Developing a “Civilian Friendly” Resume

As a military member or veteran, you have a ton of transferrable skills that are very valuable not only as a student but also to employers. Now, you need to work on translating these skills and the language of your roles in the military to a civilian level of jargon. In doing so, this information will be easier to understand and the recruiter will get a better idea of your positions and experiences. Some examples of this are:

  • NCO to Supervisor or Manager
  • Medal to Award or Recognition
  • Mission to Task or Objective
  • Squad to Section
  • Subordinates to Employees, Staff, Colleagues, or Personnel
  • Soldiers/Airmen/etc. to Individuals, People, Staff, or Employees
  • Reconnaissance to Data collection, Survey, or Analysis
  • Commanded to Supervised or Directed
  • EPR/OPR, NCOER/OER, or Fitness Report to Performance appraisal

Military Skills Translator 

Utilizing a military skills translator will provide further assistance when connecting your military experience directly to civilian jobs as well as identifying your transferable skills. Understanding how your military experience translates to your job or career path will help you when writing your resume/cover letter and networking with employers. Some helpful military translators include:

  • O-net is a great resource not only for learning more in-depth knowledge of a certain position, but you can also utilize it to create bullet points when translating your military experience into civilian language. You can also input your MOC into the text box to find matching occupations as a civilian.
  • My Next Move for Veterans: Evaluate and use your military experience to explore civilian careers and training as well as provide information on writing resumes that highlight relevant skills.
  • Military Skills Translator: Matches military experiences to civilian jobs
By Michele V. McAuliffe
Michele V. McAuliffe Graduate Assistant