Not so long ago we have started the series of blog articles on the subject of different resume writing levels. In our recent entries, we have dwelled on professional, executive, and entry-level resume. The next one is the military level. Again and again, we would like to emphasize that our intention is to help job seekers understand the difference between resume writing levels and direct their efforts in developing their application documents. We provide no guarantees as to the overall success of your job search process because it depends on a wide range of factors...
What is a Military Resume?
Unlike some may have thought, the military resumes are not written with the purpose of getting a military position. On the contrary, such resumes are written for those who are leaving the service having faced the challenge of finding employment in a civilian sector. The problem with developing such a CV is that it is very different from the run-of-the-mill resume. On a professional or an executive level, you just analyze your career and present your accomplishments, work experience, and educational credentials in the right order. When we are talking about a military level this is not enough. Well, one could do that but such an approach will unlikely help get a decent job. Even if your military career is filled with prominent accomplishments this won't do any good to you if you have no clue how to effectively communicate those achievements in civilian terms.
The very first thing one should before even starting to write a resume is to define specific civilian job objectives. It is vitally important because without this step you won't be able to create an effective CV. If you can't define the objective solicit the help of a career counselor. After you have made up your mind you have to understand that whoever you are going to send your resume to they won't have any military background. Even if there is a chance that hiring authorities will have some knowledge of the military it would be better if you assume the opposite. In other words, you have to demilitarize all of the titles, accomplishments, awards, duties, etc to effectively communicate what you are made of to the hiring authorities of a potential employer. Another thing job seekers have to remember is they have to be specific and relevant.
There is no good reason to include all of your professional highlights if they have nothing to do with the job you are applying for. Employers are not interested in your experience if it will bring them no benefit. If you have ever been in active combat you should better leave out the details too. If you finished writing your military resume there is one good way to check whether you did a good job. Ask one of your friends who are not from the military to review the resume and share what think of it. It is better to show it to friends who won't be afraid to tell you what they really think about it. It is not about making you happy, but it is about helping you get the job.