Resume Basics – Adjusting Your Expectations

Military Resume

Many veterans seeking jobs tell us that the process of initially getting their resume together and keeping it updated is one of their least favorite parts of a civilian job search. Nevertheless, it’s a necessary evil in the civilian world. According to Wendy Enelow and Louise Kursmark, founders of the Resume Writing Academy and certified resume writers, it is critical to understand from the beginning exactly what a resume is, and more importantly, what it isn’t before you dive in.

Knowing a resume’s purpose is key. For starters, your resume is not designed to be a career obituary or your life story. In fact, your resume alone won’t get you the job. So then, what exactly IS a resume? Quite simply, it’s a marketing tool designed to help you land the interview. Once you’re in the door, you can expand on some of the career achievements you’ve highlighted in your resume.

Don’t Get Moved to the Bottom of the Pile

Companies may be eager to increase their veteran employment numbers, but you still have to stand out to get noticed. Chances are, your resume will be fighting for the attention of a hiring manager who is flooded with information. He or she may only have a minute to look at your resume. Therefore, your resume must be crisper and tighter than ever before.

It’s essential to grab your reader’s attention early and deliver key information concisely. That means your resume must be easy to scan, with lots of white space and bullets. Enelow and Kursmark recommend that a resume be no more than two pages maximum. Why? Because keeping it short will force you to include only the most important and compelling information.

Establishing Your Brand

Your resume is your opportunity to build your personal brand. Keep in mind that you are selling yourself and the value you will bring to the organization. Building your personal brand will require you to dig deep and hone in on the career achievement and successes that make you unique. Need help translating your military background into the right civilian resume? Learn more about our military resume writing services here.