The journey from injury to recovery is not complete until a veteran is able to find purpose in his or her life. For those who are able, that often means getting back to work to care for their families.
In 2019, through DAV’s partnership with RecruitMilitary®, DAV co-hosted nearly 145 job fairs that saw over 35,500 attendees, resulting in nearly 22,000 interviews and over 15,000 official job offers.
Air Force veteran Jonathan Campos and Navy veteran Josh Vinson are two veterans who have benefitted from attending DAV’s job fairs.
Campos seemed to have all the criteria necessary to find employment after his service, but it still took considerable time for him to gain a foothold in civilian life.
“It took me eight months to find employment, even after earning an associate, bachelors, and a masters while on active duty,” Campos said.
His long search ended thanks to a DAV RecruitMilitary Job Fair.
“I attended a DAV job fair in Houston and was employed three days later with CERES Environmental, a disaster recovery company helping communities throughout the U.S. and overseas.”
Today, Jonathan is a project superintendent who oversees community disaster operations with the company. He says the DAV event made getting hired easy.
“They put together a hiring fair which got me in contact with my current employer, networking with veterans and employers alike, and various booths made it easy.”
He advises other veterans to submit their resumes, but to also focus attention on networking.
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” he said. “Go to fairs, meet-ups, get your name and face out there. Go to the event and make sure to talk to all the booths, vendors and employers.”
“They are helping vets connect by putting these events together that allow us to get attention faster,” says Jonathan.
Vinson handed out a lot of resumes and talked one-on-one with recruiters. Being a recruiter in the Navy, he took a slightly more direct approach while visiting different booths.
“I went to the DAV/RecruitMilitary Job Fair and asked people, ‘How do I get your job? I want to be a recruiter at the career fair.’”
A team member from Gus Perdikakis Associates (GPA), looked at his resume and told him it looked great but that they were looking for engineers and processors.
“I said, ‘Well, I want to be a recruiter. I want your job,’” said Vinson.
The GPA recruiter told him he’d take the veteran’s resume to his vice president and get back to him. Two weeks later Josh got a call from GPA’s senior recruiter saying, “We got your resume and we’re interested.”
At the time, Vinson was still active duty until the end of the summer. He met with GPA’s CEO and vice president. They made him an offer as a recruiter—his first job offer since he’d been in the Navy.
Vinson’s experience with GPA was a key step in his new career path, and today he is a regional recruiter with The Hertz Corporation recruiting for nine major airports within the Tri-State area of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.
If you’re a veteran or a veteran’s spouse interested in attending a DAV career fair, you can find the complete list of upcoming events and information on how to register at jobs.dav.org.