The resume is a selling tool that outlines your skills and experiences so an employer can see, at a glance, how you can contribute to the company. More to the point, what we are actually doing is applying for an interview. Only in the rarest of cases will a resume directly secure a job offer. The goal of an effective resume is to highlight and summarize a person’s qualifications.
The first step in creating your resume is to determine which jobs you are both qualified for and interested in. In today’s job market it is crucial to be as specific as possible. Your experience in the military has probably given you a wide variety of skills that you can apply in several career fields.
Once you have identified the types of positions you want to pursue, you need to select a resume format that best introduces you to the job market. This is a marketing decision based on the message you want to send to a potential employer. Target your skills to fit the job you are applying for.
There are 4 commonly used resumes today:
Chronological: The most widely used format, Logical flow, easy to read, Showcases growth in skills and responsibility.
Functional: Emphasizes skills rather than employment, Organizes a variety of experience (paid and unpaid work, other activities, Disguises gaps in work record or a series of short-term jobs.
Combination: Highlights most relevant skills and accomplishments, De-emphasizes employment history in less relevant jobs, Combines skills developed in a variety of jobs or other activities.
Targeted: Personalized to company/position, shows research, more impressive to employer, written specifically to employer’s needs.
As you create you resume, avoid military jargon and military terms. Most civilian employers will not understand military jargon, abbreviations and acronyms. Use the following guidelines to prevent this problem:
-Write out terms and, when necessary explain what they mean
-For specialized military training, list the names and number of hours of professional and technical training you have taken.
-Briefly explain any course that may be pertinent to the job.
-Use civilian equivalent phrases and titles. Civilian recruiters will not take the time to translate your resume into civilian terms, and therefore may not see you as qualified for the position. Military terms such as: TDY/TAD= Business related travel, PCS=Relocation, Basic Training=Introductory military training, E7 to E9= Director, Supervisor, Department Manager, Operations Manager, Senior Advisor, E4 to E6= Assistant Manager, Line Supervisor, Section Leader, Task Leader, Supervisor, Foreman, E1 to E3= Production Worker, Assembler, Technician, Assistant, Apprentice, Team Member
1. Write your resume to show employers three things:
a. The amount and kind of responsibility you have handled.
b. The results you have achieved
c. The relevancy of your past responsibilities and accomplishments
2. List your achievements and how you solve problems, not simply your responsibilities. Explain how you increased operational efficiency, the amount of money you saved or raised, the number of people who used the service or product, the action that came about as a result of your efforts, etc. Write these items in phrases that identify the problem, note the solution, and describe the result.
3. Use statistics or numbers when you can, to show the results of what you did. Identify types of people, services, products, and programs with which you have worked.
4. Write your own resume. Seek all the advice...