We all know how hard it is to find a new job, especially if you have to prove your worthiness in an entirely different field.
Finding all those traits that landed you in your previous job and that could be used to impress employers in a field that is completely unknown to you is something many jobseekers often struggle with.
Now imagine this whole situation from a veteran’s point of view, who must enter into a fiercely competitive market with people who have far greater experience not only in their careers but also in dealing with the whole labor market and how to build an impressive resume. However, the situation for ex-military people is not as dire as it might seem at first, since they just have to find the right help that could earn them their (first) civilian job.
Transition Starts With Translation
Aside from the answering the basic question of ‘what to do next?’, the hardest part for any veteran is how to translate what they have been doing in the military to a civilian job. Thankfully, a helping hand is just a click away in the form of services like TAOnline.com’s free ‘jobsaurus’ that looks up hundreds of military-friendly jobs based on a MOS/MOC code, military job title or any keyword that comes to your mind. Additionally, reading books like the latest edition of What Color Is Your Parachute? is also a great asset, since it’s an effective guide to figuring out what kind of civilian job would be the most fitting.
The same translation should be applied to skills and experience, too. However, this is not as difficult as may be expected; as My Perfect Resume puts it, an overseas job during which you had to deal with the local populace may be easily translated to experience in negotiation and relationship-building with diverse cultures – something multinational companies will expect from applicants.
But there are other options to be considered as well, such as turning to government-sponsored career sites, going to relevant job fairs or even studying resumes created by former military personnel to see how to effectively include military experience in a short and convincing two-page CV.
Resume Building Tools for Veterans
Builders With a Focus on Military Personnel
Figuring out what you want to do is one thing, but applying for a suitable job is where it all begins. However, there are plenty of solutions for veterans to create a convincing resume, such as Google’s resume builder, The Resume Place or the Free Military Resume Builder (FMRB) that is also a networking site where it is possible to contact other people in the same position. Additionally, the official site of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has its own handy resume builder that requires no signup at all and is also capable of filling out the necessary fields with information gathered from a LinkedIn profile.
These are all great assets in putting together a resume, especially if the desired job is advertised by a federal agency, but compared to resume builders intended for regular jobseekers they are pretty limited. In most cases the order of the different sections is fixed, which could be a serious problem if you want to make modifications. The resume is saved in PDF by default, however. And even if most sections are automatically filled in by the program, there is still a chance that you will be forced to manually enter certain information in yourself, which is anything but user-friendly.
Civilian Resume Builders
Although most online resume builders are pay-only – albeit cheap – services, once you try them it’s likely you’ll want to create all your future CVs this way. For starters, resumes built with this software can be customized to your liking from a template, meaning everything from the fonts to the included sections and links can be tweaked. Not only that, but these solutions can suggest pre-written phrases that use relevant jargon related to the chosen industry, with which the building process can be sped up and the resume can be made even more impressive.
And if that’s not enough, resumes built with these programs can be copied as many times as you want to serve as a base resume that can be modified according to the relevant job application. They’ll often allow you to download CVs in various files or shared in an online format, too, making for a much more user-friendly method of resume creation.
Best Resume Builders of 2020