Every Navy Nuke contemplates getting a call up to The Show. If operating nuclear reactor plants for the U. S. Navy could possibly be considered the minor leagues (certainly in terms of pay), then civilian nuclear power has to be considered the Majors.
We spend 6 or more years perfecting our craft, becoming the best nuclear power plant operators the world over. Many Navy Nukes want to leverage that knowledge and experience into something that offers a better quality of life and more financial reward. Some find that breaking into civilian nuclear power is more difficult than they had expected.
In an effort to encourage more Navy Nuclear Personnel to go stay nuclear, I interviewed a Senior Recruiter for one of the major nuclear power corporations in the United States.
As always, my questions are in bold, the interviewee responses are in normal type, and my commentary is in italics. Enjoy.
Meet Carrie Timmerman, of the Exelon Nuclear Recruiting Team
Carrie Timmerman is a Senior Recruiter for the Exelon Nuclear Recruiting Team. Carrie has been a Senior Recruiter with Exelon for 7 years. Her employer, Exelon Corporation is headquartered in Chicago, IL, and has operations in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.
Exelon Nuclear, a division of Exelon Generation, operates the largest nuclear fleet in the U. S.
Exelon’s 10 stations and 17 nuclear units are located in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Carrie, can you briefly describe the process that you employ to find new engineering / operations / maintenance talent for your company? Do you rely heavily on outside recruiters, social media, online job boards, websites, or internal recommendations to find qualified Navy Nuclear personnel?
Once a job is approved to go outside the company, it is posted on our company website at http://www.exeloncorp.com/careers and then spiders out to local state job boards and employment agencies, veteran offices, niche industry websites such as Nukeworker.com, and national job boards like CareerBuilder.com and a variety of Diversity websites, etc. We also have a LinkedIn Corporate account that allows us to post jobs. Recruiters also post updates to their LinkedIn accounts as well.
As a follow up to that question, what is the best way for a Navy Nuke to introduce them self to your company, determine what positions you need to have filled, and increase their chances of being considered for employment with your company?
The first step would be to fill out an application on our website and upload a resume. Individuals also are welcome to contact an Exelon recruiter like myself via LinkedIn. We are happy to connect, network, receive emails, and answer questions from potential candidates. It gives them a direct line of communication to us.
Dustin’s Commentary: A lot of applicants are timid about reaching out to the companies they are interested in. LinkedIn is a generally accepted way for potential applicants to connect with those companies and ask any questions you may have, just be polite and respectful. Sometimes people on LinkedIn will list a contact email because they don’t check their LinkedIn Inbox. Make sure you actually read the profile to determine the best way to contact the company. Also, make sure your LinkedIn Profile is optimized if you are going to use LinkedIn in your job search.
This is a strange question, but how important is a Navy Nuke’s resume in the hiring process? What role does the resume play in getting hired? Who is it that views the resume and says, “Yes, let’s interview this person.”?
In my experience, most of the Navy Nuclear resumes follow a general format. The best advice I can give is for the person to list their qualifications on the resume.
For example, “Machinist Mate looking for Mechanic Supervisor position,” or “Electronics Tech looking for an Operations position.” Here are other things that are important to list on the resume for the recruiter and hiring manager:
- Rank upon separation
- GPA in A School and Power School
- Length of time holding a specific Qualification
For example, if a Nuke is qualified Engineering watch Supervisor for 24 months (standing that watch), it qualifies them for direct Senior Reactor Operator class.
Most Navy Nukes have similar skill sets depending on what their job was in the Navy. Some Nukes differentiate themselves by acquiring other certifications like Quality Assurance Inspector, Watch Supervisor, Watch Officer, etc. Are there any specific skill sets / qualifications that your company finds desirable in a Navy Nuke above and beyond those of the “average” veteran of the program?
There are so many Navy positions that yield a smooth transition to commercial power. The more relevant information an individual gives recruiters the better. For example, all Nuclear Navy veterans who have completed A School and Power School plus meet the job requirements can be considered for entry level operations. Exelon hiring runs the gamut but includes: Mechanics, Electricians, Chemistry Technicians, Radiation Protection Technicians, Instrument Maintenance Technicians, as well as, First Line Supervisors for all these crafts.
We have hired Work Center Supervisors as Planners, Outage Schedulers, Direct Senior Reactor Operator candidates, QA/QV, Operations and Technical Instructors. Exelon also has hired Nukes as Engineers when the candidate had an Engineering Degree. Where a person starts in the company all depends on rank, level and years of management, and previous roles and experience.
How many qualified Nukes apply for an average entry-level operator opening?
We usually receive between five and 15 Nuke resumes for an Operations class. Classes have set dates that can’t be changed, so it’s all about timing. The Nuke has to be separated (or on terminal leave) for the assigned start date.
Dustin’s Commentary: Navy Nukes who want to go into commercial power can find it challenging to coordinate their EAOS or availability with the commercial plant’s hiring dates. This would be a good question to work out via LinkedIn..
NavyNukeJobFinder.com is visited by Officer Navy Nuclear Personnel and Enlisted Navy Nuclear Personnel. What are the typical positions that are best filled by either an Officer Nuke or Enlisted Nuke after completing their first tour of duty with the Navy?
The available positions all depend on a person’s roles and experience, but the options are open.
What are the trends of hiring ex-Navy Nukes vs. students that complete a technical certification program (such as the two year Nuclear Power Technology degree program at Wharton County Junior College in Bay City, Texas)?
Hiring ex-Navy Nukes and candidates who have completed Technical Certifications have been excellent sources of candidates for us. Based on the number of retirements, we anticipate using both sources in the future. Certainly there are roles where experience as a Navy Nuke is beneficial.
Recently, this article regarding the South Texas Project Nuclear Plant, indicated that the Nuclear Industry may see a hiring boom soon due to an aging / retiring work force. Is this a concern for your company, and what is the general hiring outlook for your company over the next 1 to 5 years?
Exelon, as well as the rest of the industry is faced with a retiring work force. We have known and prepared for this issue by building robust pipelines and engaging in active recruitment. We anticipate the hiring to be healthy over the next few years as the waves of retirements continues.
Thank you for your time, is there anything else you would like to share?
Exelon is a Military friendly company and is always looking for ways to reach Veterans from all branches.
- Exelon moved up 6 spots in the 2013 Top 100 Military Friendly Employers Survey (to #56) and is the 6th highest ranking Energy company.
- Exelon was ranked #40 on the 2013 Military Times Best for Vets Employers List.
- Exelon has moved forward to the Finalist round of the CivilianJobs.com 2013 Most Valuable Employers (MVE) for Military. Winners will be announced on 4/28/2014
- Exelon Generation, a subsidiary of Exelon, is exceeding the company’s commitment to Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative to hire 10 percent of Military Veterans
Visit Exelon Online
Carrie Timmerman has more than 16 years of Recruiting experience in IT, Corporate roles and 7 years in the Nuclear Industry for Exelon. She has recruited for all 10 of Exelon’s Nuclear Plants.
NavyNukeJobFinder.com would like to thank Carrie Timmerman and Exelon Corporation for their support of the Navy Nuclear community and for their continued support of U. S. Military Veterans.