HAYWARD -- Rather than holding just another job fair for veterans, a nonprofit group is organizing a free two-day boot camp next week where recruiters will offer lessons onhow to make their employment searches successful.
"In today's age, things are done a lot differently than they were 10 or 15 years ago. The spray-and-pray method of sending out résumés doesn't work," said Tony Beaman, founder of ElitePrep U, a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping veterans find jobs and get entrepreneur training. "Today, it's a lot more about connecting with people."
Beaman, who served six years in the Army National Guard, said he wants to share with veterans the knowledge and contacts he's built as a recruiter. Joining him at the boot camp will be other recruiters and human resource executives who will be mentors.
"We want to share some of the recruiting tricks we use to find the right people," he said.
Topics will include what recruiters and human resource managers look for on a résumé, how to answer interview questions, the importance of developing a LinkedIn profile and how to network.
"Most of the time at job fairs, people are just shuffling résumés and don't have a chance to network with those who are actually doing the hiring. We will have 11 or 12 recruiters who are going to be working shoulder to shoulder" with the boot-camp trainees, Beaman said.
Veteran Al Balatbat said he plans to attend.
"I know what it's like to come out of the military and not have a job. It was very challenging for me," the San Lorenzo resident said.
Even though Balatbat had years of experience as an Air Force recruiter, he found himself handicapped because he did not have a college degree. Now a full-time student at Chabot College in Hayward, he switched to night classes so he could look for work during the day.
The boot camp will give him a chance to network with recruiters, Balatbat said.
"My ultimate goal is to have my own recruiting firm, to serve those who served," he said. "I want to connect with people while they're still in the military."
The boot camp will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Hayward Veterans Memorial Building, 22327 Main St.
Beaman said ElitePrep U plans more job search training for veterans because the need is so great, especially in California.
"I hear, 'Oh, I can't get a job.' We know of a lot of positions that are available, and here on the other side is a lot of talent; they just may not be hip on how the process works now," he said.
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.