Think the resume is gone for good? Talk to most recruiters and they’ll say it’s here to stay, even if it has taken on a different look. When it comes to your work history, top skills and other information, how you package it can be as important as what you say. Whether you’re preparing a traditional resume to print for an interview or job fair or completing your profile on the Cleared Network, follow these top five resume tips for veterans (and read the accompanying articles) to make sure you get noticed.
Think a recruiter will know common military terminology? Think again. Do the courtesy of translating common military terms into civilian language. Even defense industry employers will appreciate your taking the time to ensure your resume is one any layman can understand. When you describe your career experience, make sure it’s clear how your previous experience has prepared you for the civilian career you’re pursuing.
Your resume needs a lot of attention. Make sure you take the time to spell-check, use active language, include specific accomplishments, and show your skills. For online resumes and profiles, keywords are also critical – make sure you use the right words and phrases for the positions you’re applying for. For veterans who haven’t had to write resumes throughout their career, getting a second-pair of eyes to review is also critical.
This takes on several forms. First, make sure you’re applying for a specific job and have a specific career track in mind. Second, in addition to translating military terms make it clear how your military experience gave you equivalent experience to civilian training, degree programs or experience.
This goes without saying, but be sure to scrub your resume for sensitive information, whether it’s classified locations, programs or accomplishments. Note that listing your security clearance and dates of polygraph on your resume is fine.
You don’t need to stick with a one-page resume, but four pages is certainly pushing it. Make your resume a clear outline of your accomplishments, and make it clear what career path you’re pursuing and which jobs you’re qualified for.