When you leave the military, the biggest question is "what's next?" It's a scary job market right now, but the skills you've received in the military make you highly marketable. The Legion sponsors dozens of veterans hiring fairs each year, and our employment experts also provide tips to writing resumes, networking and making a strong impression in the interview process.
In today's job market, if you're not on LinkedIn, you don't exist. Add Twitter and Facebook to your job search, as appropriate.
Let your objective drive the process. Effective résumé-writing focuses on who you want to be in your next position, and not just what you did in the past.
Use the right keywords to support your current objectives. Showcase your transferable skills throughout your résumé: in the summary, branding statement, job descriptions, achievements and more.
Speak the language of your target audience. If you're looking for opportunities in corporate America, eliminate military lingo that means nothing to civilians. Conversely, if focused on defense or government, those same words and acronyms carry important messages. Start with a career summary or profile. When you start with a summary, you're telling a prospective employer what you can do for them. When you start with an objective, you're writing what you want from them. Obviously, the former is more powerful.
Sell your experience. Don't write dry responsibility statements that tell what you did. Instead, write achievement-focused content that sells how well you did it.
Make it easy to read. Keep your paragraphs and bullets at four to six lines. White space does matter, so add blank lines to let your résumé breathe. No one will read it if it's a chore.
Wendy Enelow is co-author of "Expert Résumés for Military-to-Civilian Transitions" and "Executive Résumé Toolkit." www.wendyenelow.com