NEWS + ADVICE
Let Us Help With Your Homework: Nov 15 Virtual Cleared Job Fair Prep
Cleared Job Fairs are an extremely useful job search tool, allowing you to connect with multiple employers at once. The key to making the most of these opportunities is preparation. As with most aspects of job search, doing your homework ahead of time will help you to make a great first impression. Whether you’re at a Cleared Job Fair, submitting an application, or participating in an interview, don’t underestimate the power of knowing your audience.
The more you know about a potential employer, the better you’ll be able to engage in meaningful conversation and ask tailored questions that will move the process forward. So before you attend your next Cleared Job Fair, whether in person or virtual, show up with intel in your back pocket. That way, you’ll be prepared to ask more than the generic question that recruiters hear all too often at job fairs – “what does your company do?”
To help you with your research for our upcoming Virtual All Clearances Cleared Job Fair on November 15, we’ve pulled some background information from the participating employers who have also joined us on our career intel podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who’s Hiring & How.
November 15 Job Fair Details
If you haven’t registered for the November 15th Virtual Cleared Job Fair yet, be sure to register here and upload your resume. This nationwide event is open to all clearance levels, and you can join us virtually – on a mobile device or desktop computer from the comfort of your home or wherever you’re at.
Our participating employers include Amentum, General Dynamics – IT, GovCIO, L3Harris Technologies | Space & Airborne Systems, Leidos, Navy Systems Management Activity, Northrop Grumman, Peraton, and Raytheon. Be sure to check the job fair page on our site, because employers are often added as we approach the event.
For this particular job fair, or any other you might attend in the future, look at the list of employers that will be attending and do some homework in advance. We’ve got a bit of a cheat sheet for you today, but do some additional research of your own.
Look at the types of jobs the employers are hiring for and figure out what questions you can prepare so that you can (1) make a great impression and (2) get information that will help you figure out if you’re interested in the company, and what your next steps should be.
So without further ado, let’s jump right in and learn more about some of the employers who will be in attendance that we’ve had the opportunity to learn more about on our podcast.
We had the pleasure of talking with Brian Heffernan on our podcast this year. Brian is the Global Manager of DEI & Military Programs for Amentum, so he had a lot of great insights for transitioning military. Definitely go back and listen to his full episode, especially if you’re getting ready to transition out of the military. Here’s a quick overview about the company based on our talk with Brian:
- Amentum is a government and commercial contractor, operating in 84 countries – even Antarctica!
- They have 44k employees, so you can imagine they have a lot of opportunities. Brian said, “If you did it in the military, there’s a high probability you can do it with us.”
- Brian shared they’re hiring for cleared intel, cyber, IT, facilities maintenance and aviation positions.
- They have many overseas opportunities. Anything they do stateside you can do overseas as well, for the most part.
- Amentum also participates in the DoD SkillBridge program.
General Dynamics – IT
Next up we have General Dynamics. Our friend Toni Johnson recently joined us on our podcast to discuss General Dynamics Mission Systems. General Dynamics has 10 business units. You might remember, General Dynamics – IT will be at the November 15th event, but Toni’s episode can still give you an idea of what the company is like overall:
- Toni’s business unit, GD Mission Systems, is associated with engineering services for software, hardware and manufacturing services. They also make the electronics that fly Tom Cruise’s plane in Top Gun!
- As for GDIT, they have career areas in cloud, intelligence, enterprise IT, cyber, development and programming, data and analytics, health and sciences. The opportunities are endless.
Another cleared employer that will be attending our virtual Cleared Job Fair is GovCIO. In her podcast episode, Tammy Muncy, Director of Recruiting for the National Security Sector at GovCIO, shared all the great things going on over there:
- Tammy told us that 80% of their cleared positions are IT, including cybersecurity specialists and network system engineers. The remaining 20% are program and project analysts, or business analysts.
- They have a huge need for developers and software programmers, as well as network engineers and cybersecurity roles.
- GovCIO has cleared jobs both CONUS and OCONUS, with the biggest concentration in the National Capital Region, San Antonio and Tampa – though they have other cleared job openings in states across the country and the Middle East. They also have hybrid remote opportunities.
- Tammy said mission-focused, team players are a good fit for GovCIO. And there truly is a family feel at the company, because it’s not a huge organization. Transitioning military also fit well into the GovCIO culture.
Another employer that will be joining us is Leidos. We enjoyed chatting with Stephanie Lovett, their Talent Acquisition Specialist / Strategic Recruiting Lead. Let’s see what Stephanie shared in her podcast episode:
- Leidos’ core capabilities include cyber operations, digital modernization, integrated systems, mission ops, mission software systems and more.
- Stephanie told us their greatest cleared needs are for software developers, but they also look for systems administrators, systems engineers, network engineers, network administrators, help desk and all of the support tiers.
- Leidos has a $5k external referral program, so even if they don’t have the right opportunity for you today, you could refer a friend and get compensated. As Stephanie said, “great people, know great people.”
- Leidos also has a lot of opportunity for internal mobility to grow your career. Stephanie explained they’re constantly replenishing their pipeline of opportunities, and when a contract ends, there are opportunities to move around.
- Even though Leidos is a large company with a lot of openings, don’t apply to too many jobs at once. Stephanie said, if you throw spaghetti up against the wall, you’re not going to be focused and get the results you want. So apply thoughtfully.
You can also meet with Northrop Grumman at our upcoming Cleared Job Fair. If you haven’t already listened to our episode with Madelyn Spence, Sr Principal Talent Acquisition Business Partner with Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, learn more here:
- Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (one of the company’s four business sectors) works on things related to mission critical systems to keep the warfighter safe. That makes it a natural fit for transitioning military.
- Madelyn supports the Field Engineering team. Many of those cleared positions are overseas, which are often good fits for transitioning military. Northrop participates in the SkillBridge program as well as Operation IMPACT (Injured Military Pursuing Assisted Career Transition) — a Northrop Grumman diversity program focused on assisting severely wounded service members as they transition from the military.
- They have a great work / life balance with flexibility. Madelyn shared, “there’s flexibility, because family at the end of the day comes first.”
- Madelyn also shared some valuable tips for virtual job fairs. She urges you to “engage during virtual events and ask questions.” She also explained that when candidates do some work ahead of time and ask meaningful questions, she gets excited to follow up with them after the event and see where she can place them.
Getting us up to speed on Peraton is Aaron Turner, Talent Acquisition Senior Director. This was another great episode because Aaron shared some interesting things we don’t always hear:
- For one, Peraton isn’t private or public – they’re actually private equity. And they have about 100 years of heritage companies built in, but Aaron says they’re kind of like a startup because they’re bringing a bunch of companies together.
- They also have a lot of diversity in the work and client base they support.
- The main areas they’re hiring for are cyber engineering and digital transformation – so systems engineers, software engineers, cyber engineers, and more.
- Most of Peraton’s cleared job opportunities are in the DC metro area, but they also have CONUS and OCUONUS openings. And about 50% are remote or hybrid remote.
- They have a Family First Program, which means, when a project ends, the employees who are going to be displaced are given priority over external candidates for open positions.
- Peraton gets 40 thousand applications per month. Aaron says you can stand out from the crowd by personalizing your resume to the job you’re applying to. And when you interview or meet recruiters at a job fair, thank you notes definitely don’t hurt.
The last employer we have behind-the-scenes insights to share with you is Raytheon. And we have ample information on Raytheon because we’ve actually had two guests from the company join us on our podcast, Mike Barnum and Tony Gilbert.
- Raytheon has 55,000 employees. 28,000 of those are engineers. And they’re in 58 countries.
- Mike said they work on a lot of communication tools, radars, sensors, and things like high energy lasers. He even joked that he hopes they’re working on a lightsaber somewhere in the company.
- On Tony’s side of the house, his greatest hiring needs include cybersecurity. He shared there’s over 1,000 security-cleared openings at Raytheon.
- Both Mike and Tony talked about flexible work opportunities like 9/80 schedules, where you can adjust your hours to take every other Friday off. They also have hybrid and remote opportunities available – even for some classified work, where you work from home two days a week.
- If you’re a veteran or transitioning out of the military, be sure to listen to Tony’s episode. He’s the Program Manager of Military and Veteran Recruitment so he talks about their dedicated military hiring team, their SkillBridge program, and a ton of helpful tips for veterans.
That completes our cheat sheet for today. Be sure to do some more digging so you can come prepared with thoughtful questions and have an idea of the particular positions you want to find out more about. Also, be sure to follow our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you enjoy listening so that you can gain additional job search intel to help you make a smart cleared career move.This entry was posted on Monday, November 06, 2023 9:00 am