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Minnesota National Guard
Capt. Jason Anderson: A Veterans Employment Success

Jason J. Anderson, a captain in the Minnesota National Guard and the subject of this month's Veteran Employment Success Story, does more than just preach his best practices for finding employment - he lives them every day, even while running the most mundane of errands.

Cpt. Anderson.jpg How to Hire a Veteran and How to Get Hired.pdf

Once, while Anderson was out shopping for a blender, a conversation with another customer at a common bed and bath products store turned into a prime networking opportunity. After discussing the merits of different blenders, the spontaneous encounter transitioned to employment, and Anderson was ready to hand his contact information over to the other customer, whose husband was a well-connected businessman.

"Always leave the house dressed professionally, and carry your business cards," Anderson said. "I almost landed a job while buying a blender!"

Those two tips were just two of many Anderson used as part of a complete employment strategy after he was laid off from Lockheed Martin. In addition to his list of best practices, Anderson reached out and built a working relationship with a Department of Employment and Economic Development Veterans Employment Representative. Both efforts were essential in him landing a project management position with U.S. Bank in August.

"I wouldn't have received the job offer if not for the DEED representative," Anderson said. "Now I work in the IT [Information Technology] office and support the team. Eventually I'll be working my own projects, but this is a good way to get in and learn how U.S. Bank operates."

Anderson's path to employment with U.S. Bank began when he attended the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs' Job Fair at the Earle Brown Heritage Center on July 11. He arrived prepared, and after a bit of networking and utilizing one of his employment strategies - in this case being prepared with a 30-second elevator speech that outlined who he was and what he was looking to do professionally - Anderson was introduced to a U.S. Bank employment representative working a booth at the Job Fair.

After handing the U.S. Bank representative his resume - which Anderson paid to have professionally done, another tip he swears made his resume stand out - he was contacted by Human Resources and was interviewed less than a week later. By conducting mock interviews with his Family Readiness Group leader, Jeanne Lyons, Anderson was well prepared and made enough of an impression to be asked for the all-important second interview, which ultimately led to his hire.

Though Anderson wasn't part of the large 1st Brigade Combat Team's deployment to Kuwait last year, he did directly support the mobilization while assisting in the pre- and post-deployment efforts as part of the brigade's rear-detachment. He utilized the 3-Step Employment Process, which was created in preparation of the 1st BCT's return, and was able to get his career back on track.

Prior to the 1st BCT returning home in May, Minnesota Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash led an initiative to send an Employment Resource Team to Kuwait to help job-seeking service members with resume writing, career planning and resources to help the 526 unemployed members of the 1st BCT find work when they returned home. To date, 454 of those service members have found employment.

Anderson, with 13 years of total service in the Army, is the A Co., 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division company commander. When he was an active duty, enlisted Soldier, Anderson deployed to Bosnia in 1997. After a brief time out of the service, he enlisted with the Minnesota National Guard and almost immediately went to Officer Candidates School. Anderson was deployed to Iraq from 2005-07, and completed a liberal arts degree while there. Anderson's education continues today, as he is working on his MBA from the University of St. Thomas.




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