Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers: Time to Build Your Brand

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What is Build Your Brand?

Build Your Brand is a program at Dell that helps our team members and networks build their personal brand presence on LinkedIn so they are confident in representing themselves to the external market. Within Build Your Brand, participants experience a deeper dive into the how-to’s of profile development and receive tips on ways to engage on LinkedIn.

veteran holding hat

LinkedIn, once known almost exclusively as the social media platform used during a job search, has now become a staple networking asset in the tool belt of individuals and organizations around the globe. A few of the most utilized functions allow users to:

  • Network
  • Identify and recruit top talent
  • Join groups based on industries and interests
  • Connect with colleagues and professionals
  • Publish and share thought leadership

Today, LinkedIn’s brand has evolved into a platform with over 500 million users, a sizable proportion of which log on multiple times a week. Long progressed from that account checked only once or twice a month, this tool allows individuals to share their thought leadership, find like-minded connections and make a brand for themselves.

Army Veterans at Ft. Hood in a classroom setting

A Tough Transition

At Dell, we want to empower our employees to share their thought leadership with the world and provide the resources to do so. We believe that everyone has a story to tell and their own brand to promote.

In military life, however, this is usually not a categorical requirement. A soldier’s brand is most heavily represented by their comrades or respective branch of the military. When transitioning out of a military role, this missed opportunity creates additional stress and adds barriers returning to civilian life. This already overwhelming process leaves many feeling at a loss, especially when the numerous skills gained over years of service are rarely found listed on a job description.

How We Help

Dell aims to help our veterans with the transition into a civilian career by teaching the basics of building your own brand. Last month, Dell representatives drove to Fort Hood to present on the importance of building a personal brand and continuously growing a professional network. One of the presenters, Army veteran and member of the Dell Commercial Client Product Group, Dan Ireland, was thankful to give back to his fellow veterans after he personally navigated the transition himself a few years back:

It’s really powerful when as representatives of one of the world’s most admired tech companies we’re able to provide insights and actionable advice to transitioning service members.

Through offering resources such as Build Your Brand, a military careers page, a MOS translation generator and individuals such as Lou Candiello with a role dedicated to supporting military placement; Dell is doing its best to make a difference for those going through this life change.

 “I attended the brown bag and was very impressed at Dan’s passion for taking care of soldiers and briefing them on tricks of the trade for them in setting up a LinkedIn profile.”

– John H. Vella IV; G6, Operations Officer

“I never knew you could do so much with LinkedIn. I am a firm believer that intentionally connecting with the right people can make a huge difference in finding the right job.”

–  Chelsea Williams; Senior Military Intelligence Officer

Veterans and military groups are consistently among the most active groups on LinkedIn. If these individuals were aware of the resources, such as Build Your Brand, and the importance of leveraging their networks, they would have the ability to take their career anywhere. Through increasing awareness of the many tools and opportunities veterans can capitalize on, we are helping make that transition into civilian life smoother while encouraging individuals to be confident in what they bring to the table.

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About the Author: Sidney Novikoff

Sidney Novikoff is a member of the HR Rotation Program and currently in the Global Talent Acquisition COE (Center of Excellence). Sidney’s main responsibilities include the maintenance and continuous development of the Build Your Brand program, support for UR Branding initiatives, and creation of Advanced Job Descriptions for the external careers page. Sidney has given numerous presentations surrounding the importance of personal and professional branding to both internal and external community members. In the Summer of 2017 Sidney was a graduate intern at Dell in Americas RHR and began a full-time role in February this past year. Prior to Dell, she attended Texas A&M University where she graduated with her Bachelors in Business Management and Masters in Human Resource Management.
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