Tips and Advantages of Listing Military Service on a ResumeTips and Advantages of Listing Military Service on a Resume

As you transition from the military service into civilian life, seeking and securing a job is likely to be a top priority for you.  Your service in the Armed Forces has no doubt endowed you with an extensive set of skills due to the training and development programs offered within the military, not to mention on-the-job experience.  As you prepare to seek out employment in the civilian world, one of the most important steps for you to take will be the compilation of a professional looking and comprehensive resume, which will emphasize all of your skills and background in terms that a civilian employer will be able to understand and find applicable to the civilian job for which you are applying.  Whether you are applying as a government contractor, private industry positions, federal jobs, or anything in the private sector, your resume will need to be accessible to the civilian reader and showcase your phenomenal set of skills.

You may need to create more than one resume, depending on the types of jobs for which you intend to apply.  Although there are certain cases where an identical resume will serve for multiple job applications, you should take care to ensure that each resume you submit is targeted specifically for the job position and the skill set required for that job.  If that means “tweaking” your resume for different positions to highlight the most relevant information, then by all means do so!

As you get ready to prepare your own resume, take a look at template and sample resumes available online.  These can give you ideas about formatting, appearance, the type of information included, and how that information is presented.  In addition to templates and examples, you can easily find reference books, pamphlets, and websites that will walk you through the process of creating an eye-catching resume.

Resumes for civilian jobs are generally expected to have about two pages’ worth of information, which should include bullet-point listings of your education and trainings, job titles and positions (with a brief, single sentence description of your responsibilities and skills used in each), and information about your accomplishments—awards or recognitions you have won, special projects or operations you completed or led, leadership positions for which you have been recognized, and so forth—with a brief descriptor of any item which may not be familiar to a civilian reader.  Be sure that the resume also includes updated contact information for you (mailing address, email address, and current phone numbers) so a potential employer can contact you easily for an interview.

Among the sample resumes you have looked at, find some that were constructed for jobs similar to those for which you are applying.  Take a particular look at the language being used in those samples to describe job experiences and skill sets; the terminology may be different from what you’re accustomed to using in the military context, and you want to use language that’s easily accessible to the potential employer who will be reading your resume.  Ask a civilian acquaintance—preferably one in the particular industry to which you are applying—to review your resume and offer suggestions before you submit it for a job application.  You will want to ask them to proof read for any errors as well as comment on the readability and relevance of the information you’ve included.

You can learn more about other jobs in the Armed Forces industry.


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