3 Great Ideas for An Impressive Veteran Resume!

Separating from the military is challenging in terms of what’s next for jobs or education … and writing a resume that translates the military experience into the next set of skills for the next career.

When Jeremy Denton (my favorite sample in the book), separated from the USMC Crew Chief after 5 years, Jeremy decided to leave the aviation and helicopter industry and apply for entry- to mid-level positions in project management, program analysis and team work. Jeremy went to college on the GI Bill and completed his a BS degree in Political Science and began his government job search toward GS 7/9 positions as a Program Analyst or Administrative Specialist.

Here are three tips for writing an excellent federal or private industry resume for former military personnel. These tips were covered in the sample resume in the book. Jeremy’s “before” resume is on the eCD-ROM. And there is an amazing turnaround with the Before resume and After Resume. Ask for the book to see the before & after.

1. AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS – In addition to listing the actual award, write one or two sentences about why you got the award. The reasons you received the award could help an employer determine if you have the skills or competencies for their position. Write the accomplishment in your Work Experience section, showing that you received awards for outstanding service.

“As a USMC Crew chief, LOGGED 1,200+ FLIGHT HOURS WITHOUT A SINGLE LOSS OF LIFE OR AIRCRAFT during two tours in Iraq and in the United States, including during combat conditions. Earned numerous recognitions, including Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and numerous Air Medals. Participated in armed interdictions, border patrolling, medical evacuations of military and civilians, and special operations.”

Under the AWARDS section, list the Recognitions again:

“Navy/USMC Achievement Medal, 2007; 2 Iraq Campaign Medals, 2007, 2004; 16 Air Medals; USMC Good Conduct Medal, 2006; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 2004; National Defense Service Medal, 2003”

2. FEATURE YOUR BEST COMPETENCIES – Your specialized military skills may not be directly transferrable to a job in private industry or government, but your transferrable competencies WILL be very useful to your next employer. In the military you have become a team leader, scheduler, trainer, mentor, project leader, problem-solver, critical thinker, analyst, and you have proven your interpersonal skills. Write the competencies so that they stand out! Example:

“SCHEDULING AND COORDINATION: Performed daily inspections on assigned aircraft; assisted in preflight inspections performing final checks; monitored aircraft performance during flight; assisted as a lookout and advised pilot of obstacles and other aircraft.

TECHNICAL SKILLS: As Helicopter Mechanic, performed inspection and maintenance duties on various aircraft systems, including the fuel, flight control, rotor, utility, and power plant systems; checked cockpit controls, switches, and safety devices.

CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING: Analyzed weight, mission, cargo and prepared aircraft for maximum defense. Utilized evaluative and technical skills in operating aircraft mounted weapons systems.”

3. FEATURE YOUR SPECIALIZED TRAINING – The military provides some of the best leadership and technical training in the country. The training is impressive and can give the supervisor information about the types of technical skills you have developed in the service. These skills could be useful in your next career. This training is aviation oriented, and he will pursue positions that are not in the aviation industry, but Jeremy is including it in his resume, to demonstrate his technical training. Examples:

“Naval Aviation Air Crewman Candidate School at NATTC, NAS Pensacola, FL; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) School at Brunswick, ME; “A” and “C” school, CH-53E Crew Chief Training Syllabus at CNATT MAR Unit, MCAS New River, NC; “C” school, CH-53E Crew Chief Training Syllabus at CNATT MAR Unit, MCAS New River, NC; Plane Captain (PC) Ground syllabus for type aircraft.”


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