MISSION TRANSITION: Making The Move From Military Service To Civilian Employment Part III

A Maximum Impact Resume




Many of us joined the military straight from high school or college with little to no experience drafting a resume. Entering the military was a vigorous recruitment process but nowhere did you have to tailor a self-written document outlining your skills and experience. However, the civilian workforce is a different animal and employers expect a well-written, polished resume to be one of the first touches with a potential candidate.

Preparing a civilian resume properly can be a challenge for many. The lingo and acronyms we have come to know don’t translate well with those who have never served, and most hiring managers haven’t. That is why you need to prepare one that clearly highlights how your skills and experience translate into the job you are applying for. There are several styles and formats considered acceptable, but the overarching goal is to show them you are the right candidate for the job. Below are four ways to maximize the impact your resume has when it’s time to transition.

MOS Translations

Upon discharge your military service records and ACE transcripts contain all the relevant information you need highlight your skills and experience. However, some of the wording may not translate properly to civilian hiring managers. Luckily, there are several online tools called resume mapping programs that you can use to help turn those records into a powerful resume. They provide you an easy way to talk the lingo used by recruiters and hiring managers and highlight the value you bring to the table. Two great resume mapping are resumeengine.org and military.com/veteran-jobs/skills -translator.

Highlight Your Military Experience

Your military experience is one of your best assets in the job hunt, so don’t downplay it. Most employers today hold service members in high regards. Most even assume you already possess great soft-skills like leadership, trustworthiness, honesty, commitment, and a can-do attitude. Use your resume to highlight the significance of your experience, training, and what you bring to the table.

Downplay Combat

Avoiding your combat tours may be difficult to completely leave off your resume. However, do your best to downplay this area of service. Though it may be one of the most significant challenges of your life, it is best left out of the hiring discussion.

Continue Improving

Any job seeker needs to personalize their resume based on each job they apply to, you are no different. Be prepared to edit and rewrite your resume over time if you want to maximize your chances of a response. Ask for feedback from those closest to you and accept it the best you can. This advice also holds true for your cover letter as well.

Writing a resume is likely a first time experience for you and may seem confusing. Like everything else, you strive for perfection and following these guidelines can help get you there. Stay tuned for next month’s Mission Transition post on writing effective cover letters. If you have questions, need help with your resume, or are ready to get to work, then contact a TPGS Resource Manager today. We are here to serve you.