Volunteer Spotlight: Donna
As one of our most selfless volunteers, Donna Magee has spent nearly 850 hours mentoring veterans and military spouses in the last five years. To put that another way, that’s more than 35 full days and more than 21 full workweeks talking with Hire Heroes USA clients since 2016. Considering Donna’s 40 years of experience as an HR manager and a member of a military family herself, she personifies the expertise and unwavering dedication that makes an ideal Hire Heroes USA advocate. To recognize her incredible commitment to our mission, we asked her about her experience working with our clients through the years.
Question: How did you learn about Hire Heroes USA and what made you want to volunteer?
Donna: “I learned about Hire Heroes USA through the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans’ Business Association. My husband is a Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran. Hearing first-hand about how he and his fellow Vietnam veterans were treated upon transition made me want to do something positive to help our current generation of veterans. You may also have heard how Vietnam veterans were disrespected, shunned, and advised to not include their military service on their resumes. Thankfully, today’s veterans are honored and receive great support during their transitions.”
Question: What keeps you involved with our organization?
Donna: “Each client has a unique story and is in their own stage in their job search journey. I enjoy helping with their questions and offering advice. Hearing their appreciation and passing it along to the team makes it worthwhile. And learning about a client’s new job really makes my day!”
Question: How do you apply your own professional experience to your interactions with clients?
Donna: “I retired after a career in Human Resources and was Senior Vice President of HR for a major corporation. I can offer my experience in business, IT, HR, recruiting, and coaching to provide practical solutions and guidance. I can also help our clients better understand the employer’s perspective. For example, some companies have a requirement to post every job, even though there is an internal candidate. That may be the reason external candidates are not contacted.”
Question: If you had to pick just one piece of advice, what’s the most important thing you share with the clients you work with?
Donna: “It’s hard to pick just one!
1: Looking for the right job is a full-time job. Get comfortable with LinkedIn, follow companies and groups you are interested in, grow your number of contacts.
2: Tailor your resume to each job posting, so that you successfully pass the automated screening software.
3: Only answer the phone if you can have a conversation. Otherwise, let it go to voicemail. Clear your voicemail regularly. A prospective employer will simply move on to the next candidate if he/she can’t leave a message. And a short, personalized Voicemail greeting with your name is best.”
Question: How would you encourage others to support veterans and military spouses in finding professional success?
Donna: “If you have experience in your industry/profession, please consider volunteering with HHUSA to provide career counselling, mentoring, or mock interviews. Our clients benefit greatly from the real-life advice and guidance our volunteers provide them. And the opportunity for them to receive real-time feedback on their interview skills is invaluable. It’s all done by phone, doesn’t take a lot of time, and we work around your availability.”
Over the past year, 1,469 active volunteers invested 7,207 hours to help military families build bright futures. If you would like to make a difference in the lives of veterans and military spouses too, please click here to learn more about volunteering with Hire Heroes USA.