At Last, The Secret To Resume Building For Veterans Is Revealed!

“On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.” -Dan Lipinski

If you are one of the 5.3 million American men and women who have served as active-duty soldiers since the Gulf War you might be looking for a way to make the transition into civilian life and employment.

It is important to understand that finding a job demands strategies. You need to adjust your military skills and experiences with the type of job you are looking for. Besides you also need to build your resume in an attractive way to receive a reply from employers.

The key when you write a resume is to explain your military experience into skills and accomplishments employers outside the military can understand.

How To Choose A Resume Format

There are four standard types of resumes:

  • Chronological
  • Functional
  • Combination
  • Targeted

For veterans, the best option is the functional resume format. A functional resume focus on your skills and experience first. This type of resume does not put emphasizes in the dates you have worked as employment history is secondary, and it is listed under the details of your skills.

As a veteran, you might have limited work experience and that’s the reason why this is the most effective type of resume. You might have spent much of your working life in the military so your employment history is just one employer.

You have to understand that it is not a good strategy to specify all the positions and responsibilities over your military career as most civilian employers are not interested in them.

Civilian employers might not be able to see your abilities so you need to focus less on describing your former job, and instead concentrate on the skills you have achieved that will be relevant to the position you are pursuing.

Make sure to avoid using military language when you are writing your resume. You should write down your title and rank and some simple information about what that position means. You should know that most civilian employers are not veterans, so don’t use military terms and acronyms as they will probably not understand them.

Try to translate the duties you performed in the military with job titles private sector firms use. If you need help you can always check out the VA website where you can find helpful information.

Which Skills You Need To Focus On

As a veteran, you must have a lot of skills but it is important to emphasize those that the job seeker values most. Then, based on these needs, you can adjust the skills section on your resume to prove that you have these skills. Remember job recruiters are looking for people who can provide value to their company.

If you don’t know what type of skills job recruiters are looking for here are 6 key areas of strength that you can add to your resume:

  • Detail-oriented
  • Integrity
  • Team leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Team player

But remember you need to emphasize on those skills that seem most relevant to the job you are after.

What Veterans Should Avoid

When writing your resume you need to make sure to avoid using a few elements such as:

  • Irrelevant skills: It is important to know that your resume is a sales document where you need to persuade the job recruiter that you are the best fit. So, even if you have a lot of skills, concentrate on those who are relevant for the job.
  • Add a cover letter: Do not include in your resume why you want the job instead explain it in the cover letter.
  • Avoid military jargon: As we mentioned before, it is important to find the best ways to describe jargon with everyday language.

Regarding the cover letter, it is important to include both a cover letter and a resume. A cover letter is a single-page letter that you include with your job application.

Keep this in mind when you write a cover letter:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Mention the job you are looking for
  • Explain why your skills match the skills needed to do the job
  • Encourage the recruiter to read your resume
  • Finish with a call action such as a job interview or a meeting.

Finally, remember it is your mission to show the recruiter you are the best person for the job.