On average, an employer will spend initially 5-6 seconds evaluating a resume. Does your resume have what it takes to grab an employer’s attention?
Are you not sure where to begin writing your resume or how to incorporate your military experience into resume as it relates to the position?
By incorporating the following tips, you will be able to get the most out of your resume that will get noticed and open the door to an interview.
- FIND YOUR FOCUS:
The resume content should correlate to the position that you are applying to; meaning you need to evaluate and highlight your skills and experiences that are relevant to the position requirements and duties. A focused resume is relating your skills and experiences directly to the position’s criteria so the reader can see with ease that you are the most qualified candidate for the position. To incorporate your military experience into the resume, select transferable skillsets and experiences that are relevant to the position.
- Are you interested in more than one type of job? Did you know you can have multiple resumes depending on the type of positions that you are applying to, i.e. project management, operations, consulting, human resources, etc.?
- To maintain your resume’s focus to the position, be sure to customize each resume with the skills and experiences that directly correlate to the position.
- USE A PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY:
The first section of your resume should begin with a Professional Summary, not only will this be the first item that employers will read but will set the tone for the entire document and will clearly illustrate to employers that you are qualified fit for the position. Your Professional Summary should include:
- The emphasis of your core strengths and skillsets most relevant to the position.
- Highlights of your previous experiences that reflect the key functions of the position.
- Notable accomplishments that make you an ideal candidate for the position.
- Your Professional Summary section should only be 3-5 sentences and provides an overview of your resume, and you as a candidate.
- The Professional Summary is similar to that of an elevator pitch.
- SHOWING YOUR STRENGTHS:
Include in your resume a Core Strengths or Career Highlights section after the Professional Summary. This will allow employers to identify with ease your skills and experiences as it relates to the position. Here is an example of this section:
- Business Development
- Six Sigma Green Belt
- Project/Risk Management
- Process Improvement
- Market Analysis
- Strategic Planning
- Client/Vendor Relations
- Conflict Resolution
- Logistics Management
- Do not leave it to the employer to figure out if you are a well-qualified candidate, possessing the necessary skills and experience required for the position. Help them out by highlighting your skills and experiences in an easily digestible format by incorporating this section in your resume.
- ORGANIZE YOUR EXPERIENCES INTO CATEGORIES:
To create a more focused resume, organize your experiences (military, employment, internship, volunteer, etc.) into sections by the type of work performed.
For example, if you are applying to a project management position, then create a section on your resume titled Project Management Experience then list, in chronological order, your work experience. Other sections to incorporate in your resume include:
- Teaching/Mentoring/Counseling Experience
- Finance/Budget Experience
- Leadership/Management Experience
- Resource Management Experience
- Technology/Information Management Experience
- Analyst Experience
- Business Administration Experience
- Security/Military Experience
- Structuring your experience into sections by the type of work will guide the employer to understand how your experiences and skills connect and align to the position.
- Aim to organize into 3-sections all your relevant experiences into your resume, beginning with the section first.
- Sections can me reworded or reordered depending on the type and scope of responsibilities of the position.
- EFFECTIVE BULLETS:
Now that your resume has a focus and organized into sections, it is now time to write your bullets. To an effective bullet, use the acronym A.P.R.: Action, Project, Result.
- Action: Select a verb that best describes the Action that you took. For example, developed, collaborated, engineered, analyzed, etc.
- Project: Describe the Project (or task, assignment, what you did) for the Action that you took.
- Result: Highlight the Result (or outcome, success) of the Project you worked on.
Managed and implemented travel system training for 300 personnel, resulting in a streamlined process for creating, tracking, and processing payments for travel orders
- Rank your bullets by the most relevant and impactful first; employers are most likely to read the first few bullets, by ranking your bullets by relevance you can be sure to grab an employer’s attention.
- Be consistent throughout your document with tense, formatting, font, and spacing.
- Quantify your bullets in terms of #, %, $, etc. and avoid military jargon and acronyms.
- To avoid punctuation errors, do not use periods at the end of your bullets.
- If you are unsure what skills to highlight or action verbs to incorporate, utilize the following resources:
TagCrowd: Cut and paste your job description into TagCrowd to evaluate commonly used words in the job description. Use these words when writing your resume and cover letter.
O*NET Online: Find a detailed description of military and civilian occupations that you can use as inspiration when wringing bullets.
- To save on space, use one-line header for your work experience that extends the length of your resume and incorporates italics and bolding, for example:
Training, Budget, and Logistics Manager, US Army, Ft Drum, NY Oct 2012–Dec 2014