If you have served time in the military, how do you add this experience to your resume so that you are able to get a position as a civilian? This can often be a difficult consideration for those who have either spent minimal time in the military, or many years in the military, serving the country. Below, we offer general tips, as well as how to include this information-whether it is minimal time served or many years.
Though you might not be aware of this, depending on whether you worked part time or fill time in the military will determine how to include it correctly in your resume for civilian employment.
First, if you have worked as a reservist-working on weekends or minimally-and also worked as a civilian elsewhere; you should include your military experience in a section entitled Military Experience or something to this effect. Moreover, you may want to list this information under a more generalized section, such as achievements and other experience.
On the other hand, you may well have worked in the military for years-it being your full time job and one in which you were committed exclusively to-depending on your division and the nature of the time in which you were serving in the military. In this case, you should include your military experience in your employment history-so that potential employers can see right off the bat that this is what you were doing during a certain period of time, that would have been otherwise unaccounted for until a subsequent section, as described above.
Once you have determined which scenario suits you, adding more information about this experience is key to getting noticed for a professional position. While the basic tips for how to include more information on your military responsibilities and possibly transferable skills remain the same for both part time and full time military personnel, it might be best to include less detail for part time work, as it is included in a less focused section, that the contrary-as employment history. For military positions which serve as full time work, a person should expand upon his/her responsibilities and achievements, as this is an important factor that many potential employers will be looking for.
Use Civilian Language: One of the most important things to remember when creating a resume after working in the military is that though your experience and duty to your country is significant to an employer; they will not necessarily understand the technical terms that you have used in your military workplace. This said, you need to be able to translate your military experience in military language and terms to ones that are more universal and understood by potential employers.
Focus on Skills
Next, as a military personnel wanting to work in the professional civilian world, you need to show that your experience in the military offers experience and most importantly, skills that can be transferred to the position and industry to which you are applying. So, you must focus on the skills that you have to offer-such as organizational, communications, supervisory, etc; and have achievements and specific responsibilities that show proof of this from your military career. Use bullet points to include these under your military experience section-as a part of a special skills section on your resume.
Customize the Resume
Though it is often a good pointer to follow that you customize your skills ad experience towards the specific position that you want; it can often be more important to do so if you have military experience to offer. Though you offer a lot in regards to just serving the country in this way, you also need to be able to show why you are also dedicated to the position that you are seeking, and how your military experience translates to this professional civilian position.