Create a Targeted Resume and Stand Out to Employers

####Creating Your Military-to-Civilian Targeted Resume

**Did you know most recruiters spend only a few seconds on a resume before moving on?** The resume you give to employers can open the door to an interview - or completely disqualify you from an opportunity. How do you ensure the resume you provide will make the right impact?

To capture the interest of employers, your resume should only include the most relevant and impactful information for that job. Your targeted resume should be aimed at the employer, compliant with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and use keywords from the job description.

*[You may first need to build a master resume of all your skills and experience*]( This will allow you to have a compiled list from which to pull information for your *targeted* resume, or the one you use to apply for a job.

**RecruitMilitary's job seeker profile will help you build your resume. [Sign up here and create your resume today!](**

####The Best Format for Your Targeted Resume

Depending on the industry you're entering, there are a few main types of resume format to choose from:

- The [**Chronological Resume**]( is a good choice for those who are looking to stay in the same field. It is the most widely accepted through [applicant tracking systems](
- The [**Combination/Skills-Based Resume**]( is a good option for someone embarking into a new industry (like leaving the military and entering the civilian workforce.)
- The [**Functional Resume**]( is best for job seekers with gaps in their work experience (like some military spouses). However, since this format does not list work history, *we only recommend this to individuals with an employment gap greater than five years.*
- The [**Federal Resume**]( is for those who want to work for the government at the federal level. This resume type requires details that would not be necessary for most corporate jobs and can be up to five pages long.
- The **Curriculum Vitae** is reserved for those going into educational or medical fields.

**For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on Chronological and Combination/Skills-Based resumes.** If you are creating a CV or Federal resume, attend our Resume Workshop for a [free resume review.](

####What Sections to Include on Your Military-to-Civilian Resume

When it comes to building your resume, the most important information should be on the upper half of the first page. Your resume should be 1-2 pages long and include the following sections:

- Contact Information
- Headline/Objective
- Summary of Qualifications
- Professional Experience/Work History
- Education/Training/Credentials/Certifications
#####Contact Information

Consider this section your "business card" to provide multiple options for an employer to reach you. Include: **Your Name, Phone Number, and Email Address.**

Make sure to use a professional voicemail greeting and email address. Avoid nicknames, phrases, or dates in your professional email address.

Do not include rank, certifications, or titles after your name. This information will be reflected in other sections. You also do not need to include a street address, listing city and state is enough.


**Headlines** explain *who you are* and are recommended over using an Objective. (Example Headline: Cybersecurity Engineer | Six Sigma Yellow Belt.)

**Objectives** explain the *goal of the resume* and not generally recommended. However, this section can convey things a Headline cannot. For example, someone seeking a Skillbridge opportunity at a certain company might utilize an Objective. (Example Objective: Seeking opportunities in ___ with ___ credentials.)

#####Summary of Qualifications

This section is designed to give an overview of who you are as a candidate, with two or three sentences that encapsulate the experience and key skills you bring to the position.

Show why you are qualified and what sets you apart, while incorporating keywords and phrases that are relevant to the role of interest. This section should be the hook that keeps them reading.

Veterans with a technical/mechanical background may also want to include a section [listing their technical expertise]( to make it easier for hiring managers to identify the types of equipment and tools that you have managed and operated. Think big picture (i.e. hydraulics, pneumatics, ladder logic, boilers, generators, etc.) rather than military-specific systems and terminology.

#####Professional Experience or Work History

The type of resume you're creating will dictate how you organize this section.

- For a **Chronological** resume, this section will list the different **places** you've worked with 3-5 bullets that quantify the results or impacts.
- For a **Skills-based/Combination** resume, this section will list the **skills** you've earned and where, with 3-5 bullets after that quantify the results or impacts.

Use the [S.T.A.R. (Situation, Task, Action, Result]( method to and [this list of strong verbs]( to create your experience bullets.
- **Situation**: What was the situation, problem, or conflict you were facing? Provide general context. What was your role? What were your responsibilities or goals?
- **Task**: Identify the key objective. What was the situation, problem, or challenge you were facing?
- **Action**: Describe what you did, emphasizing the skills used. How did you accomplish your tasks? Did you use any tools, equipment, or computer programs?
- **Result**: Summarize the outcome in business terms (including awards you've won). Why are these actions important? How did they benefit the organization? What was the result or outcome of your actions? This is also the bullet where you would list awards you've earned.

**Ensure your contributions are relevant to the job posting, dated within the past 10 years, and written in terms that civilian hiring authorities are likely to understand.**


Depending on the resume type and what you want to showcase, this section can be flexible.
- If you are using a **Skills-Based/Combination** resume, education will *usually* go below work experience. Education only comes after the summary of qualifications if it is more relevant than your work history.
- If you are using a [**Chronological** resume]( and have more than a year of work experience, list education after work history. You may also consider doing this if your degree is unrelated to your military experience.

In all cases, your most recent degree comes first. You do not need to include the timeframe you attended if it was more than five years ago, but do include the name of the school, and the degree or certification you earned. Only include your GPA if it is higher than 3.0.

While you should include relevant military schools, training, and certifications, weapons and tactics training are not of interest to most civilian hiring authorities. Explain what you gained as a result, such as:
- Specialized technical schools you attended to learn a trade.
- Collateral duties other than your primary role.
- Certifications or specialized watch stations.

Add hours of training to provide context for what it looks like. For example: X training, Y employer, Z hours, date(s).

#####Final Resume Considerations

Employers are looking for indicators that you have a track record of success. Read your resume from top to bottom in the employer’s point of view. Is there evidence of above-average performance indicated by quantifiable accomplishments and results?

Make sure you only keep what's relevant. You should not condense your entire career into your targeted resume. Instead, **show the employer how you fit the role in 1-2 pages.**

Check verb tenses, spelling, punctuation, and formatting. Spelling errors and typos can make you easily disqualified. Ensure you've used uniform spacing and paragraph breaks.

A modern resume keeps you relevant in the marketplace:
- Use a non-serif font.
- Write in third-person point-of-view, but pronouns are not needed to convey context.
- Do not double space between sentences.
- Do not include references on your resume. That is something you provide upon request.

If possible have five people proofread your resume. We can help! Attend our Resume Workshop for a [free resume review.](
####Next step: Use your targeted resume to apply for jobs on [RecruitMilitary's job board.](