How To Write A Military Resume

When you transition out of the military and start looking for a job in civilian life, you will soon realize that you cannot use military terminology when writing your resume. Writing a military resume is a bit different than writing an ordinary resume. This is because of the specific terminology used in military life and the particular skill set, which may or may not have relevance in civilian life.

The format of the military resume is the same as an ordinary resume. You do have to include a cover letter, a 1 – 2 page resume and a list of references. Some employers like to receive the letters of reference with the resume and job application, but the ad for the job will usually state if this is the case. When starting to write your military resume, look back over your military career. If it has been a lengthy one, or if you preformed a variety of jobs, you may want to look at the following documents:

  • Copies of NCOERs, FirReps, OERs and performance Evaluations
  • Copies of Training Certificates or Training Records
  • Copies of any awards or citations you received

The hardest part of military resume writing is trying to translate descriptions of work you did in the military into terminology that the ordinary civilian employer will understand. Avoid musing military acronyms, for example, in your resume. You have to look at the particular position you held and then think of ways that the duties you preformed prepared you for the job for which you are applying. Working with artillery, for example, can still be part of civilian life as there are positions at firing ranges, training civilians to handle firearms properly or even repairing firearms. The resume you would write for one of these positions would be different if you were applying for a civilian position with a company and a civilian position on a military base.

Subheadings on a resume make the various positions stand out. For each position or job you did, use clear and concise terms for the job title and use this as a bolded subheading. Under the subheading, you can provide a bulleted list of the duties you performed and the skills you attained. However, this skill set needs to be relevant to the job you are applying for, so you shouldn’t include any unnecessary information. If you received any awards or citations include these in a separate list.


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