Keywords, Portrayal of Skills and Accomplishments Can Boost Career Transition

Jan writes:
I left a successful military career 15 years ago during the drawdown after the First Gulf War. Within a year I had a full-time job teaching in public schools. Teaching has always been a strength and I enjoy it but I am now ready for another challenge.

My conundrum is that I feel I have a wealth of good experience and knowledge but because it has not been all in one industry or related industries I am not sure how to communicate it the best way to employers. I also may be subject to age-discrimination.

What is your advice about how I can best frame my accomplishments and skills?

The Career Doctor responds:
You don’t say what kind of job you seek next but my basic advice would be to carefully scrutinize keywords in the ads/job postings/job descriptions that interest you and then not only use the keywords in your resume and cover letter but give examples of how you’ve successfully used the skills related to those keywords. Read more about keywords here.

You could also experiment with a chrono-functional resume organized by skills. Many employers don’t like them but it may be worth experimenting to see if that format would work for you. Read more about resume formats here.