Great thread. This is something I've been working on a lot as the Vice President of our University's Student Veterans Organization. I recently had an opporuntity to go to a resume/career workshop at Google that was designed for veterans. As many of you probably know, it's not unusual for Google to have more than 1,000 applicants for each job opening; the Google HR people helping us were at the very cutting edge of the job market.
I took a mandatory week long resume writing class before I seperated from the Marines that was largely worthless. The instructor was a retiree who basically just ran through some silly government checklist without helping too much. Most of his information was geared towards government jobs, an application process that is quite different from the private sector. After working with Google, going through the job application process, and a variety of other career counseling services here are a few of the big points.
-Resumes should be very concise and SHORT. A lot of military guys have a habit of putting every single thing they've done down. Unless you've been in for 10+ years, your resume should be 1 or maybe 2 pages max.
-Drop all the acronyms that the military uses. Sometimes we don't realize some of the terms we're using mean nothing to HR. Don't say that you were a platoon commander incharge of a logistics platoon that provided class 1 to a regimental size unit in Iraq. Say that you created and implemented a supply chain management plan and managed a team of 30 soldiers that provided x millions of dollars in critical equipment to more than 2,000 soldiers. Every descriptor should be like this, run it by a civilian to see if they understand
-Look for key terms in the job description and then make sure they're in your resume. A lot of companies use programs that identify key words to screen out thousands of applications.
-Have humility when it comes to your military accomplishments, but don't be afraid to let them know the competency you displayed in doing your job.
-Practice interviewing skills. Come up with a big list of possible questions you might be asked, and then come up with answers. Also go into the interviews with a few questions ready to ASK the interviewer. This is a great way to show the interviewer that your competent and on point.
-Research the company inside and out before interviewing.
-There often isn't a direct link between military and cilvian jobs. Go outside your comfort zone a bit, if you sell yourself well, you may end up with a job that you don't seem qualified for on paper.
Most of these are standard interview/resume stuff that also apply to civilains, but I've found that military TAP classes skip them.
Last edited by IgnoranceisBliss; Jul 08 2012 at 05:44 PM.
I have no joy in strife,
Peace is my great desire;
Yet God forbid I lose my life
Through fear to face the fire. -Henry Van Dyke