Write Words for Your Resume
Make no mistake about it; you are a talented individual. Your post-uniform mission, should you boldly decide to accept it, is to convince a potential employer of that very same fact. In your quest for a new job sans rank upon your shoulder, you will most certainly find yourself trying to communicate your ever so marketable awesomeness via the time-honored resume.
Love it or hate it, it’s still the expected job search instrument of choice used to showcase past work experiences, marketable skills, obvious superpower abilities and applicable shiny credentials.
Finding the write words (yes, pun intended) isn’t always easy, however. It becomes particularly challenging when the reader of said resume is unfamiliar with the military way of life. Fret no more, gentle warrior. You can interpret those camouflaged acronyms, ranks, and course titles in a way that civilian employers will understand exactly what you have to offer.
The following common translations and tips can help you get your point across to just about anybody.
|You know it as:||Civilian employers will understand it as:|
|NCOIC, Watch Captain,Petty Officer of the Watch||→||Supervisor, Manager, Coordinator|
|Commander, Chief||→||Division Head, Director, Senior Manager|
|Executive Officer (XO)||→||Deputy Director, Assistant Manager|
|Action Officer (AO)||→||Analyst (or Senior Analyst if applicable)|
|Battalion, Unit, Platoon||→||organization, agency, department|
|Mission||→||responsibility, task, objective, job|
|Combat/War||→||hazardous conditions, conflict|
|Headquarters||→||headquarters, corporate office|
|Service members||→||employees, co-workers, colleagues,personnel, individuals|
|Security Clearance||→||security clearance|
|Military Personnel Office (MILPO)Personnel Action Center (PAC)||→||personnel office|
|Regulations||→||guidance, policy, instructions|
|Reconnaissance||→||data collection, survey, analysis|
|TDA/MTOE||→||organizational structure,material resources, manpower|
Additional Tips You Can Use
You might have a laundry list of ARCOMs, MSMs, and AAMs and that is a good thing. Clearly, you did your job well. Don’t, however, fill your resume with each and every one of them. Simply mention, where appropriate, that you received awards for outstanding job performance. If there is something critical to mention about a certain award that propels your case for the job further, then it is fine to elaborate on that particular award.
Don’t get caught up in making sure your positional military title (Captain, Major, Sergeant) translates. Focus more on communicating the functional area of your job title (Communications Technician, Emergency Medical Technician, Nurse). That said, here are some common translations that may be helpful:
|Warrant Officer||→||Technical Manager/Specialist/Department Manager|
|Senior NCOs||→||First-Line Supervisor|
|Sergeant Major||→||Senior Advisor|
|First Sergeant||→||Personnel Supervisor|
|Squad Leader||→||Team Leader/Team Chief|
|Supply Sergeant||→||Supply Manager/Logistics Manager|
|Operations NCO||→||Operations Supervisor|
|Platoon Sergeant||→||Supervisor/ Instructor/Trainer|
Make your classroom achievements easy to understand. Feel free to edit course titles for clarity’s sake. Here are some common examples:
|Basic Training||=||Basics Skills Course|
|Advanced Individual Training (AIT)||=||Advanced Skills Course (mention career field)|
|Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC)||=||Basic Leadership and Management Development Course|
|Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course (BNOC)||=||Intermediate Leadership and Management Development Course|
|Advanced Non-Commissioned Officers Course (ANOC)||=||Advanced Leadership and Management Development Course|
|Officer Advanced Course (OAC)||=||Entry Level Officer Training Course|
|Combined Arms Staff College||=||Senior Managerial Leadership School|
|Command and Staff College||=||Senior Leaders Program|
|War College||=||Executive Leadership School|
Remember, it is not necessary to list all the training you’ve completed. Stick to mentioning the most recent and relative ones.