7 Resume Building Tips for Transitioning Veterans


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7 Resume Building Tips for Transitioning Veterans

  1. 1. ==== ====For more strategies, secrets and tips for transitioning from military to civilian life, visithttp://www.skyvaultpublishing.com/LDDNet/veteranjobs.html==== ====Note: Names have been changed to protect the identities of the brave and humble. This is a wayto turn your job search into a marketing campaign, a process to sell you to your next employer.1. Start with quick stories that make you proud These are the kinds of things that you want to tellpeople about. Theyre the things that hunters painted on cave walls. When theyre translated intocivilian terms, theyre the things decision makers value for their team. They may have happened inthe military, on a job, in a volunteer position, or as part of a school project. Getting an interview isnot about sending someone a history of part of your life; its about letting decision makers seeeverything you have to offer them. This is where you start to develop the material that lets thedecision makers see who you really are and how you are going to contribute to their success.Enter these in a master file under the heading "Selected Accomplishments."Example: Dan was able to get the air conditioning going when it broke down. In Iraq, there aretimes when thats a pretty important thing. He didnt have the right tools or the right parts but hegot it going. When he started looking for a civilian job, his first thought was, "What am I going totell them? Do they want to hear that I know how to blow things up?" His aptitude for repairingthings when it seemed impossible and the fact that he was an NCO landed him a job as asupervisor in a facilities management department. Once he understood his value, he went fromcouch-surfing and a part time job in a gun range to a good paying job.2. If you get stuck, drag out your documentation Your superiors told the military world what theyvalued about you. Use it! Veterans tend to believe that they didnt do anything exceptional.Veterans usually say, "I just did my job." Its hard to see that youre doing exceptional things wheneveryone around you is doing exceptional things. Sometimes, you need someone elses take onyour value. Grab every good thing they said about you and add it to your master file under theheading, "Selected Accomplishments." Youll translate it for civilians later. Just get it in yourmaster file as soon as you see it.Example: Ann was an officer. Just hearing the word resume almost made her ill. She wasunderemployed in her first civilian job and reporting to a boss whose disrespect was a dailyreminder that she needed to be looking for another job. Being battered by negativity every daywears you down, diminishes your self esteem. She resisted getting started on a resume for ninemonths. Taking the first step seemed insurmountable. She doubted that she could do any better.When she dragged out her documentation and started entering her accomplishments in hermaster file, she called to say, "I forgot how good I am!" Shes moved on.3. Mine those stories for transferable skills Use your imagination. When you think about yourstories, what characteristics made the story a success? What plain language can express theacronyms you know so well that just do not translate to terms that decision makers can
  2. 2. understand? If you were explaining what you did to your grandmother, how would you explain it?When you hit on a plain language term while youre thinking about how youd explain it to yourgrandmother, enter it in the master file under the heading, "Skills.".Example: Ben was an Admin. He got out and started looking for jobs as an AdministrativeAssistant not knowing that, in the civilian world, thats a clerical position and often a very low levelclerical position. His interviews were puzzling to both him and the interviewers until he worked hisstories for the plain language version of what he did for the Base Commander. Once he saw thatthe part of the work he did that he most enjoyed had an exact civilian equivalent, he startedlooking at event planning as his objective and is taking classes to make that happen. His GI Billwill keep him going until he is ready to look for that job.4. Troll the internet for job postings that sound like a fit Look at job postings in the industries thatinterest you. Consider the fact that clean energy and biotech are areas that are growing. Considerhow you might fit into one of those industries and look at job postings. Imagine how what you didin the military might fit into civilian industry. What industry would make you wake up happy to go towork every morning? What industry would make you proud? Theres no reason to look for a jobthat will leave you unsatisfied. Enter the job title and industry into your master file under theheading "Objective." In a resume, the objective is not about you or what you want out of life, itsthe decision makers objective - someone to do a specific job with an interest in their industry.Example: Ed was a Jet Mechanic in the Air Force Reserve. Home was in an area where there areno nearby airports. Neither he nor his family wanted to leave the country and move to the city. Hiscareer coach headed him toward wind power, where the turbines are not that different from whatall of his valuable training in the military prepared him for. Wind energy is a new industry. Therearent that many people who already have experience in the field and transferable skills can be alife saver for a company just trying to get started. Some of the most remote areas in our countryhave wind farms. His objective could be "Maintenance technician in the wind industry."5. Mine those postings for transferable skills Beef up the skills section of your master file as yougo. While youre looking at the job postings in the industries youd be proud to support, look forthose civilian terms for the work you already know how to do. As soon as you see a term you canuse, add it to the master file under the heading, "Skills."Example: Bill was in the Army Reserve. He got out of the service with a disability. The truck hewas driving hit an IED in Iraq and he suffered permanent damage to his shoulder. His job at homewas driving a truck. He kept at it because he knew the job market was tough but it meant 24/7 painfor him. He knew he needed to find another line of work. His career coach pointed him toward aschool that would certify him as a construction estimator when construction was nearly dead.When he completed the class, his was one resume in a pile of resumes for inexperiencedestimators. Bill had extensive HazMat training in the military and it gave him the edge. He got a jobwith a small construction company right away.6. Enroll in an accredited school with an active veterans group Miss being part of a military unit?Feel alone? Dont have the education decision makers want for the job you want? Enrolling in anaccredited junior college or university will get you on track for the education you need and youllfind a group of other Veterans going through the same transition. The Veterans counselor canprobably help you get additional school credit for your military experience. You may be closer to
  3. 3. that Associates or Bachelors degree than you thought. Add your education to your master fileunder the heading "Education" and put the anticipated completion year at the end of the line.Example: A nearby junior college has one of the most active veterans groups in the area. Veteranswho are taking classes there have access to employers, VSOs, and the local patriot communitywho are ready to help with fund-raising events and barbecues. There is a spirit of camaraderie thatthe Veterans were missing when they first came back and felt disconnected from family andfriends. The military changes you and sometimes the people in your life dont know how toreconnect with the new you. They were waiting for the old you to come back. Having a unit withcommon goals can make the transition and the reconnect more comfortable.7. Now the history needs to be included Enter your work experience in your master file as one-liners, starting with your title because you are the product that youre marketing and this is amarketing campaign. The job you did, who you did it for, and when you did it are all thats neededhere. If you have never been out of work for more than a month or two, month and year are goodenough. If you have gaps that lasted more than a few months, year to year dates will avoidconcern. Enter these one-liners under the heading, "Experience."Examples:Infantry, United States Army 2005 - 2010Electronics Technician, United States Navy 11/2003 - 04/2009Truck Driver, XYZ Freight Company, Denver, CO 2001 - 2005Director of Information Technology, High Tech, San Diego, CA 05/2004 - 01/2011Facilities Manager, Big Convention Center, Washington, D.C. 2008 - 2010Conclusion Once you have a master file started, keep one copy of it on your computer andanother copy on a backup device. Never remove anything from your master file. Always add to itand save any additions to the backup copy as you add accomplishments and skills, education, andwork experience. Polish the accomplishment statements to make sure they are in plain language.When you need to send a resume, save a copy of the master file with a meaningful name so youknow who you sent it to and when. For example, EmployerName-2011-01-15.doc would be a goodway to recall the resume when you get a call for the interview. From that new copy of the masterfile, which will be way too many pages for anyone else to ever see, delete everything that does notfit that job and sequence the skills and accomplishments as that employer has shown theirpriorities. Youll have a resume thats an obvious fit for the position that decision maker is trying tofill and youll make it past the gatekeeper and onto the decision makers desk or screen. Theinterview is up to you. Dazzle them with your exemplary character and qualities.Joy Montgomery is a coach for startups and job seekers. She helps you position yourself forgrowth, profitability, and acquisition.
  4. 4. Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joy_Montgomery==== ====For more strategies, secrets and tips for transitioning from military to civilian life, visithttp://www.skyvaultpublishing.com/LDDNet/veteranjobs.html==== ====