To land a job in the business world, you’ll need to translate the valuable skills and experience you gained during your service into a resume that resonates with civilians.
But describing your military experience to a civilian audience can be challenging – most civilian hiring managers are unfamiliar with military roles and responsibilities, and military jargon and corporate lingo are very different.
That’s why we’ve asked our military recruiters to come up with these helpful tips you can use to make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves.
Tip #1: Explain how your experience makes you a good fit for the job.
Don’t just state that you were an infantry platoon sergeant and leave it at that. Help the hiring manager understand how they can benefit from the skills and experience you gained as an infantry platoon sergeant.
Beyond your rank and military grade, explain what you were accountable for, how many people you supervised and what skills uniquely qualify you for the position you’re pursuing. This professional summary can take the form of a bulleted list or a paragraph.
- Use language civilians can understand.
- Avoid military acronyms or jargon.
- Avoid long blocks of text.
- Use headings, bullets and numbers to make your resume easy to scan.
Tip #2: Showcase your education and training.
Include your educational background and highlight relevant coursework, training programs and certifications that you have completed or are undertaking.
- Don’t limit education and training to completed formal education or degrees.
- Share what you’ve learned both in the service and in your civilian life.
- Make sure to mention any accolades received.
Tip #3: Match your military roles with corresponding civilian functions.
Roles and job titles often vary between military service and civilian employers. For example, in the service, “communications” refers to information technology; among civilian organizations, “communications” typically refers to marketing and public relations.
Educate yourself on the civilian job market to make sure you’re using the appropriate titles and descriptions. For starters, check out the job descriptions on our Careers website.
Tip #4: Convert your military experience into civilian responsibilities.
Explaining to employers what you accomplished in the military in a way that resonates can be challenging. Convey your military successes by using language that someone who doesn’t have a military background can understand and relate to. To double-check, consider running your resume by a friend or loved one who’s never been in the service.
Here are examples of the types of experience you might have that civilians will identify with and value:
- Planning or designing
- Building or creating
- Supervising or managing
- Increasing or reducing
- Optimizing or maximizing
- Achieving or completing
Tip #5: List any volunteer experience, showcase your skills, even mention personal interests.
There's a lot more to you beyond your military experience. Help the hiring manager get a complete picture of everything you have to offer so they’ll be eager to call you in for an interview.
- List any volunteer experience you might have.
- Provide your soft skills – for example, how well you interact with people or your willingness to adapt.
- Even mention personal interests if there’s room.
To sum up, employers are looking for your skills – you just need to help them understand what you have to offer.
If you're ready to make Verizon your next assignment, visit our careers page for service members and veterans.