Back to Basics: the Three Most Important Military Resume Guidelines

In this month’s issue of Spotlight, the official newsletter of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches, industry pioneer Jay Block revisits the very definition of a resume.  This got me thinking… if a certified professional military resume writer could benefit from a refresher course on the basics, so could a military job seeker.

The definition of a resume has evolved.  The chronological “obituaries” of years gone by simply won’t cut it today’s troubled economy and saturated job market.  Hiring authorities quickly want to know how you can impact their organization specifically and with which results.  Block offers the following definition of a resume to reflect this shift in mentality:

“Resume: a self-marketing document, prepared for potential employers or organizations, that effectively communicates one’s ability to produce significant results and meet specific performance goals and objectives better than other qualified candidates.”

So how does one transform their military resume to follow suit?  Block goes on to list the three of the most important resume guidelines; guidelines that our military resume writers strictly abide by at Military Resumes.

#1: Make Your Case in 15-20 Seconds:

Recent studies suggest hiring authorities spend 15-20 seconds reviewing a military resume.  In this brief window of opportunity, a military job seeker must showcase their value to grab the reader’s attention and entice them to read on.  Your resume should sing your praises from across the desk and shout, “I’m deserving of a closer look!”  (For assistance with creating a headline and showcase for your military resume from a professional military resume writer, please visist

#2: Remember Who You Are Writing the Resume For:

Your intended audience, in most cases, is a stranger.  Would you want to read a stranger’s biography?  At Military Resumes, our military resume writers aim to understand what potential employers are looking for in a military job seeker and clearly convey that information through a military resume.  Take the time to understand the needs of a prospective employer and then communicate, on your military resume, how you can best meet those needs.  Tell hiring managers how you can contribute to their organizational goals and never trust them to infer.

#3: Resumes Without Achievements are Like Report Cards without Grades:

Simply sitting through a Calculus class in high school would have been easy; but you would not have expected the resulting F on your report card to get you into college.  So you worked hard for that A, a telltale marker of above average performance, knowing that colleges only admit the best of the best.  We’ve all heard that the best predictor of future performance is past performance.  It’s not only what you did, but the results you achieved that determine your employability.  The military job seeker is modest by nature.  But don’t be afraid to toot your own horn… or let a professional military resume writer toot it for you.  List accomplishments that make you standout from the crowd.  Let your military resume be your best advocate.