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Soldiers in Warrior Transition Brigade prepare for civilian jobs

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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 4:30 am

FORT HOOD — Sitting in his suit and tie, Sgt. Peter Hegre said his hands continued to sweat even after his mock interview was over.

“My hands are sweaty and I’m nervous,” said Hegre, a soldier in Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Brigade, after he was evaluated during a two-day career workshop Wednesday at the Soldier Development Center. The workshop helped him and other transitioning soldiers revamp resumes and learn how to respond to strategic interview questions meant to gauge how a person handles certain situations.

From the keywords to format, there’s been a change in how you write your resume over the past few decades.

“If I was to go purely from my resume writing classes in 1997, I would fail in today’s society,” Hegre said. “That’s what this is really helping out (with), where it’s creating success where I would have failed otherwise.”

Retired 1st Sgt. Anthony Thomas, transition coordinator for the Warrior Transition Brigade, wanted to hold the event to help prepare soldiers for interviews and provide them with marketable resumes. About 25 soldiers and two spouses of wounded warriors who are unable to work registered for the workshop.

“It helps prepare them and their spouses for the future when they get ready to exit the military,” Thomas said.

After Hegre’s interview, Joelle DiMicele, team leader of veteran programs at Hire Heroes USA, critiqued him. The biggest lesson he learned is to avoid talking about salary until you actually get an offer letter.

“The rule of thumb is defer, defer, defer,” she said. The best thing to do when an employer asks your requested salary is to turn it back to them and ask what the salary range for the position you’re applying for typically is.

Hegre said the mock interview was helpful because he didn’t know how to handle that type of situation.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” he said. “I have a job with Lockheed Martin but this is giving me opportunities to either better my job with Lockheed or even start looking at opportunities outside that company and tapping into the other sources I have around me.”

Another two-day workshop is scheduled for April 9-10.

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