If you’re a veteran you can probably write an OER or NCOER without breaking a sweat. But writing a civilian resume may feel like heavy lifting. If you don’t know a skills summary from an objective statement, here are a few tips to consider.
1. Translate your military skills.
Sit down with your last review or most recently compiled resume and consider every word – would a civilian understand it? Ask a non-service member to review your resume. Spouses don’t count – they learned to speak acronym soup, too.
2. Define your objective.
Although many recruiters say they dislike objective statements, they should be able to tell what kind of positions you’re qualified for and what position you’re applying for with a five second scan of the front page. List any skills, certifications and relevant education at the very top of your resume. If you think you need an objective statement to make sense of your range of experience, go ahead and add it.
3. Leave out most military awards and non-relevant training programs.
You’re proud of your RCOMs, MSMs and AAMs – but those terms don’t mean anything to a recruiter. If there’s something specific and directly relatable to your industry, add it. If not, leave it off.
As you re-make your military resume, consider the three A’s: Avoid Acronyms, Quantify Accomplishments, and Avoid Awards – you’ll be en route to a resume that gets noticed.