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Navy veteran seizes opportunity

After months of searching for a new job, and “on the brink” of moving into a friend’s basement, Navy veteran lands a “great” position with a new company through DAV/RecruitMilitary Career Fair.

Raymond Bannister felt as though he’d exhausted every effort to find a new job. The Navy veteran had sent out hundreds of resumes, but four months after being laid off, he had yet to find work. 

Bannister and his wife were on the verge of packing up their things, leaving their home, and moving into a friend’s basement when he heard about a DAV/RecruitMilitary All-Veterans Career Fair in his community. He seized the opportunity to meet prospective employers who were truly looking to hire talented veterans like him. 

Today, after landing a great job though the DAV/RecruitMilitary All-Veterans Career Fair with Fortune 500 company Cognizant, he and his wife are in a wonderful new chapter of their lives

“We were literally on the brink of having to accept the help of life-long friends back in Michigan before I accepted my current role,” says Bannister. “How did this affect our lives? It affected us tremendously as we would no longer have a place of own if it were not for me finding Cognizant at the job fair. I had put in well over 200 applications over the four months I was out of work, but that day at the job fair I met a recruiter who was there to really look to hire veterans, and as they say, the rest is history.”

Bannister served in the U.S. Navy for four years during the first Gulf War. He was a 21-year-old man who was sick of college and wanted to work and learn on the job.

“One day someone said, ‘If you want [on the job training], then join the service,’” says Bannister. “I am proud to be a plank owner of the USS George Washington CVN 73. If it wasn’t for the time away from family, I think I might have never left the military. As much as I loved the work and the crew, I could not imagine being away from my family for long periods of time.”

Tenacious in his search for employment, Bannister seized the opportunity to meet with prospective employers at the DAV/RecruitMilitary Veterans Career Fair. 

“I had good solid conversations with several companies, including the one that I ultimately accepted an offer from,” says Bannister. “This was my first DAV/RecruitMilitary Career Fair and I was able to find work from that first one. I would say I fall into the ‘very easy’ bucket.”

Bannister says he wants other veterans to know what opportunities these job fairs provide. 

“They put the effort into planning their job fairs with companies that are not there just for the good press of saying, we hire veterans,’ but rather companies that truly believe in the value of hiring a veteran,” says Bannister. “The staff associated with this organization are there to help guide you. Make no mistake you have to do the work and speak with the employers but they are there to help you open your mind to possibilities. They will even help you sell yourself. I participated in many job fairs while looking for work and this one is far above the rest.”

Bannister said landing his job with Cognizant was a game-changer. 

“It is 100% due to the contact I made at your job fair that I am going to be able to end four months of unemployment,” says Bannister. “I not only got a job, I got a great job making more than what I was making with the company that laid me off. I can't thank you enough for such a great program.”

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