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How to Write a Military Resume


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So you're leaving the service and are faced with the daunting task of developing your resume. No doubt your military career is studded with accomplishments, but even the most decorated veteran needs to figure out how to make the transition to a civilian position. Instructions are listed below.

What is Your Civilian Job Objective?
You can't effectively market yourself for a civilian job if you don't have a clearly defined goal. Before writing your resume, research occupations and pinpoint a specific career path.  If you find that you cannot set only one goal, you can have multiple resumes. 

Create a Resume Employers' Want to Read
Now that your objective is defined, you are ready to go and write that eye-popping resume. Consider a resume's purpose: To answer the employer's question, "What can this person do for me?" Know what the employer wants and write your resume to their needs and job postings.  Research what types of skills and experiences employers are seeking. What aspects of your military and civilian background are most relevant?

Any information that does not relate to your goal should be eliminated or de-emphasized, and this includes any unrelated military awards, training and distinctions. For example, that medal you won for rifle marksmanship doesn't belong on a civilian resume. This is often the hardest step for ex-military personnel, which is why it's so common to see military resumes span five pages or longer. As you make the decision about which information to include, ask yourself, "Will a potential employer care about this experience?" Only include information that will help you land an interview.

When Writing Your Resume Assume the Employer Does Not Know You 
Demilitarize your job titles, duties, accomplishments, training and awards to appeal to civilian hiring managers. Employers with no military background don't understand military terminology, so translate these into words they can understand. Show your resume to several non-military friends and ask them to point out terms they don't understand.

Highlight Your Past Accomplishments
Your military career has offered you excellent opportunities for training, practical experience and advancement. Tell them about your accomplishments so the average civilian understands the importance of your achievements.
* Here's an example of a demilitarized accomplishment statement:
"Increased employee retention rate by 16 percent by focusing on training, team building and recognition programs. Earned reputation as one of the most progressive and innovative IT organizations in the Army's communications and IT community."
* Here's an example of incorporating a military award so employers understand its value:
"Received Army Achievement Medal for completing 400+ medical evaluations and developing patient database using MS Access. The database improved reporting functions and tracked patient demographics, records, medication, appointments and status."
Make Your Military Background Stand Out
You might have heard you need to downplay your military experience, but the opposite is true. Your military background is an asset and should be marketed as such. Many employers realize the value of bringing veterans on board. Attributes honed in the military include dedication, leadership, teamwork, positive work ethic and cross-functional skills. If you fear a potential employer won't realize the significance of your military experience, make sure your resume clearly communicates the value that you bring to the table.

If You Were in Active Combat, Do Not Specify the Details
Defending your country and its interests is among the most admirable pursuits, but the sad truth is actual references to the horrors of combat leave many employers squeamish. While you might have worked in a short-range air defense engagement zone, this experience might not relate to your future goal. Tone down or remove references to the battlefield.

Sample Resumes:

♦ Click here to view a sample military resume

Professional Military Resume

1234, Xxxxx 00 Street
Xxxxxx, MA 01741
(123)-456 7890

A highly organized, take charge professional with more than twenty years of law enforcement and security experience. Strong problem solving and decision making skills with the ability to develop and implement effective action plans. Demonstrated experience in the coordination of criminal investigations. Commitment to detail in doing the job right the first time in completing all projects. Excellent communication and presentation skills. A team leader, providing motivation and training by example. Computer literate.


●  Proven project management experience in the collection, analysis, and presentation of criminal evidence in compliance with law enforcement protocols.
●  Solid reporting skills in conducting thorough investigations and maintaining accurate records.
●  Hands-on experience in all aspects of motor vehicle accident, narcotics, and criminal investigations.
●  Strong instruction and training skills with individuals at all levels.
●  Certifications received: Narcotics & Dangerous Drug Law Enforcement Certification; National Crime Information FBI Certificate; School of Handguns Certificate.
●  Specialized training includes: Drug Enforcement, Narcotic Law Enforcement, and Computer Information Systems - International Intelligence Information Rating.
●  Professional affiliations include: Massachusetts Highway Association, Worcester and Essex County Highway Associations, Retired Massachusetts State Police Association, and Central Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.

                            20xx - 20xx
Deputy Sheriff
●  Coordinated all aspects of prisoner security and transportation from security facilities to courthouses, ensuring the safety of the community and the suspects. Additional responsibilities included serving civil process, evictions, and warrants within the jurisdiction.
●  Recognized for excellence in job performance.

MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE - Boston, MA:                                                                  20xx - 20xx
State Trooper

●  Conducted interrogations and pre-deposition interviews as part of ongoing criminal investigations. Served as an expert on narcotics, motor vehicle law enforcement, and accident investigations. Responsible for performing public records research, as well as coordinating interviews and reconnaissance for drug trafficking criminal investigations with other law enforcement departments. Trained and supervised new officers.
●  As court officer, consistently sought out for clarification on points of law and procedures by district attorneys, defense attorneys, and judges.
●  Career achievements in law enforcement include commendations from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Division of State Police, as well as numerous citations and awards for service.

Law Enforcement Program

Criminal Justice Coursework

Law Enforcement Program

Airman, Honorable Discharge

Intelligence Analyst

Xxxxxx Xxxxx
56 Yxxxxxy Avenue,
Xxxxxxxx, MD 00000

Seeking a challenging position of intelligence analysts where I can make the best use of my abilities and intelligence analysis skills.

Summary of Qualifications:
●  More than 8 years of intelligence analyst experience.
●  Superior writing and communication skills.
●  Knowledge of public policy and current events issues.
●  Familiar with the All Source Analyst System (ASAS LITE), Joint Intelligence Operations Capability (JIOC-I).
●  Excellent interpersonal and human relations skills.

Computer Skills:
●  Microsoft PowerPoint, MS Excel, MS Word, MS Access.
●  Microsoft trained in installing and configuring windows 2000 servers and printers.
●  Programming language knowledge such as Pascal, C, C++, J++, HTML, Visual Basic, etc.
●  Experienced in the development of web-based applications.
Professional Experience:
Intelligence Analyst                                                                                                                      (20xx-20xx)
United States Army, Iraq
●  Reported and discussed the course of action on the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threat to the senior level executive CBRN.
●  Worked with CIA, and DIA personnel to gain knowledge on various chemicals used by insurgents in manufacturing home-made chemical weapons.
●  Operated the Global Broadcast Service (GBS) providing support of the Unmanned Ariel vehicle (UAV) feeds and tactical imagery.
●  Participated with FBI investigating corrupt individuals within in the Iraqi government and police organizations by producing target packages, map products, timelines, and data-mining.
●  Generated final reports for investigative purposes.
●  Maintained systematic, cross-reference intelligence records and files.
Intelligence Analyst                                                                                                                        (20xx-20xx)
Northrop Grumman, Inc., Fair Lakes, VA
●  Prepared all-source intelligence products to support the combat commander.
●  Provided support to the ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) synchronization process.
●  Provided computer modeling and analysis support for NBC Defense studies.
●  Designed and implemented new pre and post processor tools for U.S. army combat model.
●  Provided all source analysis and reporting, supporting Operation Deliberate Forge, Libyan Freedom of Navigation.
●  Received and processed incoming reports and messages.

Educational Qualification:
-  MS of Intelligence Analysis, Michigan State University                                                                           (20xx)
-  BA in International Relations, Michigan State University                                                                         (20xx)

Usar Unit Administrator

Xxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
56 Xxxxxx Avenue,
Xxxxxxx, USA 000000
Ph. 888-888-8888

Seeking a challenging position of USAR Unit Administrator in the military field where I can apply the experience and knowledge.

Summary of Qualifications:
◊  Knowledge of USAR programs and policies.
◊  Strong organizational and communication skills.
◊  Ability to work well with others to accomplish a common goal.
◊  Ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.
◊  Ability to obtain and maintain a secret security clearance.

-USAR Unit Administrator,                                                                                      (20xx-20xx)
-Department of the Army: Army Reserve Command, Los Alamitos, CA
◊  Performed administrative, clerical and supply functions in support of the unit.
◊  Implemented administrative plans, policies and procedures established by the commander.
◊  Prepared and processed personnel, pay, supply action, maintenance of records and files.
◊  Interviewed individuals interested in assignment, advised on army reserve program and unit vacancies, answered general inquiries.
◊  Served as the principal administrator responsible for performance of a variety of technical, analytical, advisory, and coordinating duties for the USAR Unit Commander in accomplishing the overall functions of the unit.
◊  Assigned, distributed and reviewed work of subordinate unit sections and personnel.
◊  Served as the key point of contact regarding recruitment and retention for the unit.

-Supervisor Unit Administrator,                                                                               (20xx-20xx)
-Army Reserve Command, Ayer, MA
◊  Managed personnel, finance, and automated systems activities.
◊  Represented commander by establishing goals and objectives, and setting priorities for accomplishing overall organizational functions.
◊  Assisted the commander in establishing unit and individual training goals and objectives.
◊  Managed unit and individual training.
◊  Interpreted training directives and guidance.
◊  Managed and provided technical review of completed personnel actions.
◊  Managed the unit supply program.
◊  Planed and established priorities.

Master of Business Administrator in Finance, University of Texas                                             (20xx)
Bachelor of Science, University of Texas                                                                                (20xx)

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