Need help to “demilitarize” your skills, training, and experience so that your resume conveys information in a way civilian employers can understand? If you may have trouble translating your skills and experience in ways that employers can apply to their organization, then this article will be very beneficial for you.
The reason your resume is not affected is not because you, the veteran are unqualified, it may be that your resume is not conveying your skills and education in a civilian-friendly manner. Many ex-military members seek federal government jobs, and with good reason. You may be eligible for Veterans’ Preference points, which are points awarded for military service or a disability stemming from service. These points allow you to have top consideration above all other non-veteran applicants for federal employment. Your resume is also tailored to fit their format requirements.
For those who choose to work outside of the government, the process may be a bit more challenging. Hiring managers and Human Resources (HR) need to be able to decipher military jargon into civilian know- how. Say you were a Platoon Sergeant in your unit, but that title doesn’t register with civilians, so you may use “Department Manager,” for example. Typically, military personnel are given massive amounts of responsibility for staff, equipment safety, training, and security. Since teamwork is what you’re accustomed to, you may shy from listing these achievements. On the flip side the civilian workplace is all about your accomplishments and achievements. The employer wants to know all you’ve achieved and taken upon yourself as duties to better gauge your fit into the job opening. Don’t be shy about listing your accomplishments and responsibilities.
Although you worked as part of a team, you may have taken important responsibilities and tasks upon yourself to accomplish. If you led the way in a given field, say so. Relying on terms like “assisted” can only hurt you in the long run. If you spearheaded certain tasks, it would benefit you more to say you did rather than fall back on the “I did everything as a member of a team” mindset. Your resume should reflect strong character and skills. Don’t embellish the truth, but don’t hide your strengths either. You must ask yourself, “Why am I in demand?”
Your experience and training in the military make you a sought- after applicant in the corporate world. Many organizations are learning that the experiences you gained in the military makes you a hot resource to tap in the business world. This only increases your chances of gaining a higher- paying job while making the transition. A professional resume should highlight your character and values and how they can benefit your employer, making you a candidate not to be passed up.
Here are a few things to take into account when building your resume:
1. You are Easily Adaptable-A Quick Learner
Your ability to learn new tasks and at an efficient pace makes you a stand- out applicant and someone who is accustomed to challenges. You successfully completed the rigors of training and completed many training programs at multiple schools while in the military. You are adept to learn and have shown that you made the grade by completing your military schools. For a corporation this implies that there is little risk in hiring you because you show a value in learning tasks and completing them. You are also able to put those new skills to practical use.
2. Teamwork is Second Nature
From the moment you entered Basic Training, teamwork was instilled into your very being. You know the value of it and know how to operate successfully in a team-based setting.
3. Confidence in Leadership
At some point in your military career you were given the opportunity to exercise leadership. Through much of your schooling in the military you may have been put in charge of many tasks and troops, while maintaining your role as student in the classroom. People who know how to lead others and get the job done have qualities that- most employers are looking for in a great applicant.
Much like the military, the corporate world has a hierarchy or chain of command. A sense of order and organization is what keeps the workplace functioning properly. Every military person understands how this works and respects those in positions of authority.
5. Culturally Diverse
Being in the military you are no stranger to working alongside others of different races and religions. For most employers this signifies that you are able to work well with anyone, regardless of their backgrounds and affiliations. If you’re applying for work overseas this can only benefit you more as you know very well how to operate and assimilate into various cultures.
6. Performance Under Pressure
You were trained to work well under pressure even when faced with severe adversity. People who can push themselves to the limits and then drive a bit further are sought-after individuals. The word “Quit” is a derogatory term in the military and is not in your vocabulary. An employer is more open to hiring someone who is a go-getter rather than a person who gives up after a little trouble. Your ability to charge forward adds a sense of stability to any corporation and encourages others to keep on going, too.
These observations and many more can be built upon in your resume and help establish your identity and what you have to offer to an employer. It is important that you ensure that a civilian employer will be able to understand you and what you bring to the table. Having the best abilities and experience for the job won’t be enough if the Human Resources rep doesn’t understand what you’ve written. Check out these resume builder sites for more guidance on how to best quantify your skills and training for a civilian working world.
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