Translating your military experience into civilian terms

by fred 15. February 2010

 

One of the most important factors of effective military conversion resume writing is the ability to turn your tasks, achievements and experience into something that civilians can understand. It does not matter how decorated you are as a veteran, if you can't relay those experiences and accomplishments to a private sector employer properly, you are never going to have a successful job hunt. Military to civilian transition resume writing can be difficult, but here are some tips to help you.


In converting your experience to civilian language, here are some examples of what terms you can use in your military to civilian resume.

- "Soldiers" should be called "staff", "employees" and/or "co-workers"

- "Uniforms" and "Weapons", etc. become "supplies"

- "Barracks" and other buildings are simply "facilities"

 

It is also important to convert your education, medals and accomplishments into civilian language, provided that they are relevant to the position you seek. For example, you would not use your marksmanship or your frontline experience on a civilian resume, so do not worry about this. Also, achievements such as Special Ops Captain can be turned into a simple statement such as Extensive management experience in critical situations.


To explain the courses you have taken and the training you have completed, you can offer broad statements that are understandable to private sector employers. If you took classes in accounting, there is no translation needed, because everyone understands this word. Conversely, if you took classes for officer ranking or for cavalry, you would need to convert this. For example, you could say Leadership classes and training instead of officer training. However, once again, cavalry training is irrelevant to civilian positions, unless you are looking into a law enforcement career.


All in all, converting the military language into terms that are understandable to public sector employers will be one of the most important aspects of your military to civilian resume writing. while you need to make sure that your resume is focused and unique, you cannot do these things without first making sure that it is comprehensible. It does not matter if your resume is the most unique an employer gets; if they cannot get your military jargon, they will not even give it a second chan

 

- "Soldiers" should be called "staff", "employees" and/or "co-workers"'

- "Uniforms" and "Weapons", etc. become "supplies

- "Barracks" and other buildings are simply "facilities"


It is also important to convert your education, medals and accomplishments into civilian language, provided that they are relevant to the position you seek. For example, you would not use your marksmanship or your frontline experience on a civilian resume, so do not worry about this. Also, achievements such as Special Ops Captain can be turned into a simple statement such as Extensive management experience in critical situations.


To explain the courses you have taken and the training you have completed, you can offer broad statements that are understandable to private sector employers. If you took classes in accounting, there is no translation needed, because everyone understands this word. Conversely, if you took classes for officer ranking or for cavalry, you would need to convert this. For example, you could say Leadership classes and training instead of officer training. However, once again, cavalry training is irrelevant to civilian positions, unless you are looking into a law enforcement career.


All in all, converting the military language into terms that are understandable to public sector employers will be one of the most important aspects of your military to civilian resume writing. while you need to make sure that your resume is focused and unique, you cannot do these things without first making sure that it is comprehensible. It does not matter if your resume is the most unique an employer gets; if they cannot get your military jargon, they will not even give it a second chance.


If you have questions when you are preparing your military to civilian resume, there are resources that you can use. The military has special classes and offices to help veterans in their transition. In addition, many private sector companies and schools specialize in introducing veterans to public society. As long as you are willing to invest the effort, making the military to civilian transition can be pretty easy. The most important thing is to make sure that your resume is polished and understandable to civilian recruiters who have no military knowledge.

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Comments

March 12. 2010 22:59

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I disagree with this post. If you are reading about war experiences or military experiences, you want to get the true feeling. Changing around words to make them friendlier is ignorant.

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