How To Write Military Experience On Resume

How To Write Military Experience On Resume


Translate Your Military Skills Accomplishments And Work History Into Laymans Terms

How to Write a Resume After Military Experience

How to include military experience on a resume. For resume writing tips, view this sample resume for a military professional that isaacs created below, or download the military resume template in word. I saw a retired lieutenant colonel’s resume that simply listed vague managerial skills, and the only. Translate military skills to your civilian resume.

Flaunt your military background you might have heard you need to develop a functional resume format to mask or downplay your military experience, but the opposite is true. Military experience is valuable in the job market. Military experience consists of any relevant job experience obtained while enlisted in a branch of military service.

Add military experience to your resume using the same format as work experience, with the most recent positions listed first. Most of these will need to be adjusted or rephrased to communicate the military experience to civilian resume effectively. Odds are that, one way or another, youre still going to have to talk about it during your interview.

Proudly display your military experience. Weh has received some of the best resumes from veterans who include their billet title and military rank. Military experience on resume examples.

Include relevant training and education. The right resume can really help your military credentials stand at attention, says resume expert kim isaacs. Choose a career path before putting your military experience on a resume.

Pin on Resume example for jobs

Tips On How To Translate Your Military Skills Into A Civilian Career

by Theresa Avogino, AARP, Updated January 12, 2022


Skills used in the military can be helpful in civilian work as well make sure your résumé helps you stand out.

For veterans looking for a civilian job can feel like traveling to a foreign country. Thats how different the language, culture and hierarchy can be when transitioning from the military to the private sector. But just as finding a good translator and researching the customs of your desired destination are stepping-stones to a great vacation, such moves can also be the foundation for writing a résumé that helps launch a new career.

With your résumé as a passport, youll be ready to take on new roles and responsibilities as you pursue your goals. Here are some tips on how to write a résumé that highlights the skills you developed during military service along with additional advice that can help veterans with their search for jobs.


AARP resources for veterans seeking jobs

Visit AARPs free, one-stop resource made to help veterans and military spouses learn how to effectively leverage their military skills and experience to give them an edge in todays competitive job market and avoid underemployment. Among the resources offered by the Veteran and Military Spouses Job Center are:

Veterans and Military Spouses Job Search Toolkit: Learn how to translate military service, skills and experience to the civilian workforce and jump-start a new career path.

Military Resumes For All Branches Of The Service

If you are unsure how to write a military resume, CareerProPlus gives you access to a team of professional Military Resume-writing experts to help create for you a winning document that will attract the attention of any employer. Our Master Military Resume Writers specialize in writing Federal, Corporate, and Military resumes, so they are completely familiar with how to demilitarize your experiences into civilian terminology, making you a more marketable job candidate. Your Military Resume Writer will consult with you throughout the resume preparation process to ensure your most relevant skills and qualifications come to the forefront.

Effective Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, and Army to Civilian Resume Preparation

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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.

Highlight Your Soft Skills

Military Resume Example: Sample Military Resumes and ...

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 summary of qualifications section and incorporate them throughout the accomplishments in your work experience section to showcase yourself as a well-rounded candidate.

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Military Resume Summary Example:

Quality Control Officer

Proven leader with extensive experience for providing National Guard and aviation units with proper implementation of Army aircraft and airworthiness. Responsible for maintaining and repairing both UH-60 and UH-1 aircraft. Lead financial planning, prepared options, and recommendations on aircraft combat systems. Conducted training and mentoring battalion level maintenance management techniques to aviation maintenance officers.

But what if Rick will translate his responsibilities into civilian-friendly terms?

Practical Resume Advice For Military Veterans

Switching careers takes courage. And veterans know a thing or two about courage.

But when military personnel finish serving their country and look to re-enter civilian life, they need more than just strong nerves to make the transition to a new career. Finding a job demands practical strategies.

For veterans, the struggle is often aligning the skills and experiences theyve gained in the military with the types of jobs that exist outside the military. On top of that, long-serving veterans dont have a lot of experience with resume making.

Not to worry. This post is all about helping those that have served in the armed forces create resumes as they seek out civilian positions.

We love bringing insights from job recruiters into the products and resources we offer. So, after talking with recruiters about their experiences hiring veterans, weve focused this post on the following areas:

Keep in mind that there are plenty of other considerations when making a resume. So be sure to also see our guide on how to write a resume.

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How To Emphasize Skills On A Resume For Military Veterans

In terms of the skills to emphasize, its critical that ex-military personnel take a close look at the position requirements to see which skills the organization values most.

Then, based on these needs, veterans can tailor the skills section of their resume to demonstrate that they have these skills. This is something that recruiters absolutely want to see on a resume.

Keep in mind that with a skills-based resume, it is not enough to just state that you have a specific skill.

You need to provide some proof, preferably with an example of how you have applied that skill in your military career. Heres an example of how someone who served in the armed forces might include Leadership on his/her resume.

Leadership: Served as where I directly led and oversaw a team of officers responsible for telecommunications support for military operations in taking place over .

Note that this example tries to provide as many specifics as possible. Make this your goal when describing your skill set.

Not sure of what types of skills can go on a resume? Youd be surprised at the array of hard and soft skills you can include. Take a look at some of the best skills to add to a resume.

Some of the most common skills for veterans to highlight in their job applications include leadership, attention to detail, teamwork, problem-solving, planning, communication, and many more.

But again, the key is to focus on those skills that seem most relevant to the role you are after.

Translate Any Military Terminology To Civilian Technology

[Audio Description] How to Write a Resume After Military Experience

You may be familiar with military acronyms, codes and jargon, but a civilian hiring manager may only be familiar with a minimal amount of military terms. That is why you should use as many non-military terms as possible in your resume. After highlighting the germane parts of your military career in your resume, find items that you have described with military terminology and replace them with plain language.

Here are a few examples of translations you can use to translate military jargon and codes to plain language for your military resume:

  • Instead of saying that you commanded other people, say that you supervised or directed a group of people to achieve a general result.

  • Instead of using EPR/OPR, NCOER/OER or Fitness Report, use performance appraisal.

  • Instead of referring to a battalion, command or squadron refer to an organization.

  • Refer to your subordinates as employees or team.

Related:Words To Avoid and Include on a Resume

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Determine The Focus Of Your Post

It is important to make this decision before you begin writing your resume. This decision will determine what skills, experience and accomplishments you choose to highlight on the resume.

Unsure what you want to do in your post-military career? Check out this article: 10 of the Best Nonmilitary Jobs for Veterans

How To Translate Military Experience To Resume

Use online resources to find job positions and descriptions that fit your military experience. The MOS Code to Civilian Occupation Translator and Military.coms Skills Translator take your military job and show you applicable civilian jobs.Study these civilian job postings and find the terms that civilian employers used to describe the skills that they want. Youll also get good ideas for civilian-friendly names for your military job titles.Think of this process as reverse engineering. You find civilian jobs for your military experience and then harvest civilian terminology from them for your resume.

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Creating Your Civilian Resume: 5 Tips For Military Vets

Understanding your military skills and their value is the first step to building your resume and Upwork profile. The following steps will help you create a resume that showcases your military employment history, experience, and skills while contextualizing it for a civilian role. We also include specific tips to help you create a robust Upwork profile for your freelancing career.

Enforce Your Civilian Resume With Cover Letter And Objective

How to Write a Military to Civilian Resume

Your resume should include a brief statement about your job objective after your contact information. As succinctly as possible, explain how you wish to apply your valuable military training to the civilian job. Explain how your experience will promote the employers goals in the military to civilian resume objective.

Your letter offers a place where you can expand upon your objective and how it meets an employers purpose. Draw upon the experience that you liked the most during your military career. Did you feel like you were thriving when collaborating with others? Did you contribute the most when operating heavy machinery?

Use these positive experiences to communicate your enthusiasm for a chance at civilian employment.

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Make Your Resume Unique To You

Youve got the basics down. Now use your resume to showcase your unique abilities and accomplishments.

  • Target your resume. Change and tailor your resume for the job youre targeting. Learn what this employer looks for and highlight those qualities.
  • Translate everything into civilian terms.
  • For example, replace officer in charge with managed.
  • Take out the acronyms and use terms civilians understand. For example, replace SNOIC for 2d MarDiv G-3, planning and executing all logistics for operations conducted in our AOR. with Supervised staff of 15 people. Planned and coordinated operations conducted by various subordinate units within our division.
  • Include your accomplishments. Use numbers to highlight, if possible. For example, Managed budget of $100K or Reduced training time from 26 weeks to 24 weeks.
  • Be concise. Limit your resume to one or two pages.
  • Include volunteer experience if its relevant to the job. Volunteer experience can add to credibility and character.
  • Leave off unnecessary details. Dont include marital status, height and weight or religious affiliation. Leave off salary information unless it was specifically requested.
  • Check spelling and accuracy. Proofread your resume, ask someone else to proofread it, and read your resume backwards to catch typos.
  • Showcase Your Measurable Accomplishments

    It is important to use numbers and metrics to help your potential employer understand the scope of your accomplishments and the value of your contributions. Use metrics such as the number of people you supervised, the dollar value of the equipment you managed or inventory you controlled and use percentages to highlight any improvements.

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    Attract Recruiters With Your Civilian Summary

    Lets consider a resume summary for a civilian job by the following example.

    Rick Walker is a retired Quality Control Officer with 18 years of successful military aviation experience. Now he holds a position of a Operations Manager in one of the leading aviation company.

    When it comes to showoff an impressive military history, Rick can choose the first option. But what are his chances of getting a civilian job? Will HRs understand encrypted information with acronyms and abbreviations? Lets get deeper into the subject.

    From Infantry To Logistics Management

    Resume Writing Tips : Military Resume Writing

    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.

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    Display Your Relevant Military Awards And Honors

    Military awards are excellent additions to your resume because they showcase a variety of valuable soft skills such as dedication, strong work ethic, teamwork, and integrity.

    Include your military awards in a dedicated section titled Military Awards or Military Honors.

    However, if youre running out of space on your resume , then you can include your military award as bullet points in your work experience section.

    Additionally, make sure only to include military awards relevant to the job youre applying for, and that civilian hiring managers can easily understand their significance.

    Military Experience On Resume Examples

    The following Do and Dont resume sample excerpts illustrate how to put military experience on resume.


      • Guided 62 subordinates through daily operations in the role of U.S. Marine Corps Captain while achieving managements priorities and goals.


      • CW2 Officer oversaw decontamination and disposal of hazardous materials and weapons in overseas theater.
      • Determined the safest methods for processing hazardous materials encountered by personnel during field operations in the role of Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Army.


      • O-2 U.S. Army Officer managed company during urban environment operations to locate and neutralize insurgents.
      • Worked as executive officer managing 1,000-person company for 3 years to complete 59 complex missions that required coordination of information from multiple agencies while serving as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.


      • Air National Guard pilot completed demanding flight schedules that resulted in 20 missions in Afghanistan over the course of 6 weeks.
      • Experienced pilot rated among the top 1% of peers after flying 20 missions to transport 30 tons of equipment and 120 passengers while serving in the Air National Guard.

      This is an extended description of how to include military service on a resume, example:


      • S-1 Advisor coordinated 15 joint missions between Iraqi and U.S. military personnel while managing command communications.

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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.

      Military To Civilian Resumeobjective

      military resume revised

      Massive difference.

      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.

      The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.

      Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. Youre the perfect candidate and well prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.

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      Describing Military Experience On A Civilian Resume

    • Contact
    • When youre in the military, all you need to do is put on your dress uniform, and your colleagues will know a lot about the sort of work you do. But in civilian clothes, youll need to have some marketing tools to help you impress potential employers with your abilities, experience, and skills. You need a resume.

      No matter what your background, writing a resume takes work. But if large parts of your background are from military experiences, you have an additional step to take.

      Use of the militarys initialisms and jargon becomes second nature to people in the service, but most employers in civilian organizations dont understand military speak, so you need to translate it into English for non-military recruiters.

      Here are a few short examples of how that translation might look.

      • Individuals, People, Staff, or Employees
      • Data collection, Survey, or Analysis

      A very useful tool in building a civilian resume out of military experience is O*Net a very large database of attributes and characteristics of various jobs developed by the US Department of Labor. O*Nets Crosswalk option lets you enter your military occupation code and returns a list of equivalent job titles from the civilian world. Best of all, the O*Net lists of equivalent civilian jobs include the tasks, knowledge, skills, activities, associated with those jobs all in civilian language. Heres how to proceed:

    • Select the Crosswalk Search option
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