by David Wold
People use many methods to find jobs. Some apply for job postings on the Internet or use social media sites. Some will try cold calls to potential employers with resume in hand. Some job seekers will simply mail out dozens or hundreds of resumes to businesses hoping to land a job. Although sometimes these methods work, studies have shown that the most successful strategy for job seeking is networking. But where do you start?
For Veterans there is a natural support system already formed through their military service. In fact, Veterans networking groups meet regularly at several Twin Cities area WorkForce Centers.
“There are a couple things [the participants] have in common,” says Mark Mann, Veterans Employment Representative at the Hennepin North WorkForce Center. “They are unemployed and they’re all Vets. This creates a tighter bond; a camaraderie.”
The networking meetings frequently include a presentation about job search skills, or employers may come to talk about opportunities at their companies. But much of the meeting involves Veterans talking to Veterans.
“It’s not only valuable for what the Veteran gets from the employer, but for what they get from each other,” said JoAnn McCauley, a Senior Veterans Employment Representative at the St. Paul WorkForce Center. “When Veterans are out looking for a job, they may see a job for one of their fellow Vets. They will bring this information to the meeting and share the job lead. It’s natural for people to want to help each other, but especially Veterans. It’s a win-win situation all the way around.”
Veterans helping Veterans: that’s what it’s all about.
Here is a list of Veterans Networking Groups that meet regularly at Twin Cities WorkForce Centers:
- Blaine WFC (1201 89th Ave NE, Blaine 55434), Tuesdays 9:00-11:00 AM
- Hennepin North WFC (7225 Northland Drive, Brooklyn Park 55428), Fridays 9:00-11:00 AM
- Burnsville WFC (2900 W County Rd 42, Burnsville 55337), Mondays 10:00-11:30 AM
- St. Paul WFC (540 Fairview Ave N, St. Paul 55104), Mondays 9:00-11:30 AM
For more information on these and other Veterans networking groups around Minnesota, please visit the online calendar of WorkForce Center events. You don’t need to register to attend a networking group, but you might want to telephone ahead to verify time and room location.