Crafting a Standout Military-to-Civilian Resume: Your Path to a Successful Civilian Employment

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a former military personnel applying for jobs online

Transitioning from military service to a civilian career can be a challenging journey. Thus, to land your target post, you need to be strategic in your job search. One of the most crucial steps in this process is creating a military-to-civilian resume that effectively showcases your skills and experiences, making you a competitive candidate in the job market.

If you don’t know how to revamp your resume, we’ve got your back! In this blog, we’ll discuss how to write a compelling resume and give you valuable employment resources. What are you waiting for? March forward and read on!

How to Write a Military-to-Civilian Resume

Applying for a civilian job after being in the force for quite some time can be challenging. Fortunately, a well-written resume allows you to stand out among the crowd. That’s why it’s essential to know how to write a job-winning resume.

However, writing a military-to-civilian resume requires a thoughtful approach to effectively translate your military experience into terms that civilian employers can understand and appreciate. Here are 9 steps to guide you in creating a compelling military-to-civilian resume.

1. Gather relevant information.

One of the first things you’ll need to do to start building your military-to-civilian resume is to gather as much information as possible about your time in the military. This includes details such as your job title, rank, unit, deployments, and training, as well as any commendations or awards you may have received.

Additionally, identify transferable skills you have acquired, focusing on leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and flexibility. It’s also an edge to have a list of civilian education and certifications you received.

2. Choose the right format.

Selecting an appropriate resume format is crucial. Opt for either a chronological or combination format, as these highlight your work experience effectively. Given that your goal is to showcase your skills and achievements, these formats provide a coherent structure to convey your professional journey.

Aside from that, maintain a clean and well-organized layout for your resume. Utilize a legible font and ensure consistency throughout your job search tool.

3. Include essential contact information.

Write your full name, phone number, and professional email address. Consider including a link to your LinkedIn profile, especially if it enhances your professional image and provides additional context to your career.

4. Craft a concise summary or profile at the beginning of your resume.

This section should spotlight your military experience and underscore the skills most relevant to the civilian job you are seeking. It serves as a snapshot that captures the essence of your professional background.

A Soldier Writing A Military-To-Civilian Resume On A Laptop
Crafting a Standout Military-to-Civilian Resume: Your Path to a Successful Civilian Employment 1

5. Devote a section specifically to your skills and qualifications.

List transferable skills, certifications, and relevant training that align with the job you’re pursuing. This section serves as a quick reference for recruiters, highlighting your strengths.

6. Translate your military experience into civilian-friendly language in the “Work Experience” section.

Use bullet points to outline your responsibilities, achievements, and successes. Focus on how your skills and experiences in the military directly align with the requirements of the civilian job. Whenever possible quantify achievements, using numbers and metrics to make it more impactful.

7. Add details about your education.

Highlight your highest level of attainment, relevant courses, and any additional certifications or training. Ensure you also showcase your military education and training, emphasizing their relevance to the civilian job market.

8. Tailor your resume.

Customize your resume for each job application. Showcase the most pertinent skills and experiences based on the specific job description to increase your chances of catching the recruiter’s attention.

9. Proofread and seek feedback.

Before finalizing your resume, make sure that it’s error-free. Check the grammar, punctuation, capitalization, word use, and the details you included. You may seek feedback from a friend or someone with experience in civilian job applications. External perspectives can provide valuable insights and help fine-tune your document.

What are Common Action Verbs for Military Resumes?

Crafting a resume that stands out requires the use of strong action verbs to vividly describe your experiences and achievements. Here are some common action words you can use to emphasize your skills.

DelegatedContributed toBriefedAnalyzedAdjusted
DirectedCoordinatedCommunicatedDiagnosedEmbraced change
FacilitatedEngaged in group effortsConveyedFormulated solutionsEvolved
LedGuided collaborative initiativesCorrespondedInnovatedFlexed
ManagedParticipated in joint missionsInformedInvestigatedManaged uncertainty
OversawPartnered withLiaisedResolvedNavigated
PioneeredPromoted cohesionPresentedReconfiguredOvercame
PivotedSupportedSpokeSolvedRemained agile
SupervisedWorked closely withWroteTroubleshootedResponded to

Enhanced efficiencyAccomplishedCoachedEnforcedAssembled
Managed resourcesAttainedDevelopedInspectedEngineered
OrganizedEarned recognition forFacilitated learningMitigated risksInstalled
PlannedExcelledFostered growthMonitoredOperated
PrioritizedHonored forGuidedProtectedPiloted
SpearheadedReceived awards forInstructedSafeguardedProgrammed
StreamlinedSucceeded inMentoredSecuredUtilized

Incorporating these keywords into your military-to-civilian resume will help convey a powerful and dynamic image of your experiences and capabilities, thereby making you a more compelling candidate for civilian job opportunities.

Employment Resources for Veterans

Another important factor to help you succeed in your shifting career is the reliable resources you can use. That being said, we have searched the internet to come up with a list to aid you.

Feds Hire Vets

Feds Hire Vets is a job board dedicated to connecting you with federal agencies that prioritize veterans over other applicants.

Hire Heroes USA

Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering U.S. military members, veterans, and their spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. They offer personalized career coaching, job search assistance, and workshops. offers a comprehensive transition center that provides resources for veterans transitioning to civilian life. It includes job search tools, resume assistance, and information on education and career development.

A Female Military Personnel Using Her Phone To Access Online Job Search Resources
Crafting a Standout Military-to-Civilian Resume: Your Path to a Successful Civilian Employment 2

Military Hire

Military Hire is a job board specifically designed for veterans. It connects veterans with employers looking to hire military talent and provides resources for career development, including resume assistance and job search tools.

National Resource Directory

The National Resource Directory is a website that connects veterans, service members, and their families with valuable resources. It includes a job search portal, educational resources, and information on benefits and assistance programs.


RecruitMilitary hosts career fairs and offers an online job board to connect veterans with employers seeking military talent. The platform also provides resources for resume building, career advice, and job search strategies.

Troops to Teachers

Troops to Teachers is a program that assists military veterans in transitioning to careers in education. The program provides information on teacher certification, job placement assistance, and resources for veterans interested in pursuing teaching careers.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs website offers a range of employment resources for veterans. It provides links to federal employment opportunities, vocational rehabilitation services, and educational assistance programs to support veterans in their career transitions. is a comprehensive resource that connects veterans to employment services, job search tools, and information on federal employment programs. It also provides resources for employers looking to hire veterans.

These employment resources for veterans offer valuable support and guidance, covering various aspects of the job search process and aiding in the transition from military service to civilian employment.

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Tips for Writing a Great Military-to-Civilian Resume

Writing a compelling military-to-civilian resume requires translating your unique skills and experiences into language that resonates with civilian employers. Here are some tips to help you create an effective resume that highlights your strengths and increases your chances of landing a civilian job.

1. Review the job description.

In order to showcase relevant work experience and skills to your resume, it’s vital that you have a full understanding of the job you’re applying for. Hence, make sure that you know the roles and responsibilities of the post.

2. Understand civilian language.

Avoid military jargon and acronyms that might not be familiar to civilian employers. Translate your military roles and responsibilities into language that is easily understandable in the civilian context.

A Successful Job Interview Following A Standout Military-To-Civilian Resume
Crafting a Standout Military-to-Civilian Resume: Your Path to a Successful Civilian Employment 3

3. Highlight transferable skills.

Emphasize transferable skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and adaptability. Clearly articulate how these skills are relevant to the civilian job you are applying for.

4. Address employment gaps.

If you have employment gaps due to military deployments, consider addressing them in your cover letter or resume. Frame these experiences positively, emphasizing the skills gained during those periods.

5. Network with veterans in civilian careers.

Leverage veteran networks and professional organizations to connect with individuals who have successfully transitioned from military to civilian careers. Seek advice, insights, and potential mentorship to navigate the job market.

Military-to-Civilian Resume Template

To paint a picture, check out one of our expertly written military-to-civilian resume templates.

Rpw Military To Civilian Resume Example 1
Crafting a Standout Military-to-Civilian Resume: Your Path to a Successful Civilian Employment 4
Rpw Military To Civilian Resume Example 2
Crafting a Standout Military-to-Civilian Resume: Your Path to a Successful Civilian Employment 5

Elevate Your Career Transition with a Powerful Military-to-Civilian Resume

Take charge of your professional future and ensure you stay relevant in the field by crafting a well-written military-to-civilian resume. Your unique experiences and skills acquired in the military are valuable assets in the civilian job market, and a thoughtfully constructed resume is the key to unlocking new career opportunities.

Fortunately, with the help of professional resume writers your journey from the military to civilian life is marked by success. Invest in your future today with a resume that not only highlights your military achievements but strategically frames them to resonate with potential employers.

Good news: We have the best team for you! Our expert resume writers are skilled in writing job search documents for various industries. Thus, you can be at ease that you’ll get nothing but the best resume. Your next career milestone awaits – make it happen with a job-winning military-to-civilian resume.

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