How to showcase your military experience in the job market


Leaving your military service and entering the workforce requires serious thought about showcasing your skills. Even for the most seasoned professionals, writing a resume can be difficult, so give yourself some time to think about the perception you want to market.

Although your resume does not guarantee a job, it is essential. Your CV represents you to potential employers looking for the best candidate. Your resume can have a significant impact on your military transition to the civilian market. Taking the time to develop your message in a thoughtful way will go a long way in attracting attention. One of the main differences between getting a job and a long, drawn out search is how you position your information. Veterans who understand the power of a resume will have a strong start entering the market.

Before you start writing your CV, it is useful to answer two basic questions that will facilitate the writing process and generate more interest; the impression you want to send and the types of skills or experience that create value for employers.

Here are some ways to highlight your military experience in a positive way:

• Decide which resume format best suits your needs, such as a chronological, functional, or combined format. When changing careers, a functional CV is a good choice; however, most employers prefer a chronological format because it is often easier to consult. Whichever form you choose, it helps to have a plan in place before listing your experiences. For example, if you started with a timeline model, listing your most recent military title translated into a civilian role and working backwards is a standard format among employers. When transitioning from a military environment to a civilian market, a good strategy is to research the types of skills needed for specific jobs. The key is to create a perception of who you are and the value you bring to employers.

Resume Styles| Transition Center for Veterans and Military | CareerOneStop

• Avoid using too much detailed information. Remember that your CV is a “marketing document” and not a history listing all the responsibilities of your MOS (military occupational specialty). Think about how you would sell a product and generate interest. Next, write your resume listing the perks and features that will create the most attention. The strategy is to communicate concisely, carefully using words that build the perception you want to send.

Resume Tips for Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers – Northrop Grumman

• Most employers will have difficulty understanding your military experience and its connection to the company. Veterans make up a small percentage of the population, and unless an employer has had similar training, they will most likely misunderstand your level of responsibility. Use keywords that a civilian employer can understand. Keywords drive the applicant tracking systems that employers use to screen candidates and will most likely be listed in job descriptions.

• Using keywords in your resume is powerful in conveying your military experience to work, and it’s crucial that you use the right keywords for the job you’re looking for. Whether someone is looking at your resume or your software, the right keywords will move you through the hiring process. Use keywords throughout your resume, in your resume and in your accomplishments. Look for job descriptions to help you decide if your choice of keywords is a good decision.

What keywords should you use in your resume?| career builder

• Write down your accomplishments related to your experience, but keep in mind that you are marketing your skills. Accomplishments that include quantifying or qualifying your results are much easier for hiring decision makers to read and understand. For example, leading a platoon can easily translate to successfully leading teams of 20+ people.

• Write a resume with a career summary in mind. The key to a successful military transition is knowing the message you want to convey to the employer. The same principle applies to veterans – there is no single resume. However, a resume without a focused resume can leave the employer guessing about your interests and skills. Writing a summary has additional benefits, such as helping you avoid rambling during an interview without a direction in mind. Creating a good career summary will support the content of your resume and help the employer quickly understand your background.

• Highlight your skills, but leave out the military jargon. Employers will have difficulty relating to military occupations and translating them into business operations. Military ranks won’t mean much in the corporate world. A great way to showcase your skills is to list all of your accomplishments needed for specific job titles, then edit them to avoid overwhelming the employer with too much information. Remember to focus on the benefits and features you can offer.

As a veteran, what steps have you taken to write an effective resume? Was it difficult to transfer your military experience to the job market?


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