How to Translate a Military Resume to Civilian Resume


Your resume is not what gets you hired. Your resume is what gets you the interview where you can present yourself in the best light so you will be offered a job. Use action words in your resume. Write short concise sentences. Do not worry about using sentence fragments, they are allowed and even expected on a resume. Write in an active voice verses a passive voice. Instead of writing that computers were maintained by you write instead that you oversaw computer maintenance.

You want to use your resume as an announcement. And you want your announcement to send the message that you are the right person for the interview and job. To do this, your resume should not be written in military jargon. You cannot expect civilians to understand military terms. And you do not want to spend the time you could be highlighting your experience with explaining to the interviewer what terms on your resume mean.

Make sure you list on your resume your job objective. Line this up with the company you are interviewing with and the position you know is open. Write your job objective after your name and contact information. Make sure you align your military experience and skills with the requirements for the job you are interviewing for. If they do not match up exactly, take the characteristics of what you learned in the military and match them up to the characteristics common to the position you are interviewing for.

Use your resume as a presentation piece. Refer to it when you are answering questions or making statements during the interview. This will show that you effectively use written materials as part of your oral presentation. The interviewer will appreciate your organized and persuasive manner.

Have references ready if they ask however. Have them listed on a separate sheet of paper. Try to have more than military references. When you get to the interview your resume has said a lot about you already. Now it is time to fill in the blanks. It is time to say about yourself what you did not have room for on one piece of paper to write.

How to prepare a military resume is really a lot like any other resume. But when you line it up in accordance with the civilian job you are looking for you will be ahead of the game. Now get out there and get the job you want.