Today is Veteran’s Day here in the U.S., a day to honor our military veterans and those who are currently serving in our armed forces. Over the years, I’ve written many resumes for individuals leaving the military and entering the civilian world, and also for veterans who had served at some point in their lives.
Military experience is generally highly valued by employers and it is always a pleasure to be able to include it as part of a client’s career package. Unfortunately, many young people do not fully understand the value of military experience regardless of whether it is active duty, reserves or National Guard.
The United States spends incredible amounts of money on training military members. Education/training in some of the more technical fields in the military would cost an equivalent of over $100,000 in the civilian world. Technology in the armed forces is cutting edge and very well funded. A person trained by the US military can count on getting an education that will not only benefit them during his/her military career but will pay dividends later on in life. Training is so good in the US military, in fact, that governments around the world send their military members to be trained alongside American soldiers.
Military members are generally considered to be excellent workers by civilian employers because of the discipline that has been instilled in them. Military members know how to work, how to meet critical deadlines, how to follow procedures, and how to develop programs. Veterans also know how to focus on getting the job done and not get distracted or go off on tangents at the expense of the project. Employers know this from years of hiring and working with veterans and generally give extra consideration to former military members.
Most people think that all military members drive tanks or are in the infantry, but that is an erroneous assumption. Most of today’s military members work in some sort of support capacity within the military such as computer technology, administrative, supply chain management, mechanical functions, finance, and personnel management. Driving a tank may be a bit difficult translate into civilian work but most military members who are entering the civilian world have excellent transferable skills.
If you have been considering not including your past military experience on your resume, you should reconsider. As long as you received an honorable discharge, your military history is a good thing to include in your experience detail. Because civilians generally do not understand the importance of awards and medals (excluding the Congressional Medal of Honor, of course), listing these may not have an impact but a short statement describing the function you performed in the military is always good.
Be proud of your service to our country and use it as a stepping stone to success in the civilian world!