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The Military Resume
Leaving the military and re-entering civilian life can be a bit scary when you have to now find a civilian job. But military resumes can be extremely effective documents in demonstrating your skills, both soft and hard. The trick is to identify those skills and find the right way to present them to potential employers. Here are some tips for military resume writing that should help.
Identify Your Skills
Skills fall into two categories – hard and soft. Hard skills refer to that specific training and skill development that occurred while you were in active duty. Did you get training in technology? Were you trained as a mechanic or in logistics? What were your actual tasks? These are your hard skills. Write them all down.
Soft skills refer to leadership, interpersonal relationships, functioning as a team member, engaging in group problem-solving, etc. Make a list of those soft skills that you developed as you were in active duty.
Any veteran resume prepared for a civilian position will have to include both types of skills. These are transferrable to civilian jobs, so make sure you have a complete list of all that you learned and did.
Choose a Style/Format for Your Resume
You will want to choose from among 3 types of resumes:
- A chronological resume will give all of your employment history from the most recent backward. You will highlight the skills and achievements of each position held.
- The functional resume emphasizes skills rather than a timeline of your position. It’s a good format if there are gaps in your employment. It is also a good format if you have only had one career – in the military. An army resume, for example, can provide a division of all of the positions held as you progressed in your career.
- A combination resume will speak to your skills and accomplishments first and then provide a timeline of your employment history
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Customizing Your Resume
You will need to customize your resume, perhaps having several variations, depending on the different types of positions you might qualify for. If, for example, you were a logistics manager, then you have several skills that might be valuable – management, procurement, IT, distribution, leadership, etc. You will want versions of your resume that highlight different aspects of your skill set.
Getting Resume Help
If you have been out of the job market for some time, understanding all of the newer considerations in preparing a resume may be difficult. For example, many resumes are now digitally scanned, and relevant keywords and keyword phrases now have to be included, so the scanner will pick them up and move the resume forward.
It is also important to know how to package your military education, training and skills so that they relate to civilian positions and terminology. For example, in the military, you may have had a position title that read, “Officer in Charge of…” This translates to “Manager” in civilian terms. For this reason, many veterans find military resume writers who have the experience and knowledge to package background and experience correctly.
You will not find a specific military resume writing service. What you will need to look for, though, is a service that has experts on staff who have lots of experience creating resumes for veterans whose primary backgrounds have been in military service.
You might want to prepare an outline of your work experience, or draft a resume yourself, and then look to locating professional military resume writing services from among the many out there. Together, you and your consultant will be able to craft several versions of a resume that will show civilian employers your value.