Your military service has come to an end, but you have another battle: transitioning to civilian life. One of the most important tasks is transforming your military resume into one for a civilian job, and this doesn't have to be as difficult as it may first seem.
As LinkedIn emphasizes, your military experience is an asset, and you can use it to market your dedication, teamwork, leadership skills, and positive work ethic. Most employers realize that your military training brings cross-functional skills and are happy to hire veterans.
However, understanding how to highlight those skills and show why you're the best fit for a certain position is important, and in today's job market, those with the best resume and cover letter usually win.
Below, we provide military to civilian resume examples, but first, let's talk about some things to keep in mind.
Tips for Finding a Civilian Job With a Military Veteran Resume
The first thing you should do is identify the jobs you want to apply for. Did you particularly enjoy a certain aspect of your military service, and what would that look like in the civilian world? Once you have an idea of where you might want to start, research occupations until a career path becomes clear.
Keep in mind that civilian employers don't understand military job titles and duties. When you talk about your accomplishments, use easy-to-understand terminology that non-military employers can appreciate.
Use LiveCareer's military veteran resume examples to get you started, and once you think you're on the right track, ask for honest feedback from family, friends, and recruiters. Format consistency and proper grammar and spelling make a big difference, so proofreading is important. According to the Wall Street Journal, you should put the resume aside and come back to review it with fresh eyes after a lull.
Sample Former Military Transition Resume: Employee Training/Career Development/Performance Management
This resume emphasizes how coordinating scheduling, travel, and logistics translates into a senior HR Executive position in a civilian organization. Leadership skills, discipline, and leading by example are key traits that a military background hones and should be featured on your resume.
Although this is geared toward educational applications due to the resume writer's background in the military's Instructional Systems School, it can easily be tailored to suit oversight, recruitment, and other aspects of an HR position. The national and international scope of many military careers lends itself to the staffing and training needs of small and large civilian organizations.
Sample Former Military Transition Resume: Aircraft Maintenance & Quality Assurance
Your resume should consider the needs of potential employers, and this one showcases transferable skills in quality assurance, training, and leadership. The main thing an employer wants to know is how your background and service are relevant to the job.
This military veteran resume example would be ideal for a position in HR in nearly any industry. There is a strong emphasis on quality assurance that could be applied to careers in business, information technology, and aviation.
Sample Former Military Transition Resume: Physical Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer
This functional military to civilian resume example successfully highlights the positive work ethic and training experience received in the military. Recently discharged veterans are some of the fittest individuals in the country, making this career path a credible choice.
With your military background, you have learned how to care for your body and discipline your mind. Use this resume to showcase your knowledge of regimented fitness and good nutrition and emphasize your ability to motivate others.
Sample Former Military Transition Resume: Law School Application Resume
It may surprise you to find a law school application in these military veteran resume examples. However, as a returning service person, you have achieved a level of discipline that bodes well for success in a rigorous law curriculum.
Highlight any military experience, such as MP or other law enforcement details, that relates to an understanding of learning and enforcing laws. This resume emphasizes transferable skills, including courage, honor, dedication, and the ability to keep a cool head in stressful environments — all of which are great qualifiers for law school candidates.