Writing a resume can be an intimidating task for veterans. After years or decades in uniform, it’s hard to quantify that service into a few bullets. But resumes are a vital part of the job search, and you have to find a way to turn that military experience into a civilian-ready-resume. Here are a few tips.


1. Translate.

If you do nothing else, make sure to delete any jargon, acronyms or military speak from your resume. Turn your military job titles into their civilian equivalents. Caveat: If you’re applying for a defense industry position in a very niche military support role, it may be preferable to keep some jargon and military acronyms on your resume. If you’re applying for support roles or through an applicant tracking system, however, it’s still a good idea to spell out acronyms on first reference, and civilianize where logical.

2. Show Your Results.

Make sure to quantify the end goals or results from specific missions. Avoid the temptation to attribute everything to a team success, and give yourself credit where it’s due.

3. Don’t sweat page count.

Finally, don’t worry about page count. Your resume should tell the story of your experience. It shouldn’t be five pages, but it doesn’t need to be one, either. Don’t get yourself stuck into a box trying to condense a 20-year career into a page or two – but don’t write your memoirs.

Veterans have the experience employers are looking for. Make sure your resume shows it.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at ClearanceJobs.com. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer