LinkedIn for Veterans

How using professional social media can help you in your transition to the civilian world

By Marguerite Cleveland on January 25, 2018

LinkedIn is like Facebook for professionals. It is a social media platform, which connects job seekers with employers and is the largest online professional networking site. The company is proud to support those who have served by offering eligible military and veteran members one year of free access to LinkedIn Premium Subscriptions, including the LinkedIn Learning Platform.

LinkedIn for Good is the company's program, which connects underserved communities to economic opportunity. Under this umbrella is a program geared specifically for active-duty military transitioning to a civilian job, and veterans. Free online learning opportunities can teach veterans how to build a professional identity, manage a professional network and gain necessary skills to be successful in your new career.

The free upgrade to Premium gives you access to a library of over 10,000 business, technical and creative courses on LinkedIn Learning. Touch up your Microsoft skills, learn project management, and many other career enhancing skills. In addition, there are special courses specifically designed for veterans. The "LinkedIn for Veterans" course provides a tutorial for how to select and upload a photo to how to search and apply for jobs. The "Translating Your Military Skills to Civilian Employment" is an invaluable resource, which can help you understand the civilian hiring process and how to present your best self to potential employers. Transitioning from the military can be a very emotional experience, and the "Finding Your Purpose After Active Duty" course can help. It is about the intangibles of transition and how to deal with the challenges inherent in this process.

LinkedIn has created two learning paths for the veteran community. Only those with LinkedIn Premium can access this content. The two learning paths are whether you are going back to school or to civilian employment. In "Transition from Military to Student Life" you will learn everything from ACT/SAT/GRE test prep to essay writing, study skills, time management tips and how to land an internship. Everything you need to know to reach your goal of graduation. In "Transition from Military to Civilian Employment," you will learn how to navigate a job search, build a professional identity, prepare for interviews, how to negotiate a salary, and how to get promoted once hired.

One useful feature of LinkedIn is the opportunity to join groups or networks. One network with over 100,000 members and geared to veterans is "Veteran Mentor Network".  When you are just starting out and may not have an extensive network, this is a supportive community. The goal or mission of the group is to inspire individuals and help them to establish and achieve job search, career, and life goals to lead a fulfilling, satisfying and productive life. This is a great place to get questions answered by others who have walked this road before you.

LinkedIn is a valuable professional resource, and with all the free programs for veterans, it can have a huge impact on your preparation to transition from the military.