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How to Reflect Your Military Experience In Your Resume
Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our troops provide an invaluable service to our country and in return the country does all it can to provide the support they need. If you're an unemployed veteran then you know that the moral support of all the yellow ribbons in the world can't make up for the financial support necessary for you and your family to live comfortably. 

Job seeking for the average worker is enough of a challenge. For veterans having to navigate the unfamiliar territory of the job market, it requires an entirely different skill set than the one their used to using. The transition alone from military to civilian life isn't easy, let alone the transition from being employed to unemployed.

Getting back into the workforce shouldn't be another obstacle you have to overcome considering all you've already had to endure. Here are some tips to help make it easier for you blend your military experience into your job search:

Resume
Resume writing is a constant work in progress. Job searching continues to change in order to stay current, so what may be common practice one moment may have evolved into another version shortly after. Resume scanners are widely used by recruiters and hiring mangers to speed up the hiring process. That being the case, your resume has to incorporate the main keywords from the job description and be complemented by your own qualifications and competencies. Your words should focus on the accomplishments and qualities that make you stand out from other job seekers and other veterans. 

Summary of Qualifications
This is pretty much what it sounds like: your qualifications in a nutshell. In a paragraph, sum up your high-level skills an provide an introduction for what you have to offer. This somewhat serves as your resume's pitch, although your cover letter should do the same with more of your personality included. Use this as an opportunity for you to present the military skills you have that are transferable to the position you're applying for. Military skills aren't just valuable on the field, so be sure to show potential employers that what you know and can do will benefit them in ways they may not have thought of before.

Consider and analyze specific moments in your military career that demanded putting your transferable skills to the test. It's important to cater your language to the job applied for that directly ties in to your experiences in the military to give the hiring manager an idea of your abilities in a completely different environment. Include words such as: strategy implementation, leadership and decision making, team building, project management, etc. Add specific figures and examples to clearly outline the results your contributions produced.

A Word on Combat
Combat experience leaves a major impression on veterans that is hard to put aside. When it comes to resume writing, you want to be careful of including vivid details that others may have a hard time swallowing. Resumes are strictly for selling yourself as the ideal candidate for the job which usually don't need recounts of war and violence. Hiring managers realize that veterans may carry these aspects of war with them but will expect them to be able to leave it out of the workplace. The adjustment back into civilian life understandably takes time and employers want to be obliging to that need. For every small step you take, most will be willing to give your career a boost.