Once you have been in the military your life changes. Before you go in you live by the rules of civilian life. However, when you join the military you have an entirely different set of rules you must follow.
The question that we are looking at today is “How do you strengthen your resume after the service?”. It is an interesting question because you are dealing with two sets of criteria.
When you are in civilian life you are concerned about your education, the grades you get in school, what you study and your performance in or on the job no matter what the situation. You go to work for companies and they have certain rules you follow. These rules are based on their rules as well as civilian rules.
The Military has rules as well that fit with civilian rules. They include being at a certain place on time, showing respect and studying to learn new skills. However, there are things you do in the military that you are not exposed to in civilian life and it is possible to use this information to improve your resume.
Some of the things you are taught to do in the service that you are not taught to do in civilian life are to fire a weapon, detonate a grenade, fly and low-crawl under bullets. You are sent through training that is physically and emotionally challenging. In a nut-shell that is the type of thing you go through that people in civilian life do not go through at least in the same way. Certainly people do go through physical and emotional challenges but not by “training design.”
How does this help you strengthen your resume?
What the military does for you is enhance your strengths that are not visible. For example, you can handle challenges; you are not worked up as easily because you have been stressed before. And, you developed good personal habits based on those from the military. The way you help your resume is by pointing out your achievements physically, emotionally and perhaps even academically.
As usual the best thing I can do is give you my personal experience.
When I came out of the service I had been in a war (Vietnam), I was able to show three years of obeying orders without punishment. I was able to show academic achievement “with honors.” I studied finance. I was in a band in Vietnam, chosen by the military. When I came back to the United States I was picked to host a base closed-circuit television show and I did a weekly radio show that was relayed to all local stations.
Also I became the asst. to a Captain.
This Captain built a radio station and offered me a once-in-a-lifetime shot at helping him build it. The problem was I met my wife. The radio station was in Florida and my wife was in my home state of Illinois. I didn’t have the heart to ask her to move.
However as a result of my military record I had three job offers. I ultimately, within 15 years, was an Executive Vice-President.
How did I “strengthen my resume?”
Before the military it was mostly college. However after the military, I was able to give the firms interested in me the phone numbers of people who had been with me in the service, people I had worked for. I was able to show my Honorable Discharge and my academic record.
Basically what I was able to do was to show potential employers that I did not panic, I was a problem solver; I showed them that I worked hard and had a pretty good brain and mostly that I was a team player and not a trouble maker.
Over the years as I became the employer more than the employee I was able to appreciate what I presented as a potential employee after I had gone to the military.
My advice to those who are getting out of the service is to go after education yes, but that Honorable Discharge speaks volumes about who you are.
Personal Experience and Knowledge