Military Resume — Your military career as a grunt, a machine gunner, an ordnance specialist or crew chief will not translate well into civilian fields. The key is to look at that military career obliquely. This is accomplished by highlighting military leadership, intelligence and professionalism to convince an employer that your unique experience will add positive value to the company. Employers love all these military qualities, and these critical qualities must be relayed on a resume.
The first tip to writing a great resume is know your target. The business you’re applying to for a job is run by a bright, professional executive, devoted to maintaining a profit-making venture for the shareholders and company. This executive will expect the same commitment to excellence from an applicant, which includes intelligence, professionalism and leadership to help the company make a profit. Study your target.
The second tip concerns writing a resume free of grammar and spelling errors. In the military, delivering a message accurately was critical. Show your potential employer that you relayed information with precision and clarity. Don’t misspell the company’s name.
When talking about yourself, capitalize the word “I.” A resume is not a tweet to your buddy about Sunday’s game. “Theirs” and “there’s” are two different words. An error-free resume is the mark of intelligence. An employer looks for intelligent employees who can communicate accurately and without errors.Correct spelling and grammar are signs of an intelligent person.
The third tip is brevity. The hiring manager is a busy person. There may be 200 resumes to sift through. The job may be crucial, and it needs to be filled quickly. A resume that’s six pages long is likely to be tossed on the reject pile. An applicant’s job is to deliver a resume that’s packed with information, using only needful words. Toss the fluff. “Works well with people” means nothing. It’s a clich?
The fourth tip relates to the cover letter. Most cover letters are deficient. A good cover letter should relay your knowledge about the company and what value you can add to a company. When an employer considers a potential employee, this person always has one question forefront in mind: How can this person add value to my company? The cover letter is your opportunity to convince an employer that you have the skills, professionalism and leadership to add value. This letter should be brief, succinct and to-the-point.
The fifth tip is to relate your military experience on that cover letter. The failure to explain positive contributions you made to your ship, squadron or company is a sure way to see rejection.
Good Military Resume
Show your leadership:
As a platoon sergeant, I commanded 70 men who pacified an area in Afghanistan.
I was a hydraulics specialist who maintained a squadron of choppers, making certain they were in top mechanical condition and ready to fly at any time.
That’s showing leadership. Employers love it. Military leadership, professionalism and intelligence fit well into the civilian sector. Use that military experience to land a job.
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Jump starting the next phase of your career after you leave the military means finding the right words to share with civilians all of the skills, strengths, and qualifications that you acquired during your time int he military. What does a military resume look like? Will it help me find a job?
Regardless of which branch of the armed services you served in, you have gained valuable experience that will help you to move into the civilian world. You may have earned some awards for heroism, but you’ll need more than courage to transition to the civilian sector. Here are some of the key success factors that you need to be aware of as you prepare your resume:
Paint the Right Picture
When you write your military resume, you can portray a person who worked in a communications hub in a makeshift building in Afghanistan, or a savvy communications professional ready to take on the corporate world. To get there, take away the specific terms that are unique to the military and portray your experience as well as your skills as more universal.
Take advantage of the positive reputation that former military members have, including discipline skills that are highly valued by potential employers outside of the military. When drafting your military resume or veterans resume, make the most of any leadership experience that you have gained as well, as the ability to lead effectively is also prized by civilian employers.
Show Your Talents At The Top
Add a summary of your key skills at the top of your resume. If you were in a management position during your time in the military and now want to transition those skills and experiences to a career in managing finance, then you should list skills that a corporation will value. Use current buzz words and key terms that will resonate with the hiring manager.
Since many corporations use either software programs to sift through resumes before people view them or use human resources personnel to screen for the best resumes, it is important to use the exact right terms. Not sure? Try to work in a few different versions of the same key term, if possible, in your resume to help increase your resume’s odds of making it into the hands of the hiring manager who will ultimately decide whether to have you come in for an interview.
Re-Order Jobs On Your Resume
Many professionals list their career events in chronological order, going from most recent to oldest. Instead, try out a functional format the highlights the most relevant positions to the job you are aiming for. It could be that your decade in the Navy has little to do with your desire to become an adjunct professor at a local community college. If this is the case, then, for example, it would be more appropriate to highlight past experience teaching, even if it was before you entered the military.
Format Your Resume For Today
Look online for samples of resumes or templates that you can use to format your resume. Try to consult the website of an award-winning writer with several years of experience. Expertise in cover-letter writing and job interview counseling is also helpful.
It is important to portray yourself as a professional who is in tune with current trends, including the current format for resumes in your industry. Like it or not, appearances matter, which means that a resume whose format is incomprehensible or hopelessly old fashioned is much more likely to be tossed than looked at.
Customize Your Resume For The Job You Want
While it is undeniably tempting to blitz every job listing that you locate online with the same generic resume, if you take the time to customize your resume for each job listing you are much more likely to be asked in for an interview. Start by making sure that your resume reflects a professional in the field that you are applying for.
A job as a computer programmer will require different skill sets and experiences than a systems administrator position. You may be qualified for both, but the employer looking for a systems administrator will not be wowed by your computer programming skills and vice versa.
More than the obvious job title, however, it is important that you scan the job listing for key terms that you an incorporate into your resume. Those key terms are likely to be the ones that the software program or human resources worker is looking for when screening new resumes. This could mean changing “maintained budgets and accounts” to “performed account reconciliations and managed budget” in your key skills section.
Don’t be reluctant to hire a professional resume writer with experience in career transition to help develop your professional military resume. Remember sometimes it’s important to know when to delegate.
A military life and a civilian life are different from each other like chalk and cheese. A military life is bound by strict rules and regulations while a civilian life is more relaxed; a military life is more regimented and there are specific consequences and actions specified in the event of one failing to meet the standards while there is no such regimentation and compulsion in civilian life. It is natural than that a military man would find it pretty difficult to find employment in a civilian position or a civilian organization.
The first step to find employment in a civilian position or a civilian organization is to prepare a military to civilian resume. This is where the trick lies. The skill here is to represent how an individual in military can bring immense values to a civilian organization.
Let us take a look at the steps to prepare a military to civilian resume.
First, cut out everything that is military. A military to civilian transition resume basically means that an individual who has been with the military for a substantial part of the life is seeking an employment with a civilian organization. This requires that the individual will have to totally adapt to the way of life in a civil organization.
The resume must not have a trace of anything that seems military like. The language would be a good point to start with and one will do well to put the corporate tone.
Second, focus on what you can do for your potential employer. You may have been with the military but there are certain qualities and skills that are unique to you. The key is to identify the unique skills and capabilities and assess what values can these skills and capabilities bring to the potential employer. The resume should clearly mention the areas where you intend to make contributions.
Third, cite specific instances from your career when you have faced problems and have solved the problems by dint of your intelligence, presence of mind and determination. Try to relate the instances to specific job requirements of the job you are applying for in the organization.
Fourth, although different, the military and the civilian lives will have certain requirements in common like leadership qualities, problem solving abilities, ability to manage people and the ability to manage an organization or a team with limited resources. You must highlight these areas in the military to civilian resume to indicate that you are the fittest candidate for the job.
A military to civilian conversion resume hence is not easy as you will have to convince your potential employer that you are ready for the transition in your career.