Need to write a resume after your military career? We've got a military to civilian resume guide filled with tips and examples!
Imagine this: you've just come out of the military and are readying yourself to once again become a civilian. You've begun looking at jobs but have no idea how to format and create your military-to-civilian resume. Well, you've come to the right place.
So, what is a military-to-civilian resume?
A military-to-civilian resume is a resume document that showcases your relevant military experience that is transferable to non-military, civilian jobs.
Like a civilian resume, your military-to-civilian resume will include the following information:
There are also other items you can include on this resume, if space allows, such as:
So, if you're looking to write a military-to-civilian resume, you've come to the right place.
In this article, we are going to go over 7 steps to turn your military resume into a military-to-civilian resume. Here's a look at what they are:
When transitioning to a civilian and looking for non-military jobs, the job hunt and hiring process will be made easier for you if your resume follows the same format as a civilian, or regular, resume.
Tip: To truly impress hiring managers, it is crucial to correctly format your resume.
Be sure to include the following sections in your resume:
Tip: Your civilian resume should be a maximum of two pages. Ideally, however, you should be able to fit everything into one page.
There are three ways to choose from to correctly format your resume:
As a military member, choosing the reverse-chronological format will really help to showcase your experience, which can help you land a civilian job.
Tip: Just because you're focusing on your past experience doesn't mean you should forget about your key skills. Be sure to include this on your resume, too, following a sort of hybrid format.
Take a look at our guide on how to format your resume if you want to learn more.
We live in a busy world. Oftentimes, resumes are only looked at for only 6-7 seconds. Therefore, providing hiring managers a resume summary shows them you appreciate their time.
A resume summary is a 1-2 sentence blurb that summarizes the important stuff on your resume. It also makes your resume look more professional, which can help you land the job. It can also include an objective, which shows hiring managers what it is you're looking for and wishing to get out of a job.
Tip: Sometimes, it's easier to write your resume summary after you have already written your resume. That way, you can pick and choose what you want to include.
Here's an example of what your resume summary can look like:
Trained and dedicated Military Intelligence Officer with 7+ years experience gathering information for pre-strike threat analysis and assessing post-strike battle damage. Looking to learn about civilian law enforcement.
As you can see, there are elements you should always incorporate into a resume summary, including:
Need more help writing a professional resume summary? Our guide on writing resume summaries has tons of examples.
You don't need a dozen bullet points detailing everything you've done on a job.
5-8 bullet points describing what you've done will suffice.
Now, regardless of what field you are going into, there are elements you should always include when describing your work experience:
Tip: When listing your work experience, it is important to go in reverse-chronological order. This shows hiring managers your most recent job experience and what you learned or mastered in that job. It's also important to highlight the specifics you did on the job and use good verbs.
Here's an example of what your work experience section can look like:
Military Intelligence Officer, US Navy
Souday Bay, Greece • February 2014 — August 2021
Program Analyst, US Navy
Souday Bay, Greece • September 2008 — January 2014
US Fleet Cyber Command
Want more tips and tricks on how to write your work experience description? Check out our guide on describing your work experience.
Key skills just may be what makes you a more suitable candidate for any position you apply for, and listing them on your resume shows hiring managers what you are capable of.
Tip: Listing impressive and relevant skills gives hiring managers more reasons to hire you because, based on your resume, they know you have the qualities they may be looking for.
Here are some examples of key interpersonal skills you can include in your resume:
Moreover, be sure to include skills you learned in the military that are relevant to the civilian jobs you are applying for.
Tip: If you haven't got the additional space, include the languages and specific certifications, like first aid and CPR as key skills in your resume.
Having trouble identifying your skills? We have a guide with 100+ key skills you can include in your resume.
Depending on what field you're going into, your education is a necessary component of your resume.
With that being said, it's important to list your education on your resume. Whether you've only finished high school and joined the military or even went to college, this shows hiring managers that you at least meet the educational criteria, if necessary.
When including your education, be sure to mention the following when listing your education:
Here's what adding your education to your military-to-civilian resume can look like:
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA
2011 — 2014
Computer Science - B.S.
United States Army Military School
2007 — 2009
Lowell High School
San Francisco, CA
2003 — 2007
Want more tips and tricks? Check out our guide on listing your education on a resume.
While they may not be required, depending on the job you are applying for, if you've got certifications or clearances, it's a good idea to include them on your resume.
Tip: You can include important and relevant certifications in your resume summary, too.
Here are some certifications and clearances you can get and include in your resume:
Tip: Be sure to include the year you got cleared or received your certification as well.
If you're looking for more information on how to include certifications to include in your resume or want to know how to correctly list them, check out our guide.
Perhaps you were stationed overseas or got to travel a lot during your military career. If you know more than one language, include a languages section on your resume. Especially living in the melting pot that is the United States, knowing more than one language can help you to land a job in a location where English isn't the only language commonly spoken.
Here are some languages you can include on your resume if you know them:
Tip: Next to the languages you know on your resume, add if you're fluent, intermediate or a beginner in the language to show hiring managers just how well you know the specific language.
Need more help writing the perfect resume? We have a guide that can help you do just that.
Perhaps you were accustomed to writing regular, civilian resumes before your time in the military but forgot, or you'd only ever written a military resume. However, following this guide will not only leave you with a civilian resume but a good and professional-looking one, too.
In case you need it, here's a summary of everything we've covered:
Whatever career you decide to get into post-military, we know you'll succeed. Good luck!