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.
Résumé writing is all about three critical concepts: strategy, positioning and merchandising. These concepts will determine what you write in your résumé, how you write it, where you include it and much more, all of which is dependent on your career objective.
Strategy drives the writing process. A résumé for a logistics specialist who wants to continue in logistics is an entirely different résumé than one for a logistics specialist who wants to transition into a production scheduling position or move into a supply chain management position. Some of the information in each résumé will be the same, but the strategy and presentation will be different, the information you highlight will be different, the order in which your achievements are presented will be different.
Positioning is all about perception. When writing your résumé, your challenge is to craft a document that creates a picture of yourself that ties into your current career goals. Determine how to position all of your information in the résumé – where, how, in what order and in what language (civilian or military lingo, depending on your target audience) – so people will immediately know that you’re qualified for your objective (and their opportunity).
Merchandising is what résumé writing is all about: selling a product. IThe product is you. Your challenge is to take all of the information about yourself – the features (skills, qualifications, credentials and work history) and the benefits (achievements, project highlights, honors and awards) – and create a compelling résumé that will attract the right buyers (hiring companies).
Nothing you will ever write in your résumé is arbitrary. Everything is written, formatted and presented to support your current career goals.
Wendy Enelow is co-author of “Expert Résumés for Military-to-Civilian Transitions” and “Executive Résumé Toolkit.”