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How to Include Military Service on a Resume

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Military experience is valuable in the job market. The armed forces teaches its personnel discipline and leadership and trains them in a variety of areas -- all skills that employers like to see in potential job candidates. However, properly marketing military experience on a resume can be challenging. Applicants should first focus on what they want to achieve in the civilian world. Next, applicants should tailor their military experience to fit civilian job descriptions.

Research a particular job opening or field. Determine what skills are needed and how they match up with experience in the military. For example, a helicopter pilot in the Army could look for jobs with air ambulance services, news and weather stations or even defense contractors.

List previous assignments or tours of duty under the section of the resume reserved for previous employment. List experiences and skills you obtained on assignments most relevant to the job opening.

Highlight any awards, medals or other honors earned in the military, especially if they're applicable to the job opening. These honors signal that you're a top-tier performer -- an admirable achievement in both the civilian and military worlds.

Don't use military jargon. Most civilian employers won't be familiar with military terms, so translate the jargon into easily understandable phrases and descriptions.

Demonstrate the benefits of military service and how it can help a company with a vacant position. Highlight results-oriented accomplishments and jobs that entailed a high level of responsibility, such as maintaining or monitoring millions of dollars worth of equipment.

Tip

Get feedback on your resume. Have others read it for clarity. Continue to tweak and modify the presentation of your military experience. If job interviews don't start coming in right away, continue to modify things until they do.

Warning

Omit detailed descriptions of combat experience on the resume. References to violence or death do not belong on a resume. Instead, focus on the experience gained during combat that directly applies to the job opening such as leadership skills or medic training.

About the Author

Marshall Moore is a freelance sports writer with three years of experience in the daily newspaper industry and has won multiple awards from the Kansas Press Association for his writing and reporting. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007 with a degree in journalism.

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