Season 2 Episode 70: Learning You Don't Have to Be Perfect with Tom Zacher

When Tom Zacher retired from the US Navy in November of 2019, he very carefully planned out all the steps of his transition. 

He had no idea there were companies that help you with your resume, so he posted his resume on LinkedIn and asked for advice. After getting a big response with many conflicting thoughts on what was right for his resume, he was a little overwhelmed. We discussed the importance of asking for the strategic “why” behind any resume advice. If they can’t give you a strategic reason, then it is likely just an opinion and you may want to take that for what it’s worth. My recommendation is to pick one or two resume experts and stick with their thoughts so that you don’t make yourself crazy.

You can download the Military Resume Self-inspection Checklist for free at to give you a starting point when evaluating your resume. 

Tom admits that he didn’t follow the “rules” of targeting his resume. He was just sending the same resume to every job posting, regardless of the company and the responsibilities of the role. He didn’t do everything perfect and he is still employed. He could have expedited the process and saved himself some stress if he had followed the rules. However, it is important to know that you don’t have to do everything perfect to have success.

Tom's SkillBridge experience was less than ideal. It was a remote role with little engagement and not much to do or learn. Looking back, Tom knows there are things he could have done differently to avoid the negative experience of his SkillBridge. He admits that he put all his “eggs” in one basket and didn’t diversify his SkillBridge applications. He took the first thing that was offered and he knows now that he could have improved his options by opening up his search.

Veterans are loyal by nature, but there is nothing wrong with being your own career manager, looking out for your best interests and keeping your options open. Tom walks us through some of the things you might consider and weigh – in addition to annual salary – while evaluating multiple job offers. 

Tom is happily employed, but he is still very active on LinkedIn building and engaging with his network. One of the common mistakes job seekers make is that they disappear from LinkedIn after they land their job. However, when they need their network again, it has gone cold. LinkedIn is a great place to keep your industry knowledge current. It is also a great way to give back and help others by staying engaged on LinkedIn. 

Don’t overcomplicate the transition. Be determined, be consistent and be resourceful, and you can make things happen for yourself. You have to be willing to take action on your ideas!

At the beginning of the episode, I gave an update on Charlan Rieve and her son 8-year-old Rowan. Unfortunately, the brain tumor that was removed last year turned out to be cancerous. He is currently going through chemotherapy. If you say prayers, please send some their way. If not, just send them some positive thoughts. Last year, I launched a GoFundMe fundraiser that fell just short of our goal to reach $10,000 to help offset some medical costs and help Charlan while she can’t work much. If you’d like to help us reach that final goal, you can find the fundraiser at

Tom manages a YouTube channel, #tomazcher Veterans Advice, you can subscribe to his channel and find his videos here:

You can join his LinkedIn group #tomzacher Veterans Advice at:

You can connect with Tom Zacher on LinkedIn:

SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!

Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn! Or check out our website at and listen to the previous episodes here!


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Are You Struggling to Write Your Resume?

I created the Veteran Resume Self-inspection Checklist to lessen the resume writing struggle for veterans. This 11-item checklist will educate you in resume best practices while giving veterans a guide to assess their resume and determine if it's ready to send to  employers. 

Download Your Checklist Here