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Turning Military Experience into Civilian Experience on Your Resume



  • Military-specific words and acronyms need to be translated into civilian language. For example, "NCO" becomes "non-commissioned officer" and "remote tactical terminal" becomes "mobile computer." (See O*Net's Crosswalk Search).


  • Avoid being overly specific with details of deployments, training exercises, etc. Focus on the skills acquired, responsibilities held, and awards earned during your service.


  • Have at least two non-military individuals proofread your resume to make sure it makes sense to the civilian reader.

 Job Search

  • Numerous corporations love to hire veterans with relevant experience. Resume assistance for veterans and job placement agencies are readily available. Only accept assistance from agencies you know are either government-sponsored or non-for-profit (like Helmets for Hardhats). Never pay for job placement or resume assistance.

  • VetJobs makes it easy for employers to reach and employ all the members of the military community. The site also offers several resources for veterans. VetJobs defines the military community to include Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Department of Defense Civilians, Marine Corps, Merchant Marine, National Guard, Navy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Public Heath Service, Reserves and their sposes and dependents. Anyone may apply to the jobs on this site, but to post a resume you must have served in the United States Military or been a member of a United States military family.

Translating Military Experience into Civilian Terms 

Preparation and Job Search Resources 



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