Military To Civilian Resumes: You Limited Civilian Experience Does Not Have To Cripple You

If you are like many other members of the military, then there is a good chance that your first real job and career was with the military so you're limited to just this. This can make it difficult because making the transition from a military to a civilian employee will be confusing. You will not know how to appropriately apply for a job nor will you know how to properly transition your military skills onto a civilian resume. Seeing as how you worked in the military for most of your working life, it is going to be important for you to use this experience in a way to sell yourself to civilian employers.


You'll have a lack of experience because you have never had to look for a job outside the military and if you did do a job search you probably only completed applications rather than use a resume and a job-search letter. This puts you at a tremendous disadvantage because you're not up to speed on how to write a resume or what type of resumes to put in to make them effective. You also do not know how to write a cover letter effectively, and this is one of the key tools you can use to sell yourself. The way to get around this would be to possibly have someone who is a professional write your resume for you. Professional resume cover letter writing and the like are nothing new, and you shouldn't be afraid to utilize them.


Your resume probably is now out of date, doesn't incorporate your most recent experiences, and may be inappropriate for today's new job market. What I mean by this is the job market is possibly changing, and the skills you may have must be tailored to fit this new market. You must be able to explain your military skills in a way that will be applicable to a civilian job. You also want to include information that is as recent as possible, these are the skills employers will look at and scrutinize the most. If you're able to convey recent skills you will be able to compete successfully in the civilian job market.

Chances are your resume does not make use of one of the various writing styles such as combinational, functional, and conventional. Your resume also probably does not focus on individual competence. Being a military serviceman or woman you probably have a lot of individual accomplishments you can put on your resume. You probably gained all of these while in the military, you can use these to sell yourself and look more favorable in the eyes of a civilian employer. If you do this effectively, you will have no problem making the transition from a military to a civilian. Experience is experience, and it can always be transferred into other areas of the job market.


Gail Esparan