“The Military J.I.G.” - Valuable Resume Tips For Transitioning Military Members

Military Professionals transitioning into civilian industry face a number of challenges.  The military is a culture and way of life, regardless of your branch of service.  It comes with its own customs, courtesies, and most often a unique language punctuated by jargon and acronyms.  This fact coupled with a diversity of specialized communities from infantry to aviation, makes the creation of a resume that a civilian employer easily understands one of the biggest challenges that the transitioning military professional faces.

Remember that a Military Resume can make a civilian employer JIG, where JIG reminds you that Jargon Increases Guesswork.  If an employer has to use a cereal box decoder ring to decipher the nature of your work, the employer will move on to the next resume, never considering yours.  As you create your resume, describe your duties and accomplishments in simple terms which present a whatnow whatso what approach.

Do not be concerned about removing military specific titles like platoon or element leader, Flight or Company Commander.  They do not generally carry the same impact within industry.  Instead say what you did to include leadership and problem solving that is native to military professionals, describe the now what by saying how many personnel were involved and the impact of their work, and complete each resume remark with a so what to drive home why the reader cares about your resume remark.

Above all, with respect to your civilian resume, be brief and be clear.  Recruiters often times have to sift through hundreds of resumes, and you want yours to be an effective use of the recruiters time.  The process of writing your resume takes practice and revision.