Are you confused about how to use military experience on a resume? For over nine years, I worked as a bilingual employment counselor at a military base. It was my role to help hundreds of clients make the transition from military to civilian life. Ironically, when I was a civilian, the military did not offer a program designed to educate outgoing personnel on creating compelling resumes for civilian employers, teach them current networking strategies, or offer them career coaching. Then my much acclaimed "how to de-militarize your resume" seminar was born. What followed was career seminars to soldiers, airmen/women, and sailors alike at Canadian Forces Base Kingston and Trenton, Canada. The Lt (N) at CFB Trenton chose me over other services providers. She trusted my expertise and protected the "intellectual property" of my seminars' content. Military personnel need to market their transferable skills to attract a civilian employer. A transferable skill is acquired in the following ways:
- Paid work experience (i.e. trainer, manager, personnel officer)
- Life skills (i.e. coordinator of a special event)
- Volunteer experience (i.e. volunteer firefighter, coach of a minor hockey team)
- Academic experience (i.e. training/retraining, certifications, professional development)
How Are Military Personnel Attractive And Valuable To Civilian Employers?
- Military people have been "cross-trained" in different areas (i.e. working in line management and staff consulting jobs). Cross training is very prevalent in the manufacturing field and gaining ground in other sectors.
- Military people are very well trained (courses and instruction).
- A recruiting poll showed that "military personnel make excellent leaders, once given a specific task: they are decisive, resourceful and tremendous team players; and they perform well under pressure." (Peter Newfield, President, Career Resumes, www.headhunter.com, October 10, 2001)
- People in the military who have leadership qualities often receive intense training and development. Result: They are more valuable to employers (i.e. training personnel/staff; performance evaluations).