Volunteer Spotlight: Luis

 When Luis Cruz retired from the Department of Defense after nearly 40 years of public service, he knew that his commitment to serving others would continue on. Since March 2020, Luis has volunteered more than 25 hours with Hire Heroes USA, providing veterans and military spouses with in-depth career counseling, resume reviews and mock interviews to prepare them for success in their career transitions.

Throughout his career, Luis experienced outstanding leadership and guidance from supervisors who were invested in his success, and he has used this as a model for how to pave the way for others. 

“My career mentor stressed that his mentorship was not free. His ‘payment’ was for me to pay it forward and mentor someone else,” explained Luis. “I casually asked how could I mentor someone when I was new to the organization and his reply was, ‘There’s someone who came into the organization a day, a month or longer after you did and also needs help.’  This has been my mantra for years during and after my professional career.”

In his work with Hire Heroes USA clients, Luis provides insight into many facets of his extensive government career, including his experience as a Senior Executive Service (SES) member of an Employee Resource Group designed to help professionals attain career advancement. In this role, he taught courses on resume writing and interviewing to support employees in reaching their professional goals. 

When asked about the key tips he would share with job seekers, he said, “[I emphasize] the importance of a strong resume which highlights the client’s strengths and skills. Given technologies used to scan resumes, I stress proper grammar and tailoring a resume using keywords specific to a vacancy announcement.”

Luis has guided many clients through this process, often staying in touch with them long beyond their initial call. In 2021, he worked with a jobseeker throughout a nine-month period as she navigated the federal application process, providing ongoing resume revisions and interview preparation. In September, Luis got the good news that his mentee was selected for a GS-13 position with USCYBERCOM.

Luis described his volunteer role with Hire Heroes USA as the most rewarding pursuit he’s taken on since his retirement in 2016. Not only can he utilize his prior career experiences, but he has since found new ways to pay it forward to military families. “My participation with Hire Heroes USA was the catalyst to complete two professional certifications in career coaching. These certifications have enhanced my ability to better serve our veterans.”

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.