Saturday, 5 April 2014

How To Craft A Winning Military Resume

We have already seen the most common mistakes made by military-experienced-professionals in their resumes in our first article( to read, click here) and our second article ( to read, click here) . Now, in this third article of the resume series, we will see how we can write a winning military resume that increases the probability of an interview call on the basis of resume.

In the times of recession, the jobs are fewer and the competition is increasing and hence it’s mandatory to showcase our military resume in such a way to recruiters that they understand it well.  Moreover, we must also know how the latest technology (LinkedIn, job portals, professional platforms, Facebook etc )  is being utilized by the recruiters to find the right employee.

Know Yourself Before You Write Your Resume
If someone ask us, do you know yourself, the most obvious answer would be, yes of-course who knows us better but when it comes to highlighting the same on our resume, we tend to miss a number of skills.   A good resume generally highlights three important issues about us, our work experience, our skill sets( both soft and hard)  and our values and these three are the most important parts in a resume. Since every human being is different, no two people can have the same resume. Each one of us has a different personality, different skill sets, and different values and thus has varied different experiences and achievements.  These are unique to us and thus reflect our personality.  Though a number of military professionals follow the same work routine for years, their energy level, interest, and passion will vary with each type of work and work-environment. Therefore our resume needs to reflect our unique personality and for that it is imperative to know our-self clearly.
Before you start the exercise of resume writing, one good way is to write down your entire                    work-experiences since the time you started working. Highlighting what all has been done and achieved so far will help in connecting the dots and helps you in understanding your personality before you pitch your resume for a job opening. It is extremely important to know who you are( your strengths and weaknesses) , what your personality is( your values, skills, likes and dislikes) and what you meant to do before you take actions to build your profile. This way writing own resume would not only be easy but it will be true reflection of your personality; rather the experience highlighted in the resume will automatically define your personality. It may sound tedious at first however it will give your resume a right alignment to your personality and thus will show no gap between what your personality is and what is highlighted in the resume, thereby increasing your chances of hire.

Military Soft-Skills- You Must Add
There are a few soft skills that are associated with most of the military professionals and that even the recruiters expect from the military professionals. Not only the recruiters assume that you have these skills but these skills give you an edge over your civilian counterparts, whose resumes are generally laden with professional certifications and work-related qualifications. Highlighting these intangible soft skills in your resume which were learned and/or honed during military career will give a competitive edge to your resume. While there are many such soft skills, here are a few which are the most common ones among the military professionals:-
  • Leadership & Team Building
  • Mission-Oriented Self Starter
  • Self- Disciplined and Organized
  • Team Player
  • Flexibility, Adaptability, & Multi-tasking ability
  • Honesty, loyalty, and Integrity

LinkedIn - Your Online Resume
It may surprise many as to why we have added LinkedIn in resume writing section; however it is generally forgotten that our LinkedIn profile is nothing but an online resume of ours. We must make note that technology (in this case LinkedIn)  if not utilized correctly may be the reason why we aren’t getting many interview calls.  Far too many recruiters check candidates’ profile on LinkedIn as well; the probability is high for middle and very high for top management positions. In a perfect sense, the LinkedIn profile must supplement your resume. IF you’re applying for a HR role and your LinkedIn profile talks of security and admin, your LinkedIn profile will turn out to be game spoiler.  Let’s see with a couple of examples on how to supplement LinkedIn with resume.  Lt Col A , a non-tecn candidate,  has recently retired from military and he is indecisive whether to join HR, or security or Admin rather he is ok with any good opportunity that comes first in his way irrespective of the domain. He has made three industry specific resumes, one each for security, admin, and HR and uploaded them on various job portals. His LinkedIn profile needs to highlight his experience of each of the three domain as well as relevant key skills of each domain. If he skips on one or two domains and write about only one domain in his LinkedIn profile, it may not align with his other two resumes. He is at disadvantage if a recruiter who is hiring for either of the two left-out domains looks at his LinkedIn profile and finds nothing relevant. Now let’s see example of  Lt Col B who  is a civil engineer and has been into the engineering domain in army, handling construction projects.  He wants to pursue a career as  project manager or project coordinator in real estate, which his resume highlights about. His LinkedIn profile need not cover his other domain experiences and expertise in great detail as was the case with Lt Col A.  LinkedIn in recent times has emerged as the most valued platform for professional hiring and therefore there is a need to understand how best we can leverage LinkedIn for increasing our chances of hire.  A couple of more articles by M2C that emphasis the importances of LinkedIn are here and here

For more on resume building, click here