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View Full Version : Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?



Creaminess
10-16-2012, 06:35 PM
While I'm not retiring in the immediate future, I'm looking to get a jump-start on writing my resume in a way where I can translate my military skills, expertise, and experience to a civilian resume.

For those of you who have done this, what resources did you use to help you? I'm looking for anything, whether it's online, books, or whatever. Not really wanting to pay for a resume writer, as I have the time now to do this myself since I'm not in a crunch. I also don't have the luxury of ACAPing right now, so I can't use that as a resource at this time but will be able to do so once I make the decision to hang up my boots.

I'm open to any suggestions anybody has of resources they used while writing their civilian resumes.

ttribe
10-16-2012, 08:53 PM
I did all of my resume writing with a MS Words resume template. I used the VMET site in the portal to draft(copy/paste) alot of the information on my career fields. I then tweaked, deleted, added, and so on. I built a large master resume, and then copied it and tailored it to individual companies I applied to. My USAJOBS resume was pretty close to the same thing. I also jammed in every bit of computer experience separated only by commas into the additional skills section.

Remember to save you work as .txt also. alot of HR sites need it in that format.

efmbman
10-17-2012, 12:02 AM
I did all of my resume writing with a MS Words resume template. I used the VMET site in the portal to draft(copy/paste) alot of the information on my career fields. I then tweaked, deleted, added, and so on. I built a large master resume, and then copied it and tailored it to individual companies I applied to. My USAJOBS resume was pretty close to the same thing. I also jammed in every bit of computer experience separated only by commas into the additional skills section.

Remember to save you work as .txt also. alot of HR sites need it in that format.

In addition to the above (which is good info), I would like to add that if you are applying for a fed job pay attention to the KSA's in the job announcement. If you looked in USAJOBS, you know what these are. If not: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. Work some (but not all) of the key words into your resume. There HR people are overwhelmed with applications, so they simply scan the resumes to locate KSA matches to the annoucements. Once done, then a human will actually read your resume. The rule used to be: your resume gets you an interview / a good interview gets you a job. In the Fed, you have to add the "scanned resume" step. It is what it is...

I had 30 different versions of my resume ready to go in Word format and I would upload the required one based on the job announcement. Of course, this is usually not required in the civilian world lol.

The VA website has a good tool for translating military skills to civilian terms. Also, take a look at the official federal resume template. Just Google, you will find it. If your resume does not meet the required template, you will not be considered. Remember, it is an automated step. More importantly, remember it is a sellers market for federal jobs - and they are the ones selling.

Rusty Jones
10-17-2012, 02:57 AM
There is so much information out there that contradict each other, so you'll actually end up tweaking your resume periodically until it gets the results.

The most import tweak that I made, which increased the number of calls that I received nearly threefold was switching from listing each command I was assigned to as separate employers to simply listing the Navy as one employer.

Pavegunner72
10-17-2012, 04:41 AM
Make sure you get on LinkedIn also and start networking there. You can get alot of ideas from there.

Creaminess
10-18-2012, 06:40 PM
Thanks to all for your input; very helpful. I'm on LinkedIn and should have remembered about VMET but that slipped my mind. I'm going to take everything you all provided and put it to good use. I greatly appreciate it.

Creaminess
06-21-2013, 01:43 PM
Any other suggestions?

CYBERFX1024
06-21-2013, 03:24 PM
Make sure to have numerous different copies of your resume. Because you will need to tweak it with each job application you submit. Do you know what format you want to do your resume in? Also please please please try and keep it down to 2 pages. Because alot of things tend to get repetitive. I use a combination resume and it has had great success for me.

Make sure to keep the body of the resume the same font and size. Yes you will need to change it for the headlines. But I have seen a guy use a different font for each job he worked and it looked atrocious. Also don't list all your units you have ever been with. Just list the Army, what years, and your last base.

garhkal
06-21-2013, 07:20 PM
Make sure you get on LinkedIn also and start networking there. You can get alot of ideas from there.

Is it getting to where its a requirement to be on that site?

efmbman
06-21-2013, 09:02 PM
Is it getting to where its a requirement to be on that site?

I found it counter-productive. I was overwhelmed with spam job announcements that were no even close to matching my skill set. That was just my experience, mileage may vary.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-21-2013, 09:58 PM
Along the lines of avoiding military jargon, don't be afraid to modify job history duty titles to match civilian equivelent positions. For example, I changed "Maintenance Operations Officer" to "Maintenance Director of Operations," and "Maintenance Flight Commander" to "Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor." There are other alternative civ titles, but choose any that appropriately represent your position.

As for USAJOBs, as mentioned you want to use the same verbiage that's included in the KSAs. For example, if you are experienced in reviewing training plans, but the KSA states "Scrutinizes training curriculum," then that's the EXACT verbiage you want to use in your résumé.

As for multiple versions of your résumé, that's not always necessary. You can also create a super resume that includes KSA verbiage from a number of different duty positions. It worked for me. Remember that the initial résumé review will be done by personnel people who are not associated or even co-located with your prospective new workplace. Once you make it past personnel, then they'll classify you as a qualified candidate and forward your résumé to the hiring authority, which is who you'll actually work for. You MAY or may not have an interview...just depends. But if they interview one candidate then they have to interview everyone they are considering.

Finally, in addition to the résumé, make sure you prepare a list of potential questions they'll ask you in an interview. There are typically several general questions they might ask (tell about your professional background, strengths, weaknesses, why are you best qualified, etc). Lot's of other good tips on the Internet too!

One last thing, the USAJOBS resume is a whole different animal than a regular résumé. The fed résumé needs to have A LOT of info and can be several pages long. A regular résumé should be no longer than two pages.

Good luck!

garhkal
06-22-2013, 04:23 AM
I found it counter-productive. I was overwhelmed with spam job announcements that were no even close to matching my skill set. That was just my experience, mileage may vary.

I'm getting the same from Monster.. Even after updating my profile to show i am no longer in Gulfport ms.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-23-2013, 03:10 PM
Indeed is a pretty good site to use. Based on your job desires, location, etc it does a great job sending you current postings. I haven't gotten any spam from them either!

raustin0017
06-23-2013, 08:58 PM
Any other suggestions?

Yes...check out http://www.careerproplus.com// They specialize in mil-to-civ resume writing. They took all my info and then hooked me up with someone from a similar career field who understood how to translate all the AF jargon into what corporate America is looking for. They base their price on your pay-grade. The basic pkg will include a 2-pg resume & cover letter. Landed a real solid job. Good luck...
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