Tips from Our Military Recruiting Team

Meet the Team

Debbie Cote

Debbie Cote
Role: Military Recruiter
Military affiliation: Air Force family

VIctoria Pich

Victoria Pich 
Role: Senior Military Recruiter & Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship Program Manager
Military affiliation: Spouse of Army veteran

Jermaine McElveen

Jermaine McElveen
Role: Military Recruiter
Military affiliation: Army veteran

Alexa Montgomery

Alexa Montgomery 
Role: Military Recruiting Lead

Brian Carlton

Briana Carlton
Role: Military Programs Specialist
Military affiliation: Air Force family

Q&A Insights

Q: What are you looking for when hiring military talent into Booz Allen?

Victoria Pich: Besides specific functional or technical expertise, we’re looking for solid communication skills, leadership, adaptability to change, and the ability to work in a matrixed environment under minimal supervision.

 

Debbie Cote: We’re looking for candidates with strong work ethics and integrity. We want people who not only have knowledge but are also a fit for Booz Allen’s culture. 

 

Jermaine McElveen: We’re looking for candidates who have technical expertise in a variety of functional areas as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

 

Alexa Montgomery: We’re looking for people who want to continue to serve and also continue to learn and solve problems by collaborating with others to gain diverse perspectives. Harnessing new skills and knowing that innovative ideas can come from anywhere is part of the secret to our success at Booz Allen.

 

Briana Carlton: We’re looking for technical talent who are passionate about continuing the mission—people who are adaptable critical thinkers and problem solvers.

 

Q: When you think of top performers at Booz Allen who have served in the military, what characteristics really stand out?

Victoria Pich: Strong work ethic, passion to continue the mission, collaboration, knowledge transfer, the ability to take on new challenges, and strong interpersonal communications skills.

 

Debbie Cote: Honesty and integrity, determination, dedication, self-motivation, and being a team player. 

 

Jermaine McElveen: Discipline and a strong work ethic, dedication to mission accomplishment, integrity, and a team player.

 

Alexa Montgomery: Integrity, team mindset, adaptability, collaboration, communication, mission- and solution-driven. 

 

Briana Carlton: Strong work ethic, being a team player and self-starter, and passion to continue the mission.  

Q: What steps should someone take to have a successful post-military career?

Victoria Pich: Network, network, network! Continue to leverage all of your existing relationships and continue to build new ones. It’s people who will help you determine the next steps in your career.

 

Debbie Cote: Keep expectations realistic, attend networking events, and obtain certifications for the path that you want to pursue. 

 

Jermaine McElveen: Obtain the college degree or certifications in the career field you’re looking to pursue. Use your internal network while building your external network 18 to 24 months out from separation. Grow your network through LinkedIn, networking events, and career fairs.  

 

Alexa Montgomery: Build your network and make meaningful connections. Get involved in professional communities, forums, and events for transitioning military and veterans and in your professional areas of interest. Network in your personal areas of interest and in your community, too—you might be surprised where it leads! 

 

Briana Carlton: Leverage your existing relationships and connections to build your network! Start discovering what you enjoy and what you want your post-military career to look like. Then put a plan in place to reach those goals, such as through skill-bridge programs or technical boot camps to upskill

Q: What’s your best resume tip for transitioning military?

Victoria Pich: Translate your resume from military to civilian terminology and do not use abbreviations. Ensure any active clearance is stated. Share your total years of military experience—even if it’s not relevant to the specific role you’re applying for—to illustrate your timeline in the military and your career path. Lastly, keep your resume length to three pages maximum.

 

Debbie Cote: Don’t try too hard to civilianize your resume; companies who hire veterans often speak your language. During interviews, keep your answers concise. This is one of the most important pieces of feedback when candidates don’t get selected for a position.    

 

Jermaine McElveen: Stay away from military jargon and acronyms. Make sure your resume highlights your accomplishments and the impact you had on the organization. Ensure bullet points are quantifiable and measurable.

 

Alexa Montgomery: Attend resume writing workshops designed for transitioning military. Translating your service experience and accomplishments into a concise resume that will catch a recruiter’s eye is sometimes easier said than done. Workshops hosted through TAP sessions, veterans’ organizations, and companies like Booz Allen will help you create an effective resume and avoid common mistakes. Also, avoid using buzzwords that you don’t have experience with just to get in the door—stay true to your skills and what you can speak to in an interview. 

 

Briana Carlton: Translate your resume into civilian terminology and list your accomplishments and experience that best speak to the role to which you’re applying. List any active certifications, degrees, or security clearances you may hold. 

Q: Do you have any advice for transitioning military members when attending a career fair or job networking event?

Victoria Pich: Have your 20-second elevator pitch ready for when you arrive at a career fair. Let the recruiter know what type of position you’re looking for, locations of interest, and any clearance you may have. Come prepared with knowledge about the company and what roles you are interested in. The more information you have, the easier the conversation will be. And don’t forget to ask about next steps.

 

Debbie Cote: Come prepared with knowledge about the company you’re interested in, as well as its culture, to make sure you would be a strong fit. Be able to discuss what type of positions you’re interested in and how your previous experience will align with that role. Make sure you have an updated resume with you to share with the team. Be able to discuss location preferences and have a list of questions that you would like answered, too.    

 

Jermaine McElveen: Come prepared! Research the companies that you’re interested in and be ready to engage in conversation about them. Develop short talking points that highlight your experience and expertise. Make meaningful connections and engage with the company representatives—this may be your pathway into the company.

 

Alexa Montgomery: Have a plan! Do your research and identify companies that align with your post-military career aspirations, desired company culture, and mission that resonate with you. Get to know as much as you can through company websites, webinars, and social networking, and apply to open positions ahead of events. That way, you’ll already have an easy entry into conversation at company events. 

 

Briana Carlton: Prepare and come with a plan! Research the companies that will be there and identify the ones you want to speak with. Afterward, engage with the company on social media and attend other events to stay connected. 

Q: What do you love most about working at Booz Allen?

Victoria Pich: I love talking with transitioning military members and veterans about the next step in their career, which can be scary after many years in the military. I help them identify opportunities and field questions about transitioning, resume writing, interview skills, and more. I love that I can help in some small way and give back to those who have put their lives on the line for the nation's freedom and safety. Secondly, I love the people here—amazing, talented, smart, and collaborative workers. There’s no other place like it!

 

Debbie Cote: The people—it’s great to come to work every day surrounded by world-class superstars.    

 

Jermaine McElveen: By far, it’s the people! It is truly a team-first environment. When leaving the military, I wanted to align myself with a company that I enjoyed working for every day. I found that here.

 

Alexa Montgomery: People, purpose, and passion, of course! Whether it’s the flexibility I need for my family or access to continuous learning and mentoring to help me achieve my goals, my career has grown alongside me with the support of the passionate, purpose-driven people we are at Booz Allen. 

 

Briana Carlton: The people and the culture! Booz Allen is truly a supportive people-first company, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather work. 

Continue the mission with us

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