1. Have a clearly defined objective.
Before writing your veteran resume, spend some time determining what precisely it is you are seeking in a career. Many people with diverse backgrounds make the mistake of being too general in their career objective. Learn how to write your career objective.
If you don’t focus your skills and experiences on a specific job, you won’t appear to be uniquely suited for that job.
If you determine what it is you want to do, then you can customize your veteran resume to address the duties unique to that job. This will make your resume a homing missile, instead of just carpet-bombing with an overly generic resume.
2. Don’t forget we’re civilians.
Obviously, if you intend to find another military related job, using acronyms and military expressions can be a strong point of your resume, because it illustrates career specific knowledge.
However, if applying for a job in the private sector, take time to spell out military acronyms on your resume and translate your vocabulary into civilian-speak so that Hiring Managers will understand your professional experience.
Don’t assume HR departments are up on their military terminology; it’s better to take the time to be clear than to risk confusion on the employers end.
3. Show off your military background.
While its important to frame your resume in a civilian format, don’t shy away from stating why military experience is an advantage to an employer.
Exhibit your military experience like on this professional military resume example prominently for the skills you exhibited throughout your service such as completion of duties, dedication, teamwork, leadership, flexibility and positive work ethic.
These are traits that are admirable of all applicants in any industry and thus are a important part of any veteran’s resume.
4. Seek out jobs that match specific skills sets.
Employers will list the responsibilities required for open positions, as well as skills required and/or desired of applicants. Search jobs that will allow you to plug your skills into vacancy listings.
Being a Veteran you most likely have a skills set a mile long. Be selective in what you include on your resume, make sure the skills you are listing are the skills being specifically sought by the employer.
Mile-long skills lists will not be fully appreciated, its better to pick the most applicable and that’s why reading about the best way to write a qualifications summary can prepare you when writing your veteran resume.
5. Emphasize your educational background.
Many veterans have Educational histories outside of what they gained through military service. If you attended Technical School, Vocational Training, or University before, during, or after your service make sure you include it in your resume.
Include the dates you studied, the major/focus and any other non-military certifications you may have received. Learn more about the education area of your resume in addition to the certifications and licenses section.
6. Don’t forget the basics.
Make sure you provide usable contact information. Employers will not waste time trying to repeatedly get ahold of applicants. If using a family member’s address, make sure they are aware you are seeking employment so they can immediately notify you of any correspondence from a potential employer.
Check out what your resume doesn’t need and save yourself the embarrassment of entering an interview where the interviewer raises more questions than is needed.
7. Proudly display your accomplishments.
Being a Veteran, your military career has offered you opportunities for advancement and commendation. State these advances in your career as they indicate you successfully performed your duty and were promoted accordingly.
Whenever possible, quantify your achievement in numerical terms, whether it’s the number of soldiers under your supervision, weekly number of patients/patrols, or medals earned.
These will show potential employers you go above and beyond what is expected of you. You can find some outstanding military resume samples here that also includes an how to writing guide.
8. Double and triple check your resume’s mechanics.
Just like you wouldn’t think to enter combat without rechecking the functionality of your weapon, your supply of ammunition, the fuel in your vehicle or the number of soldiers in your team, you do not want to miss reviewing your resume before sending.
Spend time double checking your veteran resume for simple mechanics like format, spelling, dates and overall accuracy.
This will give you 100% confidence knowing what the employer is looking at is exactly what you want them to know about you and your military career.