How to add military experience to a resume

How to add military experience to a resume

In the military, service members gain an immense amount of skills, achievements, and knowledge to make them excellent candidates for any organization. The most significant task military members have in their military to civilian transition is securing a job that matches these skills. Applying for jobs is a difficult task for anyone, and typically a task completed alone. For military members, applying for jobs is more challenging. Why? Military experiences gained during active service do not translate easily to civilian terms on a resume.

To help military members navigate their transition, we put together tips to write a five-star resume to optimize the chance for success.

  1. Link your skills and your employer’s needs together .

It is essential to know which career field you want to enter before writing a resume. You must tailor your resume specifically to each job application. Start by listing your experience and duties performed. Then compare your relevant skills with the qualifications and requirements for the position you are applying for. Use the connections you make to build a resume that mirrors the employer’s needs.

If you are not sure which career option is best for you, take an interest assessment to find areas that match your skillset.

  1. Make your resume “civilian friendly.”

Always assume that potential employers do not understand military terms. You have valuable skills, and it is important to communicate that in a language that others understand. Instead of classifying your military job position as a senior infantry sergeant, you can classify it as a senior logistics supervisor. If you need assistance, you can find civilian skills translators online to help you find correct and appropriate terms to translate your experience.

  1. Highlight your accomplishments.

Demonstrate your value and work ethic by including medals, awards, or recognitions you have earned. If you want to stand out, benchmark your accomplishments with data and numbers. Think about how you were evaluated for your job achievements and turn that into numbers: You can list the budget amounts you handled or the number of people and supplies you managed. These accomplishments will help employers better understand your strengths.

  1. Structure your resume.

Format your resume so that it looks organized and concise. Creating sections in your resume will help you stand out. Select a resume style that works for you, but be sure to include important information that employers look for, such as:

  • Name and contact information
    • Include your full name, email address, phone number, and home address.
  • Summary or objective
    • In two to five lines, connect your military experience and qualifications needed for the role you are applying for. The summary is a place to highlight what makes you the ideal candidate.
  • Professional or military experience
    • Use this section to list the positions you held during your time in the military, along with a timeline. Highlight your responsibilities and achievements that match the ones listed in the job description to show you are an ideal candidate.
  • Relevant skills
    • Add in any training or skills you learned in the military that will make you stand out, such as computer skills or different languages.
  • Education and training
    • List colleges, schools, or any military training schools that you attended. Include the name, location, and time frame that you attended.
  • Awards and achievements (optional)
    • List any medals, accomplishments, honors, or awards by their title and the year they were received.
  1. Proofread your resume and ask someone to give you feedback.

Read your resume out loud and check for spelling, grammatical errors, formatting issues, missing information, and verify the keywords in your resume are tailored to the job description. It helps to have a second person proofread it and give you additional feedback. It’s always helpful to have a second set of eyes to look for any errors you may have missed. Remember, a resume is an instrument that proves your qualifications and potential. Take your time revising your resume.

Use this resume as an example of how to incorporate your military experience into your resume:

Erick Jones
(520) 237-0756
[email protected]

Information Technology U.S Army member seeking an information technology manager role. Successfully trained 30 team members and improved computer maintenance turnaround times by 35%.

Military experience

Information Technology Specialist Supervisor

U.S. Army, 2018-2020

  • Directed a team of 30 Information Technology Specialists
  • Used attention to detail to create complex computer programming and digital security software
  • Strengthened computer maintenance protocols using problem-solving skills to reduce issues and security risks

Information Technology Specialist

U.S. Army, 2016–2017

  • Installed, configured, and monitored computer security systems and software
  • Developed information technology procedures and reports detailing confirmation of IT resolution
  • Assisted in resolving technical computer operations equipment problems

Training and technical skills

  • Four years of utilizing iOS and Microsoft Windows Server operating system
  • Four years of technical support
  • U.S. Army Signal Support Systems Specialist Course (AIT)
  • CPR and first-aid certifications
  • Fluent in Spanish

Military honors

  • Achievement Medal, Information Technology Security (2020)
  • Honorable discharge (2019)

This article is created in partnership with the Maricopa County Community Colleges and Pipeline AZ to help military and veteran communities transition back to civilian life, connect and succeed. Funding for this initiative is made possible in part by the Maricopa County Community Colleges Foundation

How to add military experience to a resume

As a member of the U.S military, one cultivates valuable skills and experience that come in handy in the civilian workforce.

However, translating this information and getting the message across during a job hunt can be a struggle. With only thirty seconds to impress the hiring manager, you need them to understand what you can offer. So, to learn how to add military experience to a resume, follow these steps.

● Avoid military jargon or acronyms

One of the significant steps of presenting your military experience on a resume is doing away with military jargon and acronyms. Any hiring manager should be in a position to understand all the information you have outlined in your resume. None of them have the time to research what the military jobs you held means.

Make it easier for them, according to, who offer essay writing services. Use plain language to explain all your experience, rankings, duties, and accomplishments. Also, utilize online tools that rephrase military terms into words understandable to civilians. In this way, the hiring managers understand and appreciate all you have to offer without much struggle.

● Focus on military experience that shows your leadership characteristics

Another step in transforming a military to civilian resume is exhibiting your main strengths. Many employers want potential employees who are go-getters and independent. So, according to WikiHow, capitalize on all your skills that depict your leadership positions and achievements in the military.

Among what to put under leadership on resume include leadership positions, training, solving problems, teamwork, and excellent communication skills. To be successful at this, you will need to have an art of matching military experience to the position of interest by finding where these characteristics overlap.

For example, if you were in charge of the infantry (training) in the military and you are eyeing a customer service job. You need to show how leadership and problem-solving skills came in and the experience you got that relate to the position.

● List your military positions, responsibilities & honors

While writing your resume is aimed at introducing you to the civilian workforce, your military experience is essential to your job hunt. However much you need to translate it, you need to let employers know how valuable an army member you were. If you still feel that your resume is not perfect you can ask professionals:

“Will you rewrite my resume?”. They offer resume writing services, including them in a different section of military experience. Begin by noting down the military positions and skills you have had. For example, were you a Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, or Major General?

Next, list your accomplishments such as promotions, initiatives you introduced, and training you spearheaded. Indeed also encourages you to include military honors as well and any training expertise.

● List any technical skills

Another step to transform a veteran resume into a civilian one is outlining your technical skills. While your military experience may be impressive, other job applicants may have just as remarkable experiences too. So, to stand out, you need to show any additional technical expertise you acquired during your military career, which makes you an ideal employee. Such could include foreign languages learned, budgeting skills, skills in computer programming, analysis of intelligence, and managing projects. Such technical skills bring out your hands-on proficiencies that are vital in today’s job market.

● Proofread and edit your resume

Going through your resume and editing it is another step you should not ignore when adding military experience to a civilian resume. You want to put across all your qualifications and expertise so that the hiring manager can get to know you. So, having mistakes and typos in your resume is unacceptable. An experienced job seeker needs to be perfect, and having excellent writing skills is the way to go. Ensure you read through your resume as many times as possible and identify typos, grammatical, spelling, or punctuation mistakes. Correct them and ensure your writing goes straight to the point; it is clear and explains everything about you.

● Ask a civilian to read your resume and make notes

While you may be good at correcting mistakes and drafting a resume to perfection, according to, fresh eyes are better. In this case, a non-military individual would be ideal, as they have composed several civilian resumes before. Also, you are transforming your resume from what you know to what an ordinary person would understand. So, a civilian would be better at letting you know whether you have succeeded. Have them make notes on what they think about it, and what they recommend that you change.

Adding experience gained through military work to a civilian resume can seem like an impossible task to undertake. However, all those valuable skills you have acquired over the years are vital in making you a capable employee. With only a few minutes to tell a hiring manager why you are the ideal candidate, these steps will make civilians understand you. It will present your experience hence, giving you a shot at the job you want.

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Best Tips on How to Add Military Experience to Civilian Resume

Job applications can be tiresome and overwhelming more so if you have a military background. Transitioning from military to civilian life is not easy as you need to ensure that you translate our military experience into skills and abilities that will impress the hiring manager. But, experts who cooperate with reliable online resume service state that you should not fret as they are there to help you. Furthermore, below are some tips that you can use to learn how to add military experience to a civilian resume.

Do not use military jargons or acronyms

Your hiring manager is not familiar with military jargon or acronyms. Hence, when translating your achievements, military ranking, and duties, ensure you do so in a language that they can understand. For instance, you can try using online tools that can rephrase military vocabulary into civilian terms such as a one-ton line. Or, you can restate your military background to someone who is not in the military and see if they comprehend.

Focus on military background that shows your best characteristics

Many recruiters want candidates who can embrace ingenuity and be self-starters. Thus, you need to include your military experience on a resume that pinpoints any headship positions you held. Prove to your hiring managers that you have the confidence and the knack or propensity to be assertive and lead others, when necessary. Whether you were the leader of a small group or a large team, you had the responsibility of delegating tasks to others.

Include your military positions, responsibilities, and honors

Develop a military background section with subheadings on your document. List all the military posts and the dates you held each of them. Alienating your military background from your day-to-day work experience will not only make your resume stand out but also show that you know what to put under leadership on the resume.
Additionally, you need to incorporate your military honors. These prove your merit and obligation to your work. List these honors under the particular roles you earned them.

Proofread and edit

Proofreading and editing are some of the fundamental steps in creating a perfect veteran resume. Additionally, it helps remove all the errors and showcase your commitment to expertise. So, go through your document to warranty that it does not encompass any spelling, grammatical, and punctuation mistakes. Moreover, you need to ensure that all the information you provide is correct and true to your knowledge.

Invite a civilian to read your resume and give you feedback

Another efficient technique of crafting the perfect military to civilian resume is to ask a civilian to read through your resume. They can identify the parts which may not be clear or articulate enough for hiring managers. Utilize their feedback to refine your document. This will help make your military experience more articulate to potential employers. In case you make any additional changes, have your civilian friend go through the document once more to ensure that they understand it.

In conclusion, veterans face the challenge of transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce. Irrespective of your professional background, elucidating what you did in relevant terms to someone who does not comprehend the translation of your qualifications can be overwhelming. Hence, you ought to ask for professional assistance to write the perfect military to civilian resume. Additionally, above are some tips and techniques that you can use to learn how to add military experience to a resume.

If you have comments or feedback about any article, please email your thoughts to [email protected]

About the Author

How to add military experience to a resume

Jasmin Throndson Advisor from Almont , MI 10 years experience

Jasmine Trondson is a freelance writer and editor in Southwestern Michigan. A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Jasmine is fond of politics, social issues.

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We welcome articles on any subject that might help our veterans. Articles are especially useful in place of frequently similar responses, and can be linked in your replies.

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Is military experience good for a resume?

Your military experience is an asset and you should demonstrate on your resume what you have acquired through it. Many employers realize the value of bringing veterans on board. Personal attributes you obtain through the military include dedication, leadership, teamwork, positive work ethic and transferrable skills.

How do you list additional work experience on a resume?

The general rule is to provide in-depth information for the last 10–15 years of your career along with a 3–5 sentence summary paragraph, a list of 10–15 key skills, and details on your education, professional credentials, and affiliations (if applicable).

How do you put years of experience on a resume?

As you include your work experience , list the dates of your past roles in ascending order, starting with your most recent or current position. The following titles are examples of how you might label your years of experience in this situation: Work history. Work experience . Employment history. Professional background.

Does military count as work experience?

Yes, it does , although some types of military experience are more valuable than others. The FBI tries to actively recruit former Special Operations members via its Tactical Recruitment Program. Otherwise, military experience is pretty much on par with any other type of professional work experience .

Do employers value military experience?

Your job is clear: Describe your military experience in a way that encourages employers to call you because they come to see you as a professional who is effective and can be a good fit. In the end, everyone, civilian and military , must do exactly that to make a positive impression to earn an invitation to interview.

How can I write my experience?

Here are some tips to help you write a concise and informative description: Begin each item by stating the name of the place, location, dates, and job title (e.g. manager, volunteer) List experiences in reverse chronological order (most current experience first).

What are your top 3 technical skills?

Some specific examples of technical skills might include: Programming languages. Common operating systems. Software proficiency. Technical writing. Project management . Data analysis .

Should I list unrelated experience?

Most of the time, yes. It’s better to include irrelevant work experience (tailored to fit a specific job ) than to leave it off your resume. You don’t want to create gaps on your resume and often some experience is better than no experience .

What should not be included in a resume?

Things not to put on your resume Too much information. A solid wall of text. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Inaccuracies about your qualifications or experience. Unnecessary personal information. Your age. Negative comments about a former employer. Details about your hobbies and interests.

Should I mention years of experience in resume?

Include positions from earlier in your career that are relevant to the role you are applying for. It’s acceptable to include 10 – 15 years of experience on your resume . In many industries, sharing experience that dates back more than 15 years just isn’t very helpful for hiring managers.

What do I put under experience on a resume?

How to Write Your Resume Work Experience Section Create a section called “Work History” or “Work Experience .” Include only paid work (full-time, part-time, self-employment, internships, etc.) If you have relevant unpaid experience , create a section called “Relevant Experience ” or “Other Experience .” Format this section like your Work History section.

Does military show up on background check?

Yes, your military background will show up on a background check .

Does the FBI prefer military experience?

A background in the military can be an asset for those seeking careers in fields such as military intelligence, certain technical fields and law enforcement. For the FBI , the fact that an applicant has military experience is considered only as part of his overall package.

Why do job applications ask if you are a veteran?

The data allows companies to measure the results of their veteran recruiting efforts. This requirement is to ensure that companies doing business with the government are not discriminating against veterans or protected veterans and that they ‘re taking active steps to recruit and hire them.

How do you put military experience on a resume templates template

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Here’s a step-by-step guide to adding military experience to your resume: Include it in your resume summary statement. Add military experience to your resume using the same format as work experience, with the most recent positions listed first. These websites have tools to help you build your resume and translate your military credentials and experience into civilian skills. View our sample resume for a Marine seeking a civilian job in law enforcement, and get a downloadable Word version of the resume template here.

how do you put military experience on a resume templates template:

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If you’re targeting a job with the SEC, Secret Service, Peace Corps, or other federal agency, do this: Google AGENCY NAME resume. “They aren’t going to do the work of researching your military jobs to figure out what they mean, so make sure to put the prep work in up front. Military to civilian resume template When you are crafting your military to civilian resume, two areas present the greatest challenge: your summary of qualifications and your professional history.

” Remember, it’s not a question of whether you have valuable transferable experience (you do!), but rather whether you’re able to explain that experience in a way that will make sense to a. Many of our professional templates also contain space for a professional headshot or logo which adds credibility and class to your resume. How to emphasize skills on a resume for military veterans In terms of the skills to emphasize , it’s critical that ex-military personnel take a close look at the position requirements to see which skills the organization.

Your application documents should highlight your particular strengths, experience, and capabilities and reflect your voice. An expertly crafted resume template is a useful tool that: Helps you put all the pieces of your professional story together. Since your acting resume is likely less experience-heavy than a standard resume, including a robust skills section is a great way to stand out and show casting directors what makes you unique. Highlighting RELATED Military Experience x If you have military experience that is related to the position/field you are applying fo r, it is important that you highlight it on your resume.

As you review these military resume samples and start putting your profile together, you’ll need to think carefully about the nature of the position you’re searching for. It’ll take you 8 minutes to read, probably an hour or two to do, and provide years of benefit in reducing your resume anxiety. A Professional resume template can work in just about any position where you need to highlight your experience with just a touch of design and layout flair. Sample Resumes These examples will help you develop your own strategy and approach to your resume and are not designed to serve as “cut and paste” templates.

How to add military experience to a resume


  • Learn how to translate your military experience to the civilian work
  • Provide a complete picture of your military experience

Transitioning out of uniform can be hard. Whether you are finishing one enlistment or retiring after 20 or more years, it is common to feel uncertain about your future—especially your career.

Finding a civilian job isn’t always easy. However, employment is important not just for your finances. It can also help your psychological health and overall well-being.

Fortunately, the military has given you training and skills that employers want. Also, each military branch has transition assistance programs. If you already left the service, the Department of Veterans Affairs has additional resources to help.

With a little work, and the following tips and resources, you can launch a new career and find a sense of purpose and belonging out of uniform.

Translate Your Experience

The first step to landing a job is figuring out how your military experience applies to the civilian workforce. A good place to start is the Department of Labor’s Military to Civilian Occupation Translator. This online tool helps figure out what types of jobs are a good match for you.

Once it is time to put together your resume, write a cover letter or interview, remember:

  1. Avoid military jargon. Put your military job title, skills and experiences into terms employers understand. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Military Skills Translator can help. If you use terms you learned in the service, a future civilian employer probably won’t know their meaning.
  2. Provide a complete picture of your military experience. Describe your:
    • Technical Skills: You might, for example, understand communications gear or be a financial management expert. These skills may reduce the time an employer has to spend training you.
    • Interpersonal Skills: To execute missions in the military you likely coordinated with commanders, teammates and subordinates. Give examples that show how you unite people to accomplish tasks.
    • Leadership Skills: Leadership experience, whether as a noncommissioned officer or unit commander, is valued by employers. These experiences could make you a good project manager or team leader.

Use Resources for Veterans in Transition

The most important resource you can leverage is your service-specific transition program.

These programs can help you go back to school, get a job or start a business.

If you have already left the service, use these resources:

  • Employment – The Essentials (Military OneSource): Includes useful information and articles about finding a job for service members and their spouses.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment: Free educational and vocational training services for qualifying veterans.
  • Veterans Employment Toolkit (VA): This toolkit helps veterans find jobs and excel in the workplace.
  • Veteran and Military Transition Center (CareerOneStop): A Department of Labor resource that helps veterans find a job, manage a career or go back to school.

Training and practical job search assistance is important. However, finding a job is just one piece of the puzzle. There is also help if you are struggling to adjust to civilian life. It can be hard to leave a tight-knit community. Your first job might not give you the same sense of service and higher purpose. But, you don’t have to transition alone. If you are struggling, know that reaching out is a sign of strength. The following can help:

  • inTransition: Free assistance for service members and veterans who needing psychological health care.
  • Vet Centers (Department of Veterans Affairs): Around-the-clock assistance for combat veterans.
  • Veterans Crisis Line: A free, confidential, 24/7 emergency resource for veterans and service members in crisis.

If you or a loved one needs additional support, contact the Psychological Health Resource Center 24/7 to confidentially speak with trained health resource consultants. Call 866-966-1020 or use the Real Warriors Live Chat. You can also see a list of key psychological health resources here.

People who join the military receive valuable training that helps strengthen their overall skill set. Following their discharge from service, veterans may include these military skills in their resumes when applying for jobs. This can help them stand out from the competition during the job search process.

In this article, we discuss why military skills are important, as well as which skills to include on a resume that are transferable to a civilian career.

Why are military skills important?

Military skills are important because they can help service members develop abilities that boost their career prospects. People who join the military learn valuable soft (interpersonal) and hard (technical) skills that help them work both independently and as part of a team. Most of the skills learned during active duty appeal to employers who are looking for applicants with a strong work ethic. Veterans returning to civilian life can have many career opportunities for this reason.

12 transferable military skills

Here are some of the most important military skills that transfer well to civilian careers:

  1. Communication
  2. Planning
  3. Flexibility
  4. Problem-solving
  5. Technical skills
  6. Integrity
  7. Teamwork
  8. Leadership
  9. Organization
  10. Management
  11. Curiosity
  12. Dedication

1. Communication

In the military, you probably communicated frequently with team members to complete objectives and missions. The communication skills you learned during your service translate well into nearly any job opportunity. Great communication makes meetings more productive, helps resolve conflicts and facilitates goal-setting. Communication also involves active listening, which helps you converse more easily with coworkers, clients and managers.

2. Planning

People with a military background are usually more comfortable with preparation and planning. Being able to create and follow through with plans increases the chance of achieving your desired outcome. That’s why employers value veterans who know how to set and achieve goals. Veterans also recognize when plans aren’t working and quickly change their course of action when needed. When you demonstrate proficient planning skills, employers may be more likely to promote you to management positions.

3. Flexibility

Military training teaches you how to handle change and adapt to new situations. You can also use your flexibility to adapt to changing work environments, allowing you to stay productive. Flexibility helps you work well with coworkers who may have different opinions and work methods. Employers seek flexible employees since they can multitask easily and learn new responsibilities quickly.

4. Problem-solving

People who come from military backgrounds are often excellent problem-solvers because they have extensive experience with conflict resolution. If you were exposed to a variety of logistical challenges, social issues within your squad or tactical problems, then you probably have advanced problem-solving skills. Employers value team members who go beyond their typical duties to solve problems and find solutions to issues in the workplace.

5. Technical skills

Depending on your military occupation, you likely have technical skills that translate directly to a corresponding civilian role. For example, if you worked as a mechanic in the military, you probably possess the technical skills required for a civilian mechanic position. Pilots, systems analysts and program managers are other examples of military jobs that transfer well to civilian jobs. Make a list of the skills learned in your military occupational specialty to see if any fit into similar civilian roles.

6. Integrity

Military personnel must have high integrity to earn the trust of their superiors. Much of what they do involves classified information that they need to keep confidential. Military members also need to follow an honorable moral code. These high standards require discipline, which helps veterans be successful in the workplace. Showing up on time, meeting deadlines and following through with assignments demonstrates your level of integrity at work. This integrity can help you qualify for positions that handle sensitive information, such as jobs in intelligence or finance.

7. Teamwork

Veterans come from a team environment that includes squads, platoons and larger units of soldiers who must all work together to accomplish a mission. Because of these group settings, veterans make excellent team members and collaborators. In most workplaces, you need to have the same teamwork skills to achieve goals and meet deadlines. Teamwork can also help you create a healthy work environment that your coworkers enjoy.

8. Leadership

Veterans usually understand the value of leadership and how it helps unify groups due to the hierarchical structure of the military. Having leadership skills makes you an appealing candidate for management and supervisory positions. Your past experiences will help guide other team members who need assistance with assignments and other job responsibilities.

9. Organization

Experienced veterans who participated in missions know the importance of keeping materials, people and instructions organized. Organization skills also help you prioritize tasks to meet all of your deadlines for any job. Not only does being organized save time, but it also saves money. When deciding which military skills to put on your resume, bringing attention to your organization skills tells hiring managers that you’re dependable and focused.

10. Management

People in the military must manage their time and resources wisely to produce positive outcomes. Being able to manage every aspect of your role shows you deserve promotions, bonuses and raises. Include management as a resume skill to demonstrate your ability to excel in delegating work and leading groups.

11. Curiosity

Curiosity about the bigger picture or small details helps military personnel think ahead, strategize and plan for potential circumstances. Being curious leads to the discovery of many things, including solutions to problems that companies face. Hiring managers value curious people who ask big-picture questions related to processes and efficiency because they lead to improvements in the workplace. When adding curiosity as a skill to your resume, you could also use “creativity” or “innovation,” especially if the job description includes these keywords.

12. Dedication

Veterans know from experience that it takes hard work and dedication to advance in any setting. In the workplace, dedication can help you stay productive when completing complex or difficult tasks. Your level of dedication in the workplace may lead to a promotion or special recognition that contributes to your overall career goals.

How to add military experience to a resume

Servicemembers in the Guard and Reserves have military careers that are the most complex career when it comes to translating experience into a resume for a federal job. With the Iraq war, the typical Guard Member and Reservist was deployed 3 to 5 times. Post deployment, the Guard or Reserve member’s former civilian career may have changed dramatically. And now two careers must be blended into one resume.

Reserves and Guard part-time: Pre 9/11, the typical Reserve or Guard service hours were designated for weekend and summer active duty.

Related: Does your resume pass the 6-second test? Get a FREE assessment.

Active Duty Deployment: For the past 3 to 5 years, the Reserves and Guard have been activated and trained for readiness and deployments as long as 9 months to a year. The Active duty deployments must be included in the resume, federal compliance requires that the resume is complete in the chronology.

Rethinking the former civilian career: The former civilian career went on hold to meet the military active duty objectives. Now it’s time to re-examine the past civilian career, but also incorporate the new military skills and experiences for a successful job search with Federal agencies or defense contractors.

What career or job will you be targeting now? – Your former civilian career, which may or may not be available* A new civilian career in private industry – Or a public service career based on your new military experience, training, knowledge, skills and abilities with the federal government

There are five basic steps to writing a new federal resume covering both your past civilian career and your Guard or Reservist Active Duty and Reserves experience and training.

1. MAKE TWO LISTS OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT HISTORY – One civilian, one military

Write a chronological work history for each of your careers. Two separate lists. Make sure each period of reserves and active duty deployment is listed separately. Each deployment needs the specific locations, dates and your MOS. This is complicated information, but it must be clear for the Federal Human Resources Specialist to understand your specialized experience and how long you performed certain skills.

Related: To apply for jobs that match your skills, visit the Military Skills Translator.

Civilian Chronology: Dates, job title, name of organization, city, state, salary; duties

Reserves/ Guard Chronology: Dates, job title, rank, name of organization, city, sate, salary


What are you top three skills for each of your careers? Write at least three for each. Here are a few career and MOS scenarios and top three transferrable skills:

Truck driver as a civilian: Your best skills would be: safe driving, scheduling and safety. If you are in a transportation battalion, your best skills will be: transportation logistics, supply management, and teamwork.

Mortgage broker: Your best skills would be: communications, documentation, analysis. If your military MOS was readiness, your new skills would be: instructor, curriculum development, and planner.

Sales Representative: Communications, negotiations, customer services; military skills if you are an Intelligence Analyst, might be: analytical, investigative, and research.

Teacher: Communications, curriculum design, instructor; military skills if you were an Executive Officer: leader, strategic planner, and readiness planner.


The hardest part of all of this is not the resume writing, it’s deciding what career, job, or industry you will be seeking post-war, post-deployment, and after all the new training you have received. Corporate America and the U.S. Government have shown serious interest and support for hiring veterans into numerous positions and agencies. You have a lot of choices. But even though they are offering jobs to you, the resume must still show qualifications, knowledge, skills and abilities that will support a certain next career. This is why it is important to have a combination of both your civilian career and military career in ONE RESUME. The HR specialists and supervisor will look at the total of your career and see the skills and abilities that you bring to your new career.

Related: Discover your perfect career path and get customized job recommendations based on your military experience and vocational interests with’s Military Skills Translator + Personality Assessment.


Now it’s time to blend the civilian career and the military career into a coherent (albeit complex) set of dates, places, duties, skills and accomplishments. If you need help with the resume, GET HELP. VA for Vets has Vet Coaches for free to help you with targeting your resume. There are career coaches who would help you with blending your experiences and determining your next realistic career objectives based on the new world (since you were active duty).


If you are applying for federal positions, test your resume. Your resume might need tweaking for each announcement to pick up different skills and keywords. In order to get the best score, and match the One Year specialized experience, the resume might need to be tweaked a little for each announcement. This is a little time-consumer, but this is a strategy to hit the mark of 70 or more points for each application. Give your resume 30 days, and watch your results. Change the resume slightly for each job application or type of position. Make this a game. Watch number of applications submitted (civilian or federal). Watch the results: qualified, referred, interviewed. If you are not getting interviews or referred to supervisors, the resume isn’t working. Get help. Rewrite the resume. Rethink the direction.


Confidence comes with practice, information, knowledge, and the ability to ask for help when you need it. If you need help with a career counselor, job coach, vet rep, Voc Rehab counselor, résumé writer, GET IT. DO NOT HESITATE. Your next career and life will depend on it.

* The Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), is a non-profit that advocates for veterans rights while they are mobilized for federal service. They ensure that the positions are held for deployed reservists, and provide legal counsel as well. But, with the economic downturn since November of 2008, many companies, industries and jobs have simply ended.