Military Employment Guide: Resume Writing for Military

Resume Writing Tips Military

Step by Step Guide to Employment: Resume for General Military

You have spent the time to figure out what you want your post-military career to look like. You have figured out what you want to pursue, and what types of jobs to apply for. But, before you even apply for these jobs, you need to make sure your resume is done and done correctly. 

You might never have had to create a civilian resume, or maybe you haven’t worked on yours for a long time. Having a good resume is very important. You want to present your best self, starting with your resume. Doing so will grab the attention of the company and help sell your strengths, and hopefully get you that job interview. 

Format – Functional and Chronological

You have a choice between using a functional resume or a chronological resume. What’s the difference? A functional resume groups your skills by job function or expertise. Your skills and achievements are divided into specific areas of expertise. 

A chronological resume is the more common type of resume. They capture your work experience from the most recent job to the oldest job. All of your skills and accomplishments would be listed within each job section. 

Build a Master Resume With All Employment Experience (5 -6 pages)

You will now want to start working on your master resume. This would be a document that would list all of your information. You wouldn’t necessarily send this out to anyone but would use it to pull information for when you are putting a resume together for a particular job. 

On your master resume you would want to include the following:

  • Work History 
  • Education
  • Achievements
  • Awards
  • Skills
  • Training
  • Publications
  • Certifications
  • Licenses
  • Part-time work
  • Volunteer information 

Once you have created your master resume, you will be able to see everything you have to offer a future company. It can also show you any gaps you may have or what you could potentially do for a job. 

Gather up old resumes and other paperwork to help get all the information together. Remember this could take some time. Include as much information as you can. It does not have to be as short as the resume you will send out for a job. 5-6 pages is ideal. 

Make sure to translate everything into civilian terms. Civilians won’t know what most military acronyms mean. Use’s Military Skills Translator to help you figure out what the civilian terms would be. 

Professional Resume (1 – 2 pages)

Once your master resume is complete, you can start on your professional resume, which is what you would use to apply for most jobs. This would be 1-2 pages and summarize what an employer would need to know, based on the job you are applying for. You might have different professional resumes for different types of jobs.

Catalog Your Accomplishments, Awards, Publications

Go through your master resume and find what accomplishments, awards, and publications to include that can help you stand out when applying for this particular job. Use numbers to highlight your accomplishments, such as “Managed a team of 10.” Include military honors and awards.

Education and Training 

Include all of your education and training, especially what would directly apply to the job you are applying to. Translate your skills from military to civilian terms. You want the potential employer to be able to easily see what you have to offer, in terms they understand. Include the educational institutions and the degrees earned, but dates can be optional. 

Job History

Add your job history including the name of the company, your position, the dates that you worked there, and your job duties. This includes your time in the military. Remember, your work history might be the most important part of your resume.

Identify Your Marketable Skills

Marketable skills are skills that when added to your resume, boost your chances of getting an interview. Some examples would be content writing, project management, social media, and bookkeeping. Go through your previous employment or volunteer work and pull out your marketable skills and make sure they are on your resume. 

Professional References

You may be asked to provide professional references. You wouldn’t want to put them on your resume to begin with. It would be a good idea to gather them so you are ready if they are asked for. Professional references are people that can provide a recommendation and confirm your qualifications for a particular job. Think about former professors or teachers, former employers or coworkers, and even former clients you may have worked for in the past. 

You can also get help with putting together your resume. Here is a list of places that can help you do so: