Transitioning from military to civilian life is not easy, and knowing how to write a military-to-civilian resume is an important step in that process. Job seekers need to ensure that their resume accurately reflects their military experience in a format that civilian employers can understand. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the key steps you should take to write an effective military-to-civilian resume, as well as insights into how to showcase all the qualities and skills acquired during your military career.

1. Understand the Specifics of a Military-to-Civilian Resume

Writing a successful military-to-civilian resume requires understanding some of the key differences between military and civilian job descriptions. Military personnel have unique experiences, positions, duties and ranks, and civilian employers are not necessarily familiar with all of these positions. This can make it difficult for them to understand the complexities of these roles and the specific functions each one entails. As such, it’s important to use language that can bridge the gap between your military experience and the specific job requirements of the position you’re applying for.

Highlight Your Accomplishments

Before writing your military-to-civilian resume, it’s important to take some time to reflect on your military experience and makes sure that it is accurately reflected in your resume. Take the time to look back on your military career and make sure to highlight any specific accomplishments or successes. This can include awards you’ve earned, commendations, recognition you’ve received and anything else which could be interpreted as an accomplishment. This can help civil employers to better understand and process the complexities of your military experience.

Include Relevant Training and Certifications

Military personnel often engage in specialized training, technical certifications and skill development that often have a direct and immediate application in the civilian workplace. It’s important to list any relevant training and certifications you may have and provide a brief description of how this relates to the job requirements. This can help civilian employers to understand the depth of your experience and the value that you can bring to their organization.

Use Military Abrreviations and Terminology Carefully

When writing a military-to-civilian resume, it’s important to keep in mind that civilian employers may not be familiar with all of the abbreviations and terms that are common in the military. As such, it’s important to use military terminology and abbreviations sparingly and in such a way that it can also be understood by a civilian reader. For example, instead of writing “PVT” to refer to your rank you can use the full term of “Private”. This will help to ensure that your resume is understandable and can be read by a wide range of employers.

2. Include a Professional Summary

Capture Your Professional Brand

The first line of your military-to-civilian resume should include a concise, impactful professional summary. This should not only capture your professional experience and achievements, but also your personal brand. This can help employers to quickly assess your qualifications and understand the best reasons to consider you for the job. It’s important to be concise and make sure that the summary captures all the key points of your experience in a language that is easily understood.

Focus on Relevant Qualifications

When citing your qualifications and experience, make sure you focus on aspects that are most relevant to the job that you are applying for. Even if the qualification or experience was acquired during your military service, it is important to make sure it is framed in a way that is most relevant to the civilian employer. Doing this can help the employer quickly identify your qualifications and better appreciate the complexity of your experience.

Proofread and Edit Carefully

Once your military-to-civilian resume is written, it is important to make sure that it is proofread and edited carefully. Poor spelling and grammar can be a big barrier to having your resume read and considered by employers, so make sure to go through it with a fine-tooth comb and make sure it is free from any errors. This can also be an opportunity to make sure the language and terminology used is appropriate for the job you are applying for.

3. Examples of Military-to-Civilian Resumes

Find and Review Examples

Before you start creating your own military-to-civilian resume, it’s a good idea to review a few examples from other people to get an idea of the type of language and style to use. You can find a wealth of examples online that you can use as a guide. Make sure to pay attention to how they word the titles of the roles they’ve held, and the language they used to describe their backgrounds, qualifications and achievements.

Create Your Resume From Scratch

Once you have looked at some example resumes, it is important to create your own military-to-civilian resume from scratch. Even if you are using one of the examples as a guide, remember that each resume should be tailored to your skills and experience and the job you are applying for. When writing your resume, make sure to use language that will be understood by a civilian hiring manager and reflect the professional qualifications and achievements for the job you are applying for.

Edit and Refine Your Resume

Once you have written your military-to-civilian resume, you should take the time to edit and refine it thoroughly. This includes going through to make sure all the information is accurate and up-to-date, and that any military terminology is easy to understand for civilian employers. You should also check for any errors and make sure that the language use is consistent throughout the resume.

4. People Also Ask

What is the best format for a military-to-civilian resume?

The best format for a military-to-civilian resume is one that clearly and effectively communicates your military experience in a way that is easily understood and relevant to the job you are applying for. This can include using a reverse-chronological format that lists your most recent experience first, as well as highlighting any relevant achievements, qualifications and training.

How do I write a summary for a military-to-civilian resume?

When writing a summary for a military-to-civilian resume, it’s important to focus on making sure your summary captures your experience and accomplishments in a way that is easily understood by civilians. Make sure to include your unique qualifications or experience and any awards or recognition you have received, as well as highlighting any transferable skills from your military experience.

How can I best showcase my military experience on my resume?

The best way to showcase your military experience on your resume is to make sure you emphasize any transferable skills and accomplishments in a way that is relevant to the position you are applying for. Make sure to include any relevant qualifications and training, as well as any awards or recognition you may have received. This will help to demonstrate the depth of your experience to civilian employers.

What are the key points when writing a military-to-civilian resume?

When writing a military-to-civilian resume, some of the key points to keep in mind include using language that can be easily understood by civilian employers, highlighting relevant training and certifications, and using military abbreviations and terminology sparingly. Additionally, it’s important to include a professional summary that captures your unique experience and personal brand, as well as proofreading and editing the resume carefully for any errors.

Final Words

Transitioning from the military to civilian life can be a daunting prospect, but with the right preparation and effort it can open up a world of opportunities. Knowing how to write a military-to-civilian resume can go a long way towards ensuring that your experience is accurately conveyed in a way that is understandable and relevant to a civilian employer. By focusing on the key points of writing a successful military-to-civilian resume, you can give yourself the best chance of successfully transitioning your skills and experience into the civilian workplace.