Tips For Writing A Great Military To Civilian Resume
Before you start writing, make sure you know how to write a resume in a way that best emphasizes your strengths.
Serving your country is no easy task, and neither is transitioning to a civilian job once youve been discharged from the military. Although the military doesnt require writing resumes to move up in rank, youll need to write a military to civilian resume to move onto your new civilian career.
Writing a successful military to civilian resume depends on what industry you want to enter upon exiting the military. Each industry requires relevant work experience and will want to see a set of industry-specific skills on your resume. Unfortunately, theres no one size fits all approach here.
However, there are some basic ways to show employers how your military experience is relevant and improve your chances of landing a civilian job.
Here are three tips any MOS, NEC, or AFSC should keep in mind when writing a military to civilian resume. Examples will be listed throughout the text to give you a rough idea of what to write about .
Resume With Military Experience Example
Use this example of a resume with military experience as a guide for incorporating your military history into your resume:
SummaryAircraft mechanic and crew leader with 10 years of experience leading teams of up to 6 technicians to maintain all aircraft systems of multiple airframes. Dedicated to efficiently balancing productivity, quality and safety to ensure customer needs are met. Active Secret security clearance, renewed 2020.
Professional ExperienceAviation Maintenance Team Lead, United States Air Force, 11/2014 to 11/2020Led team of 6 technicians who performed troubleshooting and problem solving by communicating with F-16 pilots to isolate faults, determine problems and find solutions. Worked quickly, made fast decisions and innovatively solved problems to achieve a personal rate of 100% aircraft flight availability.
Aviation Maintenance Technician, United States Air Force, 11/2011 to 11/2014Teamed with avionics, electrical and environmental, sheet metal, structural, engines and corrosion control specialists to ensure aircraft received repairs or maintenance needed to maintain its production schedule. Inspected, maintained, repaired aircraft valued at $20M+.
Bachelor of Science in Political Science
Key Takeaways For A Military Resume
- The military offers a great range of career options for everyone from recent high school graduates to those who have established careers
- Make sure you let recruiters know why you want to enlist and what you will bring to the force.
- Keep in mind the attributes all military personnel need when crafting your skills section.
- Take advantage of resume.ios online tools and layouts to make your job search easier!
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How To Write A Military Resume
Writing your military resume should follow the same basic format as all other resumes. It should consist of the following sections:
- The resume header
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Since the military is a strictly ordered and regimented career choice, your resume should reflect that with a professional and neutral tone. This is not the place to get flowery with your language. Instead, choose your words carefully and be concise.To help you create the correct tone, take a look at recruitment literature and websites and try to echo the writing style.
Although you will not be applying to many different organizations, you should still make sure you tailor your resume for the specific military job you seek.
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.
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Third List Experience With Bullet Points
The best way to list your military experience is by using bullet points and by keeping each line short while maintaining an accurate description of the duties you performed. When you list your experience, it is also important to extract keywords from job descriptions. For example, if the job you are applying for wants to hire someone who has experience with bookkeeping or budgeting, then you should add those exact keywords to your relevant experience if they are applicable.
It is also important to avoid using detailed experiences from active combat or deployment in your resume. You will need to consider how to word your experience with combat operations in a way that is relevant to the jobs you are interested in applying for. For example, you may include missions you assisted with if it includes relevant leadership skills or conflict resolution.
What Do Military Personnel Do
The answer to the question What do military personnel do, cant be answered in a few sentences because military personnel do almost any job you can imagine.
Across all branches of the military, more than 137,000 members are combat specialists, but that is not the largest category of professions. The top spot goes to engineering, science and technical personnel with more than 153,000 workers and vehicle and machinery mechanics at almost 151,000 positions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Aviation survival technician
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Why Are Military Skills Important
Military skills are important because they can help service members develop abilities that boost their career prospects. People who join the military learn valuable soft and hard skills that help them work both independently and as part of a team. Most of the skills learned during your military service appeal to employers who are looking for applicants with a strong work ethic. Veterans returning to civilian life can have many career opportunities for this reason.
Resume Mistakes To Avoid
Q: After a lot of work, I thought I had put together a great resume listing all my accomplishments and training. Recently, however, an interviewer told me my resume totallymissed the mark! What did I do wrong?
A: Your resume is a form of self-marketing. It is not intended to just be a laundry list of your past experiences, with the hope that someone, somewhere will find you relevant and compelling for their company.
Related: Does your resume pass the 6-second test? Get a FREE assessment.
Ask yourself if your resume fell victim to any of these common resume mistakes:
Related: For the latest veteran jobs postings around the country, visit the Military.com Job Search section.
How To Prepare To Transition From The Military
If you are like many who are leaving the military, the key next step in life is transitioning to a new career in the civilian world. Understandably, the idea of preparing resumes and cover letters, as well as going to job interviews can be overwhelming. You might not even be sure if any of the skills you have developed while serving your country are even relevant in todays work environments.Start collecting your annual performance evaluations: NCOERS, FitReps, OERs, training records, citations, awards, and all other military career information. These documents will be extremely helpful in preparing your Military Transition Resume . A good time to develop your MTR is when you are eight months out so you can start networking and even practicing interviewing.
How Do You Write Military Resume
Make your resume unique to you.Target your resume. Change and tailor your resume for the job youre targeting. Translate everything into civilian terms. Include your accomplishments. Be concise. Include volunteer experience if its relevant to the job. Leave off unnecessary details. Check spelling and accuracy.
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Dont List Your Military Honors And Awards
Though your military awards and honors proved your excellence and commitment in the military, in the private sector they add no value if they are not understood. Instead of adding a list of awards and accolades, integrate your military honors into accomplishment statements. For example, instead of NCOIC of the Year, write a bullet that says:
- Recognized as #1 of 250 managers in the organization after leading team to exceed production standards by 23% and achieving equipment availability rates 12% above expectations.
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Key Skill Areas To Highlight
Technical Military careers such as a telecommunication technician, financial management technician, mechanic and health care specialist all have closely related civilian careers. The technical skills you develop in your military career should be included in your resume.
Interpersonal In the military, youll work with a variety of people from high ranking officers to unit commanders, teammates and subordinates. Oftentimes, service members must master the art of interacting with supervisors, peers and subordinates in order to complete their missions. Interpersonal skills are valued in the civilian workplace, and should be detailed in your resume to reflect your ability to work with many different kinds of colleagues to get the job done.
Leadership Any leadership experience or training that you acquired in the military.
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Resume Summary Example: Enlist Your Writing Ability
Your resume summary is the spot to answer the very important question: Why do you want to join the military and what do you hope to get out of it? Equally as important is your answer to the question: What will you bring to the military?
If writing is not your forte, or you still are unclear on what this section should sound lie, you can find additional writing material in our related security and protective services resume examples.
While maintaining your professional tone, you need to show your desire to serve your country to recruiters and answer those questions. You should also include your proudest achievement to illustrate that you know how to work hard to reach a goal. All of this information must be imparted in 3-5 lines of text.
Read the military resume example text below for ideas.
Dedicated Military member with a decorated career safely planning and executing hundreds of military operations. Successfully piloted many combat missions, bringing supplies to troops and those in need. Experienced in training other military personnel and future Officers. Driven and enthusiastic, with the ability to manage projects and people. Dedicated to serving others for the well-being of the greater good.
Choosing The Best Resume Format For Military Personnel
The best resume format for military personnel depends a bit on where you are in your career. If you are applying for a detailed, technical or scientific role, you may consider using the functional resume format. This format allows you to emphasize important niche or complex skills and competencies rather than your work history. This type of resume will have a larger than usual skills section with detailed explanations and a very diminished employment history. The combination resume format takes the best from both worlds and can be implemented in various ways .
Most job hunters will be best served by the reverse chronological order resume format. Candidates who are new to the workforce can check out the resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids. Those who already have careers and are looking to join a specialized military corp or the civilian corp may also get value from these ideas.
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Translate Military Experience Into A Job
In todays job market, translating your military experience into a professional resume is critical for success. You have spent years learning many valuable, real-world skills that are difficult to duplicate in a classroom environment, so it is important to know how to communicate these skills to a future employer in a way that differentiates you from other candidates.
Omitting Irrelevant Information Highlight the skills and qualifications that are most relevant to the specific job you are seeking, and leave irrelevant details out. Since the resume needs to be as concise and to-the-point as possible, putting your “greatest hits” – and only that – in front of an employer’s eyes is a strategy for success.
Translate Your Military Job Titles
The initial read-through of the resume is usually a quick scan. One of the areas that are often looked at first are your job titles to determine if your experience is relevant. The job titles listed on your resume must be free of military terminology and acronyms. Dont use Non-commissioned Officer in Charge, NCOIC, Chief Petty Officer or CPO when you can simply use the title of manager. Avoid using military codes or your MOS designator, such as the 11B code for Infantryman. Instead, use the title Team Leader or Crew Manager.
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Cv Skills Example: Boost Your Rank
The skills section of your CV may seem redundant, but it is actually very important, so you must curate it carefully. It is here that you choose the top skills that recruiters seek and the ones that you believe will best represent what you bring to the table. Recruiters see hundreds of resume examples so yours needs to stand out with high-level and targeted skills.
Military personnel must exhibit more than technical job skills. Dependability, understanding and following orders, precision and calm under pressure are all necessary to be successful in the armed forces. Dont neglect these attributes, known as soft skills, in favor of the hard skills you have learned along the way in related positions such as security guard. Instead, find a good mix.
Brainstorm every skill or attribute that you have. Then choose your top 5-7 based on what your branch of the military and the position you are targeting ask for.
Use the military resume sample text below to guide you.
Employment History Resume Sample: Your March Of Progress
Reverse chronological order is a great way to demonstrate your career progress within your employment history and it is the most commonly used resume sample format. If you are choosing to enlist right out of high school, this section will be short, but remember that part-time or volunteering you worked at during school tells recruiters that you can handle responsibility and care about your community.
Your employment history gives recruiters a detailed look at what you have accomplished and how. A simple list of responsibilities is not as powerful as a recounting of how you have solved problems or created benefit for your employers. Try to illustrate a progression of knowledge and responsibilities from your first job on. If you are changing careers , include the skills and accomplishments that best demonstrate your value to the military.
Use the CAR method to create your bullet points by spelling out a challenge, explaining the action you took to solve it, and using data or details to tell the results you achieved.
Use our customizable military resume example text to get you started.
- Served in coherence with military practices and exhibited honor, and dedication.
- Performed night patrols in assigned areas.
- Handled combat missions with expertise and precision.
- Served as a committed and reliable member of a team.
- Resolved crisis situations and aimed to uphold safety, law, and order.
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Make Your Resume Unique To You
Youve got the basics down. Now use your resume to showcase your unique abilities and accomplishments.
- Target your resume. Change and tailor your resume for the job youre targeting. Learn what this employer looks for and highlight those qualities.
- Translate everything into civilian terms.
- For example, replace officer in charge with managed.
- Take out the acronyms and use terms civilians understand. For example, replace SNOIC for 2d MarDiv G-3, planning and executing all logistics for operations conducted in our AOR. with Supervised staff of 15 people. Planned and coordinated operations conducted by various subordinate units within our division.
Military Skills To Put On A Resume For Any Job
During your military service, you receive extensive training and the diversity of your experience ensures that your skill set is very strong and well-rounded. This article will highlight the top 12 skills that can add value to your resume, no matter what job you are targeting in your post-military career. These skills can help you stand out from the competition during the job search process.
In this article, we discuss why military skills are important and how you can use those skills to demonstrate your value on a resume when seeking a career in the private sector.
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