Military To Civilian Resume Tips: Make Your Skills Stand Out!

- June 30, 2020

Read Time: 4 min

The first step in adjusting to civilian life is getting a job and earning a living. And for that, you need an outstanding resume. Now everyone knows that job hunting can be pretty daunting and stressful. Similarly, making a resume is a pain in the neck too. There are so many areas to consider to end up with that one impeccable ticket to your dream job. However, don't get overwhelmed, buckle up because we have a break down of all the steps for writing a perfect resume after military service. Here are some tips which can help you write one.


Make sure your resume is understandable to Civi. It's best to assume that the person reading your resume knows nothing about the military. The military terms are not comprehensible to everyone, so it's best to be safe and write it using mainly civilian terms.


  • Write in easy to understand terms such as supervisor and specialist
  • Use your experience from the military


  • Write like the recruiter is an ignorant
  • Use acronyms

Make A List Of Your Skills:

After shortlisting the jobs you want to apply to, try shortlisting the skills which resonate the best to the job requirement. Articulate all those skills which the employer expects from you. Moreover, technicians, mechanics, and engineer skills can convert easily to civilian jobs. Try and personalise your resume to the job your want.

Choose An Appropriate Resume Style:

The way you construct your CV reflects a lot about your personality and knowledge. The CV is the first impression of you, your employers will get to see, make sure it is perfect. There are several styles in which you can choose to opt for, choose the one which helps you highlight your skills in the best way. Don't be afraid to use colour, your resume should be an extension of your personality. Here are some of the most commonly used resume styles

  • Chronological Resume

This style allows you to feature your employment history and your own experiences. Therefore, you start with your most recent post and go back in time in order. While doing so, you mention all your roles and achievements with each position, respectively. 

  • Functional Resume

If you want to focus on your skills, then choose a functional resume format. Your employment background is not of significant importance here. Therefore, you list down the set of skills and accomplishments under a specific domain of expertise.

  • Combination Resume

An all-rounder kind of style which focuses on various skills you earned by working at different places. So, this method employs all your skills accompanied by employment history.

Tip: You don't need to include all roles you have had, avoid mentioning jobs you had 7+ years ago if they have no connection to the job you are going for. Focus on recent postings and jobs.

Get All Your Certificates:

Make sure that if the recruiter asks that you have all the relevant documents to back up your service. Moreover, gather all the relevant certificates and documents your employer might ask you to provide, some require copies of passports, drivers licences or relevant certifications. 

What To Include In A Resume After Military Service:

Contact Details:

  • Your full name
  • Phone number
  • Home address
  • Email address

Target Line:

  • One or two liners which focus on the type of job or role you are looking for.

Brief Of Your Qualifications:

  • Remember that it is a summary of your experience, so highlight the primary skills
    and qualifications relevant to the post you applied at.

Work History:

  • Add pointers that focus on your employment

Educational Background:

  • Mention the schools, colleges, and military training centres you attended. Make
    sure that you write them in chronological order, albeit, the dates are not necessary
    to mention. 

Specials Skills And Achievements:

  • Use this section to highlight specials skills, honours, and awards that make you
    distinct from others.

Additional Requirements For Resume After Military Service:

  • Make your CV short and to the point. There is no need to add irrelevant details, such as marital status, height, weight, etc. Make sure that your resume is not more than two pages.
  • Add volunteer experience 
  • Do check for errors in grammar and spelling. Therefore, proofread your resume before submitting and better to have someone else read it too for necessary corrections.
  • Don't put in your age or a picture of yourself

Make a Cover Letter:

A cover letter is an essential element for your resume. It defines why you are interested in the job and what skills you have, which make you capable of it. Make sure to use a business letter format and address it to the person in charge of hiring you.


When listing your experience, focus the main part of your resume on recent jobs and volunteer experience. No-one wants to know your achievements in highschool when you are 28. Keep any information over four years ago short and to the point. Don't lie on your resume; you will be caught out! 


It is imperative not to submit the same resume to every job application. If you are applying for different posts, then make sure your resume is aligned with the expectations of each recruiter. Next up, if you do get a call, start preparing for your interview. Godspeed!!

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