How To Translate Military Experience To Civilian Resume

How To Translate Military Experience To Civilian Resume


What Is A Military Transition Resume

Converting Military Experience To A Civilian Resume

A military transition resume is a resume that a veteran creates as they transition to the civilian workforce. If you are a veteran, you can use your resume to highlight your unique qualifications, military experience and education. As with a normal resume, you can also highlight the skills you have that are pertinent to the jobs you apply for.

One common challenge of writing a military resume is describing the transferable skills you developed while on duty in terms a civilian can easily understand. While you may be accustomed to using military jargon, hiring managers do not typically understand these terms. It is important to use language that anyone, whether they served in the military or not, can understand and relate to in your resume to describe your military experience.

Aim: Translate Your Military Job Experience For The Civilian Economy

Preparing for your military transition is going to require a bit of translation work. During the course of your military career youve been immersed in acronyms, all of which make sense to you. Unfortunately, many private sector and government employers dont speak MOS. Youll need to take some time to correlate your military positions with corresponding job titles in the civilian economy. For example, EOD is bomb disposal. MOAB, thats a bomb. TDY is a temporary assignment. FM and CF . . . best leave those off altogether.

Here are a few places to start:

  • The U.S. Department of Labors Military to Civilian Occupation translator There are a few translators available online, but this one provides job titles when you input your MOS.
  • Careerbuilder You shouldnt rely exclusively on career boards to find a job, but Careerbuilder and others are a great place to identify the job titles youll target and to learn the important keywords that employers use to select the candidates that theyll interview.
  • The federal government employment website lists thousands of jobs that can be searched by job title, occupation, and specific department. As of the date this article was written there were 4,978 positions designated specifically for veterans.
  • Take notes, make lists, and begin to identify the companies, agencies, and positions that look like a good fit for your first post-military career move.

    Highlight Your Soft Skills

    While you were in the military, you may have developed and honed your soft skills like communication, leadership, management skills and attention to detail. List these skills in your âsummary of qualificationsâ section and incorporate them throughout the accomplishments in your âwork experienceâ section to showcase yourself as a well-rounded candidate.

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    Get In The Right Mindset

    Dont think of your military experience as something that sets you apart from other applicants in a bad wayit is much more valuable than you realize. All you have to do is word your experiences in a way that helps your future employer see how what you learned during your time in service can apply to a civilian work environment.

    Top tip: abandon all military speak

    Putting Your Skills In Civilian Terms

    Military To Civilian Resume Skills

    Continuing with the theme of translation, and DOD billets, its time you civilianize your job title. Lets face it, as a Company Gunnery Sergeant, you basically managed a group of pugnacious young men, keeping them on schedule and saving their hides on a regular basis essentially a high-level Supervisor. Similarly, a Commanding Officer, in the Air Force is responsible for scheduling training, directing operations, and a host of other executive decisions. In the civilian world, Operations Manager, parallels that of Commanding Officer.

    Also, when compiling your resume, stay away from acronyms and abbreviations. We veterans may know what youre saying, but the rest of America doesnt. Translate them into layperson terms. Military training/schooling should be simplified into the real meaning of said education. For example, the job qualifications of a Naval EMN ET are rather intense, involving some of the most comprehensive high-tech training available in the world. If you gained certification as a EMN ET, explain the hodgepodge of letters and the months of cutting-edge schooling you endured. And dont forget to spell-check its there for a reason!

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    Include Your Education Training And Certifications

    For a well-rounded resume, donât forget to include other important details such as your higher education, specialized training, or any other certifications you might have. Include your college information regardless of what degree you earned.

    If you received any specialized military training relevant to your job function, once again try to demilitarize it into civilian terms. You could also search the internet to see if there is a civilian equivalent for your training. This information could help you craft the information about your own training.

    Finally, if you received any specific certifications, feel free to add them to your resume and Upwork profile. This helps to further show off your skills and qualifications.

    Pro tip: If you feel like there are gaps in your knowledge or skills, taking an online course is a great way to bridge the gap. Upgrade your skills and acquire new ones via online learning platforms and sites to further boost your resume.

    Translate Your Military Experience To A Civilian Skill Set And Prepare Your Resume

    Transitioning successfully from the military to a civilian position is an important process to consider. A critical step in this process is translating your military skills into a skill set that will make you a highly desired, competitive civilian job candidate. The Career Center can help you with this important step.

    Make sure to have your resume reviewed by a Career Advisor. Visit the Career Center to have your resume reviewed and approved. Drop-in resume reviews are held between 2-4 pm, Monday through Friday. These brief, 15 minute meetings are an excellent way for you to receive tips to improve your document to better highlight your strengths and skills. For a more in-depth conversation, you are welcome to schedule an appointment with a career advisor.

    Upon leaving the military, Veterans may request a Verification of Military Experience and Training document which is an overview of your military career. This document provides valuable information as you transition into the civilian world. Below are answers to important questions about the purpose and benefits of acquiring a VMET:

    How is a VMET document helpful? Your VMET document can help you create a resume and complete a job application. You can choose to show the VMET document to potential employers, employment/government agencies or to educational institutions, however, it should not be used as a replacement for your resume.

    Developing Accomplishment Statements:

    Choosing a Resume Type:


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    What Is A Military To Civilian Resume

    A military-to-civilian resume is a formal document that showcases and highlights relevant, transferable military experience to civilian jobs. Like a traditional resume, it serves as a marketing tool that sells your skills to help land an interview.

    The type of information that a resume contains include:

    • Professional military experience
    • Education
    • Skills, certifications, and achievements

    If you notice, relevant is an important word to consider when creating a military resume. Throughout this article, I will repeat this word. Why? Because you dont want to make the mistake of including skills that do not connect with the job youre applying for.

    As an example, if youre applying for accounting positions, your experience as a marksman, and listing that you received a marksman ribbon or badge for weapons qualification, does nothing to show a hiring manager that you can prepare a financial report. However, if youre looking to be a U.S. Marshal, your weapons training will come in handy.

    Now, before you start writing, you need to know the essential elements of your military to civilian resume.

    Translate And List Any Additional Training You Received

    How to Build your Military-to-Civilian Resume

    During your military service, you receive extensive training and education that can be of value to your employer in the private sector. Much of the training may not be relevant to your next role, but identify what training will add value in your next role. It is important to translate the titles of your training courses which will help employers understand what military education you have received. For example, an Air Force leader may have attended the NCO Academy, but it should be featured on your resume as a 6-week course in leadership and professional communication.

    Related: Transferable Skills: Definitions and Examples

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    Fourth Focus On Leadership Experience

    Leadership experience is valuable in a wide range of jobs and occupations. The best way to convey leadership experience is to include action words in civilian terms. For example, you can state that you provided strategic advice to meet team operational goals resulting in standards being met. Listing leadership experience this way will make hiring managers aware that your leadership experience can extend beyond military exercises and battle plans.

    Translating Military Experience To Civilian Terms

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    High-stress situations. Quick decision making. Teamwork.

    You make a fist thrust your hand up high, and dozen a United States Marines snap to attention behind you. Reacting accordingly, the squad makes for cover, concealment. Moments later youre on the comm, summoning the local Explosive Ordinance Disposal team, and posting security

    Members of the United States Armed Forces encounter situations like these on a daily basis. The adroit leadership, stony nerve, strong interpersonal skills, and high-stress decision-making exhibited by our service members, mirrors that of top CEOs. With that being said, many a service person transitioning to the civilian sector, fails to convey their military experience into civilian terms. Soldierly jargon tends to get lost in translation, so-to-speak. Nevertheless, interpreting skills gleaned from your enlistment/commission is imperative when seeking gainful employment. Thankfully, all it takes is some creative thinking and a few online resources.

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    How To Add Military Experience To A Resume

    The first step is to get a copy of your Verification of Military Experience and Training. This document is available through the Department of Defense and details the training you learned in your military career. It can be incredibly helpful, especially if youve had a really niche job in the military and are unsure what to put down in a civilian context.

    Next, think about your skills. Skills come in two forms: Hard skills and soft skills. A veteran has many skills that can be easily transferred to hard and soft skills on a civilian resume.

    For example, if you worked a job that required computer/IT skills or engineering, list those computer languages you are fluent in. Think about software programs the military uses that are applicable in civilian settings.

    Soft skills are different in that there is no tangible component to them. They are more about leadership and how you work within a team. Luckily for you, being in the military is one of the best places to learn leadership and teamwork skills.

    In addition to leadership and teamwork skills, veterans often have excellent skills in self-discipline, management, budgeting, communication, conflict resolution, flexibility, working in diverse environments, and sometimes even foreign languages.

    Now that youve had a brief overlook at why your experiences can make you a great candidate for a civilian job, how do you actually write a civilian resume?

    Build a professional resume in minutes.

    How To Effectively Market Your Military Experience On A Resume

    How to Write a Military to Civilian Resume

    As a veteran, you have gained valuable experience during your service. As you prepare to make the career transition from military to civilian life, it is important to present that experience in a way that your future employer will understand. Translating your military experience into skills that will add value in the private sector workplace is critical for employers to be able to identify the value of your service to their organization. In this article, we will discuss the value of your military experience, why it is important to translate that experience and how to translate your military skills on your resume for potential employers.

    You can also fill out our Military Indeed Resume Review questionnaire to receive personalized feedback from a professional resume writer.

    1. Name and contact information2. Summary or objectivec. Description of role and achievement4. Education6. Optional

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    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.

    How To Write A Military To Civilian Resume

    The resume is a critical part of your transition from the military to employment in the private sector with a civilian company. Your resume should reflect your dedication to your role and how you can apply the skills you developed in the military to a civilian job. However, it may be challenging to describe your military career in a way that will be understood by a civilian hiring manager. The key to writing a compelling military resume for a civilian job is using the correct terminology. In this article, we explain how to write a resume for a civilian job that details military experience.

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    Careerpro Global: Professional Assistance With Your Military Transition

    The transition from a successful military career to a great civilian position can seem complicated. Your goal is to frame your knowledge, the skills youve gained, and your accomplishments into words and stories that make an impact when present yourself to potential employers. Because thats a new skill for many military veterans, investing in some professional help can be a good decision.

    The Veterans Resume Writers at CareerPro Global are trained and experienced to help officers and NCOs with the transition to the civilian economy. Many of our resume writers in our veteran resume services come from military backgrounds. All share a common mission: to help you with your career and to ensure you receive the best customer service, product quality, and results. CareerPro provides valuable assistance with career coaching, military-to-corporate resumes, and military-to-federal resumes. Its easy to get started just get in touch today for a free career consultation.


    Skills Translation Example Infantryman

    Turn Military Experience Into Resume Achievements

    The term Infantryman, covers a fairly broad category, encompassing several definitions, and a plethora of responsibilities. As a service member, how do you translate your wholly unique set of skills to civilian employers? Well, if your military occupational specialty is infantry, you can convert that into a civilian-friendly summary of qualifications. Instead of simply denoting yourself as an infantryman who shot machine-guns, take a second, grab some water, relax.

    Very few employers are enamored with machine-gun management. They are, however, more apt to entertain the idea you operated equipment in high-stress situations. Think outside the military box. Deconstruct your responsibilities, pulling from individual acts, instead of an all-encompassing billet denoted by the Department of Defense.

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    Translate Military Skills To Civilian Resume

    Skills acquired in the military can be some of the best skills for a resume and its essential to make sure the message is conveyed to the recruiter reading the resume.

    Most professionals recommend avoiding specific combat details, and instead emphasizing the skills that were in place to achieve positive outcomes.

    Our approach below is the same, but the big difference is understanding how skills are used and phrased for a 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

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    How To Decode Your Military Skills

    One of the job duties of an 88M is to employ convoy defense techniques.

    This military job duty would need to be decoded into civilian terms. On the civilian column of your paper, you should translate the military job description into civilian terms by using a civilian job description that will closely relate to your military skill.

    As an example, for the 88M job description referenced above, the civilian translation may look like the following:

    Maintain safe driving techniques to ensure efficiency while delivering goods.

    In our military to civilian resume translator article, we discuss the 3-step approach to start translating your military skills to civilian terms. Our 3-step approach is as follows:

  • Reacquaint yourself with resume skills including soft skills , technical skills , licenses, certifications
  • Compile your list of skills
  • Compare your list of skills to your list of prospective career job descriptions
  • Lets take your military performance evaluation to provide real examples of what decoding looks like when you use the translator:

    Military: Led 12-person combat infantry team through 4 successful missions.

    Civilian translation: Managed 12-person team in a fast-paced environment while meeting all organizational goals.

    Military: Served as platoon sergeant for Alpha battery.

    Civilian translation: Supervised 35 team members within the organization and successfully trained them on organizational tasks.

    Military: Conducted intelligence operations.

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