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How should I structure a LinkedIn profile to cover all my Army Reserve experience?

Veteran

Mark Tegtmeyer San Antonio, TX

This is my 4th significant deployment and I'm looking to update my LinkedIn profile accordingly. I have progressively moved up in my roles from SPC to CW3 over the years and covered everything from airfield operations to Sustainment Brigade Advise and Assist operations (currently). Should I list each of these experiences individually or provide a consolidated history of my experience and separate out only my current job? I want to ensure that I demonstrate my breadth and depth of experience as well as growth, but without trying to look like I'm listing every job title I've ever had. Thanks.

20 January 2017 22 replies Career Advancement

Answers

Advisor

Bill Carter Sycamore, IL

This is similar to what is written in my book https://essayshark.com/research-papers-for-sale.html as above you were given advice, this is to indicate your skill set! There are many of them (problem-solving, written and oral communication, etc.) Also, I would recommend a review of the resume from the author of the resume, which specializes in military transition. I can recommend a few people if you want!

22 September 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

Roddney Hackstall Greensboro, NC

Marc,

I read over your LinkedIn profile and it looks great. I am new to this site, but your battle buddies had you covered with their advise. Nice work and best of luck with all your future endeavors. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you ever need anything.

6 July 2017 Helpful answer

Veteran

Tristan Siegel Wesley C, FL

Personally, I have found that civilian employers are easily confused by dates because I have been a Reservist for the past 30 years, going in and out of Active Duty tours all over the world (Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Pentagon, etc.), while still continuing to work for various civilian private sector law firms and Federal Government agencies at the same time -- with confusing overlapping dates.

So, what I did on my resume was to list all of my civilian jobs chronologically in an easy to follow manner with dates that make sense -- and then to break out an entirely separate heading for "Military Service," under which I listed all of my key leadership assignments as a Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel (e.g., Battalion Commander, Branch Chief, Division Chief, Chief of Staff, Director of Intelligence).

I also have a summary section headers right up front that says "Soldier-Attorney-Diplomat-Leader" to introduce the many different hats I have worn as an Army Officer, a State Department Foreign Service Officer, a Federal Government civilian Supervisory Attorney, and a lawyer in private practice with international law firms.

It seems to work for me on my resume. Hope it's helpful for you.

I'm open to suggestions/feedback from others as well.

Thanks.

Tristan

9 April 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

Rob Bedell Santa Monica, CA

Hi,

The best thing to do is to bullet point your skill set. You can break them out per role, but what you want to show is the skills that you have acquired from your experience. This is true military or civilian work. Show what skills you have and can apply to any job and you'll be fine.

Thank you for your service and good luck.

20 January 2017 Helpful answer

Advisor

Darrell Pope Tampa, FL

Mark, I also took a look at your Linked In Profile, it looks very good, I believe you have summarized your military experiences very well. The key is to expound on responsibility, both in Leadership of People and Managing of budgets, funds and Fiduciary responsibility. Please feel free to reach out to me if you want to discuss directly. Darrell

Veteran

Mark Umpenhour Columbus, OH

From my experience, linkedin is just like a resume. To be honest, I do not think linkedin provides much benefit other than looking up your potential interviewers.

Advisor

Joe Nora Peoria, IL

Hey Mark, thanks for your service. What I find helpful with Linkedin is having other folks post a recommendation about you on the site. The more of those ...the better. Thanks, good luck

Advisor

Peter Silvester North Hollywood, CA

Hi Mark, Congratulations, a search of your name brings up Linkedin first.
Once people are connected, make sure to have a lengthy list of skills for your colleagues to check off. In your ABOUT section, you could write a lot more about yourself and your experience so that someone coming across you will see more about you.
Make it relevant to the experience you have done or, more importantly, the mission in life you Want to do. Focus on your future self. Perhaps write almost as if you are doing it, referencing back to your real experiences which enhance and add value to you in this roll.

Veteran

Mark Tegtmeyer San Antonio, TX

All, I appreciate everyone's responses to my question. With the high OPTEMPO of deployment, it took me awhile to get back to this. I was finally able to take a lot of advice from here and was able to build a much better profile. Thank you all for the words of wisdom.

Veteran

Kenneth Brown San Antonio, TX

Tailor your LI towards the next kind of jobs you want. Don't go into detail. Use as less military terms as possible. Find the civilian related job descriptions from Indeed etc and put it in. Civilians say they (and do) appreciate our service but also are leary (sp)? of the bad-apple stereotypes, so be as "soft" as possible unless your're looking for a combat related roled position.... and even police organizations don't want "gung-ho" type attitude personnel because they have to create better images. Stay Strong.

Veteran

Mark Umpenhour Columbus, OH

To be honest, linkedin has been a dud for me. I have never obtained a job that could be linked back to my linkedin profile. Don't list every job you have done because some of those titles do not translate to the civilian world. For example, "petroleum specialist" may give the interviewer of a job a different impression. They may think you are somewhat on the level of petroleum engineer when in reality you were just a gas pumper. I would emphasize your leadership skills. What did you do as a leader that would translate well to the civilian world. Things like did you set reasonable goals for those under you and did you accomplish those goals. Did you do anything to increase efficiency, such as macros, making stats models that may predict whether or not someone may pass the pt test, etc. Those skills will translate. Keep in mind to companies are not going to roll out the red carpet just because you are former military, but you have significant leadership skills and experience that will give you a boost. Focus on a regular resume, and list somethings on linked in.

Veteran

Steve Adolt Lancaster, PA

This is all wonderful feedback.

Now I'm going to go against the grain a bit here and tell you that what you really need is practical help turning military speak into civilian speak so that civilian recruiters can relate to your experience.

I've been a mentor and coach for a number of military / ex-military folks who needed help crafting their resume and coaching on their interview skills. All of them now have good paying jobs. Yep, i said all of them. And it didn't cost them a dime.

i volunteer these services because, as a vet myself, and working in corporate america, I know how hiring managers think and how HR screeners think when they're looking for qualified candidates.

If you'd like a copy of my resume template and would like to work to get your resume "civilian ready", I'd love to hear from you and would enjoy working with you.

Sincerely,

Steve

Advisor

Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Mark, thank you for the service and sacrifices. First, you do not owe anyone accountability of your 20+ years of experience. In fact sometimes too much will put you in the overqualified category. I would build a MASTER chronological resume, then build your targeted resumes for specific jobs-do not over kill. Everything is KEYWORD driven, whether it be a computer or OPM resume person scanner for KEYWORDS to qualify you. If the position wants 7 years of experience, listing 20+ will over qualify you, then you have 7+. Write with three goals in mind: 1) match their language i.e. you are not a logistics supply expert if they want a supply chain manager-you are a supply chain manager, 2) meet the What Is In It For Me question, followed up with a So What question on every accomplishment or statement about you. Companies want value, not a statement of what you did, but rather what you saved, what you reduced, what you reorganized that produced process improvement. Many of your awards, commendations, and medals carry some of your best achievements, and civilians have no idea what the commendations mean, but if you WIIFM and So What 4-6 great accomplishments out of on award-that is better than your statement of work or how many people you supervised. Finally, LinkedIn is also search process, so if you do not narrow your career and provide documented keyword results you will not make past the search engines. Please review this article, all it does is it takes four articles and combines it to one, with a military transition spin. If you are highly technical, which many Chiefs are, certificates are king in IT or even supply chain if it could apply to government suppliers. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/when-more-right-jerry-welsh Again, thanks for your service and God Bless.

Advisor

David Limato Fremont, CA

In addition to all the good advice given here I would suggest having multiple copies of resumes. Or a linked in pointer to a resume or profile tailored to your Reserve Career for those agencies that understand the structure of the service. As always, its good to reach out to us on linked in.

Advisor

Bob Molluro Wilmington, DE

Mark, there is some good advice here. Remember that the LinkedIn reader is always asking the question, "WIIFM", What's In it For Me. Getting a good profile is only the first step in the process. That is what is meant by writing about what your audience is interested in. By putting your skills in your profile LinkedIn will provide you with a list of potential connections. You want to "connect" with the people who respond. I have found that once they respond , I check out their profiles and if it is someone I want to have a conversation with I send them a personalized response with something in it that ties what they are interested in to my skill set. I always include my direct email to make it easy to connect. You are trying to get a conversation going with a potential employer. I rank in the top 20% of people in my category for getting new connections. I am really only trying to connect with people that I may be able to help. I learned this process from a LinkedIn consultant and it really works.

Advisor

Jose Roman Norfolk, VA

Hello Mark,

I'm a retired Reservist, served 22 years off and on active duty during the GWOT and transitioned to working with the student veteran population at my local university Career Management Center. For your LinkedIN profile Its best to have a summation of your accomplished achievements, while you were in the Reserves along with your civilian experience while you served. Stay away from the nuance positions/billets you held that don't really apply to your future career. You can break it up between the extended times you spent on active duty if there was something really impactful that was accomplished during that time, (i.e. a deployment, mobilization etc.) .

Your LinkedIn Profile is where you get to add all those things you don't fit into your resume. Let the profile compliment the resume. Connect with me on LinkedIn if you want to talk more on the subj. https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseroman1?trk=hp-identity-name

Advisor

Andrew Woodland Orlando, FL

Hi Mark

Thank you for your service. I can speak from an employer perspective and also from a UK mentor perspective for military personnel moving out into the civilian world.

You have had some great advice and the one I pick up on is - write for your audience.

In the UK we have found that 60% HR Professionals felt that ex-military personal struggle to translate the military skills to a CV for a civilian job – so you are in good company.

So here is some guidance for you:

I recommend you to use the mnemonic - CAR

Context – What activity were you involved in
Action - What were you duties, responsibilities
Results – What skills did you develop – What did you learn from the experience

Some of the key words you can use are -

Discipline - Respect for procedures and Accountability – Adaptability – Loyalty – Determination - Coping with Adversity - Working under pressure – Leadership – Teamwork - Self-motivation - International Experience – Communication.

Good luck with your future

Advisor

Ron Yu Cupertino, CA

Hi Mark - first I'll caveat what I say in that I'm not an HR person but just a career guy that has change jobs a fair amount along the way. My personal perspective on LinkedIn is per previous reply - think of your target audience. It's your marketing tool - I don't believe in having it be the exact replacements of a resume/CV. I asssume now or in the future, you'll be using it as a job search tool. Then, you'll want to research what jobs you plan to apply for and then cross reference them against your experience. The How is more of a style thing you could put it in a nice summary section or in a chronological account of your past jobs. I prefer putting the high levels skills in the summary section. So, what I mean is you'll then determine based on job listings you like what are the buzz words that are key such as "inventory velocity" or "cost reduction"....I just made those up but long story short, you'll know or find out what are some top key skills people look for. Then, cross reference those terms/skills against your background and call out the ones that are relevant to show you are the person they are looking for. These days, job recruiting is very impersonal so at the start and there are search bots that scour sites like LinkedIn and look for key words. The idea is you want your profile to be found. You can still list your other job titles / roles to show your relevant experience but always keep the audience and target in mind rather than reproduce an actual resume. You can search for recommendations on how to write an effective summary section but as others have said, use action verbs and show results while including the buzz words I mentioned. Once again, the style is up to you whether it be a bullet list or a paragraph/sentences just be sure it includes the right buzz words. As you suspect, no it's not a place to put a laundry list of jobs/titles, it's a tool to help you get that opportunity to get a phone or in-person interview. Hope that helps but feel free to private message me for clarification/help. Good luck! Ron

Advisor

Gerald Mannikarote Houston, TX

Hi Mark,
There's a lot of great advice here. The only thing I would add is to illustrate your skill with an example of how you applied it and result of your efforts.
This will provide viewers of your profile to better understand what you are capable of delivering to the company that's looking at your profile.

Advisor

Jennifer Polhemus Santa Monica, CA

You've received good advice from the others. I'll offer this: write for your audience. Your audience of potential employers is likely not military or even ex-military. Try to describe your experience and skills in ways that civilians will comprehend easily. Yes, your military skills would connect well with a private-sector job, but you shouldn't rely on the reader to make that connection o their own. You can help them to see the connection through the vocabulary you use (no acronyms or jargon) & the details you provide. Best wishes!!

Advisor

Mike Cottell Glen Head, NY

Hi Mark, first off , thank you for your service and dedication to your country. I think that both Rob and Jim have given you some excellent advice and I would like to expand a little bit on their thoughts. I looked at your LinkedIn profile and while you clearly have a wealth of knowledge and experience, it does not come through in a very easy to read manner. I would suggest opening with a summary that might look like what I will suggest, but please, I'm giving you directional guidance here.
1) Open with a few sentences that might look like this: "Strong, experienced supply chain and operations leader with an expertise in logistics, financial controls, quality assurance and customer service. Demonstrated ability to build and lead diverse teams to achieve or exceed the stated objectives of the organization. Key education credentials include an MBA in Operations Management and a BA in Finance and Business Administration".
2) Now, as suggested by both Jim and Rob, list your skills as bullet points. Check out my LinkedIn profile( Michael Cottell) as an example of how I used bullet points for my skills.
3) Leave the job history as is for now. and add your new experience as needed.
Bottom line, in my opinion, you need to have a strong opening of " who you are" to grab the viewer right away. You have a wealth of talent and experience, I think the suggestions by Rob , Jim and myself will let you showcase it better.
Feel free to reach out to me if you need any clarity @ mtcottell55@gmail.com
Good Luck to you Mark!
Best Regards, Mike

Advisor

Jim Schreier Milwaukee, WI

In general, there's an acceptance of longer listings of "every job title" on LinkedIn because it's not the same as a printed resume. In addition, a primary way that LinkedIn is used is as a searchable database by someone looking for specific experiences.

I would, however, go significantly beyond "skills" and make sure that what you list for each of your positions is what you've accomplished with those skills. What's the result you achieved in each position -- specific and measurable. One of the problems I've seen with way too many veterans' resumes is long, laundry lists of skills. You have so many opportunities to develop different skills -- but the question is which represent your real strengths. You may have skills that aren't really things you want to be part of a new career.

And, LinkedIn also provides a much better way of presenting your "skills." When your skills are identified and "endorsed" by others -- plus your ability to control the top skills presented -- it's a very different presentation that just a list. Get your colleagues to endorse your skills on LinkedIn

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