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No Resumé……No Discharge

Serving our Veterans here at SkillMil I have noticed a few things about Veteran resumés. They are usually too long, full of military jargoon civilians DO NOT understand, and poorly written.

With the resumé being such an important part of the transition piece, I ask myself why have the military has not done a better job helping our Veterans understand them. I know I had a long checkout sheet at every command and especially at my last one. Most of these people had zero value. Not as human beings but no value to my transition. We all know check out sheets are just an administrative burden and not designed to help any of us.

My question: How are we letting service members transfer to the civilian life without a good working resumé?

There are tons of great resources out there that do help our Veterans. Hire our Heroes is one of the best I have seen so far and we work with them often. Has the DoD really kicked the ball to the civilian sector to get this done? Part of your graduation from TGPS/TAP/whatever they are calling it these days should a great general resumé and an understanding on how to customize this to each specific job. They are making strides at the VA, the Transition Centers, and partnerships with the Department of Labor but we are just not there yet. Either hire the resources to be part of the transition process or bring in the resources that exist in the civilian sector as part of transition.

No resumé, No transfer package? I know this is not feasible but I also know the military needs to do a better job. I will say that some of the fault indeed belongs to the service member. Even if the command fails to help, there are numerous free resources.

The bottom line is if you decide to transition out and have not gotten the help you need then ultimately it is your fault.

Example of typical military evaluation

- Lead team of thirty Sailors in the execution of all maritime flight operations for an average of forty sorties a day in the Middle East supporting operations OND and OEF. Flight deck watchbill coordinator during deployment. Squadron received a coveted safety award post-deployment.

Example of typical military resumé

-Supervised thirty subordinates in the day to day operations of aircraft carrier operations while at sea. No casualties experienced during deployment. (Bad resume)

Examples of what “could be”

- Front line supervisor for thirty personnel in a high stress and complex environment. Planned, supervised, and executed aircraft recovery and launch with minimal rest hours and maximum efficiency for 3 shifts covering 24 hours a day over a 7 month period.


Words Matter-Some management examples are General Manager, Manager, Supervisor, Senior Manager, and Project Manager. Additionally, each industry has its own language and job titles. Know your role and write your resumé to fit the responsibilities of that role.

With the above you could include budget constraints, actual costs of parts, fly times, safety records, and a list of other things that you actually did. Remember, most civilian employers do not understand our military jobs so be specific and relate it to the civilian world. It is important to highlight your personal involvement and the outcome produced.

There is no secret to making your resumé perfect but you should make it easy to understand and relatable to the job you are applying for.


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