Include Relevant Technical Skills
As you browse job postings, make a note of the technical skills each requires. Youll often see Microsoft Office Suite , Google Drive , Mac/PC, and even social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram. If you have strong experience with any of the technologies mentioned in a given description, be sure to list it on your resume.
Reach Out To Your Resources
Transitioning from a military career to a civilian job can feel understandably overwhelming, but you dont have to do this alone. Talk to other veterans who have successfully made the transition and ask to look at their resumes, Deere suggests.
Your civilian friends and family members are also great resources. Deere recommends talking to them about what you did in the military and noting down what they struggle to understand about your duties. That should be a good indicator of where a recruiter or hiring manager might be confused, and will help you to identify the areas of your resume that need to be tweaked. And dont be shy about coming back to your support network with a new or revised version. Itll likely take you a few tries to get it just right.
You can also partner with a career advisor or resume writer for additional support. Theyll know what hiring managers are looking for and can help you bridge the gap between military terminology and civilian workplace lingo.
Jobs At Northrop Grumman
Soft Skills Vs Hard Skills
While it might seem like every employer prefers a different resume format, they all seek two main skill sets: soft skills and hard skills. It’s important to incorporate both in your application materials.
Soft skills are applicable to every job. They include interpersonal communication, time management, problem solving, critical thinking, and other qualities and personality traits that help you succeed in the workplace. Soft skills are also called transferable skills, as you can use them regardless of industry, profession or position.
Hard skills are specific to a field and can be learned, evaluated and measured. Your competencies in these areas indicates whether you will be successful with specific tasks related to a job. Hard skills include Web or graphic design, computer programming, writing and editing, finance, accounting and more.
Remember that human resource departments screen dozens of applications every day, so state your skills as briefly as possible and include only the skills most relevant to the position for which you’re applying.
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Translate Terms Into Civilian Language
Some positions, such as those in combat, can be harder to quantify. In those cases, its important to put the job into terms that any lay person could understand. For example, if you were responsible for property and equipment, you might say, proactively maintained and repaired six vital IOT-enabled pieces of equipment, ensuring operational efficiency for 300+ team members. Or if you worked under stressful conditions, you could say cultivated strong attention to detail under stressful conditions, successfully completing 23 initiatives while juggling multiple competing priorities.
If you can translate your actual job titles into civilian terms, its worth including both on your resume. This can work well in some cases, like Team Lead instead of Squad Leader, or Operations Manager instead of Operations NCO, says Deere. Heres what it might look like:
Squad Leader | United States Air Force | May 2013 – July 2019
Lastly, dont forget that the military has a language all its own and most civilians wont understand the acronyms and jargon. So, do your best to simplify or translate whenever possible. A tank might be an operational vehicle or a piece of equipment, a mission might be better described as an initiative or project, and reconnaissance might be data collection or research.
Clarifying Military Experience On Your Resume
The goal is to explain your experience in a way that makes you the obvious choice for the job. Dont overlook the obvious barriers to clarify, however. Grammar and spelling mistakes can make your resume difficult to read and understand.
When writing and formatting your resume, keep in mind the potential employer who will read it. They are busy, have many resumes to review and are shorthanded otherwise they wouldnt be looking to hire. You want to make it easy for them to find the important information on your resume.
Most employers faced with a stack of resumes will give each one just a few seconds. They scan down the page looking for specific details and anything else that stands out. Theyre not going to spend extra time trying to decipher spelling and grammar errors. They probably will not read every word on the page.
Your military experience taught you to be organized and concise. Use headings, subheadings and bulleted lists to make it easy for any employer to scan your resume and find the most important information. Instead of describing your experience in long paragraphs, use a list of short phrases with just the key words and phrases.
Resumes with grammar and spelling errors generally end up in the trash. No one is going to figure out youre the obvious choice for the job if your resume is sitting in the wastepaper bin.
From Infantry To Logistics Management
Military Experience: An infantryman with 23 years in the Army who operated tanks and weapons and dug ditches is having a hard time identifying skills or direct experience to bring to the civilian workforce.
Experience to Market to Civilian Employers: Trained and evaluated 40 personnel supporting 2,000+ troops in 4 countries, with an inventory list of 1,500 line items and assets valued at $65M.
Functional Areas of Expertise or Core Competencies: Personnel management, logistics and operations. Strategic planning and tactical application.
Possible Employment Opportunities: Based on his experience, this Command Sergeant Major could market his skills as a logistics expert and apply for management positions.
Proudly Display Your Military Experience
Weh has received some of the best resumes from veterans who include their billet title and military rank. “People who don’t acknowledge their military careers are not helping themselves,” Weh says. “I saw a retired lieutenant colonel’s resume that simply listed vague managerial skills, and the only reference to his military career was that he served in the US Air Force. An employer could have mistaken his military career for one at IBM.”
Employers cannot glean a complete understanding of your work potential if you disguise your past. Given that a typical HR manager won’t comprehend the significance of title and rank, veterans should also include an equivalent civilian title. For example, a commanding general can list the equivalent civilian title as chief executive officer.
Resume Tip: Don’t disguise your rank to civilianize your resume that discounts your military faculties. As a veteran, you can help the civilian sector understand more about the military. And if companies understand, they might feel less intimidated.
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First Create A Separate Section Called Military Experience
It is important to list your military work experience separately from your other work experience. The goal is to create a resume that is easy for employers to read and understand. Under the main section title, you can then choose to organize your work experience with sub-sections under your job title, listed in reverse chronological order. Your most recent position in the military should be listed first and your oldest position should be at the bottom.
If you do not have other work experience, then you may simply include your military experience under a Relevant experience section.
What To Include In Each Section Of The Letter
There are also set rules for the sections included in the letter, from salutation to sign-off, and how the letter is organized. Here’s a quick lowdown on the main sections included in a job application letter:
Heading: A letter of application should begin with both your and the employer’s contact information followed by the date. If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature.
Salutation: This is your polite greeting. The most common salutation is “Dear Mr./Ms.” followed by the person’s last name. Find out more about appropriate cover letter salutations, including what to do if you don’t know the person’s name, or are unsure of a contact’s gender.
Body of the letter: Think of this section as being three distinct parts.
In the first paragraph, you’ll want to mention the job you are applying for and where you saw the job listing.
The next paragraph are the most important part of your letter. Remember how you gathered all that information about what employers were seeking, and how you could meet their needs? This is where you’ll share those relevant details on your experience and accomplishments.
The third and last part of the body of the letter will be your thank you to the employer you can also offer follow-up information.
Complimentary Close: Sign off your email with a polite close, such as “Best” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name.
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How Can You Best Show Off Your Military Skills On Your Resume To Land Civilian Interviews And Then A Job Try These Tips
Use your military experience to distinguish yourself from other candidates.
“It is a special kind of employee who steps forward and takes responsibility to get the job done,” says Col. Allen Weh, retired US Marine Corps reserve officer, and president and CEO of CSI Aviation Services Inc.
Weh, who founded CSI in 1979, employs former military personnel and is often asked for advice from veterans seeking to transfer their military skills to the business world. Here’s how he thinks vets can best present their skills in resumes and job interviews.
Drop The Formality And Length
Military documents can be unnecessarily long, so don’t let that habit dictate how you complete your employment application. Keep your answers succinct and leave the details for your interview. Avoid writing lengthy job descriptions — point out your qualifications, but make them parallel to the job requirements. You can be slightly less formal in your employment application, too. Remember, you’re not completing military orders. This is the first impression the recruiter or hiring manager has and it’s an introduction to you as a capable, qualified potential employee who happens to have a military background.
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How To Get Started
Before you begin writing your job application letter, do some groundwork. Consider what information you want to include .
Remember, this letter is making a case for your candidacy for the position. But you can do better than just regurgitating your resumeinstead, highlight your most relevant skills, experiences, and abilities.
Translate Your Military Job Titles
The initial read-through of the resume is usually a quick scan. One of the areas that are often looked at first are your job titles to determine if your experience is relevant. The job titles listed on your resume must be free of military terminology and acronyms. Dont use Non-commissioned Officer in Charge, NCOIC, Chief Petty Officer or CPO when you can simply use the title of manager. Avoid using military codes or your MOS designator, such as the 11B code for Infantryman. Instead, use the title Team Leader or Crew Manager.
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Prepare For Your Job Search Early
The earlier you can start your preparation for civilian employment, the better. The Transition Assistance Program office on your installation can help you get started. Military OneSource also offers the Transitioning Veterans specialty consultation to further assist you in transitioning from the military to civilian life.
If youre pursuing federal employment, upload your resume to the federal resume-building websites. Visit the federal governments USAJOBS site or your installation Transition Assistance Program for more information.
Include A Clear Career Goal
Many resumes include a career goal listed at the top or a bland summary of what a job seeker is looking for in a position. While these are not always a good idea, they are very important for a resume with no real work experience.
Here, in approximately three clearly written, concise sentences, highlight the experience and skills you have that are most relevant for the job to which you are applying and tie them in with your long-term career plans.
Doing so shows your prospective employer two important things: First, that you actually have the skills it takes to get the job done, and second, that you actually have a plan to put that job to use in the long run, demonstrating that the job will actually be as important to you as it is to the organization.
“What if you’re just getting a job because you need the money?” asks Kathi. That’s a good question and an answer you will need to creatively construct in your professional summary/goal section.
If your career goals do not align at all with the job you are looking at, you may want to rethink the position. But no matter what kind of job you are applying for, you will probably learn a lot on the job that will help you as you pursue your long-term goals. Focus your written goals on those skills you hope to master. Doing so will show the reader that you will get as much out of the job as you put into it, which makes you a good prospect for employment.
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Military Skills To Put On A Resume For Any Job
During your military service, you receive extensive training and the diversity of your experience ensures that your skill set is very strong and well-rounded. This article will highlight the top 12 skills that can add value to your resume, no matter what job you are targeting in your post-military career. These skills can help you stand out from the competition during the job search process.
In this article, we discuss why military skills are important and how you can use those skills to demonstrate your value on a resume when seeking a career in the private sector.
Military To Civilian Resumeobjective
That first of those military resume samples is superior. The measurable accomplishments give it force.
The second is too military-focused. Civilians wont relate to it.
Expert Hint: Dont write your military resume summary or resume objective first. Youll get lost. Write it last so you can build it from the best materiel in your resume.
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Preparing For The Job Hunt
Taking some simple steps before you send out applications can greatly help your chances of success.
- Find and research jobs you’re qualified for using military-to-civilian search engines
- Build a civilian-friendly resume
- Write a tailored cover letter for each job application
The military offers some great exit material for those entering back into the civilian world. We’ve also compiled a list of resources to help you transition from the military to civilian job world.
One useful resource is www.careeronestop.org. This site, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, has a “Military to Civilian Translator” tool to help translate your military skills into civilian careers that require similar skills. This is a great starting point to help you gauge where your military experience will land you in terms of typical salaries, employment outlook and job duties of careers that fit your profile.
You can search by military occupation code or by keyword. The goal here is to write down what your current military position is, and the tool will translate that into a civilian career. For example, when you search “Electrician’s Mate” civilian job match would be “Electrician.” Find”ob match, and then click through to the civilian job details to learn more about it.
General Discharge Vs Honorable Discharge
A General discharge under honorable conditions is not the same as an Honorable discharge. Yet, time after time I see applicants who underwent some type of disciplinary actions or just stopped attending drills and were given General discharges list it on the investigative paperwork as an Honorable discharge. Or, they fail to list all periods and types of military service . When the investigation comes back flagged for material falsification and/or lack of candor they now have to answer to why they provided false or misleading information.
I always provide this advice when asked about providing information on the forms: when in doubt, disclose the information to prevent any appearance of dishonesty or lack of candor. More often than not, unless it was a Bad Conduct or Dishonorable discharge, the reasons for the discharge will not result in an adverse decision unless the conduct or reason for the discharge is specific to the position you are applying for. Overcoming the deliberate falsification or omission of required information is a more serious issue that strikes right at the heart of a potential employer being able to trust you to work for them.
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How To Fill Out Duties On A Job Application
The duties and responsibilities section of a job application is where you tell an employer what specific professional experience you have. Job applications do not generally leave much room for you to describe your job duties. Choosing the right duties to include can be challenging when your job descriptions for each position were a page or more in length.
Read through the job description of the job you are applying for. Look for the most important skills and qualifications the employer wants. These are the skills and duties to highlight in your job application. Gauge how much room you have to write in the duties section of the job application. You may only be able to choose two or three duties that describe your work for previous employers. The ones that you choose should relate directly to the job you are applying for.
Write your accomplishments in the duties section of the application. Your accomplishments give employers a good idea of what exactly you are capable of on the job. You can tell the employer that you were responsible for hiring, but this wording does not tell the employer that you hired 10 new employees for your department in 3 months and reduced the turn-over rate in your department by 20 percent during that time as well. Avoid repeating accomplishments or responsibilities on the application if you held the same or similar positions for different employers. Describe different accomplishments for each one.