Resume and Application Tips for Veterans

Resume Tips:

Your military service is a strong asset. When creating your resume, the following tips are provided to ensure that you communicate these experiences in a way that can be easily understood by a non-military professional.

It is strongly recommended that you develop two resumes – one for military contractors or government positions and one for public positions. Ask a non-military friend to review your resume.

Include both the military job title and the industry equivalent title. Clearly define your responsibilities and achievements while holding the position so that someone without military experience can understand. Do not rely on the reader to translate your military job experiences to civilian roles. Summarize your past experiences so that they are easy to relate to the desired position. You can use the O*NET Military Cross Walk tool to help translate these experiences and identify the industry equivalent job title.

Your military experience provided the opportunity to develop unique strengths early in your career. Do not assume that the reader is aware of these strengths. Within each section, focus on examples where you demonstrated attributes such as quickly learning and applying new skills. Showcase your ability to work within diverse teams and independently, in a fast-paced environment. Highlight examples of your leadership, accountability, personal integrity, global awareness, respect for procedures, hands on experience with technology and triumph through adversity.

The reader will understand that certain information or positions may be considered confidential. Regardless, you do not want to miss the opportunity to include information that can be shared. If necessary, it is satisfactory to list the job title or other information as classified and then list the achievements, strengths, or skills developed under that section. You can also consider noting on your resume that some information and experiences may be excluded due to confidentiality purposes. Tone down any references to active combat, focusing more on strengths gained.

Include any relevant training that applies to the position that you received during your service. Also, include the civilian equivalent training or certification if the training is not understood within the industry. 

Application Tips:

Minimum requirements for positions and the associated questions in the application may not always take into consideration military equivalent requirements, such as trainings or certifications. If you have completed the military equivalent requirement, for most companies it is acceptable to indicate that you meet the requirement. Clearly indicate in your application where you have taken such liberty so that your responses are considered to accurately represent your skills and qualifications.


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