Some Of The Other Qualities That Military Experience Shows A Potential Employer Include:
This is just a partial list of qualities you gained in the military and can capitalize on in the civilian job market.
Explaining Military Experience on Your Resume
Its not enough to list your name, rank and serial number with your dates of service on your resume. You will get much more out of your experience by explaining it in a way that civilian employers and bosses can understand. By translating your experience from military jargon into business-speak, you can maximize its value.
The military has a language all its own, and after several years of service you might not even realize that everything you say about your military experience sounds like a foreign language to most employers. Start by spelling out the acronyms. Military alphabet soup will only confuse and annoy people who read your resume.
You can unpack some of the military jargon by using more words to describe your duties. Efficiency is part of military-speak, but for someone who doesnt understand the jargon, there are just a lot of details left out. Try describing the tasks you completed in very simple steps, as if you were speaking to a child. Remember: you dont get credit for the steps you leave out, because a civilian employer is not going to be able to assume what you did.
Heres a list of qualities that are usually used to evaluate job applicants for civilian positions:
- Number of people supervised
- Monetary value of supplies and materials managed
- Evaluation performance
Make A List Of Your Military Skills And Experience
Before you start building your resume, itâs essential to identify your existing skills. This includes both technical and soft skills gained in the military. Think about all your duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments while you served in the military and write them down. Donât worry about translating military terminology at this stage. Just make a list.
This step alone can be challenging for many veterans. You can make use of online resources for transitioning veterans to make sure you donât leave anything out.
It can be helpful to get a copy of your Verification of Military Experience and Training document. This document describes your service occupations in civilian terms. It can be a convenient resource for creating your military experience resume.
The Military Crosswalk Search tool on O*NET Online is another excellent resource for demystifying military resumes. It allows you to search by military occupational classification or job title and cross-reference MOCs to civilian equivalents, or vice versa.
Note that military skills resumes are usually more technical than civilian resumes. Civilian roles and projects often look for a holistic combination of hard and soft skills. When making your list, try not to become hyper focused on technical expertise alone. Make a note of relevant soft skills like leadership, timeliness, teamwork as well. We discuss this further below.
Identify hard skills that transfer from your military role
- Global perspectives
Tailor Your Resume To The Job Description
A veteran thinks, and rightfully so, they can do human resources, operations, logistics kind of the whole gamut, said Cooper. While thats true, and theres nothing wrong with that mindset, it actually hurts them in the search.
Veterans are trusted with a great deal of responsibility and can serve in a wide variety of roles throughout their military career. Its tricky to narrow all that experience down. Referring to some of the resumes she receives from her clients, St. Pierre jokingly said theyre like eight pages long.
Once a transitioning veteran decides which direction to take their career, they benefit from removing as much unrelated experience as possible. A targeted resume is not a list of everything youve done. Rather, it answers the questions asked in the job description. Tailoring your resume to the job description makes it fast and easy for the recruiter to see how youll make an impact.
Look at the things that are important to the employer , said Madden. Its great that youve done these things , but the employer is looking for XYZ.
We really want to focus on speaking the language of the employer, added St. Pierre.
Both St. Pierre and Madden advocate for using Jobscan to home in on what the employer wants to see. Jobscan analyzes your resume against the job description to see which skills and requirements youre missing.
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From Military To Civilian: Resume Translation
You’ve served your country proudly and now it’s time to move on professionally. More than anything, you want your transition from boots to suits to be a smooth one. You want to land a good job that pays well. The only thing standing in your way? Your so-called resume.
Explaining to would-be employers what you did in the military in a way that makes sense to them can be difficult. Often, skills, experiences and accomplishments get lost in translation or in the lack thereof. This is where the Military Skills Translator comes in, and you must decide what needs to be translated and what doesn’t.
Fifth Highlight Your Accomplishments
It is important to highlight small and large accomplishments in your resume. This may include things such as successfully decreasing the number of unexpected repairs on a submarine, aircraft or another mechanical system in the military or achievements, honors and awards that you received during active duty. Its important to spotlight your accomplishments to emphasize your strengths and expertise. Employers will likely notice and be impressed with your dedication. This will give them a more accurate idea of your work ethic and your ability to produce results.
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Simplify All Of The Training
While it is wonderful to have a litany of education and training that you acquired during your years of military service, the entire list will likely not fit within the confines of a standard, modern two-page civilian resume format. Sift through it all and list only the transferable skill sets and remarkable awards. If possible, also create a resume appendix of sorts that, if an employer asks for detailed information, you can provide in an aesthetic format that matches your resume. The PDFs and print transcripts provided by military branches are often unreadable by those not familiar with the military, so a more concise list of all completed trainings will highlight your talents without bogging readers down with unnecessary details.
Create A Linkedin Profile
This social media tool is optimal for networking and sharing ideas. Having a well-crafted profile not only showcases your skills in a more comprehensive manner than on a standard two-page resume, but it also demonstrates your tech savvy and social media skills, which are strongly desired across various career fields. Plus, you can create a custom URL that can be listed as a form of contact on your resume. Not sure where to start? Check out
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Include Your Education Training And Certifications
For a well-rounded resume, donât forget to include other important details such as your higher education, specialized training, or any other certifications you might have. Include your college information regardless of what degree you earned.
If you received any specialized military training relevant to your job function, once again try to demilitarize it into civilian terms. You could also search the internet to see if there is a civilian equivalent for your training. This information could help you craft the information about your own training.
Finally, if you received any specific certifications, feel free to add them to your resume and Upwork profile. This helps to further show off your skills and qualifications.
Pro tip: If you feel like there are gaps in your knowledge or skills, taking an online course is a great way to bridge the gap. Upgrade your skills and acquire new ones via online learning platforms and sites to further boost your resume.
Military To Civilian Resumeobjective
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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Think Outside Of The Military Box While Decoding
It is important to note that the military to civilian translation process will not be easy. Some military skills and experiences will easily translate into military terms. Others will be difficult and may require more thought.
According to an article in The Military Wallet, a tip to remember is to think outside of the military box during the translation process. Often times, your military experiences will cover many hidden civilian responsibilities and skills.
Think about the 42L or Administrative Specialist. This position wears several hats and will apply to many civilian terms and civilian job duties.
Every military term, acronym, and phrase should be decoded and explained in a way that is easy for civilians to understand. Without the translation, your military to civilian resume will not showcase you, your experience, and achievements in the best light.
Organize Your Military Timeline
You may have changed jobs or locations quite frequently in your military experience. However, showing a new or different job each year can be perceived negatively or feel overwhelming to the civilian hiring authority. To overcome this issue, consolidate your experience into larger blocks of time when it makes sense. For example:
Instead of listing each job separately:
Avionics Craftsman, United States Air Force, 2019 to 2021
Avionics Journeyman, United States Air Force, 1/2017 to 7/2019
Avionics Apprentice, United States Air Force, 1/2015 to 12/2016
Consolidate your work history in one block and make it relevant:
Technician / Crew Lead, United States Air Force, 2015 to 2021
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Skills Translation Example Infantryman
The term Infantryman, covers a fairly broad category, encompassing several definitions, and a plethora of responsibilities. As a service member, how do you translate your wholly unique set of skills to civilian employers? Well, if your military occupational specialty is infantry, you can convert that into a civilian-friendly summary of qualifications. Instead of simply denoting yourself as an infantryman who shot machine-guns, take a second, grab some water, relax.
Very few employers are enamored with machine-gun management. They are, however, more apt to entertain the idea you operated equipment in high-stress situations. Think outside the military box. Deconstruct your responsibilities, pulling from individual acts, instead of an all-encompassing billet denoted by the Department of Defense.
+ Ways To Translate Your Military Experience For A Civilian Career
Are you ready to transition from the military to a civilian job?
The skills you’ve developed during your service can help you excel in a wide array of civilian rolesthe key is showcasing those skills in a way that stands out to recruiters and hiring managers.
To help you do just that, we asked veterans, hiring managers, and recruiters at our partner companies to share their advice on how you can best highlight your experience and transferable skills when applying for jobs. Keep reading for their responses!
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Reach Out To Your Resources
Transitioning from a military career to a civilian job can feel understandably overwhelming, but you dont have to do this alone. Talk to other veterans who have successfully made the transition and ask to look at their resumes, Deere suggests.
Your civilian friends and family members are also great resources. Deere recommends talking to them about what you did in the military and noting down what they struggle to understand about your duties. That should be a good indicator of where a recruiter or hiring manager might be confused, and will help you to identify the areas of your resume that need to be tweaked. And dont be shy about coming back to your support network with a new or revised version. Itll likely take you a few tries to get it just right.
You can also partner with a career advisor or resume writer for additional support. Theyll know what hiring managers are looking for and can help you bridge the gap between military terminology and civilian workplace lingo.
Jobs At Northrop Grumman
Second Use Simple And Easy
Your military experience should be listed in a way that is easy for recruiters to comprehend. Military terminology and codes that are used to describe a job title or experience should be avoided in your resume since many civilian recruiters and employers likely wont understand what they mean. You may use your military job title instead of your military occupational specialty. For example, instead of listing your job position as a commissioned officer, you can list it as a supervisor. There are many websites you can search for that will offer a civilian translation of your military job title if you are unable to figure out the correct translation.
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The Value Of Military Experience On A Resume
Your military experience is some of the most valuable information you can put on a resume. Unless you were dishonorably discharged, adding your military experience to your resume will not only show your job qualifications, but can also let a future employer know that youre organized, disciplined and motivated to succeed.
Regardless of specific job skills and training, military experience tells your future employer something about your character. Everyone knows the military is a structured environment where performance is evaluated regularly. The fact that you made the decision to join the military, were accepted and successfully completed your tour of service says you are mature and disciplined.
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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What Do Employers Like To See In Applicants With Military Experience
More than anything, someone with military experience understands how a chain of command works and knows how to follow through with pretty much any set of marching orders theyre given.
Even if serving in the military came with no additional experience or other benefits, this would still be massively valuable to employers.
Its tough to understate how much incompetence people in most industries face on a day-to-day basis, no matter what level of the company theyre in.
So when someone shows up who knows how to get things done quickly and efficiently, employers take notice fast.
But of course, these skills arent the only ones employers need to see when theyre making the decision to hire somebody.
And people who have spent years in the military dont always know the best way to describe the things that theyre capable of doing in less military-specific terms.
Military Veterans Are From Mars Civilians Are From Venus
As you know, the military is a unique organization that speaks its own language. This is a language that is complicated and confusing for civilians. Although the military speaks its own language, so do civilians within the civilian sector. Essentially, military veterans are from Mars, civilians are from Venus.
When military veterans and civilians meet in the middle on Earth and learn to communicate with each other, everyone wins. Unfortunately, as a veteran, you must be the one to initiate the meeting in the middle by translating your military skills to civilian terms. Heres how to translate your military skills to civilian terms:
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Focus On The Right Things
When considering how your military experience translates, we always advise veterans to describe their accomplishments rather than simply outlining their previous job descriptions, Deere says.
To start, make a list of everything you accomplished during your time with the military. For example, did you earn a promotion? Help execute a new initiative? Assist with training? Then, highlight the achievements that feel most relevant to the particular job youre applying for. Being selective will also help you avoid making a mistake that Deere often sees: cramming too much onto the page. One of the most common challenges for veterans to overcome is their desire to list every single duty assignment, which very few hiring managers will take the time to read, she cautions.
Spectrumtake Advantage Of A Resume Development Tool
“Spectrum has a long history of hiring individuals who have a mission-oriented mindset, something that is particularly cultivated during military service. Here are some resources and tips specific to veterans when applying for a role with us:
- Take advantage of a resume development tool to help you align military accomplishments with civilian opportunities.
- Spectrum offers an “Introduce Yourself” video feature that allows you to create a personal video to describe your interests and experience.
- You can also try our FitFinder tool to find your ideal career by answering questions about your interests, styles, background, and career aspirations.
Spectrum has recently been recognized in Forbes “2021 America’s Best-In-State Employers for Veterans” for the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina.
Learn more about our Military Hiring Mission in the video above.”
Learn more about Spectrum .
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