Veterans Resume Guide Jinger Jarrett http://jingerjarrett.com
Introduction One of the hardest things I've ever had to do is to learn how to write a resume. Even though I am a writer, that doesn't mean I know how to do it. I write for business, and the purpose of business writing is most often to educate and inform, not persuade others. Resumes are about persuasion. You want to persuade the employer to hire you. In this economy, that's a tough thing to do so you have to â€œnotch it upâ€? a bit to make your resume heads and shoulders above the rest. The tips I'm about to share with you are things I have learned from my own resume writing experience. To be honest, I write fantastic resumes. The average resume gets about a one to two percent response. That means that if you send out 100 resumes, you may get one to two responses. Mine get between 50 and 100 percent. In fact, my last resume got a 100 percent response. That resume was designed to get me freelance work. Some companies will ask for that even though they're not hiring you as a traditional employee. So I wrote a resume. Took about 15 minutes. If you're new to this, it will take a little longer, but it will be worth it because if you take the time to apply what I am about to teach you, you will have a stellar resume that gets results. What makes me qualified to write about this? I worked in Human Resources. I've worked in more than my fair share of management positions where I did the hiring. I've been on both sides of the fence, and so I know what's involved. Now let's get started. Please Note: If you know of a veteran or family member who is job hunting, please feel free to give them a copy of this resource. The more we can help veterans, the better.
Resume Tips The first thing you want to do before you get started is to gather all the materials you need to prepare your resume. This means getting your job descriptions from when you were in the military, any civilian job descriptions you may have, and the addresses and contact information of previous employers. The reason you need this is because you will use this information to help you write your resume. It is much easier to write a resume if you don't have to start from scratch, and the job description will give you ideas on how to describe your actual work experience. Depending on the job or industry you may plan to work in, you want to gather your letters of recommendation. Some companies require this. Others don't. The more sensitive the job, or the more high level it is, then the more likely you are to need this. It's about getting prepared. Have a list of references available but don't include them in your resume, and don't write â€œReferences furnished on request.â€? That's a given. The problem I see with most of the people both inside and outside of the military is that they don't understand the importance of paper work. You may not like the requirements, but keep in mind, you don't make the rules. Having heard the complaints about the VA, and I know this doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen often, much of the problem is that the paper work isn't in order. Save yourself some time. Pay attention to detail and assemble a package the employer wants to read. You have 30 seconds to get their attention. Make it count. If you have to fill out job applications, make sure everything is complete. Occasionally these have to be done by hand, so make sure you take the time to carefully print all the information and fill it out completely. I was once hired for a job because the hiring manager could read my application, and it was complete. Take the time to neatly print all your paper applications. Make it easy to read. Once you have everything collected to write your resume, then it's time to get started with the writing. Keep in mind that you want to write this information in plain English, especially the part where you are using the military job descriptions. Don't copy this information verbatim as it will still be in military speak and your potential employer won't be impressed. Try to avoid using too much military jargon, especially if you are getting a job in the civilian world. If you are considering working for the government or a defense contractor, then it's OK to use some jargon as they will understand what you are saying. The key here is to identify who the audience is for your resume and then write accordingly. Once you have one basic resume, then you can tailor this resume to different audiences according to who you are trying to get to hire you. Here's the link to the job descriptions. If you're an officer, you can also find this information on this site: Military Job Descriptions Some companies you may work for also have job descriptions on file. If you have a copy or you can get a copy, ask. You may be surprised at how many duties you really had, and you can use this information to 3
help you write your resume and land the job you want. Once you have everything you need to write your resume, then it's time to write it. Keep it simple. What I mean by this is that you only want to include the essential information. Don't waste your time adding information that doesn't belong. This includes things like your GPA if you went to college, etc. Employers don't care how well you did in school. They care about what you can do. Now, there's only three things you need to include here: your contact information including email address, your jobs, and any schooling you have that is relevant to the job. That's it. Write a one page resume, include all the relevant information, and then stop. This brings up another important point here: if you have information on your social profiles that you wouldn't want an employer to see, best to clean it up. Depending on the job, some employers will check you out online, and the first place they will look for information on you is social networks. Your interests, likes, dislikes, etc. are all relevant, some of this goes to character, and so does your politics. Like as not, these things are relevant, so think about what you are posting on these profiles. Background checks and credit checks are another issue. If you have anything in your background or on your credit report that needs to be cleaned up, clean it up. These things count too. If you can't manage your personal finances, an employer who may need you to manage his won't want to hire you. There are plenty of little things you can do to make your resume stand out. The first and most important is to make your resume targeted. This means listing the specific skills you have that are related to the job you want. Again, that may mean several resumes, and if you are using your military experience to help you get a job, then you may have to emphasize different elements of your experience in each one. Use the active and not passive voice. This means action verbs. Tell them what you did. Here is a list of action verbs that work well on resumes. Power Words accelerated accomplished achieved addressed administered advised allocated answered appeared applied appointed appraised approved arranged assessed assigned assisted assumed assured audited awarded bought briefed broadened brought budgeted built cataloged caused changed chaired clarified classified closed collected combined commented communicated compared compiled completed computed conceived concluded conducted conceptualized considered consolidated constructed consulted continued contracted controlled converted coordinated corrected counseled counted created critiqued cut dealt decided defined delegated delivered demonstrated described designed determined developed devised diagnosed directed discussed distributed documented doubled drafted earned edited effected eliminated endorsed enlarged enlisted ensured entered established estimated evaluated examined executed expanded expedited experienced experimented explained explored expressed extended 4
filed filled financed focused forecast formulated found founded gathered generated graded granted guided halved handled helped identified implemented improved incorporated increased indexed initiated influenced innovated inspected installed instituted instructed insured interpreted interviewed introduced invented invested investigated involved issued joined kept launched learned leased lectured led licensed listed logged made maintained managed matched measured mediated met modified monitored motivated moved named navigated negotiated observed opened operated ordered organized oversaw participated perceived performed persuaded planned prepared presented processed procured programmed prohibited projected promoted proposed provided published purchased pursued qualified questioned raised ranked rated realized received recommended reconciled recorded recruited redesigned reduced regulated rehabilitated related reorganized repaired replaced replied reported represented researched resolved responded restored revamped reviewed revise saved scheduled selected served serviced set set up shaped shared showed simplified sold solved sorted sought sparked specified spoke staffed started streamlined strengthened stressed stretched structured studied submitted substituted succeeded suggested summarized superseded supervised surveyed systematized tackled targeted taught terminated tested took toured traced tracked traded trained transferred transcribed transformed translated transported traveled treated trimmed tripled turned tutored umpired uncovered understood understudied unified unraveled updated upgraded used utilized verbalized verified visited waged weighed widened won worked wrote More power suggestions ability capable capability capacity competence competent complete completely consistent contributions demonstrated developing educated efficient effective effectiveness enlarging equipped excellent exceptional expanding experienced global increasing knowledgeable major mature maturity nationwide outstanding performance positive potential productive proficient profitable proven qualified record repeatedly 5
resourceful responsible results significant significantly sound specialist substantial substantially successful stable thorough thoroughly versatile vigorous well educated well rounded worldwide Don't just tell them what you did. Tell them how what you did made a difference. Now would be the time to emphasize your awards you received. Most veterans could care less about their awards. Some of the most decorated veterans I have met were also the most humble, but now is the time to shine. That award could very well be the difference between you and that next candidate, so if you have something, include it. Next, once you have written your resume, you want to proof it. Read it through, but don't just read it through. Read it out loud. Reading it out loud will do several things for you. Reading your resume aloud allows you to check the flow. How does it sound? What you wrote may not sound so good when you read it out loud. Also, this allows you to catch about 70 percent of your grammar errors. When you read out loud, you have to slow down, and you catch mistakes that you won't see if you simply just read over it. Which brings up another point: don't write and edit at the same time. Don't think too hard about what you are writing when you put it on paper. Just say it. Get it down on the paper. When you're finished, you can go back a day or two later and read over it when your mind is fresh. Then you edit. If you don't spell very well, get someone to read over your resume who does. Spelling is very important. It's about attention to detail, but it's also about appearances. You don't want to appear ignorant to your prospective employer. The ability to communicate is one of the most underrated skills in the job market, and it's also one of the most overlooked by those who are searching for jobs. Do this simple thing to make yourself look better to prospective employers. Formatting is another issue. You want to use fonts and a format that are easy to read. I use 12 point Garamond for text because I think it is easier to read than Times New Roman. Don't use a lot of different fonts. If you want to use headlines to separate each area of your resume, then go with a non serif font like Helvetica, and then a serif font for your text. (A serif font has curls on that lead your eyes to the next letter. This makes it easier to read the text. A non serif font is a block letter. It doesn't have this. You can tell the difference when reading a newspaper as newspapers use non serif headlines and serif for content.) Readability is extremely important here, especially if you are emailing your resume. When reading online, people read 25 percent slower than they do offline in print. Use short words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. You don't impress others by using big words unless it's technical jargon that needs to be included. If you have a bad habit of writing in a complex way, then I recommend you read the Public Relations Handbook and test your copy using the readability test. You may be surprised. A word about cover letters here: don't forget to include one. This is another opportunity for you to sell yourself. The way to do this is to talk about the actual position you are interested in and then tell the employer why you would be such a great fit for the position. Emphasize what you could do if you were hired for the position. Don't summarize your resume, and be specific so the employer will know that you are familiar with the position you want to be hired for. Keep your formatting simple. Black print on white paper. If you want to buy a nice durable paper, that's 6
fine, but make sure it is white, holds the ink, and doesn't smear. Laser printed is best, so take it to the library and get it printed if you don't have a printer. Now that you have a resume ready, it's time to start emailing them or mailing them. Get the correct addresses for potential employers and make sure you send your resumes to the appropriate person. It doesn't hurt to follow up to make sure they have your resume and then about an interview. Just keep in mind these people are busy, and you could end up irritating them by calling, so if the job posting says no phone calls, that's exactly what it means. One final tip, and I'd like to thank my sister for this one: many companies nowadays use temporary services to hire people. So if you have temporary services in your town, make sure you sign up for these as it may be the entrance to that job you want. Also, if you want to work for companies like defense contractors, you may want to consider head hunters because some companies may not directly hire. That's it for now. This is a living document, so I will add material as I get it. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to contact me. I'll be happy to help. Thanks. And by the way, if you use the material in this guide, and it helps you get a job, please let me know. I love to hear success stories. Jinger Jarrett http://jingerjarrett.com/support/
Resources I've tried to keep the resources to a minimum as well as free. If you need further advice, want me to help with your resume, or proof it, let me know. That's why I'm here for. I have also written another guide with resources for veterans, so make sure you download that one too. It has a lot more job sites and resources for veterans. US Military Veterans - Create Your Dream Job – Our group on Facebook. If you're not a member, consider joining. We're here to help. If you are already a member, then let me know how I can help. Resume Writing Software – You can download free resume writing software to help you. My Perfect Resume – Allows you to write your resume online. Choose from 1000s of designs. Vet Jobs – The first place to start to post your resume. Also offers a database of jobs you may apply for. Military Hire – This is a another job search portal for veterans. You may want to post your resume here. Free Microsoft Office Resume Templates – you can download these templates for free and use them to format your resumes. Free Open Office Resume Templates – If you don't have Microsoft Office on your computer, you can download this free office suite that is comparable. It's what I use. You can save your documents in Word format if you need to.
If you are a veteran or military service member who is looking for a job, need help with your benefits, or you want to go back to school, th...