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Military to Civilian Resumes

 What Is a Military Transition Resume?

Creating a military transition resume takes a lot of time, a lot of writing and a lot of effort. It means taking all the skills, knowledge and experience you acquired as a member of the military and effectively communicating your extensive expertise into civilian language.

A military transition resume is a document that effectively highlights a veteran’s military experience in a manner that is understandable in the eyes of non-military hiring authorities.  Additionally, a properly crafted military transition resume should allow non-military hiring authorities to compare the veteran’s experience and skills with competing civilian applicants.

Most veterans don't realize that translating military jargon into civilian jargon is more difficult than they thought it would be, especially for those who have served their country for a decade or more. In fact, the culture gap existing between the civilian and military workplace is remarkably broader and more distinct than it was just five or 10 years ago. Submitting a military transition resume that is not adequately de-militarized isn't likely to impart the valuable talents you have to a prospective employer, simply because that employer won't understand the true meaning behind all those acronyms, titles, awards and job skills you list in your resume.

Should I Add Military Experience to My Resume?


Of course, but it needs to be put into civilian language that impresses hiring managers in a way they can understand. Veterans have experienced more challenges and stressful situations than any civilian can imagine. With such an incredibly impressive set of accomplishments attributed to any veteran, you would think a military transition resume would stand out above hundreds of other resumes submitted. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Unless the hiring manager has served in the military, chances are that manager will have only superficial knowledge of exactly what a veteran has to offer their company. For example, only 1% of the U.S. population has served in the military so you need to be clear, concise, and competitive, bringing forth your skills, experience, education, training and accomplishments.

For example, how would a veteran who worked as a squad leader translate their position into civilian language? What would a civilian hiring manager think if a resume contained the phrases “directed subordinates” or “skilled in reconnaissance tasks?” Would a civilian know what skills an XO, 0-6 or petty officer of the watch has? Probably not. That's where many veterans have trouble writing a results-driven military transition resume.

How Do I Add Military Experience to My Resume?

Effectively interpreting your military experience for civilian hiring manager’s means learning how certain civilian terms correlate with military terms. If you were an executive officer in the military, you could translate this as having the skills and knowledge necessary for assuming an assistant director position for a civilian company. If you were a first sergeant, you might say you have the qualities to be a personnel supervisor. A supply manager in the military could apply for a position as a logistics manager or inventory specialist.

In addition to knowing how military jobs correspond to civilian jobs, veterans also need to learn about the different military transition formats available that can maximize the chance of getting an interview. Some civilian jobs require only a one- or two-page resume, while others expect longer, more detailed resumes such as the USAJOBS resume used to gain federal employment. Adding military experiences and skills to resumes of varying lengths means fully understanding the job to which you are applying and being aware of how to translate these skills into civilian jargon relevant to that position.

What Civilian Career Options Do I Have as a Veteran?

Veterans have limitless career options due to their experiences, acquired skills and upstanding character traits hiring managers love to see in job applicants. Some of the hottest career options veterans have today are IT specialist, operations manager, mechanical/computer engineer, logistician, intelligence analyst, customer service manager and federal government employee. Overseas contracting is another field actively searching for qualified veterans who aren't quite ready to settle down into civilian life. Veterans working as health care professionals in the military will also enjoy exploring dozens of career options in health care as a civilian.

How Can I Get Help With My Resume?

MilitaryResumeWriters offers the assistance of professional resume developers who are veterans themselves. With firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing veterans transitioning from the military to civilian life, our Master Career Advisors can create the consummate military transition resume for veterans wishing to pursue a particular career. Whether you want to work in the private sector, become a contractor or submit a high-ranking resume to USAJOBS, MilitaryResumeWriters provides the kind of superior, rigorous resume-creating service you deserve as a veteran with high expectations and hard-earned skillsets civilians do not possess. Many of our team members are prior military and understand both sides of hiring.

If you aren't sure what career field you would like to pursue, our Master Career Advisors can help you narrow your choices according to your experience, education and skills. We are also proud to have earned the Best Military Transition Resume award industry-wide for our continuing commitment to providing veterans with the best military transition resumes and high-quality customer support.

Don't spend hours laboring over your resume and worrying if you'll get an interview. Let us create your military transition resume so you get the interview and job you want and deserve as a U.S. veteran. Call 800-471-9201 today to speak to one of our expert career advisers.

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