Peter A. Gudmundsson is an expert in the field of recruiting and hiring. The United States Marine veteran and former field artillery officer runs his own company selecting and recommending vet candidates for top companies (he’s the CEO of RecruitMilitary), and isn’t a novice in doling out advice for former service members who are in the hunt for a lucrative and fulfilling job after military life.
Don’t be surprised, however, if the manner in which he presents it is shocking. Because it can be.
Take, for example, the content of a recent piece he contributed to U.S. News & World Report. The title? “Veterans Should Think Like Burglars.”
While it might seem unorthodox and from the outset, criminal, its essence is brilliant. And extremely useful for any veteran trying to land a position.
Here’s how he breaks it down:
If a skilled burglar were attempting to rob a house, would they politely ring the doorbell and expect to be welcomed through an open front door? Of course not! Instead, they would pick a lock, break a window, climb a tree, use a ladder or sneak in through an HVAC duct. A good burglar would do what it takes to get into the house to commit their crime. An effective veteran job seeker should be as resourceful and inventive when seeking access to a company where they would like to work. Of course, one would expect a higher ethical standard for a military veteran than a burglar, but the task is the same. Metaphorically, most job seekers perform the equivalent of a weak rap on the door followed by a dejected walk back to the curb when no one answers at their dream company. Successful job seekers display a sense of determination, resilience and creativity that is effective and impressive to the organization.
Gudmundsson goes on to outline the techniques, in detail, that are most effective in carrying out this specific and aggressive approach.
Network. Applying online can work. What’ll work even more, he says, is “effective networking”, i.e. candidates putting themselves in positions to be referred by others for a spot. He likens it to military intelligence, once a good company is discovered and researched, devise a solid “penetration strategy” that’ll gain an outsider access to personnel within the organization that could get them hired. Also, utilize your LinkedIn account.
Informational Interviews. Instead of sounding desperate and go the way of begging for a job, request a few minutes to sit down with an employer to learn, rather than audition. It’s not passive, however. Gudmundsson says persistence holds the key. “Active engagement and relentless follow up. Most job seekers, veteran or civilian, fail because they think passive applications and blind resume submissions are enough.”
The Marine ends his tutorial on a high note, with this incredible line (savor it):
“If you combine the guile and creativity of a burglar, the persistence of a computer hacker and the determination of a woodpecker you can start to picture the positive and aggressive attitudes that underlie every effective job transition.”