I have a friend. His name is John. He has a friend named, Tim. This is Tim’s list, from John. Give this a read and start jamming on your resume. I’ve helped a couple people with their resumes and this is wonderful advice. Feel free to contact me if you need resume help.
Tim’s Top Ten on Resumes for Veterans
1. It is ok to use a proper sentence. Stop writing your bullets to look like a fitness report. Bullets from your fitness report may contain some valuable information that you can use on your resume, but are not always structured properly. You do not need to speak in 3rd person.
2. Use a standard resume format. When I review resumes the first thing I do is read the opening paragraph. I don’t really see a need for the word “Objective” to be written in bold, to tell me that is what I am going to read. Just write a decent opening to introduce yourself. A wise man once said “He who reads company website… Borrows words for opening paragraph”
3. The next section I jump to is “Education” on the bottom. I am looking for clues that lead me to believe you are capable of learning the job that I am going to hire for. What are your certifications? Can you work with Microsoft Office? Don’t just tell me you went to college. Do you know how to use any of the systems that we use? Help me out.
4. Now I move to the meat and potatoes. “Experience”. I quickly scan where you worked. Then I dive into the bullets. This is where tip number one comes in handy. What did you do that was successful where you were working? What on earth does your billet mean? If you were a platoon sergeant I might have no clue what that means in civilian language. Were you responsible for managing entry level employees and lower level supervisors? Here is the rule I use:
E-1 – E3 Entry Level
E-4 Lower Level Management
E-5 – E-6 Mid-Level Management
E-7 – E-9 Upper Level Management
O-1 Lower Level Management
O-2 – O-3 Mid-Level Management
O-4 – O5 Upper Level Management
O-6 – O-10 Executive Level Management
5. Spell out all acronyms! What does SNCOIC mean? Now that you told me it means Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge I am still clueless. Translate to terms that I can understand. The rule above might help.
6. If you have been awarded any personal awards, put them at the end of your resume. Give me the basics. This way if I call you for an interview I can ask for details if I choose to. Here is an example
Awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Accommodation Medal for meritorious service while serving as Utilities Chief in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
7. Your resume is the first thing I see. Make a good impression. The very next thing that I do, is look for you on Linkedin. I may even look for you on Facebook. I am looking for reasons not to hire you.
8. Submit a PDF copy of your resume. The format on your computer may look completely different on my computer if it is a word doc. When you submit a PDF I see the exact same thing you see.
9. Show your resume to lots of smart people. Get their professional input. Make sure you bring more than one copy with you. You will want to make notes on one and leave that smart person with the other. You never know what they will do with it.
10. Do not be lazy. Get it done! No one cares about you more than you!