeagle Tampa, FL

Hi Michael-
Thanks for your service!
Here are some recommendations for your transition during the pandemic:
(1) Find an ACP Mentor to help guide you through the transition process and help you make virtual connections. I recommend finding a local San Diego ACP Advisor with background in engineering that you can connect with virtually now, but work with in person post-pandemic.
(2) Start researching potential companies you’d like to work for based on your mechanical engineering background.
(3) Start expanding your network (virtually) by connecting with people who work in these targeted companies, then began interacting with them through Linked In or virtual networking events to build relationships.
(4) Start researching professional organizations in engineering to help you further build your network. For example: SAME ( or AFCEA ( Connect with members and groups on Linked In and participate in virtual network events to build relationships.
(5) Begin to storyboard a video about yourself that you can produce to serve as a companion to your resume. This is a way to provide recruiters with insight into your “fit” with their company and culture, especially now when F2F interviews are not being held. Think about how you can make a great first “virtual” impression on recruiters through this video so that they will positively screen your resume and forward it on to HR / hiring authorities.
(6) Producing this video will help you be more comfortable and prepare you for participating in virtual job fairs, which have become the norm. You can follow the #virtualjobfair hashtag on Linked In to track these events.

Good luck!

18 May 2020 Helpful answer

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