Veteran Resume Makeover: How To Adapt The Resume To The Job

job seeking veterans need to be prepared

Many veterans don't worry about updating or even having a resume until they need to look for a job. But by then, it can be too late. Anxious about finding a job as soon as possible, many job seekers do a slapdash job, creating a resume that doesn't present a full picture of their achievements.

That's just one issue with the resume of Jon Doe (a pseudonym) shown below. Like many veterans soon to be discharged, Doe waited until the last minute to create his resume, says Justin Nichols, associate of veteran programs at Hire Heroes USA, a nonprofit employment-services organization, who worked with Doe in revising his resume.


"A resume is a living document," Nichols says. As workers continue to progress in their careers, they will need to continually update and revise them. They also need to learn how to translate those experiences into easily understandable bullet points that can be easily inserted into their resumes.

What's more, Nichols says, it's important to tailor each resume to the position being applied for. Too many job hunters simply submit the same document to employer after employer in the hope of getting an interview. That, he says, is a losing strategy.

Further, it's important to include employment and other information in the right place. In Doe's resume, for example, he notes "Active U.S. security clearance" as an expertise. "It isn't an experience, it's a clearance," Nichols says. That's also true of "Lean sigma yellow belt," which is a certification -- not an experience.

In the revised resume, Nichols includes a section titled, "Areas of Expertise," which, he says, better reflects Doe's work experiences.

Jess Doe's "before" resume is pictured below. Click here to see what his resume looks like after the transformation.

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