Gartner Branches Out at the Annual SVA National Conference for Student Veterans

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Recently, Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, participated in the Student Veterans of America’s (SVA’s) National Conference in Orlando, Florida. As a founding member of the SVA Business Roundtable, Gartner is committed to providing employment opportunities to student veterans using education as a transition strategy, and bringing together diverse employee resource groups and student veterans nationwide.

The SVA National Conference is one of the largest gatherings of student veterans, advocates, thought leaders and supporters of higher education worldwide. During the conference, student veterans learned about higher educational programs and career opportunities available to them from fellow veterans, chapter members and participating organizations.

Gartner’s Diana Spano, Manager, Research Engagement Services and U.S. Army veteran; and Sarah Spinelli, Senior Recruiting Program Specialist, hosted a breakout session during the conference and engaged with student-military talent at Gartner’s booth. Sarah and Diana offered up tips for translating military experience into civilian-friendly terms.

IMG_0746Resume tips

“Keep your resume to two pages or less! While government contractors and federal roles want your full CV, corporations spend an average of seven seconds looking at your resume. Pull your key differentiators to the top to make the recruiter want to read the rest. What sets you apart that you’re proud of?”

Sarah Spinelli

“Take the guesswork out of it! Do not hand them a resume that requires the reader to interpret or to make a guess. Take control – own your experience and make it clear to the reader.”

Diana Spano

Military jargon

“How would you explain what you did in the military to your grandparents? Put it in terms that anyone can understand. Finding ways to communicate your leadership skills will help civilian recruiters to better understand your roles and responsibilities.”

Sarah Spinelli  

“A common mistake it to list a military job title with a heavy military job description, and it is left to interpretation. Spell it out with nonmilitary terms.”

Diana Spano


Veteran resume reads:

  • Provided supervision to 10 airmen in a squadron of 120 members
  • While on tour, conducted/oversaw daily operations
  • Member of the ____ Battalion while serving a special duty

Civilian resume reads

  • Supervisor to 10 direct reports/associates within a business unit of 120 members
  • Maintains/manages successful completion of daily tasks
  • Individual of an elite group (that had to meet X, Y, Z criteria for selection) that was assigned a special role; during this time, I added value by displaying the qualities of A, B, C

Tailoring your resume for the ideal role

“Start tailoring your resume to the different roles you are applying for, and have several functional options to choose from. So when you’re applying to roles that require a specific set of skills, you’ll have a resume that speaks very directly to your experience in that function.”

Sarah Spinelli

“Set the stage! Interpret your experience so you are in control of what is being read versus what is being interpreted.”

Diana Spano

LinkedIn networking and usage

“If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account that is used daily, it’s time to change that. Most organizations leverage LinkedIn very heavily. Recruiters use key search terms in order to fill roles, including Boolean strings, as well as connect with networking groups for military talent.”

Sarah Spinelli

“Before starting at Gartner I didn’t have a LinkedIn account, nor could I see the benefits. Use LinkedIn to your advantage and put your name out there as a professional. See it as a way to get involved in different communities, ask questions, read articles, leave comments and seek opportunity — even after you’ve landed your dream job.”

Diana Spano

Interview 101photo-conference-table

“Make sure you have done research on the company before getting on the phone with a recruiter, be sure you have a rough idea of how many employees there are, where the HQ is, what their industry is, and have at least a hypothesis of how they make money — if you follow the money, you’ll be better able to communicate why you are valuable to them.”

Sarah Spinelli

“Do not wait to be probed. When answering a question, it is ok OK to tap into another area so long as you bring it back in a succinct way. Often times, the best interviews are one’s of where the candidate naturally hit on all of the areas that relate to the role. Adjust your communication style and level of engagement. Just like you have done with your resume in written form, tailor your verbal communication skills in order to soften the tone or to help with explaining your experience. Focus on speaking about your experience as it relates to the role versus what you were trained to do.”

Diana Spano

What makes Gartner a great place to work for transitioning military members? You will be a part of our collaborative environment from your first day on the job. We recognize that the skills you have learned during your service will add value to our organization. Our Veterans at Gartner employee resource group aims to bring veteran talent to the Gartner community, recognizing that your passion for leadership and collaboration will make an impact, while helping to make your transition into the civilian workforce comfortable.

Are you a student veteran or transitioning military member interested in joining the Gartner team? Learn more about our company here.

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