When you are discharged from the military you are going to make a transition back in to civilian life. You begin to deal with civilians which is a different way of dealing with people than is done in the military. The Military is unique in that there are certain rules to be followed and failure to do so can bring more severe consequences than in civilian life. For example, if you are “smart with your boss” in the military you can be fined. In civilian life if you have a “spout off” and it is a limited thing it will probably be overlooked.
What do you do when you look at your resume and your ideas spread out in front of you and you are trying to figure out how to incorporate your military life and your return to civilian life? It is not an easy task and it is fraught with some dangers.
To begin with there is a natural tendency to be a little haughty. After all you have been in the service and you have survived and sometimes that makes people a little arrogant.
The worse thing to do in my opinion after having made achievements is to be “I did this, I did that.” In my opinion the best thing you can do is to be humble and point out basic building blocks.
For example, I say your Honorable Discharge is a selling point and should be made and commented on in passing. Points that an employer would be interested in would be what was your training and your academic training in the service? Did you manage other people and if so how many? What was your job in the military? How does that job relate to the job you are applying for? If these sound like interview questions that is exactly what you are trying to answer on your resume. Hopefully you were able to study in the service what you wanted to do when you were discharged from the service. An example would be to learn basic computer technology when you wanted to work with computers.
People are not usually interested in weaponry. They are not interested in your commentary on war or commentary on the service or commentary on political things. They are interested in how you relate to your job. However if you were in construction work or road maintenance in the service or had a job you had to provide physical skills then you would of course want them to know that. They would be interested in your managerial skills if you had soldiers that reported to you.
What I found valuable was to talk with an employment counselor and let them wade through my time in the service. They were able to point out things employers were interested in and were able to add to that some testing they did that presented a picture of who I was. I would then talk to a potential employer.
When you ask the question what should you do or not do to build your resume after military service, it is important to remember you have had a number of years that have changed you. You want to be honest about whom and what you are and that will always carry you a long way.
Personal Experience and Knowledge