If you are a military veteran returning from duty, finding a job can seem like another big battle. Rapid technology advances and the needs of growing companies may make you feel left behind when it comes to being ready to re-enter the work force. Having the right tools in your job-seeking arsenal can help as you begin this new phase of your life and career.

Increase Your Online Presence

Even though we are in the middle of the electronic age, finding a job can still be all about who you know. Technology makes getting to know people in your chosen field easier than ever before. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter let you instantly connect to friends and acquaintances all over the world, stay current on trends in the job market, and make new friends in your area of interest or expertise. Career-building sites like LinkedIn help you create a professional online presence and connect directly to those people in your industry who are looking for employees, associates, or contract personnel to build their businesses or complete projects. Setting up accounts in each of these venues promotes you both personally and professionally and gives potential employers a place to go to get to know you better. Each account is free, and it only takes a few minutes to get started building your online presence through these social media and business-networking sites.

Perfect Your Portfolio

Your years in service give you unique insight into the importance of building relationships through a job well done. One way to connect the respect and experience you have gained in the military and the marketplace is through a quality portfolio. Portfolios are a collection of your best work, samples of writing, examples of completed projects, letters of reference and recommendations from superiors who know you well. Building a professional-looking portfolio gives you something to present at interviews that will give your potential employer all the information he or she needs to know that you are the one for the job. Websites like HireHeroesUSA.com has a variety of online tools specifically designed to help veterans build their resumes and portfolios quickly and easily. Once you have completed your resume and portfolio, HireVeterans.com lets you upload and post your resume to the website while you are looking at available job posts. Don’t forget to add any information you use in your portfolio to your Linked In profile, and let people know it’s there and ready to view by posting it on your social media profiles.

Free Online Basic Training

As a veteran looking for a job, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with the need to connect to so much technology at one time. If your computer and online skills need brushing up, consider looking to your community for help. Most public libraries offer free computer literacy training and many provide special classes in navigating social media, searching for jobs on the Internet, and building websites. These classes can help you find and visit job sites like LifeLock jobs, view postings and apply online. Since technology tools are constantly changing, keeping up with the trends through these types of free classes can help.

Finding a job after military service doesn’t have to feel like going on a mission with no specific orders. Following these steps can help get you ready for this next phase of your career.