Many of the jobs available within the military are similar to private sector jobs, with the main difference being that you’ll primarily assist military personnel in some capacity. When working in the military field, you can expect increased job stability and often higher job satisfaction in a more structured setting.
Specific job duties vary widely with top military positions, including military physicians and dentists, combat mission support officers, military judges and magistrates, construction, military teachers and instructors, database and system administrators, and ship and boat captains. About 83 percent of military careers are considered enlisted careers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the remaining jobs considered officer careers. Eligibility is based on military rank, training, and experience.
Benefits of Working in the Military Field
Salaries are just as diverse as the jobs available within the military field, ranging from approximately $29,000 to more than $180k for advanced positions in a military setting. While some positions do require a degree, the good news is that the U.S. military offers many opportunities to obtain the required education for substantially less than what you’d pay to receive the same education on your own. Another benefit of a military career is the ability to transition to private sector positions easier since you’ll already have the experience and education most employers prefer.
Why You Need a Resume to Land a Military Job
A military resume is useful in keeping track of the experiences you gain in the military along with presenting your relevant skills when competing for positions with other military personnel with similar backgrounds. If you have any private sector experience prior to enlisting in the military, a resume can help you find a similar position within the armed forces. A clearly detailed military resume also helps personnel managers, recruiting managers, and training and education directors within the military make well-informed hiring decisions. Browse the detailed military resume samples on Resume-Now to get started with your own resume.
Military Resume Questions
1. How do you list education on a military resume?
As a military professional, you’ve likely completed a great deal of specialized education and multiple recurring courses on various subjects, including certifying and re-certifying on critical topics. For your resume, though, you should try to trim this down to just a few lines that include your degree education and any trainings or certifications relevant to the jobs you’re targeting.
You may need to cut some repeated courses or separate courses that have the same subject matter. Try to keep your education as succinct as our military resume sample, and list your degree and trainings in reverse chronological order.
2. How do you list references on a military resume?
Often on military resumes, particularly if applying for internal or federal jobs, applications may ask for references or for the name and contact information of your supervisors. We recommend that, instead of including this information with each job description, you save it for a separate section at the end.
Keep it short, with only name, title, phone number, and email. You don’t want to take up much space if you’re trying to keep to a one-page format like our military resume sample. You can also simply say “references available on request,” and supply them in a separate document if asked.
3. What goes in the qualifications section of a military resume?
The qualifications section is also known as the summary section. This section, which is your first chance to introduce yourself to the reader, should be a short description of your qualifications. Avoid anything longer than three sentences or bullet points.
Do your best to describe your expertise in an engaging, compelling way that truly sells your value proposition. Our military resume sample offers an effective example of a strong qualifications section, but you should strive to describe yourself in a unique yet professional way.
4. How can you separate your military resume from other candidates’ resumes?
This is where you have the chance to truly shine. Many military jobseekers make the mistake of overburdening their resumes with military jargon and exhaustive, lengthy descriptions of every last job duty reiterated ad nauseam.
Don’t fall into this trap. Take this chance to make your resume a succinct, enticing sell-sheet. Use action-oriented language to make yourself stand out from the crowd, and liven up your job history with bold statements and achievements. Not sure how? Try our resume builder to create a resume in minutes, or compare against our military resume sample.
5. How do you list awards on your military resume?
If you’ve received a number of awards and commendations during your military service, you can easily integrate them into your accomplishments. Don’t make the common mistake, though, of repeatedly listing the same award multiple times.
If you’ve received the same commendation every year, for example, you only need to mention it once, followed by a date range to show that you received it multiple times, or you can write it as “2x” or “5x” to keep things short. Check our military resume sample for more examples.
How to write a Military Resume
- Start by listing your professional accomplishments – Using a separate piece of paper, brainstorm your achievements.
- View Military resume samples to get started – Use our vast collection of resume samples to find one that can serve as a good resource for your resume writing.
- Craft a compelling header at the top of your Military resume – Provide your name, email address, phone number, and personal website (if applicable). Make sure it’s readable, but doesn’t take up too much space.
- Craft a strong summary statement – Make a brief statement that covers the most important elements of your professional self. Cover your achievements and areas of expertise. Check the job description to make sure it aligns with your statement.
- Detail your skills in a qualifications or areas of expertise section – Right below your summary statement, make a list of your best Military skills. Make sure they apply to the job description.
- Outline your work history on your resume – Detail the Military jobs you’ve previously held. Be sure to include the position you held, the company’s name, and the dates you worked.
- Go deeper into your Military work history – Go back to the list you created in step one. Using this, make a short list of your responsibilities and successes at each job. Relate it to the needs expressed in the job description.
- Add an education section – Give your reader an understanding of your educational background by including your highest degree or diploma, where you obtained it, and what year you got it.