Part of adjusting to civilian life after the military is looking for new employment. A common aspect of the job application process is creating a resume. However, considering how long a veteran may have been in the same work field, creating a resume from scratch or even updating an old one can be confusing. What’s more, as job requirements change, the approach to resume writing has also changed. As a way of supporting veterans in their transition to life after the military, our Military and Veterans in Recovery program is sharing some helpful resume tips for veterans.
A resume shouldn’t be a rehashing of your past but rather an outline of qualifications that make you right for the future job you have in mind. When writing a resume, it’s important to highlight your skills as honestly as possible. While you don’t want to fabricate your past experiences, you do want to create a guide that displays why you’re qualified for the position.
However, not everyone is great at writing, which can make this process even more stressful. To ease the stress of this process and help ex-military personnel find careers that suit their new lifestyles, below are some resume tips for veterans that can boost your chances of landing that new job.
The first thing you’ll want to do before writing a resume is read the job description. This informs you about the nature of the position – possibly including expectations and typical tasks – which can help you prepare for writing your resume and possibly interviewing for the position.
There’s an age-old way to format a resume that makes it look organized, neat, easy to read, and professional. These include:
The most important information that should go on your resume, right at the top, is your contact information, including your name, phone number, email address, and home address or P.O. box or wherever you’d prefer to receive any follow-up mail. This, of course, allows your potential employer to reach out to you in multiple ways.
Regardless of the job you apply for, including the degrees or certificates you earned before, during, and after the military. However, make sure the training you’re listing on your resume applies to the job you’re applying for. For instance, if you received military training as a service member, relate your experiences and skills to match the job you're applying for.
If you want to load up on your skills before applying, you can research courses online that offer relevant skills and certifications to help better match you to your career goals. By capitalizing on your skills and offering examples of how they could benefit you in this new position, you might convince a potential employer that you’re a perfect fit for the job.
When people complete their military careers, they receive a security clearance certificate. The document can be submitted to the security department of the business you’re applying to. Add your security clearance to your resume, as well. This shows potential employers that you’ve undergone a thorough background check before leaving the military.
The job you are applying for will offer a list of essential keywords as a form of resume assistance for veterans and other applications applying for the job. Considering that most resumes are submitted online nowadays, including these keywords can bump yours up to the top because it matches the job description the best. Additionally, seeing that you’ve added keywords, potential employers are more likely to review your resume.
Just like you would as a mathematician or scientist, using numbers to provide convincing information can greatly benefit your resume. By providing concrete numbers, you can show your hiring manager how you can improve the organization’s productivity if hired. For instance, you can demonstrate how you engaged in rescue operations for extra hours to rescue over 4,000 refugees during the war, or you can mention the number of successful operations you led. Your experience working in high-stress situations and rescuing people may help you get the job you’re pursuing.
One of the most highly recommended resume tips for veterans is to clarify any military jargon and/or use civilian language altogether. Especially if you’re not applying to a job in which the employer would be familiar with military jargon and job duties, it’s important to clarify any jargon that you use in your resume to describe your skills or past experiences. You want to make sure that anyone who reads your resume can understand what you’re talking about.
A military cover letter introduces you to the potential employer to show them why you’re qualified for the job and why you want to work with them. A cover letter adds context to your resume, as it’s an opportunity for potential employers to get a feel for your character before meeting you. This is a personalized step in the resume process that can make a big difference in your chances of getting hired.
Things you’ll want to mention in your cover letter include:
Job hunting is just one of the many challenges veterans and military personnel face. In addition to resume tips for veterans, our facility also offers veterans and military addiction treatment and mental health care. From medically monitored detox to PTSD treatment, our Banyan rehab locations offer a variety of resources that could change your life or that of a loved one for the better.
For more information about our veterans and military drug rehab programs, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763.
If you’re worried about how to get started, as part of our free resume help for veterans, below are templates for a cover letter and resume you can use to apply for new jobs!
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Employer's/ hiring manager’s name]
[Employer's/ hiring manager’s title]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Employer's/ hiring manager’s name],
[Express your interest in the position and briefly describe your relevant work experience. You can also mention how you discovered the position, especially if it was through a referral or job assistance program for veterans. This paragraph should be no more than three sentences long.]
[Body paragraph(s): In the next few paragraphs, you’d build on your relevant work experience mentioned in your introduction by including specific examples of your skills, such as the benefits of speaking another language. You can also describe how you will add value to the company by providing examples of how you’ve previously solved problems similar to the ones the company may face.]
[Closing paragraph: In two or three sentences, thank the employer for their time, reiterate your enthusiasm about the position, and let them know you look forward to discussing the position further with them.]
[Your Name] [Your hand-written signature]
[Your Position in the Military]
[Home Address or P.O. Box]
[This is a preview of who you are, what you bring to the table, and how you can help the company with your skills, expertise, and accomplishments.]
[Name of the school attended/location], [start–date]
[Include degree, certificate, and other documents]
[Company or Regiment]
[Start Date – End Date]
[These skills can include languages you speak, physical abilities, software skills, and more.]
[Include any relevant award you’ve received]