Veteran Resume Makeover: How To Tailor It To Online Job Search

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Like many military veterans, Jess Doe (a pseudonym) had trouble articulating the responsibilities of her civilian job. Her single-page resume (below) reflects that problem. Doe's most current position, for example, as an assistant instructor at a taekwondo studio in Wisconsin, lists but two responsibilities and lacks sufficient detail.

Her reworked resume lengthens the document to more than a page, but that's fine, says Justin Nichols, associate of veteran programs at Hire Heroes USA, who worked with Doe to improve her resume. The belief that resumes should be kept to one page just doesn't apply in the digital age, when application submissions are more apt to be scanned by computer software than thoroughly viewed by a human eye. Employers need more detail.


To that end, the revised resume expands on her duties at the black belt academy, providing potential employers with a clearer idea of what she did on a day-to-day basis. For example: "Co-instructed all levels of black belt development, assisting 25 students daily ranging from children to adults; developed curriculum based on students fitness levels, working one on one to improve technique and skill."

The revised resume also eliminates problematic characters, such as the deltas that appear next to details about Doe's experiences and responsibilities. Such characters are likely to result in a resume being rejected by electronic scanning software, Nichols says, further reducing the chances that Doe's resume would make it on to the desk of a recruiter or hiring manager.

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

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