When veterans have to look for a job on the civilian market, the change is often overwhelming. The private sector and the military are somewhat of opposites, making them different in every sense of the word. It isn’t just about the culture or the hierarchy, but also the language and communication used among the different spheres.
With this in mind, writing a resume requires stepping-stones for a successful application, which are the trends mentioned in the list below.
1. Stay Away from the Military Language
Your task is to write a resume that will appeal to an employer that isn’t in the military, which means that you should lose the title and rank out of the language you are using. Sure, list these in your resume to impress the reader, but don’t resort to military jargon, acronyms and terms they won’t be able to understand. These power verbs for a resume should come very handy in the writing process.
Try to detect the job titles used to cover the military duties you performed by those in the private sector. Using a source of expert editing such as that of Resumes Planet can help you polish or even write the resume from scratch.
2. Focus on Your Skills
Don’t just focus on the responsibilities you had in the military, but also the skills you gained when you took your role. Employers want to know what you can bring to their company, not what you brought to your previous workplace. Surely, you should mention your role for bigger effect, but focus on the skills you developed along the way.
3. Boast and Brag
Not everyone can say they are a veteran, so there is your advantage over everyone else. Bragging isn’t encouraged in the military world, but it is often essential to get hired in the private sector. Your new job position will probably also require team-work, but it is time to stop being so team-focused. Boast and brag about your qualifications to impress the reader.
4. Keep It Short
Use only one or two pages for your resume. The military operates differently, but private sector employers won’t really understand that approach. Instead of providing the usual large amount of military procedures and practices, narrow it down to the key information. Listing your experience and skills is more than enough.
5. Take Actions Ahead
You don’t have to wait to get the discharge papers to take action. Explore the opportunities you have and those that your military offers. You can start taking classes or volunteering for an organization where you want to work or that will prepare you for the big transition.
6. Highlight and Emphasize
As a veteran, you have a lot to be proud of. Highlight your biggest achievements and best qualifications for bigger effect. Most employers spend only seconds looking at a resume before they toss it away. If you highlight the most important details, they will be enticed to remain on the page longer.
7. Make It Visually Inviting
Visualization is often as important for your resume as the actual content. Use plenty of clear, white space, italics and bold for highlighting, short paragraphs for quicker reads, and bullet points for your achievements. The employer should enjoy reading your resume and find ease in it, not struggle to put things together or get through the end of your sentences.
Some resources for better visual resumes such as Resume by CANVA can prove to be very helpful in completing this step.
8. Create Three Different Versions
You might ask – why three exactly? Each job seeker in the private sector knows that you must have different versions of the same resume:
Resume in Microsoft Word
ASCII text resume
- Printout resume version
Once you have these, you can always be prepared to apply to a job or reply to a message. Use the Word version for e-mail applications or attachments, the ASCII for online applications, and the scannable text for employers who request these.
9. Edit and Proofread Everything
All your efforts will be in vain if you submit your resume with errors. Don’t let potential employees eliminate you because you failed to proofread or edit your resume. They meet you at the interview, but get the first impression when they read this piece of paper. Therefore, aim that it is as perfect as it can be.
10. Use It Wisely
A resume has to be great and if such, can be the most valuable tool you use throughout the search for a job. However, this is not a limitation as to where you can use it. Use the resume to get a job but also for contact development and networking, interview guide, as well as a supporting system for negotiations for your compensation packages.
You never know what kind of great opportunity lurks around the corner. Make a great resume – only then you can be prepared to grasp it!
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