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Writing an ATS-Friendly Resume for Veterans: A Comprehensive Guide

Business man and woman reviewing a resume during an interview

In the transition from military to civilian life, one of the crucial steps for veterans is creating a resume that stands out. Not only does it need to reflect their unique skills and experiences, but it must also be optimized for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) used by many employers. In this guide, we'll explore how to craft an ATS-friendly resume, effectively highlight your veteran status, and ensure your resume scores high with ATS.

How to Write an Optimized Veteran Resume for ATS

Applicant Tracking Systems are designed to scan resumes and evaluate them based on keywords and formatting. To make your resume ATS-friendly, focus on simplicity and keyword relevance. Use a clean, straightforward layout. Avoid tables, images, or intricate designs, as these can confuse the ATS. Instead, opt for standard headings like "Experience," "Education," and "Skills."

Keywords are crucial when writing a veteran resume for ATS. Tailor your resume to each job by incorporating specific keywords found in the job description. This increases the likelihood that the ATS will flag your resume as a match. Tools like the AI Resume Writer can be incredibly helpful in identifying and integrating these keywords seamlessly.

Incorporating Veteran Status on Your Resume

Your veteran status is a valuable asset. It signifies leadership, discipline, and a host of other skills. To include this, create a section titled “Military Experience” and list your role, service dates, and accomplishments. Be sure to translate military jargon into civilian terms. For assistance, the Military Translator on SkillMil can be an invaluable tool, helping you articulate your experience in a way that resonates with civilian employers.

Achieving a Good ATS Score

Achieving a good ATS score goes beyond just keyword stuffing. It's about relevance and context. Use the job description as a guide and align your experience accordingly. Ensure that your work history, skills, and qualifications mirror the requirements of the job. Remember, a well-structured, error-free resume also contributes to a higher ATS score.

The Best Layout for an ATS Resume

The best layout for an ATS resume is one that is clean and structured. Use a chronological format, listing your most recent experience first. Make sure your contact information is clear and at the top. Use standard fonts like Arial or Times New Roman, and a font size of 11 or 12 points for the body text.

Additional ATS Optimized Tool

For veterans, managing job applications and contacts is crucial. The SkillMil Job search and Contact Tracker is an excellent resource, providing a structured way to keep track of job applications and professional contacts.

Crafting an ATS-friendly resume as a veteran involves understanding how ATS works, effectively showcasing your military experience, and using the right tools to enhance your resume. With these strategies, your transition into a civilian career can be smoother and more successful.


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