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Job Search Q&A

To Your Career Success!

Job Search Q&A with Career Expert, Wendy Enelow, MRW, CCM, JCTC, CPRW
Co-Author – “Expert Resumes for Military-to-Civilian Transitions”

Question: I'm getting ready to retire after 20 years in the Air Force and want to know what the new “rules of the road” are for writing resumes. What do you think are the most important things I need to know?

Answer: Wow! What a question! It would take me an entire book to answer! Instead, let me outline what I consider to be the three most important things I think every military-to-civilian transition job seeker should know about resume writing.

1. The objective drives the resume writing process. A resume for a logistics specialist who wants to continue in logistics is an entirely different resume than a resume for a logistics specialist who wants to transition into a production scheduling position or move up the ranks into a supply chain management position. Of course some of the information in each resume will be the same, but the strategy and presentation will be different, the information you highlight will be different, the order in which your achievements are presented will be different … everything is different.

2. Creating the “right” perception is critical. When writing your resume, your challenge is to craft a document that creates a picture of yourself that ties directly to your current career goals. Once you define your objective, then determine how to position all of your information in the resume - where, how, in what order and in what language (civilian or military lingo, depending on your target audience) - so people will immediately perceive you as a well-qualified candidate for the opportunity at hand.

3. Merchandising is what resume writing is all about … selling the product that is “YOU.” Your challenge is to take all of the information about yourself - the features (skills, qualifications, credentials and work history) and the benefits (achievements, project highlights, honors and awards) and create a compelling resume that clearly communicates your value and attracts the right buyers (hiring companies).

If you can follow these three steps to writing your new resume, you'll definitely be headed for a great new career opportunity!