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Post-Military Employment: How to Stand Out

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j0434728Transitioning from a military resume that helps you stand out in the civilian job market.

Don’t Militarize Your resume

The most crucial thing to remember is that many civilians are unfamiliar with military jargon. Your resume should not include terms that are difficult to understand. You should also avoid using acronyms because hiring managers are likely not to be familiar with what they stand for. As with other resumes, don’t include experience that’s not relevant to the job you’re trying to get.

Avoid sending resumes that are longer than two pages. One-page resumes are usually better. Because employers are inundated by hundreds of applicants in this tough job market, only a small amount of time can be dedicated to reviewing resumes. Many are looked over in a matter of seconds. Make sure yours can be quickly scanned with the most valuable experience and achievements listed in one or two pages.

Highlight Your Skills and Accomplishments

You may have heard that you shouldn’t list your rank or awards on military resumes geared towards civilian jobs. This isn’t the case at all. These are notable achievements that you should be proud of. The key to making awards or rank significant to the job you’re applying for is to detail the skills or specific accomplishments that helped you earn that status.

Highly valuable skills include leadership and interpersonal skills, attention to detail and the ability to work with minimal supervision. Did you regularly work under tight deadlines? Emphasize that; it’s an essential and highly sought after skill in many work environments. Did you manage projects, lead teams or direct communications? Those are excellent skills to list on a resume. The key is to rephrase what you’ve learned and accomplished in the military into language that everyone can understand. Make it easy for hiring managers to see why they should hire you.

Putting it Together

Military resumes (see: are often highly regarded by employers, especially those who have served in the military themselves. However, for your resume to have the broadest appeal, you need to make it easy for all kinds of human resources personnel and hiring staff to see why you should get the job. Your resume should make it easy to see how all aspects of your education, previous roles and extracurricular activities apply to the position you’re seeking. Keep that in mind and you’ll soon see which elements of your service should be explained and emphasized.

Michelle is an aspiring writer with a passion for blogging. She enjoys writing about a vast variety of topics and loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to publicly voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

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