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      Vets Networking Group Provides Tremendous Boost

      Posted on July 08, 2013 at 8:00 AM

      Denny Christiansen
      Denny Christiansen, a veteran of the U.S. Army
      This post originally appeared on the Minnesota Department of Economic Development DEED Developments Blog on July 8, 2013.     

      Dennis “Denny” Christiansen, a veteran of the U.S. Army, needed help finding work, so he turned to the Minnesota WorkForce Center in Brooklyn Park to learn job search skills.  And it paid off. In June, he began a new job as a mental health practitioner at Nystrom & Associates in New Brighton.  Christiansen found out about the job opening through a connection with veterans employment services reps at the WorkForce Center.

      Christiansen has extensive experience in the human services field, and had been an enlisted assistant to the drug abuse officer for the 1st Armored Division in Germany. But all that wasn’t enough to land him a good job. That’s why he began regularly attending a veterans networking group meeting held weekly.

      “I can’t recommend it enough,” he says. “Being with other veterans gave me a tremendous boost.”

      One area that Christiansen focused on was interviewing.  He hadn’t been on a job interview for a long time and needed to brush up on techniques, especially how to answer behavioral questions, according to vets rep. Mark Mann.  Christiansen received coaching on answering interview questions and had mock interviews.

      Networking groups such as the one Christiansen attended are for veterans only and are facilitated by vets reps at WorkForce Centers statewide.  They give participants the opportunity to share their experiences applying and interviewing for jobs.  Veterans are taught job search skills and hear from employers about their company’s hiring practices.

      In addition, vets reps link veterans with employers through lists of “featured employers.” This type of tie can help applicants get their resumes in front of a hiring manager more easily, thanks to strong relationships between vets reps and featured employers.

      For more information about veterans employment services offered through Minnesota WorkForce Centers, click here.