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How to effectively present your military skills in CV

Resumes & Cover Letters

Military staff and war veterans are facing a lot of difficulties trying to find a civilian job. According to the official report, there are almost 22 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces, while 450 thousand are unemployed and looking for a new position.

The biggest problem for most of the army personnel is how to effectively present their military skills in a CV. It’s a process that demands creativity and improvisation, but you can do it if you use the right resume writing strategy.

This post will show you how to disclose military-related proficiency in a job application. Let’s see 7 most effective ways to do that!

1. Don’t hide it
Some veterans consider their military experience to be a disadvantage, but it’s actually the other way around. Most candidates will send similar resumes and mention the same traits, but you are a former soldier, and that gives you specific skills that others can’t match. Don’t be afraid of disclosing your military background. The only thing you need to do is to be honest about it and find the right angle to describe your professional proficiency.

2. Don’t exaggerate
We all want our CVs to be perfect, but it doesn’t give us the right to exaggerate. The same goes for army personnel. Let’s say you were in charge of your unit’s communication department - you should mention it in the resume, but don’t make it sound as if you were controlling the whole army’s communication channels. Keep it realistic, or else you might end up explaining some tough questions at the job interview.

3. Avoid military jargon
Being an army member for years (or even decades), you had enough time to pick up a lot of highly specialized words and phrases. Although you got used to it, that doesn’t mean that the average recruiter has any idea what you are talking about. No one will understand you if you keep using acronyms like ACADA, OSIP, or SSEP. Avoid military jargon and always find a well-known synonym that clearly explains your military roles, titles, duties, and responsibilities.

4. Explain professional honors
Most soldiers earn a few medals during their army years. If you are among those veterans, you should use it as the way to impress potential employers. But don’t put an emphasis on the medal itself. Instead, try to explain the reasons for winning such a prestigious award. A detail like this one will make recruiters curious, and they will definitely pay attention to your achievements.

5. Quantify results
Speaking of achievements, it is necessary to quantify your work and prove that you contributed to the overall success of the organization. This tactic is much more productive than just stating your military titles.

For instance, you could say that you supervised a team of 32 soldiers. Another option is to say that you reduced inventory loss by 21%. There is a wide variety of options, but your job is to think of concrete achievements and prove that you brought tangible benefits to your unit.

6. Highlight work ethic
Army members are famous for their discipline and work ethic. It’s a huge advantage that you must highlight in your CV. A future employer is glad to know that you are ready to work hard or even overtime whenever needed.

Work ethic also means that your resume has to be flawless. You can’t afford to make grammar or spelling mistakes, so be careful to proofread the document before sending. You could also send it to a friend, family member or professional you can trust to see if they catch anything off about your cover letter and perhaps make necessary corrections, giving you valuable suggestions related to the structure and style of writing.

7. Identify transferable skills
Military and civilian roles may seem completely different, but they both require the same sort of transferable skills. You only need to determine which skills you already possess and state it in your resume. Here are some possibilities:

  • Working under pressure
  • Managerial skills
  • Multitasking
  • Goal-oriented
  • Attention to details

A vast majority of army veterans are struggling to describe their professional traits in a resume. However, you shouldn’t think of it as a disadvantage. On the contrary, you possess a certain set of skills that other people don’t have, so don’t be afraid to highlight it.

In this post, we showed you how to effectively present your military skills in a CV. Try to remember our tips and don’t hesitate to use them when applying to the civilian job – it could give you a substantial advantage over other candidates.

Jack White is currently working at the Department of Public Relations at Essays.ScholarAdvisor.

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