How to Prepare a Military Resume

Part three:

Follow the guidelines on this page (3 of 3) to properly format the Experience and Training sections of your military to civilian resumes.

Experience Example 1:

EXPERIENCE: United States Navy
Navigator – USS Frank Cable (AS 40), Guam – 2012 to present
Led a team of 12 sailors in the daily navigation, signaling and operations of a forward deployed ship. Safely guided the ship over 23,000 nautical miles and through two of the toughest ports in the Pacific. Researched and planned routes, identified potential hazards to transit and prepared nautical charts. Delivered multi-media navigational briefs to the ship’s Commanding Officer and his staff on a daily basis. Maintained navigation equipment valued at $2M.

  • Ranked as top junior officer, #1 of 11
  • Transformed the previously underperforming piloting party into a team of professional experts
  • Earned the Pacific Fleet Submarine Tender Navigation “N”, an award signifying exceptional expertise in navigation
  • Lauded as “my most reliable leader” by the Commanding Officer

Experience Example 2:

Maintenance Officer – 11/2011 to 2/2013
United States Marine Corps, Engineer Support Company, Camp Lejeune, NC
Sole executive-level manager of the Maintenance Operations branch of an Engineer Equipment Company supporting combat operations. The branch is comprised of four teams (Motor Transport, Electrical, Heavy Equipment and Water Purification) and $40M in heavy motor transport and utilities equipment. Supervise and document the maintenance process, conduct quality control checks, reconcile supply reports and interface with headquarters. Manage the entire maintenance cycle for 220 end items and determine supply chain needs in order to support missions around the world. Develop and execute logistical plans from the ground up and facilitate operations.

  • Handpicked for the Site Maintenance Officer position due to an impeccable performance history and leadership abilities.
  • Consistently achieved a 98.7% maintenance readiness rate; the average rate is approximately 90%.
  • Extensive experience in orchestrating large-scale logistical and property disposal operations; removed over 275 pieces of equipment from Iraq in one of the largest operations of its kind to date.

Experience Example 3:

Electricians Mate Nuclear, US Navy
USS Alexandria (2015- Present)
Qualified Shutdown Reactor Operator and Electrical Operator, the most senior watch stations for an Electricians Mate.

  • Performed maintenance, troubleshooting, and repairs on 450V and 120V electrical systems.
  • Highly skilled in organizing, preparing for, and documenting maintenance.
  • Supervised up to eight (8) technicians as shift supervisor.
  • Selected for the Maintenance Information Center Team due to high technical competency and drive for pushing work.
  • Prepared hundreds of work packages and tagouts, requiring a high level of attention to detail to ensure the safety of those accomplishing the work.
  • Coordinated between the ship and shipyard on a daily basis, ensuring that work and testing was accomplished smoothly and efficiently.


TRAINING AND CERTIFICATIONS: Only include applicable training and certification listings; weapons and tactics training are not of interest to most civilian hiring authorities. If you do not have any applicable training, there is no need to have a training section on your resume. If your training section is relatively brief, it can be rolled into the education section.

You may have to expound on the title of the training. “Completed Signal Officer Advanced Course” is not self-explanatory. To make the Signal Officer Advanced Course add value to your resume, you will have to explain the curriculum. If you have several such schools that build on each other, or that are closely related (e.g., Surface Warfare Officer and Engineering Watch Officer Schools), you can combine them or list the most advanced course only in order to save space.

Student, Navy Nuclear Prototype – Ballston Spa, NY (3/15 – 9/15)

  • In-depth operational training in a land-based nuclear power plant
  • First in peer group to qualify as Engineering Officer of the Watch of an operational reactor plant
  • Student, Navy Nuclear Power School – Charleston, SC (10/15 – 3/16)
  • Advanced coursework in Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Materials, Thermodynamics and Plant Operations
  • Graduated third out of 93 officers


  • Your resume should be one or two pages. A one page resume is best, but if you exceed one page make sure that it fills up at least half of the second page.
  • More is not always better! Remember, this document should be a crisp/concise executive snapshot of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. The hiring process will give you the opportunity to fill in the gaps, don’t try to do it all here in one page.
  • With the exception of the Heading, you should use no less than 10-point type and no less than ½” margins. Use an easy to read font such as Arial or Calibri. Hiring authorities do not want a resume that is too long or that is hard to read.
  • Make sure that you are paying attention to the smallest details as they often make the biggest difference. List numbers consistently. If you are going to spell out numbers less than 10, do it throughout the resume. List monetary figures consistently, etc. Ask a friend to proofread your resume for spelling and grammatical errors, then ask your Candidate Recruiter to give it the final review.
  • Use present tense for positions currently held and past tense for previous roles. Lead is the present tense for one who leads, as well as a very heavy toxic metal. Led is the past tense verb for what a leader did.
  • Spell out all acronyms the first time that they are used and then put the condensed version in parenthesis immediately following the spelled out word/phrase, you can use the acronym from that point forward. Do use an acronym at all if the phrase occurs only once. Always strive to replace military specific systems with plain language descriptors. Your resume should read as if you were speaking to your grandparents.
  • The resume is only one part of the hiring process and can be defined as “an advertisement for individuals.” It is meant to entice. It should not be a “laundry list” of duties. Do not try to include every detail on your resume. During the interview process, you will be able to further describe the details of your career if relevant to the position for which you are interviewing.
  • Do not put an objective on your resume. Your Candidate Recruiter knows what your career objective is, and will present you for opportunities accordingly. An objective is an antiquated tactic and may hurt you in an interview if it is not 100% in tune with the position for which you are interviewing. Furthermore, why detail your expectations when you can focus on the attributes that you have to offer?
  • Stop after about eight years of experience. If you have eight or more years of experience, you should combine some of your early experience into one summarized section and focus on your most recent experience.
  • It is critical that your email address be a “professional” one (e.g., something similar to “”), not a nickname or phrase (“” is an actual email address from a resume we received – it is an example of what to avoid).
  • Similarly, your voicemail message should be professional in tone and content. Potential employers may have the need to contact you at home and you will want to use this opportunity to deliver a positive impression, even with your voicemail message.

Thanks for your interest in BMI’s resume guidance pages. We hope it assists you in this important step of achieving a civilian career.