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Thread: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

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    Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    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.

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    Senior Member ttribe's Avatar
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    Re: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    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.

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Re: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttribe View Post
    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.

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    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.
    "Well... Uber's going to "driverless" cars soon, and their research probably shows that they're a natural fit (when it comes to getting paid for doing nothing)."
    -Rainmaker, referencing black males

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    Re: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    Make sure you get on LinkedIn also and start networking there. You can get alot of ideas from there.

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    Re: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    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.

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    Re: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    Any other suggestions?

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    Re: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    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.

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    Re: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pavegunner72 View Post
    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?

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Re: Good resources for military-to-civilian resume writing?

    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    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.
    When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
    -GEN Bruce C. Clarke

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