Ten Things To Remember When Writing Your Resume (Part 1) – In this 3-part series we’re going to take a look at ten key steps you can take to improve your resume.
When transitioning from a government or military position, there are several points you want to consider when working on your resume. Here are our first three crucial tips:
1. Government “Speak” Is Not “Normal People Speak.”
Sometimes one of the hardest things to do when transitioning from a government or military position is learning how to discuss government or military work in terms that “civilians” can understand.
Focus on your transferable skills and qualifications when working on your resume. Minimize the government acronyms and abbreviations. It can be helpful to speak to others who have also made the transition regarding the terminology and language you use in your resume. You should assume your recruiter has but a basic knowledge of your field, so be certain to write your resume for a “civilian” to grasp. Another idea is to review several relevant position descriptions that you are applying to for common language you can adapt to your purposes.
2. More is Not More. Less is More.
I know that in the government world, the usual trend is to make your point in as many words as possible, but outside of the government this is not the case. In fact, this can jeapordize your chances to get your next interview. Concise language that gets straight to the point is highly valued.
Studies show that recruiters spend only 6–10 seconds looking at your resume. If they have to dig but through too much to find relevant data, it is highly likely they will give up quickly and move on to the next candidate. Therefore, your resume absolutely should be no longer than two pages in length.
3. You Are Not A Jack-Of-All-Trades.
Considering yourself “a jack of all trades” and “able to do anything” is a point I often hear from transitioning job seekers, assuming this to be a positive. Unfortunately, the mindset nowadays is very different outside the government world. This concept immediately dates you and shows how out-of-touch you are with the current marketplace. Recruiters do not want a jack of all trades. Recruiters want someone who can do SOMETHING very well.
Instead, your resume should sell you for what you do BEST. Also, consider what you enjoy doing and how you can bring value to your future boss.
In the next post in this series, we’ll cover a few more tips to help you create an effective resume that is sure to open doors for you!
Not only the trailing spouse of a US State Department Foreign Service Officer, Julie Mendez once also held a clearance and served as the Community Liaison Office Coordinator at the US Embassy in Rome, Italy. Now a Career Coach and Certified Job Search Specialist with JSM Career Coaching, Julie Mendez serves as the lead Career Coach at ClearanceJobs.com’s “UnCareer-Fair” events. She believes her calling is to aid clients in finding fulfilling work that utilizes their unique talents. Julie Mendez can be reached at www.jsmcarercoaching.com and JulieMendez@jsmcareercoaching.com.