When I work with military veterans who are looking to enter the private sector, the first step in my process is to ask for their performance evaluations. Some candidates are surprised by this request. Rest assured, this is a normal part of the process and I’m not looking for skeletons in your closet. Your performance evaluations are a great template for me to build a strong resume for you, and I’m only going to use the information in these evaluations to highlight your strengths.

Helping vets craft a resume is one of the most important value adds from working with a recruiter. Private sector employers aren’t familiar with the military and don’t know how your duties translate into the civilian world. Most military vets have never written a professional resume and are not sure where to begin or what’s most effective. By reviewing your recent evaluations (we usually ask for the past three years), I can pick out the elements that will make you the most marketable candidate possible and turn them into a powerful resume.

Here are just a few of the pieces I’ll take from your performance evaluations when crafting your resume:

Scope of duties and responsibilities

Your performance evaluations describe the scope of your duties and your responsibilities in each of the roles you held, which is exactly the information I need to start building the framework of your resume. No need to reinvent the wheel here: just send the evaluation to me and I can start to translate your work into private sector terminology.

Skills and qualifications

In the military, you likely picked up quite a few systems qualifications and certifications, but you might not know which are relevant in the private sector. Your evaluations will list all of your technical qualifications, making it easy for me to pull out the ones that will matter most to a civilian employer. The evaluations are a good source of information on your soft skills. For example, maybe you exhibited strong leadership potential or are a gifted multi-tasker. I can use all of this information when pitching you to potential employers. It will also help me to determine which industry and company type is the best fit for you.

Achievements and accomplishments

The pieces that really pop on civilian resumes are specific, measurable achievements. Formal awards are even better. Your evaluations will discuss your achievements in detail, which I can then use to paint the best possible picture of your candidacy. I’ll be able to highlight your accomplishments in a way that will really pique a company’s interest.

Don’t worry when I ask you for those evaluations. They won’t be passed on to prospective employers, and I’m only going to use them to make you look as great as possible.