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Review of Military Resume Format

As an employee – or a former employee – of the military, you hold an impressive amount of experience and dedication to any prospective “civilian” employer. However, if you adhere to the rigid, military resume format, your incredible, unique capabilities will most frequently be overlooked. By focusing on a thorough analysis, and some creative innovation, there is nothing stopping you from making a successful transition from being military personnel, to a lucrative civilian career. You’ll further be able to position yourself among the most qualified and capable candidates for the position.

Re-inventing yourself is only a matter of rewritten materials, first telephone contact, and the different interview stages. This does take effort and know-how, as well as an understanding of your target market.

Turn Your Military Formatted Resume Into a Polished, Attractive Civilian Resume!

To understand the answer to this question, you need to know the reasons that recruiters and hiring managers frequently overlook military applicants, even though they are well-qualified, otherwise fully desirable candidates. The struggle frequently lies within the military resume itself.

The recruiter or hiring manager may not be able to establish – or even comprehend – how the skill sets stated within the resume you created match those that he or she is seeking. It may be a reason as simple as the “buzz words” and jargon not equating within their minds. Remember, recruiters and hiring managers spend only 30-40 seconds glancing over a new resume, so if he or she is required to decipher too much technical information, or military terminology with which he or she is simply not familiar, he or she may be unable to identify the qualifications that are sought-after.

Recruiters may also become distracted or disoriented due to the standard military resume format. As this style of resume is frequently quite long, verbose, and commonly does not consolidate background and experience as it relates to the open position in question, the recruiter will feel that there is far too much synthesis required on his or her part, and will give up.

What Can You Do to Your Military Resume To Meet the Transition Requirements?

There are certain efforts that you will have to make to ensure that your military resume turns into a winning civilian resume. These include:

Assessing your strengths
Creating the civilian resume itself
Writing your new winning cover letter

Take the time to assess the strengths that you have, as indirectly stated within your current resume. This is the first step for your transitioning to a civilian resume and job hunt. You need to be able to understand your former resume in terms of your talents, skills, and abilities, and how those qualities directly relate to the business to which you are applying, as well as its industry. Throughout your military career, you have developed traits that are wildly beneficial to commercial enterprises, since they are held in such high standards for performance and operation.

When surveyed, recruiting professionals and hiring managers almost unanimously agreed that military and former military personnel are exceptional when it comes to:

Team playing
Performance under pressure

Moreover, within the military, when an individual has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities, he or she is typically targeted for more intensive training and development programs. This, in turn, will frequently lead to the assigning of that individual to the management of a troop, then perhaps human resources, and possibly further on to a position responsible for policy-making and strategic planning. The goal of such efforts is the training and development of an officer of excellence, capable of functioning in a superior way within a large structured organization. Due to the size, structure, and overall nature of business methodologies within the military, such an individual has exceptional success potential in management of operations in just about any other industry.

Furthermore, depending on the length of his or her service, such an individual could potentially transition directly into a first-line supervision, or even a senior-management level.

However, to obtain such a position, correlations must be made between the different assignments you have taken on throughout your military career, and the private sector positions, including:

Financial planning and analysis
Operations management
Human resource management
Systems administration
And administrative support.

Making Your Military Resume Civilian-Compatible

Once you have an understanding of your “new” qualifications, you are ready to create your civilian resume. Just as you would with any other specialized field, you needn’t only prepare your resume and cover letter in “lay terms,” but you can also strategize how those terms will fit and market themselves throughout the hiring process. Your resume should, however, veer away from the traditional military resume style and format. The last thing you’ll want is for your potential employer to be fixating on your military rank or title. Therefore, you’ll need to divert that person’s attention to the professional capabilities that you will be bringing to their company.

The resume that you’ve written should make an immediate impact on its reader, due to how different the presentation looks from any military resumes they happen to have seen in the past. Within the 30-40 seconds that they scan your resume, they should already have forgotten that they are reading a military resume, and think of it only in terms of your qualifications.

Finally, as you create your cover letter, you may or may not wish to note the “honorable discharge” you received when you left; however, it isn’t absolutely necessary, as it will likely have been included in your resume. Take this opportunity to show your non-military side, and dispel any preconceived ideas that the reader may have about former military personnel.

This effort should mean that you are now able to answer with confidence such vital recruiter questions as: How will you benefit the company? You’ll be able to convince hiring managers, in their own terms, of why you are qualified for the job, and how you are a better choice than the other candidates who may have applied.

About the Author:
Julie Campbell, owner of JBC Online E-Publishing writing services (www.jbconlineepublishing.com) is an experienced, professional writer, editor, and translator (English/French) who provides fast, quality information about different resume writing formats, as well as resume cover letters, and resumes services to assist in editing those already written for polish and flair.

For more information about other services and products choose from one of the following links:

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