Writing a military to civilian resume is not a small or simple task, yet it’s one that is crucial if you want to transition from the military to a civilian career. Knowing how to translate your military experience into civilian experience is a valuable skill and one that will help you move from military life to a successful civilian career. Making sure you include the right information and following the right format will help ensure you have a professional and impactful resume. So, let’s jump into some of the best ways to create your perfect military to civilian resume.

1. Know What the Employer is Looking for

The first step in writing a military to civilian resume is to understand what the employer is looking for from a potential employee. Different employers have different needs and expectations, so you should take the time to research the job description and the skills needed for the role, as well as any special requirements they may have. Having a good grasp on the employer’s expectations can help you know which parts of your military experience you should feature on your resume and how best to showcase your skills.

2. Create an Impactful Summary Statement

Your summary statement is the first thing that potential employers will see on your resume, so it is important to make it stand out. Create a statement that includes the key skills, experience, or traits that reflect the role you want and the value you bring to the table. You should use strong and descriptive language to catch the attention of the reader and demonstrate how your military experience meets the needs of the job.

3. Use the Right Language

The language used in the military is often very different to that used in the civilian world, and it is important to translate your experience correctly in order to make sure it aligns with what the employers are looking for. Use a style guide to help you make sure you are using the right language and phrases in your resume without sacrificing the professionalism and impact of it.

4. Highlight Your Relevant Skills

Similar to knowing what the employer is looking for, you should make sure you highlight the relevant skills that you have for the job. Many of the skills that you gained during your time in the military may transfer easily to the civilian role you’re seeking, which can be beneficial to include in your resume. It is also important to ensure you match the language used in the job advertisement in order to demonstrate to the employer that you have the skills for the job.

5. Tailor The Resume For Each Job

Your military to civilian resume should be tailored to the individual job description in order to make sure you appear as a strong candidate. Identify which skills are relevant to the role or roles you’re applying for and make sure they appear prominently in the resume. Showing that you have taken the time to tailor the content of your resume will show the employer you are genuinely interested in the position.

6. Use Testimonials or Letters of Recommendation

Using testimonials or letters of recommendation can be helpful when making a military to civilian transition, as it can provide strong evidence of the skills and abilities you have gained from military experience. Include these letters from former colleagues or superiors in your resume to show potential employers your achievements and further set yourself apart from the competition.

7. Outline Your Accomplishments

Outlining your accomplishments throughout your military career can give potential employers a good understanding of the skills and qualities you possess. Make sure you include any awards or recognition that you have received, along with any additional tasks or projects you took on while in the military. Doing this will show the employer your dedication and hard work, and it could even enhance the impression they have of you.

8. Emphasize Your Transferable Skills

It is also important to emphasize the transferable skills you developed while serving in the military, such as your leadership and problem-solving skills. Showcase these skills on your resume in order to make you appear as an attractive candidate to the potential employer. It is also beneficial to provide an example of how you have used these skills, as this will give the employer a better understanding of the qualities and abilities you possess.

9. Include Your Relevant Education

Make sure you include any educational courses or extra training you have done related to the position you’re applying for. If this is your first job out of the military, you can also include any high school or college education you may have. Outlining the type of education, the dates, and the name of the education provider will help potential employers get a better understanding of your experience.

10. Utilize Professionally Designed Templates

Finally, if the thought of writing a resume is daunting, then you can use professionally designed templates. These will allow you to craft a professional and engaging resume that makes it easy to present your skills and experience in the right way. You can find free military to civilian resume templates online, but if you want your resume to stand out, then you may want to consider investing in a premium template.

People Also Ask

Q: What makes a good military to civilian resume?

A good military to civilian resume should include information about the relevant experience, skills and education the candidate has for the role. It should be tailored to the job, and it should include testimonials or letters of recommendation to demonstrate the candidate’s experience.

Q: How should I translate my military experience into civilian terms?

It is important to use the right language when translating your military experience into civilian terms. This can be done by researching the civilian equivalents of your roles and skills, as well as using a style guide to make sure your resume is written in the right language.

Q: What information should I include on my military to civilian resume?

You should include your summary statement, skills and accomplishments, relevant education, and any transferable skills and experience you have. You should also include testimonials, letters of recommendation, and any awards or recognition you have received.

Q: How do I demonstrate my value to potential employers?

You can demonstrate your value to potential employers by presenting your skills, experience and achievements in a clear and concise manner while emphasizing the areas relevant to the role. You should also make sure to highlight any transferable skills or qualifications you have that demonstrate your value to the employer.

Q: What should I avoid when writing a military to civilian resume?

When writing a military to civilian resume, it is important to avoid unnecessary jargon or military language. You should also avoid listing anything irrelevant to the job, such as details of projects unrelated to the role. Additionally, you should avoid the use of passive voice, as this can make your resume difficult to read.


Creating a military to civilian resume can be challenging, as you need to make sure your experience is accurately translated for potential employers. However, taking the time to understand the role and research the language used, as well as highlighting your relevant experience and skills, can help you create an impactful and well-crafted resume that can help you transition from military life to the civilian workforce.