Top Resume Tips for Veterans to Find Job Search Success


Job search success is a goal that many of our nation’s veterans have difficulty finding, but these top resume tips for veterans can help. Our country owes so much to each and every veteran and we want them each to succeed and have an easy transition back into the civilian job market. Our country’s veterans bring such great skills and experience to share with our nation’s employers, but many have difficulty making their military experience relevant to employers on their resume.

The Broadway musical “Hamilton” features a song, “My Shot,” that tells about a young Alexander Hamilton eagerly embracing the challenges in front of him to make a difference and become a leader in the fight to build a new nation. That same eagerness exists in our veterans returning home. It is a time of great excitement, as well as great nervousness. The transition is often not easy, and thankfully we have some top resume tips for veterans and resources available to help

Job Search Challenges for Veterans

It is no secret that many of our nation’s veterans struggle to find work after their military service ends. No doubt, there are many challenges that face our veterans, and not all of them are related to finding work.

Many veterans find it difficult to translate their experience and service into a set of skills that employers can understand and need. This is because much of the experience gained in the military is very specific to military equipment, processes, and procedures that are not relevant outside the military. But, in fact, it is relevant. This is by far the biggest complaint I hear from veterans is that no one wants someone with experience preparing, maintaining, and operating a specific piece of military equipment. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, true, company ABC does not own or operate military equipment so there is no need for that SPECIFIC skill, and that’s OK. You didn’t really think you would be running military equipment in the civilian workforce, did you?

This is where many veterans often don’t see the forest through the trees. The higher level skills that it takes to perform that can translate very well to working with other equipment or managing processes and operations and teams. You need to remove a lot of the military-speak specifics from your experience and speak about your background in a way that a civilian employer will understand and appreciate. Employers often don’t understand, or really even care about the detailed specifics of military equipment. Your goal is to be able to convey your experience at the right level of detail that an employer can see it in terms of their own world and appreciate how your skills will help them.

So, unless you are seeking a civilian position as a military consultant or contractor, you must find a way to convey your military experience in a way that competes with civilian job seekers and that makes your experience relevant to what the company is seeking. This not an easy task, and I am not suggesting that is. It often takes many iterations of resume to get the balance right. But, if you send out 100 resumes and get no interest or calls, you definitely have a resume problem.

If you are not up to the challenge yourself, there are top resume writers who have great track records working with veterans. In fact, top resume writer, Jessica Hernandez of Great Resumes Fast, was recognized on Resume Remodeler’s list of 2016 top resume writers as #1. Great Resumes Fast has worked extensively with veterans and helped them to successfully make the transition to civilian work. If you are struggling in your job search, sometimes honest advice and assistance from a professional with a successful track record like Jessica Hernandez is exactly what a veteran needs to make things happen. Check our review of Great Resumes Fast for more information on why we selected her as the top resume writer for 2016.

Top Resume Tips for Veterans

Here are our top resume tips for veterans to help get your veteran job search on track.

  1. DE-MILITARIZE YOUR RESUME. Many veterans will take this the wrong way. Please know that in no way is this tip meant to take away from your service and experience. Please recognize that most companies do not have a need for someone to operate or maintain a howitzer or tank. However, this does not mean that these skills are not valuable or needed. You just need to present them differently to a civilian employer than you would to the military. It is your job to help a potential employer see the relevance of your skills to their needs, do not expect them to do research and make those connections, especially in a tight job market.

See all 8 tips and the complete ResumeRemodeler article

21 Things Recruiters Absolutely Hate About Your Resume

Written by Lindsay Kolowich | @

I’ll never forget one of my first job interviews out of college.

I was applying for a marketing position at a technology company. (No, not HubSpot.) Because my college major had nothing to do with marketing or technology, I’d written “Relevant coursework: Statistics” in the education section of my resume in an effort to draw a connection.

When I came in to interview, everything was going great — until I met with one of the company’s VPs. He sat down, turned my resume over on the table in front of him, scribbled down an advanced statistics question, and pushed it across the table to me.


Let’s just say it’d been a while since I brushed up on my statistics. I ended up reasoning my way through the problem, but it wasn’t a piece of cake — and I was stressed as heck. I learned an important lesson that day: Never put something on your resume you can’t back up 100%. That, my friends, is just one of the many things recruiters hate to see on resumes.

Every recruiter has their own list of things they don’t like to see on resumes, and you never know who’s going to see yours. That’s why it’s important to avoid all the most common resume mistakes.

I spoke with some of the top recruiters here at HubSpot to find out the top 21 things recruiters and hiring managers don’t want to see on your resume. Needless to say, you may want to bookmark this one …

1) When you send it in a Google Doc, and then don’t grant proper permissions.

Before you send your resume to a recruiter, you need to convert it to a format that allows all recipients to read it as intended.

Ideally, this means converting it into a PDF format so none of the original formatting or spacing is lost in translation. You can convert a Microsoft Word document into a PDF by choosing File > Save as Adobe PDF.


If you have to send your resume over as a Google Doc, at least grant the recipient proper permissions to view it by clicking “Share” in the top-right corner of your Google Doc, entering in the email address of the people you want to include, and choosing “Can view” from the dropdown menu.


Or, you can let anyone read it by clicking that “Share” button and then choosing “Get shareable link” at the top. Then, choose “can view” from the dropdown menu and send that link to the recruiter.


We recommend a PDF format, though. It’s much more professional.

3) When you mention the wrong company. (Oops.)

Of course, no one ever means to address the wrong company in their resume. But if you’re including your intentions as a candidate somewhere on your resume (which we don’t recommend, by the way; see #10), then you need to get it right.

“It’s unfortunate when a candidate has a good resume or cover letter, but don’t proofread and put in the wrong company information,” says Emily MacIntyre, Senior Marketing Recruiter here at HubSpot.

Getting this right goes beyond proofreading; it means paying attention to the details of the transaction. Customizing your resumes to different companies is expected, but you need to make sure you’re sending the right resumes to the right companies. One tip is to save your different resumes with the company name in the title, like Kolowich-Resume-HubSpot.

8) When you’re “Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.”

Almost every single candidate feels the need to include this phrase on their resume — but recruiters hate to see it. Basic proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite is assumed for college graduates these days.

“Unless you can run pivot tables, VLOOKUPs, and complex data modeling out of Excel, then don’t include proficiency in Excel on your resume,” says Marsters. “Writing a 500-word essay in Word and sorting a column in alphabetical order in Excel does not count as proficiency in those systems.”

Pro Tip: If you want the Excel chops to be able to include it on your resume, here are the 10 best resources for learning Excel online.

See all 21 things and the complete HubSpot article

How to Job Hunt When You Can’t Leave Your Job Yet

By Sara McCord

You hate your job and can’t wait to be anywhere else—except twist, you have to stay for at least a little while longer. Maybe the hours allow you to care for a sick loved one, that promotion you’re in line for will set you up to qualify for different roles, or that quarter-end bonus is going to help you finally get out of credit card debt.

So, right now, your job search is a lot of hurry-up and wait. You want to be ready the very moment you can start applying, but right now, you have to bide your time.

Here’s how to be proactive—and patient—so you can strike when it’s time:

3. Warm Up Your Network

Sure, you can’t ask for a referral yet; but you don’t want “Can you get me a job?” to be the first thing you say to someone after you’ve fallen out of touch anyhow. If it’s been a while, make an initial effort to reconnect by sending on an interesting article or a note to see how the other person is doing. Bonus: The holidays are a great excuse to get back in touch!

Keep in mind, you don’t want to jump from ghost to stalker. It’ll seem insincere (and slightly bizarre) if you go from no contact in three years to suddenly messaging that person at your dream company each week like you’re BFFs.

Additionally, you don’t want to wholly bury why you’re reaching out—at the risk of seeming like you’re leading them on. So, while you may not be ready to announce that you’ll be looking for a new job, you can mention that you’re interested in learning more about the other person’s industry or role, and ask if you could send on a few questions. This positions you perfectly to ask further questions (like insider tips for getting a job!) when you are ready to start your search.

When you don’t like your job, it’s understandable that you’d want to spend your free time on hobbies, and wait to job search until you can actually make a move. However, taking these actions now will help you hit the ground running when you are ready to look—so you land a new role that much faster once the time is right. Not to mention, they’ll help you stay sane, too, because while you’re still stuck at your job by day, by night you’re already preparing for that role of your dreams.

See tips 1,2, and the complete TheMuse article

9 Job interview tips from the presidential debates

By Jeffrey Kudisch

As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go toe-to-toe to lead the nation, I can’t help but draw analogies to an average American’s job search. The recent debates were like the job interview in the presidential race, with plenty of lessons — and examples of what to do and what to avoid — for today’s jobseekers to take away.

To trounce the other candidates and win the job:

1. Be succinct. No one likes a long-winded answer, so keep your responses in a job interview to the point and clear. Try to limit your responses to two to three minutes each. Beware of unrelated tangents. Don’t let your interviewer have to jump in to ask you to wrap it up and move on, as we saw several times with both candidates during the debates.

2. Actually answer the questions. The presidential candidates are masters at redirecting questions to fit the answers that they want to give. But this won’t go over well in a job interview. Listen closely to an interviewer’s questions and respond with a thoughtful answer or an anecdote that showcases how your strengths fit their needs. Try to align your responses to the organization’s mission, values and core leadership competencies when possible.

7. Be ready to think on your feet. Your interviewer may throw you a curveball question, but if you’re on your toes with your interpersonal savvy you’ll do well. Take a moment to think about and reflect on a question before jumping in. Come across as confident, strong, adaptable and intellectually curious.

See all 9 tips and the article

Manage Your Job Search in Evernote

by Greg Wén

Job hunting can be an overwhelming experience. Whether you’re about to embark on your career, searching for new challenges, or exploring your options, Evernote helps you take control of your job search. Collect job advertisements, organize your applications, and keep résumés/CVs, work samples, letters of recommendation, and contact details in Evernote.

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Create a career portfolio

Preparation is often the key to success. Taking the time to prepare in advance will make your job search quicker, easier, and much more painless.

1. Create a notebook dedicated to your career

The first step is to set up a workspace in which you keep your job-related material. You can title your notebook however you like. It might be empty at first, but don’t panic.

After you’ve created your notebook, think of the various ingredients that go into any job application. What pieces of information do you need on hand when applying for a position?

  • Curriculum vitæ or résumé
  • Cover letter or letter of motivation
  • Samples of previous work
  • Photo (if including a photo in your application is common practice with where you live)

Chances are, your information will come in a variety of formats: Word docs, PDFs, images, or even multimedia files. But no matter the format, you can keep them all in the same note—which brings us to the next step.

2. Create a note dedicated to your work history

In your “Professional” notebook, create a new note and give it a name. This will be your career portfolio note, where you will keep your CV, résumé, cover letters, and sample work.

Tip: Add “@” before the title of your note to pin it to the top of the note view for easier access as you fill up your notebook with more information.

Your career portfolio note is where you keep all of your application pieces in one place. If you already have previous versions of your CV, résumé, cover letters, sample work, photos, sound files, and videos, add them as attachments or links into this note.

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3. Maintain your career portfolio note

Rad the rest of the Evernote blog post

10 Real People on How They Landed 10 Jobs They Love

By Alyse Kalish

We’re constantly telling people to “follow their dreams” or “find their passions,” but we also understand that this might sound easier than it is.

So, we want to make this journey more tangible for you—and we know just who you should listen to.

We’ve collected the 10 best stories from real, live people on how they stumbled upon, applied for, and landed their dream jobs. Plus, some tips they have for ending up in the perfect gig—just like them!

1. I Defined What I Wanted in a Job and Landed One That Doesn’t Feel Like Work

Try your hardest to define what exactly you’re looking for. Very often I find myself asking my friends who are not completely happy with their current job what they ultimately want in their career, and many of them say they have no idea. Don’t be one of those people! Do research, find out where you want to go, and form a plan with digestible steps that can help move you toward your goals.

—Hark Verbicar, Software Engineer at VideoBlocks

10. I Combined My Different Passions and Experiences Into a Dream Job

Find out what you would like to do, and don’t be afraid to combine interests. I’ve had jobs in various fields, and lots of interests. This can seem like I’m all over the place, but I decided not to limit myself and searched for jobs that would combine my passions as well as a company that would be a fun, dynamic, and stable place to work.

—Rebecca Mills Shenkman, Sales Associate at Schoology

See all 10 and the complete “The Muse” article