Volunteer Spotlight: Karen

Volunteer Spotlight: Karen

Hire Heroes USA Volunteer Karen Adams

When making any career transition, support and guidance from experienced mentors can make a tremendous impact. It’s why Hire Heroes USA Volunteer Karen Adams is an outstanding member of our volunteer team. As a recruiter, she knows exactly how to coach candidates to succeed in networking, interviewing and salary negotiations.

In this month’s volunteer spotlight, we asked Karen several questions about her experience as a volunteer and why she chose to help the military community.

How did you learn about Hire Heroes USA and what made you want to volunteer?

“In August of 2020, I was wishing there was a way I could help out the community during the height of the pandemic while remaining safe. Late one night, I did a google search looking for virtual volunteer opportunities and stumbled across Hire Heroes USA. Their mission statement spoke volumes to me and I felt that my seven+ years of recruitment experience would aid me in supporting their mission.”

What has been the most rewarding part of being a volunteer with Hire Heroes USA?

“With my recruitment experience, I have some insights on how to have a successful job hunt in various types of markets. I have supported efforts in many industries ranging from healthcare, technology, manufacturing and more. I am constantly seeking other people’s perspectives on the job market and incorporating that information into my coaching sessions.”

If you had to pick just one piece of advice, what’s the most important thing you share with our clients?

“Make sure you know your market rate before going into an interview. Research to see how much similar companies are paying, or what is being reported as a salary with the organization you are interviewing with. When they ask what is the salary rate you are targeting, rebuttal by asking them to share their budget for the role. Always have a number in the back of your mind in case they aren’t comfortable sharing the budget. Also, don’t forget that interviews are two-way streets – not only are they trying to find a good fit for their opening, you are also trying to find a good fit.”

What has been the most rewarding part of being a volunteer with Hire Heroes USA?

“Transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce is a massive undertaking and is something the military does not prepare you for. Being able to help educate veterans and their spouses on how to have a successful job hunt is extremely rewarding. I really enjoy being able to close the gap and provide tips and tricks to land their dream job.”

If you would like to make a difference in the lives of veterans and military spouses, please click here to learn more about volunteering with Hire Heroes USA.

Hire Heroes USA Announces Partnership with Unite Us To Expand Resource Network for Military Families

Hire Heroes USA Announces Partnership with Unite Us To Expand Resource Network for Military Families

Hire Heroes USA Announces Partnership with Unite Us To Expand Resource Network for Military Families

ALPHARETTA, Ga – Hire Heroes USA, a veterans nonprofit organization, announced it is expanding its partnership with Unite Us, the nation’s leading technology company connecting health and social care services, to address the unmet needs of individuals and their families through a secure coordinated care network. This network of services will benefit transitioning military members, veterans and military spouses in need.

Hire Heroes USA empowers U.S. military members, veterans, and military spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. With more than 65,000 confirmed hires, 40,000 jobs on its job board, and more than 1,450 volunteers, it is the country’s most effective veteran employment nonprofit, enabling the military community to transfer their skillsets into successful civilian careers.

Unite Us and Hire Heroes USA began working together in 2018 with the AmericaServes networks, and have since expanded to statewide coverage across 36 states and Washington D.C. Over the last four years, Hire Heroes USA has received more than 200 requests from veterans and their families for assistance, and has successfully connected them to the Unite Us network.

“Partnering with a coordinated care network such as Unite Us enables us to connect Hire Heroes USA clients with essential resources. This helps them return their focus to the job search. With the recent expansion of the Unite Us network, we can help even more military families in new locations,” said Sandy Kaider, manager of referral and training partners at Hire Heroes USA.

This partnership will now provide increased access to six new networks and seven additional states, which will be added each month incrementally beginning Tuesday, May 3. Network services include access to income support, transportation, housing and more.

“Our partnership with Hire Heroes USA will connect veterans, transitioning service members, and their dependents to much-needed services across the nation,” said Adrienne Sherk, senior director of community-based organization partnerships at Unite Us. “As a veteran myself, I’m grateful for organizations like Hire Heroes USA, as they work to ensure our military community members and their families have access to the resources they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Unite Us is honored to support Hire Heroes USA and their efforts to connect the military community to a national network that will empower them to succeed,” she added.

“Hire Heroes USA assists service members, veterans, and military spouses across the U.S. as they search for new careers. Our clients often have needs that fall outside the scope of their career search, but these critical needs impact their lives and professional goals,” said Kaider. 

Nonprofits, community-based organizations, and other providers seeking to connect their clients and patients to Hire Heroes USA’s services within Unite Us’ network should click this link and complete the form: https://uniteus.com/contact/

About Hire Heroes USA 
Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit organization that empowers U.S. military members, veterans, and spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. Hire Heroes USA offers individualized career coaching, professionally written resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, career fairs, and more to thousands of job-seeking veterans and military spouses annually. Funded primarily by public donations and private grants, services are always free to clients. Hire Heroes USA prioritizes transparency, earning a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and the GuideStar Platinum Seal.

In 2021, Hire Heroes USA helped 12,594 service members, veterans, and military spouses find gainful employment. Since Hire Heroes USA’s founding, more than 65,000 Hire Heroes USA clients have been hired into rewarding careers. For more information about this organization, visit hireheroesusa.org.

About Unite Us
Unite Us is a technology company that builds coordinated care networks of health and social service providers. With Unite Us, providers across sectors can send and receive secure electronic referrals, track every person’s total health journey, and report on tangible outcomes across a full range of services in a centralized, cohesive, and collaborative ecosystem. Unite Us’ dedicated team builds authentic, lasting partnerships with local organizations to ensure their networks have a solid foundation, launch successfully, and continue to grow and thrive. This HITRUST-certified, social care infrastructure helps communities transform their ability to work together and measure impact at scale. Follow Unite Us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Military Appreciation Month: Meet Louis

Military Appreciation Month: Meet Louis

When Louis separated from the Air Force, his experience reflected that of many transitioning service members: he didn’t know where to begin in his civilian career search.

As he looked toward his civilian life, his biggest concern was finding a career related to his military experience. Louis specialized in aircrew operations during his four years in the Air Force, but he couldn’t find work that matched his previous experience.

Louis also felt the required transition programs he attended did not give him adequate preparation. “I didn’t feel prepared nor comfortable to go out and find a job. It felt more like a checklist item to check off than quality coaching,” Louis explained. “Before Hire Heroes USA, I was unable to create a quality resume, and I had no direction on where to look for quality careers. I was undervaluing experience, my skill sets and my ambitions.”

Once Louis signed up for services with Hire Heroes USA, his life changed. “I was given the tools to market myself—build a strong resume, find the opportunities that were right for me and I received coaching for interviews. The culmination of the assistance provided through Hire Heroes USA enabled me to find multiple life-changing opportunities.”

Louis’ Transition Specialist Mike was integral to his success. “I can’t express how grateful I am to have worked with my Transition Specialist. Mike asked the right questions—he helped me draft a resume, gave me resume/application/interview advice, and helped me realize that my experience was not only marketable, it was valuable,” said Louis. “Mike encouraged me every step of the way. His guidance put me on a trajectory that has altered my life immensely.”

Thanks to Louis and Mike’s partnership, Louis accepted a role as a Purchasing Support Specialist at General Atomics. Finding a rewarding civilian career has provided Louis with a new purpose and a positive outlook on this new chapter.  

This Military Appreciation Month, honor service members and veterans like Louis with the gift of empowerment and professional success. Donate today.

Lessons Learned as a Military Spouse Jobseeker

Lessons Learned as a Military Spouse Jobseeker

Kelly Grivner-Kelly

Challenges are nothing new to military families, nor are the struggles military spouses encounter when seeking fulfilling work, career growth and economic stability.  Between frequent relocations and unpredictable schedules, military life can create significant career obstacles for spouses. This can include noticeable gaps in their work history, frequent job and employer changes, lower wages than their civilian counterparts and substantial underemployment. 

Six years ago, after a PCS move landed my family in North Carolina, I found myself struggling with these exact challenges. With several years of HR experience and a Master’s degree, I didn’t think I would have a hard time finding a job in my new city…  Boy, was I wrong!

One month of searching quickly turned into six months of unemployment. As a career-focused individual, those six months were some of the worst of my life. I felt drained and discouraged after applying to multiple jobs each day with few responses and going on interviews that ended in rejection. Like most military spouses, I didn’t want to work solely for the financial benefits. I also to grow as a professional, gain new skills and build community with co-workers.

Around the fifth month of unemployment, I dragged myself to a job fair where I first interacted with a Hire Heroes USA representative. She encouraged me to register for the free career services they offered, and I went home and signed up the same day.

I was contacted by my Transition Specialist, Marshall, who dove right in to help revise my resume and teach me how to effectively search for a job. Turns out, I was doing it all wrong. When I implemented his suggestions, the job leads started coming in. In fact, thanks to these new resources, I networked my way into a role at the Hire Heroes USA North Carolina office as a full-time employee later that year. 

In 2018, I established the Hire Heroes USA’s Serving Spouses Program and have personally helped more than 1,000 military spouses and veterans find meaningful employment. Every day, I get to teach my clients job-seeking tips, those very tips I learned while I was unemployed:

1) If you aren’t sure what you want to do, you need to narrow that down before you start job seeking.

2) Job seeking is all about who you know – NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK and ask for informational interviews.

3) LinkedIn profiles give you access to almost every recruiter and hiring manager; make sure you complete your profile and engage regularly. 

4) If you aren’t tailoring your resume, you are wasting your time!

5) Do your research before you interview with an organization. Come prepared for interviews and ask questions.

6) Stay organized and take time for yourself to avoid job-seeking burnout.

7) If your voicemail isn’t set up or full – how can hiring managers leave you a message?

8) Always be professional and kind; don’t burn any bridges.

9) Google yourself – clean up your social presence and develop your professional brand.

10) Don’t ever become stagnant in your job search. If you take gaps in employment – always keep learning and growing.

11) Volunteer experience is valuable and can be highlighted on your resume.

12) Look into remote work opportunities and companies with military spouse hiring initiatives.

13) Do some self-reflection – YOU could be your own worst enemy and the reason why you aren’t getting hired. 

Military Spouses can sign up for free services at  www.hireheroesusa.org and can build their network through our Serving Spouses Program LinkedIn group and our Serving Spouses Facebook Group – Military Spouse Support Forum

Kelly Grivner-Kelly is the Program Manager for the Hire Heroes USA Serving Spouses Program. If you are interested in receiving free career support with Hire Heroes USA, click here to learn more.