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.
- 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.