You’re making a big change in your life – from the military to a civilian professional. How can you ease the transition?

It’s important to equip yourself with an effective military transition resume. The skills you gain in the military can often make you an excellent employee. However, too often I’ve seen very competent transitioning military members not selected because their resumes did not accurately capture their real-life skills.

Here are a few resume secrets that I share with the candidates I work with:

1. Try to keep your resume to one page. If you need more space, do not exceed two pages.

2. Include your GPA if you scored 3.0 or higher.

3. Use a reverse chronological format, so employers can see your work history by date.

4. Structure body with paragraphs by listing key duties/responsibilities followed by quantifiable achievement bullets. Use action words such as “led, developed, organized, and streamlined.”

5. Write your resume yourself. Recruiters like me are here to help, but you must write the first draft.

6. Don’t include your personal parameters. I’ve seen resumes state age, height, weight, current salary, marital status, religion, etc. These are absolutely unnecessary in a professional resume and may even lead to your resume being disqualified because of anti-discrimination policies.

Most transitioning military veterans have a wealth of marketable and transferable skills that they often leave out of their resume. Here are some you may not have considered including, but could actually give you an edge in your application:

  • Leadership
  • Transportation
  • Engineering Operations
  • Maintenance
  • Training
  • Logistics
  • Supply
  • Budgets
  • Computers
  • Quality
  • Six Sigma or Lean
  • Foreign language skills

One of the candidates that I recently placed came to me several months ago with a solid resume draft. However, it needed work because his job descriptions contained too much military jargon. Additionally, his achievement bullets were too general and did not highlight results or translate value. After a couple of phone appointments where I made recommendations, we finally agreed on a final product. It was a proud moment for him when he used the resume during one of our military hiring conferences and was successfully hired!

Do you have any questions about your military transition resume? Let me know below!