First impressions are always important, especially when it comes to job interviews. Before you even get to meet to try and impress an employer, their first impression is your resume.
Here are a few common military resume mistakes that can really hurt your first impression.
Not Personalizing it to the Employer
You never want to use the same carbon copy resume for every job, because not every job is the same. You want to show the skills and experience that make you a good candidate for that specific position and why you would be a great fit for their company.
Using Military Acronyms
When putting together your resume, you have to assume that your potential employer has no previous knowledge of anything military related. You have to “demilitarize” your job titles into something that a civilian can relate to. Instead of using platoon or battalion, use team and separate every area of responsibility that you had in the service into a different job title.
Assuming They Knew What Skills You Acquired
Just putting your civilianized job title down is not enough for them to know what your duties and responsibilities were in that position. You need to explain your accomplishments and the skills you obtained that most relate to the position.
A resume should never be more than a page long. Employers do not want to be reading what seems to be an essay instead of a resume. Under your job title there should be about 3 to 4 bulletin points of your responsibly and highlights of your achievements.
Presentation of Your Resume
This may seem like a small detail, but it makes a huge difference. Handing an employer a resume on thick parchment instead of regular computer paper looks more professional and prepared. Never use colored paper for your resume and keep it in a portfolio or folder until you give it to them to avoid smudging or creasing the paper.
Layout is very important when it comes to a resume because it needs to be easy to read and understand. An interviewer should not have to spend time trying to figure out dates, locations, or contact information. Everything should be organized so that your information is straightforward and quickly assessed.