Military Resume: Making the Transition

People who have dedicated most of their lives to serving the country in the army forces deserve utmost respect and honor. They face tough challenges that we have never faced. Such people fight battles none of us have thought of. Nevertheless, for some of them, life throws even tougher challenges after leaving the service. One of such challenges is developing a resume to find decent employment. become-volunteer-military-officer-1This challenge is not about having nothing to say in a resume. It is unlikely that during a military career there will be no accomplishments or skills that would deserve the attention of employers. When it comes to making the transition to a civilian position, one needs to make sure his/her accomplishments and skills are understood within the context of the private sector. So it is more about how to translate military accomplishments into terms that HR managers could understand its value. The golden rule for making a smooth transition to a civilian position is to develop specific a resume targeted at a specific career path. Even if you believe you got two career paths to be pursued, we recommend developing different resumes for each of two ways. We admit that stuffing your resume with general statements is easier, but it will likely result in zero decent job opportunities.

After you have defined your objective (the golden rule mentioned above), you can move on to another step of developing your resume. The second step is common for all job seekers – researching job openings (of a chosen career path) to find out what type of experience/skills are employers seeking. After you have done that you should recall all of your past experience to put down the most relevant background that could prove to your potential employers that you have got what they need. Any other information that doesn’t relate to what employers seek should be totally eliminated (even despite the fact that you thought it was so important). This isn’t easy, but on the other and it is absolutely vital for an effective resume – stay relevant as much as possible. From the practical viewpoint, it means that any shooting medals you have received are not to be mentioned in your resume. If you have ever participated in active combat, we recommend turning down references to the battlefield. In order to create an effective resume for military personnel who wish to make the transition to a civilian position, one needs to avoid military terminology in titles, responsibilities, training, awards, and accomplishments.

There several online resources that could help translate your military skills, experience, and training into the terms that would be clearly understood by private sector employers. Some people get discouraged because they have often heard that finding a decent job for a person who just left the service is extremely difficult. There is even a stereotype that no one wants to hire military people. However, we don’t think that is true. We don’t deny that military people have certain struggles with getting employed, but it is not because of their military experience, but rather the way they present their skills and experience. On the contrary, we believe that military experience is often viewed as an asset. Experienced Human Resources Managers understand that military experience often means dedication, positive work ethic, and teamwork in a fast-paced and demanding environment. Who wouldn’t want such employees?

For more insight, don't hesitate another article on making the transition from the military to the civilian workforce.

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Michael S.

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