Please upgrade your web browser

These pages are built with modern web browsers in mind, and are not optimized for Internet Explorer 8 or below. Please try using another web browser, such as Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.

How do I tell my story and showcase what I can bring to the table?


daniel fraser Concord, NC

Working on updating my resume as one of the many things I need to begin venturing out and looking for new opportunity.

While I can certainly put something decent together, Id be curious to know how others laid out their story in a way that effectively communicated their abilities and value.

17 October 2020 18 replies Resumes & Cover Letters



Jim Schreier Milwaukee, WI

If you visit my career website, you'll find a lot of information directly related to your question, including some articles directly targeted to veterans.

I addition there's a lot of focus on making sure your resume and interview answer are focused on "accomplishments." If you do that you're going to be setting the stage for telling a good story.

There's also a video on "C-A-R Mini-Stories" and on "Say a Few Words" -- almost identifical techniques. A C-A-R Mini story is a simple, short statement that asks: What was the challenge, what was your action, what was the result?

25 October 2020 Helpful answer


cathy salerno Chester, NJ

Hi Daniel, you've already received lots of great advice here! One suggestion I've made to other military guys (and by the way, thank you for your service!) is to frame your experience as they relate to leadership imperatives. Most big companies use "leadership imperatives" to help communicate what they are looking for in employees and for training. If you google the phrase you'll see a number of examples such as "connect", "lead", "deliver", etc. Showing how your military experience has given you skills in these attributes can help to translate what you've done to a private sector need. I'd be happy to help further -- just message me.
best regards,

26 October 2020 Helpful answer


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

VERY short answer - identify your talents and show an employer how they fit with their needs and address their problems. Here's a link to help identify your TALENTS:

24 October 2020 Helpful answer


Gail Baccetti Lake Geneva, WI

Daniel, I'd be happy to help you by phone and/or by email. I can send you a resume template, a sample of a completed resume, review what you have, talk about your questions and concerns, whatever would help you most. You can reach me at

23 October 2020 Helpful answer


Laura Nikolich Nashville, TN

Hi Daniel,

There are so many ways to tell your story. Personally, when I transitioned back to finance from bartending. Yes, bartending, I had a lot of work to do. Almost every skill I had from bartending translated into a trait that my managers wanted. You just have to find a way to speak the employers language. For example, "I have over 15 years of experience in client/customer facing roles. I'm calm in the face of adversity and excel in conflict resolution." The language I used sounded like something applicable to corporate America, and was far more professional sounding than, "I have bartended for 15 years, and when customers complain, I'm good at making them happy again." I would write down every skill you have, and then have someone help you translate those skills into something that your resume needs. Without knowing more about what you're interested in, my answer is a little ambiguous, but the best thing to do is reach out for help on your resume so that you are not over looked.

Also, I would look for target companies that you want to work for. Companies that you have heard good things about, are in your field of interest, and that you think share your values. Once you narrow that down, you can look on their websites, and check out if they have any job postings. When an employer posts a job, they will share some of the qualities that they are looking for in an employee. They basically give you the answers on how you need to portray yourself, and what skills they are looking for. You do not have to have a cookie cutter resume! If you see a job that is screaming your name, tailor your resume to fit that job. Use their words to describe yourself. It will help them see that you are a good fit!

I hope this helps!


19 October 2020 Helpful answer


Jennifer Polhemus Santa Monica, CA

This might help:

You can get a fuller response here if you explain a bit about your work background & what you are looking for.

18 October 2020 Helpful answer


Sheila McCormick Oakland, CA

happy to give you comments once you have a resume. I have done that for several others via ACP. Please send as a word document to

18 October 2020 Helpful answer


Gary Maier Hopewell Junction, NY

Hi Dan;

Do you need help in writing your resume ? There are plenty of resources available on line. I would first put a chronological resume together for the past 5 - 10 years but try to keep the word count down and summarize. Then post this on linkedin, Monster, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and others. Let me know how you make out


Karen Frank New Canaan, CT

Hi Daniel,

Lots of great advice already on here. I'll throw in my 2 cents. When I was a recruiter and then later a hiring manager, I noticed that the people who could tell a compelling story about their journey moved forward at all levels. So, I'd encourage you to think about what your personal career narrative is and consider the following questions:
- Why is what I'm saying meaningful to me and my career?
- What are some defining moments?
- What are some major lessons that I've learned?
- What are my career aspirations and how has what I've done helped to get me there?

Companies like to see the thread (even if it's not naturally apparent, you can create the narrative that will bridge that gap). Also, people like to see the growth potential and interest in a growth mindset.

Once you have your career narrative, that'll help you get a sense of what matters and what needs to go on the resume. A resume should not be thought of as a list of tasks and activities that you were responsible for while on the job, but a way to showcase and highlight what you've excelled at in your jobs.

Hope that helps!


Luke Raiano Bedford, NH

Daniel, I very much agree with many of the points made above, including your eval bullets are THE place to start. Also, skip the resume for just a moment: how would you tell your story face to face? What drew you to the military? What was your first minute/hour/day/week like at boot camp? How'd you choose your rate? Start here, capture some notes for a resume "scaffolding" and then absolutely engage some of the folks here that have offered help (of which I'm also one). Good luck!


Richard Darden Leesburg, VA


Thanks for your service from a Navy Vet. I would put a short summary of a tailored what you can do for that company based on what you have done in the past at the top of your resume. The average HR person spends 15 seconds on a first pass of a resume. You have to catch their eye. Here is a link to a IBM Webpage for Vets with some good tips.


Bob Fesler Matthews, NC

Hi Daniel, I see that you have been provided lots of good advice and links. As a first step in all of this, what is your passion? I know that is a buzz word but as a starting point, as you craft your resume, hone in on what you want to do and back it up with what experiences and knowledge that you have already that will catch the attention of the reader of the resume either human or Bot.


Jessica French Atlanta, GA

You could use bullets from an EPR (Enlisted Performance Report) from the Air Force--or the equivalent for your role in the Navy. That way you not only have robust bullets to include from your experience, you also have a reference to back it up (your rater/reviewer/supervisor). There is usually some impressive content within those reports over the years :)


Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!


Lex Levin Ellicott City, MD


Happy to help you. I'm a full-time professional resume writer and a former Fed specializing for the last 11 years in working with Active Duty and Reserve Service Members, Veterans, and Military Spouses transitioning to Federal or private sector work. I don't use templates and do all the work myself.

You can best get in touch with me through my website contact page:

Just answer a few questions, upload your current resume, and I'll review and advise.



daniel fraser Concord, NC

I appreciate all the insight here! I will take a few of you up on your offers, I just need some time to work on what I have before I ask anyone for their time. Thanks all!


Bob Molluro Wilmington, DE

Daniel most people spend an inordinate time on their resume which accounts for about 2%. The key is to develop "Killer Interview tools" that will improve your results substantially. If you would like a "FREE" one hour discussion just let me know. My email is I have used these techniques with 26 people who all succeed in getting the job, being promoted or getting into graduate schools. Eight are veterans like you.
Bob Molluro


daniel fraser Concord, NC

Thanks for the link Jennifer. Ill watch it here shortly.

And Sheila I appreciate the offer. Ill reach out to you once I have something worthwhile down on paper.

Your Answer

Please log in to answer this question.

Sign Up

You can join as either a Veteran or an Advisor.

An Advisor already has a career, with or without military experience, and is willing to engage with and help veterans.
Sign Up as an Advisor.

A Veteran has military experience and is seeking a new career, or assistance with life after service.
Sign Up as a Veteran.