5 Resume Writing Tips: What You Need to Know to Get the Job

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More often than not military veterans start their civilian job search with some generous time spent resume writing.

resume writing cv

Unemployment rates for veterans declined throughout 2017 to a mere 3.7%, ending up lower than the national average of 4.1%. The economy continues to remain strong, and such low unemployment rates bode well for veterans currently on the job hunt.

But despite the fact that it’s a job seeker’s market, it’s still important for veterans to have a robust resume. These five resume writing tips for veterans can help you create a winning resume that will get you noticed and help you land the interviews you deserve.

5 Resume Writing Tips for Veterans

#1 – Tailor Your Resume to the Future

As a veteran, you’ve collected experience in a variety of things, from teamwork and leadership to project management and skill building. But rehashing everything you’ve experienced isn’t always enough to catch the recruiter’s attention.

Instead, make your objectives clear and what you expect from your post-military career path. Talking about how your recent experiences support your journey to your long-term goals shows you know the direction you want to pursue and how the job you’re applying for contributes to this path.

#2 – Illustrate How Your Military Skills Transfer to the Workplace

You likely won’t be experiencing hand-to-hand combat or weapons training on the job. Granted, those are impressive skills, but how will yours translate in the job you’re applying for?

Talk about how your skills and experiences will translate to the company’s future. Focus more on the skills that will apply directly to the position you want, such as leadership or team development.

#3 – Your Service is an Advantage – Show It

Your military service is a distinct advantage in many ways. Don’t hesitate to highlight the plusses in your resume writing.

  • Government agencies and many companies are clamoring for someone with a security clearance.
  • Leadership and organizational skills learned in the military can take you far in the civilian world.
  • Keeping in shape in the military means you should easily pass any physical requirements at Police Departments and Fire and Rescue, as well as the FBI.
  • Your training to respond to disasters makes you well suited for first responders as well as senior-level executives!

#4 – Focus Your Resume on Selling Yourself

Many job seekers make the mistake of filling in the blanks on their resume with the intention of informing. But your resume shouldn’t just be an information sheet. Rather, you need to focus on selling your skills and abilities to make yourself look like the best choice.

There are two key factors in writing resumes that sell: the features and the benefits. Your “responsibilities” are your features that illustrate what you’re capable of. Your “benefits” are your achievements, awards, recognition, or things that your competitors won’t likely have (also called competitive advantages).

When you’re writing your resume, make sure you don’t just tell – you also need to sell.

#5 – Appearance Makes the First Impression

The content within your resume is essential, but remember that appearance makes the first impression. Everything from the way your content is formatted on-page to how the resume feels in the hands of a recruiter can affect whether you get a call for an interview.

Using an artfully designed template or printing your resume on high-quality paper can help you set your name apart from the others. You can find a wealth of free resume templates online that allows you to plug in your information quickly and easily – no design experience required.

Also, it doesn’t cost much to print your resume on a high-grade paper. Look into different paper options, finishes, and weights to make the best impression.

Wrap Up

As a veteran, you’ve got plenty to offer any employer, but your resume is responsible for doing most of the talking if you want to be considered for an interview.


Need more information? The National Veterans Foundation veteran resume eBook, “Writing the Resume that Gets you Hired”, goes more in-depth about resume writing. Click here to download the free ebook.


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