Posts Tagged ‘Objective’

Resume Writing Tips For Veterans

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

In honor of the Fourth of July holiday (which has regretably just past), this week we’ll be looking at how veterans can leverage their military service into a solid civilian career via a strong, well-crafted resume:

Veterans face a particularly tough challenge when compared to most unemployed when it comes to resume writing and marketing themselves for job openings. Whereas a civilian mindset, vocabulary and previous professional experiences are already in an acceptable resume format, the serviceman or woman has to go a few extra steps in an effort to translate a career in the military into an attractive resume for a career in the private sector.

While difficult, translating a military resume into a civilian resume is far from impossible, and if anyone can take on the challenge it’s an American veteran. Experience as a veteran will be an advantage in today’s very competitive job searching. Below are just a few tips that will hopefully aid in your resume writing process and give you a bump-up on the competition.

1. Choose a mission, set an objective.

The biggest mistake all job seekers make is using one generic resume for every job applied to… This is a tactically faulted approach, as each position will most likely be seeking a slightly different job candidate. For this reason, your resume should be specifically targeted to each job position being applied to. Don’t be a generalist, but a master of what is being sought by the employer.

2. Remember Civilians Don’t Speak Jargon

It is worth remembering that most employers will not understand even some of the most basic of military lingo including acronyms or systems knowledge specific to military application. This may come as a challenge, but translation will be needed from military jargon to layman acceptable generalist terminology. Resumes containing a lot of military terminology will cause HR Managers’ eyes to glaze over because they simply do not understand it. Instead, convert terms for specific applications into broad terms for generic application.

Did you use a proprietary munitions inventory tracking and monitoring system called SCORPINX-57XP? Well, that bullet point should instead read something like “proficient in inventory and inventory tracking systems”. You get the picture.

3. Match You Skillset

Pick your battles whenever you can. By applying to jobs you are unqualified for, you are only wasting time and energy. Instead apply to jobs you stand a good chance at landing because of your experience and skills. For example, you will have a difficult time landing a marketing job with a mechanical background. Instead, search for jobs using keywords such as “mechanical”, “mechanics”, “mechanical engineering” and the like.

If you still have your heart set on marketing, find a technical school near your community and enroll. An Associates degree can be had in under two years and schools offering general marketing programs are a dime a dozen.

4. Toot Your Own Horn

As mentioned above, it is important to frame your resume with a civilian reader‘s perspective in mind, as that will be necessary to communicate skills, experience, and goals you wish to achieve. However, make sure to display your military experience prominently on your resume as it’s full of golden HR “keywords” such as:

  • Leadership skills
  • Independent thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Applied Teamwork skills
  • Professional dedication

Having served in the armed forces, you are by default a treasure trove of highly valuable critical thinking and problem solving skills. By accompanying your military experience with these skills, you validate your claims, something that many civilian applicants will struggle to do.

5. Triple-Check Fundamentals and Numerically Quantify

As many times as recruiters warn against it, job applicants consistently include grammatical errors or spelling mistakes on their cover letters and resumes. Running a document through spell-check is not sufficient; proofreading requires human eyes. If you don’t have a friend or family member with grammar skills up to the challenge of reviewing your resume, consider contacting an old English teacher. Explaining your service history and desire to find a civilian job, you’d be hard-pressed to find an educator who would refuse helping you out.

Finally, throughout your resume, whenever possible, numerically quantify your achievements. For example, if you led a group of soldiers, state how many, written in numerical form as in “100” instead of “one hundred”. Numerals pop out to HR types and make resumes look more qualified.

Also, add ultimate qualifications by including military honors and any medals earned, as this is definitely one area where civilians will not be able to compete with you.

Your Resume – Summary vs. Objective

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The days of writing a career objective are long over. The objective was traditionally reserved for recent graduates or professionals changing fields or industries to indicate to hiring managers the kind of position they wanted, as this might not be immediately apparent from their resume since it would either have little experience or unrelated experience. It soon became fashionable for everyone to write a career objective at the beginning of their resume. However, most recruiters rightly point out that hiring managers don’t want to know what a job seeker wants from an employer but what the job seeker can offer to the employer.

It is now standard procedure to include a brief summary rather than an objective. The summary is designed to provide the employer a quick snapshot of what you have done and for how long, outlining your strengths, skills, and expertise (especially intangibles).

Summary or Objective of a Resume

It is important to know what a summary statement should include, as there is no set format and templates should be avoided. Some of the key ingredients are:

– Mention your industry, your work experience in years, and the kinds of companies you have worked for.

e.g., Financial Services, 20 years, private and public sector, Fortune 500, etc.

– Include important functional and vertical skills or expertise you demonstrate.

e.g., back office, service delivery, music composition, lyricist, accounting, software specialist, etc.

It is also important to include keywords from the description of the job that you are applying for. Otherwise, while the human element (HR) might be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, that you have some possible relevance to the job, the Application Tracking Software surely won’t and you’ll be filtered out before they even see your resume.

– An executive summary should not attempt to confuse or deceive the reader. It must be honest and consistent with the rest of the resume. Be concise and avoid generalizations. Think of it as a quick road map to what the hiring manager will be reading further below.

– The summary should be just that: a summary. It should summarize the details and the breadth of your career and resume. And it should be able to convey your background in less than 20 seconds.

Problems occasionally arise, however, when a professional is attempting to move into an adjacent profession, such as when a musician wants to be a lyricist or a teacher is applying for math tutoring near me or applying for role as a personal trainer. The goal then is to make the employer understand that you have transferable skills that are applicable to the role for which you are applying, even though you don’t have any or much direct experience. The summary can be an excellent place to accomplish this, as it will explain the situation immediately to the hiring manager and provide the lenses through which the hiring manager should read the rest of your resume.