Include Your Security Clearances
Security clearancesâwhich you should list in your âsummaryâ or âkey skillsâ sectionâare extremely relevant to jobs in the defense sector and can be important to other roles, so include that information when appropriate. Your security clearance alone is impressive to hiring managers because it shows that you went through an extensive background check and that you can be trusted with sensitive information.
Where Do You Put Military Experience On A Resume
You could describe your service under the heading Military Experience. This is appropriate if you have other civilian work experience that you want to mention. If all of your work history comes from military service, then you can simply label the section Work History or Work Experience.
Within your Military Experience or Work History section, you can choose the:
Chronological Approach List your jobs and describe your skills and duties. Explain to them how they will fit the employers goals. If youre wondering how to list military experience on a resume, its acceptable to use bullet points under each job.
Skills-Based Approach Break out the information into subsections that draw attention to your abilities. Leadership Skills or Technical Skills are typical examples. Use the requirements in the job description to help you select your strongest skills for the position.
One more option where to put your military service on resume is to add section headings like Special Training or Awards and Honors.
Doubt how to add your military experience for a civilian job? Check out .
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.
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Focus On The Right Things
When considering how your military experience translates, we always advise veterans to describe their accomplishments rather than simply outlining their previous job descriptions, Deere says.
To start, make a list of everything you accomplished during your time with the military. For example, did you earn a promotion? Help execute a new initiative? Assist with training? Then, highlight the achievements that feel most relevant to the particular job youre applying for. Being selective will also help you avoid making a mistake that Deere often sees: cramming too much onto the page. One of the most common challenges for veterans to overcome is their desire to list every single duty assignment, which very few hiring managers will take the time to read, she cautions.
Use Keywords From The Job Description
As you write your resume, take note of the keywords you find in the job descriptions you apply to. You should put those keywords in your resume because they are specifically what the hiring manager is looking for. This serves a dual purpose of allowing you to use more civilian terms in your document.
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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.
Speak The Civilian Terms
Now that youve translated your military skills, experience, and training to civilian terms in writing, its time to speak civilian too.
You can always keep your military language in your back pocket for gathering with veteran friends, old teammates and other veteran gatherings.
An old but relevant article written by a military veteran in Military Families offers some tips on speaking civilian. The tips on speaking civilian include:
- Joining LinkedIn.
A benefit for any military veteran is . With LinkedIn, you can join and be a part of industry-specific groups that are affiliated with career you wish to enter.
You can learn so much just from watching the discussions that take place in LinkedIn groups.
- Word Analysis.
Review civilian job sites for vacancies in the career you want and its affiliated industry.
Take time to analyze the words and phrases so you can have a clear understanding as to how civilian employers speak, and what they are looking for as you pursue career opportunities.
- Meet and Talk with Civilians with No Military Experience.
Military veterans are the minority in society. Most of the civilians you engage throughout your chosen industry will be people without any military experience.
The good news about civilians is that they are willing to share information and give awesome insight.
Learn as much as you can about working in the industry and soak up as much industry phrases, key words, terms, acronyms and lingo as you can.
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Include These Essential Components:
- Contact information: In the heading, include your name, address, phone number and email address.
- Objective or job target: In one or two lines, say what kind of job youre looking or applying for, and what makes you uniquely qualified.
- Summary of qualifications: This is a bulleted section just below the objective in the visual center of the resume.
- Include five or six lines highlighting the skills that qualify you for the job.
- This will include your experience, certifications and related training.
- Title this section Highlights of Qualifications,Summary of Skills or Summary of Experience.
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.
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How To Effectively Market Your Military Experience On A 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
Consult Your Documentation And Fitness Evaluations
There are records and resources available to all veterans that can provide a starting point or fill in some gaps.
VMET stands for Vocational and Military Employment Training, explained St. Pierre. That is a document that every single receives when they transfer out. They dont really realize that they have access to it. Its basically their military resume. It contains every MOS they were in with a description. Not only that, but every single course and certification they took.
A lot of information is available on your fitness reports or evaluations and quarterly counselings, added Cooper.
Its different in every branch of the service, continued St. Pierre. It could be a fit eval, or a fit rep. These are performance reviews. These contain such valuable information for a resume. They contain measurable results, number one. And number two, real specifics about their accomplishments, spoken from their leaders point of view.
Digging up these documents can make a world of difference when it comes to creating a strong resume foundation.
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Converting Military Skills Into Workforce Skills
It can be a challenge to understand how your military skills convert into workforce skills. Its very easy to think of your military career in terms of dates, facts, and figures.
But we want you to think outside-the-box and really dig into how your valuable military skills can and do convert to valuable skills in the civilian workforce. Its not always easy to do this, but with a bit of practice and some guidance from us at Veterans Employment, youll soon be able to visualize yourself in a civilian career.
Like you, everyone at Veterans Employment is a veteran who has gone through the transition to the civilian workforce. Trust in our experience and expertise to help you bridge the gaps in moving to a civilian career.
Remember These Key Military Skills
As part of our commitment to finding employment for veterans, we have thought long and hard about the key military skills that helped us as we transitioned to a civilian career.
While you have specific skills connected to your military career, we want to make sure you dont overlook these key military skills:
Think Of These Key Civilian Career Sectors
It can be very easy to be overwhelmed with the range of opportunities and possibilities available to you in the civilian sector. You can do anything you want but its important to recognize where your military skills can convert best in the civilian career sector.
- Information technology
Dont List Your Military Honors And Awards
Though your military awards and honors proved your excellence and commitment in the military, in the private sector they add no value if they are not understood. Instead of adding a list of awards and accolades, integrate your military honors into accomplishment statements. For example, instead of NCOIC of the Year, write a bullet that says:
- Recognized as #1 of 250 managers in the organization after leading team to exceed production standards by 23% and achieving equipment availability rates 12% above expectations.
Read more: Best Skills to Include on a Resume
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Ready: Great Job Opportunities For Veterans
If youre in military service and looking to transition to a private sector or federal job this year, your timing couldnt be better. The economy is booming. Americas businesses and the federal government are looking for exceptional employees, and veterans certainly fit the bill. Youll be bringing strong assets from the military to your job search leadership skills, the ability to solve problems, determination, and discipline, to name a few.
The private sector continues to add jobs at a steady rate. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show 213,000 jobs added in June 2018. Professional and business services increased by 50,000. Manufacturing increased by 36,000.1 Unemployment remains low, hovering around 4 percent since early 2017.
In a recent survey of 237 military friendly employers, the GIJobs.com website identified the top jobs where veterans were in demand.2 Heres the list of the top 10:
If your military experience corresponds to any of the positions in the list, and you can translate that military experience for a civilian resume, youre going to be very competitive in the job market.
Terrific Military Experience On Resume Sample
root. resume. October 15th , 2020.
Military experience the process of creating a resume that incorporates your military experience may be a bit confusing. A military resume example better than 9 out of 10 civilian resumes.
military to civilian resumes MilitarytoCivilian
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Tailor Your Resume To The Job Description
A veteran thinks, and rightfully so, they can do human resources, operations, logistics kind of the whole gamut, said Cooper. While thats true, and theres nothing wrong with that mindset, it actually hurts them in the search.
Veterans are trusted with a great deal of responsibility and can serve in a wide variety of roles throughout their military career. Its tricky to narrow all that experience down. Referring to some of the resumes she receives from her clients, St. Pierre jokingly said theyre like eight pages long.
Once a transitioning veteran decides which direction to take their career, they benefit from removing as much unrelated experience as possible. A targeted resume is not a list of everything youve done. Rather, it answers the questions asked in the job description. Tailoring your resume to the job description makes it fast and easy for the recruiter to see how youll make an impact.
Look at the things that are important to the employer , said Madden. Its great that youve done these things , but the employer is looking for XYZ.
We really want to focus on speaking the language of the employer, added St. Pierre.
Both St. Pierre and Madden advocate for using Jobscan to home in on what the employer wants to see. Jobscan analyzes your resume against the job description to see which skills and requirements youre missing.
Veterans Resume: Writing A Resume That Will Stand Out
Ready. Aim. Fire. Theres an obvious reason for the sequence of the words. If youre firing a rifle at a target, it makes logical sense to load the weapon, take careful aim, and then squeeze the trigger. The same paradigm applies to your search for a new position as you transition from military service. Firing off a bunch of generic resumes without preparation might hit something, but a planned and targeted effort is much more likely to produce the job you really want.
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Fifth Highlight Your Accomplishments
It is important to highlight small and large accomplishments in your resume. This may include things such as successfully decreasing the number of unexpected repairs on a submarine, aircraft or another mechanical system in the military or achievements, honors and awards that you received during active duty. Its important to spotlight your accomplishments to emphasize your strengths and expertise. Employers will likely notice and be impressed with your dedication. This will give them a more accurate idea of your work ethic and your ability to produce results.
Staying In The Same Career Field
“I have a resume but it’s horrible. I want to make it better in order to be competitive,” said Gary Heinstrom, a U.S. Army Specialist who currently serves as a medic with the 554th Military Police Company based in Germany.
Heinstrom is knee deep in the process of transitioning out of the military. He is considering staying in his career field, but he wouldn’t rule out getting his foot in the door to federal employment in any field either.
“I just started the process of getting out and there is so much information coming at me at one time. It’s overwhelming but it seems necessary at the same time,” said Heinstrom.
If Heinstrom does indeed try to stay in the medical field, he may find that the level of translation needed for his resume differs from those needed by Lapple.
In some military career fields, such as those in the medical field, there may not be as strong a need to translate some of the skills, abilities and experiences for the civilian counterpart. In or out of uniform, patient care, record-keeping and specific medical procedures and protocol are universally understood with the career field.
“Instead of saying that I was a medic, I am writing that I was a health care specialist. I am also a certified Emergency Medical Technician , and that is the same in or out of the military,” said Heinstrom.
Heinstrom says that he is also making it a point to quantify his accomplishments and avoid the use of personal pronouns.
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Start With A Master Military Resume Using The Terms You Know Best
When youre looking at a blank resume template, translating your military experience on the fly makes it a more difficult process than it needs to be. Itd be like me applying for a job in the Hague and trying to write it in Dutch in my first draft, explained Cooper. I would write it in English and then translate it to Dutch.
For veterans struggling to get started, creating a master military resume can be an effective first step. I tell people when they write their resume, use military lingo on your first draft because thats what you know, said Cooper.
In this master resume we can speak to everything, said Madden. They have that opportunity to get it out of their system.