You have served for years in the military, and finally it is time to return to regular civilian life. Of course, making this transition means you will need to find a civilian job.
The first thing you have to do is identify the industry in which you would like to work and then design a resume that will help you land the job you want.
However, simply listing your military experience in your resume isn’t the most effective way to get the job you are looking for. You will need to structure what you put into your CV if you want to make a good impression on potential employers.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts for converting your military skills into qualifications that will look appealing on a resume:
Don’t Use Military Jargon
While writing your resume, use simple language and write in a way that is easily readable. Omit military terms and jargon from your resume, as you want to be easily understood by anyone who is reading.
Some military terms are unfamiliar to most ordinary people. After you make your first draft, allow some of your friends and family to review it. Ask them to point out unfamiliar words or phrases that they come across, and make edits where necessary.
Do Take a Look at Samples
To make your resume-building easier, take a look at sample resumes for some inspiration.
There are plenty of military-to-civilian resumes out there for you to examine, so try to find as many as you can. Remember, the resume is your ticket to an interview, so make sure you nail it!
Don’t Talk About Specific Military Experiences
When you are drafting a resume, you will need to be a little crafty about the way you put your experiences on paper.
For example, if you had the opportunity of heading a covert sniper operation, you might not need to include this information in your resume. It would be difficult for an employer to understand how such a task would benefit their organization, so it would be better to include the general skills you acquired that will be able to help in a business setting.
Do Tell Them What You Learned
Of course, you will want an employer to know what you can offer to their organization.
So, if you have actually headed a covert sniper operation, you might want to say something like this when describing your skills:
● Was required to work under extreme pressure and time constraints with a close-knit team of highly proficient soldiers.
This statement still highlights the fact that you were in the military, but it now gives your employer some insight into how your experiences would benefit the organization.
Don’t Write Long Paragraphs
It’s often difficult for people to read a large chunk of text and process that information effectively. So, avoid using long paragraphs when drafting your resume if you want to keep the employer interested and engaged with what you’re saying.
Do Use Bullet Points
Instead, you can use bullet points to convey your message as clearly as possible. Keep your experiences and accomplishments to a maximum of 9 – 10 sentences, and list them in the form of bullet points.
This will keep your employer engaged and make it easier for key pieces of information to catch their eye.
When transitioning from the military to a civilian job, it is essential that you communicate your skills with as much clarity as possible. You know that your experiences in the military will benefit any organization you join; now you just have to convince the employer that you deserve a chance.