< BACK TO VETERANS PAGE

Resume Tips for Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Careers

We understand that as a veteran, there are a number of skills that you can bring to an organization, but it may be difficult to translate those specific skills into civilian jargon for job searches/resumes. At Northrop Grumman, 20% of our employees are veterans, with another 1,600 reservists on our team. It is important to us to help members of the military transition to a civilian career. Develop a strong impression with these resume tips for veterans.

A common issue with veterans writing resumes is that the veteran has been trained to think of "self" last; that the team and mission are all that is important. These are excellent values and an ethos that are to be commended. However self-serving as it may seem, as a veteran, you must promote yourself and your skills when applying for a job outside of the military, including your contributions and experience.






the letter A Resume formatting basics:


• Never go below 11 point font
• No more than three pages long (and one or two pages is preferred)
• Use bullet points vs. paragraph formats
• The average recruiter/manager will take no more than 20 seconds to read a resume: be concise and convincing from start to finish
• If using bullet points (recommended) make sure you’re consistent with using a period (or not)
• Spell check
• Proofread, then ask a couple of other people to proofread – both for content and for grammar




badge Fundamental components that should be included in every resume:


• Specific dates of employment and job transition
• Correct job titles
• Summary of qualifications
• Clearance information
• Statements describing your most recent job and prior jobs (include as many as appropriate)
• Specific results and benefits that support your activities and accomplishments
• If you are willing to relocate, indicate so near the bottom of the page




bar chart

Your resume is also going to be reviewed by non-military tech/business/logistics professionals first. As such, when you describe your work experience, go into detail about the following:


• Identify yourself as a veteran early in your resume
• What tools you used, how many people you supervised
• How much money you managed, saved or generated (in dollars and/or in %)
• If you have led any teams (including the ranks of those led, general objective, success statistics, etc.)
• Avoid indicating one specific job in the objective; we hope to use your skills on multiple projects
• If you are an active student/recent graduate, indicate your current/most recent cumulative GPA





Person in a wheel

Create a “Skills Summary” or “Qualifications and Highlights” Section

In this section, promote your qualifications and unique talents. Focus on how you can add value to the organization. Use bullet points, indicate quantitative and qualitative data; don’t just say “automation” or “operations”. Rather, describe your complete experience.

Examples:


• “In total, have tracked, maintained, repaired and been accountable for $5.8 million worth of government aviation property.”
• “Have guided, trained and assisted over 300 U.S. Naval officers in the execution of various aircraft maintenance duties and flight schedules.”




Refresh icon

If you can find the civilian equivalent to your job, make sure you put that beside each job title.

Example: Tool Shop Supervisor (Logistics Branch Manager)


Example: VAW-123, Aviation Maintenance/Production Chief – (Tool Shop Supervisor/Logistics Branch Manager) – directly supervised 48 people.





Functions icon

If you have had multiple duty stations performing similar duties, consider a functional resume that breaks down your groups of working experience by specialty vs. location.

Example: Aviation Mechanical

Highlights/Experience
Did this while supervising this many people
Did this while using this tool to more efficiently do that
Saved the Navy this much money by dong this

Example: Logistics

Highlights/Experience
Did this while supervising this many people
Did this while using this tool to more efficiently do that
Saved the Army this much money by dong this



American Patch

Military Transition Guide

EXPLORE
American Handshake

Job Searching and Networking Strategies

EXPLORE