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Translating military jargon for a civilian resume

One of the most essential elements of effective military to civilian resume writing is the ability to translate your tasks, accomplishments and experience into something that employers can understand.

Military to civilian conversion resume writing can be difficult, but here are some tips to help you:

In translating your experience to civilian language, here are some examples of what terms you can use in your military to civilian resume.

·    “Soldiers” should be called “staff”, “employees” and/or “co-workers”
·    “Uniforms” and “Weapons”, etc. become “supplies”
·    “Barracks” and other buildings are simply “facilities”

It is also essential to translate your training, medals and accomplishments into civilian language, provided that they are related to the position you seek. For example, you would not use your shooting skills or your battle experience on a civilian resume, so do not worry about this. Also, achievements such as Special Operations Captain can be turned into a simple statement like Extensive management experience in critical situations.

To explain the classes you have taken and the training you have completed, you can use general statements that are understandable to public sector employers. If you took classes in management, there is no conversion needed, because everyone understands this word. Conversely, if you took classes for officer ranking or for artillery, you would need to convert this. For example, you could say Leadership classes and training instead of officer training. However, once again, cavalry training is irrelevant to civilian positions, unless you are looking into a law enforcement career.

All in all, converting the military jargon into terms that are understandable to civilian employers will be one of the most essential aspects of your military to civilian resume writing. Although you need to make sure that your resume is focused and stands out, you cannot do these things without first making sure that it is comprehensible. It is not important if your resume is the most unique an employer reads; if they cannot get your military language, they will not even give it a second look.

If you have concerns when you are preparing your military conversion resume, there are resources that you can use. The military has special classes and offices to help veterans in their conversion. In addition, many public sector companies and schools specialize in introducing veterans to public society. As long as you are willing to invest the time, making the military to civilian transition can be pretty easy. The most essential thing is to ensure that your resume is  unique and comprehensible to civilian hiring managers who have no military knowledge.

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