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Military Experience and Your Resume

Your military experience is worth a lot to an employer who knows what it means. Unfortunately, such employers are getting rarer these days. This means that even though you know that your military time qualifies you for employment in many ways, you still have to work hard to sell yourself to an employer looking for professional work experience.

Highlight Your Skills with Bullet Points
Separating your accomplishments into distinct bullet points is nothing new to anyone who has written or received a Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Report (NCOER) or OER, or a military award. When considering your military accomplishments, list each military occupational specialty (MOS) you have held, and each distinct duty position that is different enough to merit a new bullet.

Translate Military Experience into Civilian Language
Say goodbye to acronyms. Since your civilian employer may not have served in the military, he won't know what you mean if your resume is peppered with military jargon. The best way to combat this problem is to find a civilian to read your resume. If there is anything that he or she doesn't understand, rewrite it in civilian terms, or at least expand it to explain what it means.

Feature Leadership Tasks
Details help an employer understand what your duties were really about. If you were a squad leader, tell how many soldiers you led at any particular time. If you were accountable for equipment, list an approximate dollar value.

Tailor Your Resume to the Job You Want
Don't assume that one resume fits every job. For each job that you consider, tailor your resume to that job specifically. Finding out what words and phrases will help you get that job is easy--just get a description of the job duties, and use the same terms, and apply them to your own experience.


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