Veterans

August 24, 2012

Mystery solved: Secrets to building a strong resume

by Talia Wesley
Career coach and job developer

(This article is the second of a three part series on how to compose an effective resume.)

Giving employers what they want is the next step in the resume-building process. As a general rule of thumb, include a maximum of 10 years worth of work experience in your resume. Different jobs warrant different skill sets, so the ultimate goal is to present oneself as the best possible candidate for the position. Always look to the information given in the job description for guidance.

In addition to resume content, remember to include military service records like your DD214 (discharge documents) and DD 2586 (Verification of Military Experience and Training). These documents add more substance to your resume. Also, do not forget to mention the following additional information:

  • Overseas experience: indicates mobility and adaptability
  • Level of security clearance: indicates completion of background check
  • Foreign language skills: language, written or verbal level of fluency
  • Awards and Decorations: indicators of leadership and success
  • Annual performance reports: documented work efforts
  • Soft and hard skills: leadership and project management (respectively)

Educational background is an essential part of your resume. Summarize your educational achievements (colleges attended, locations, graduation dates, certificates, academic majors, minors, and course concentrations) and post them on the bottom, or after your achievements if you have a degree.

Employers are drawn to specialized training that easily associates with the sought-after position. Include all specialized training you have received from your last employer which is transferable to your new job target. If you have not attended college, definitely include all specialized training in your target field, even if the training lasted a few hours or just one day. Hiring managers generally prefer to see some post-secondary education.

Honors and awards are great ways of expressing the important achievements and recognitions earned while working for past employers. Your resume is a subjective representation of your skills and abilities. An award or honor is the proof of your success and adds solid objectivity to your resume. Your achievements should be listed throughout the resume. However, if you want to draw special attention toward these achievements, you should definitely list them in the Awards and Honors section and combine it with the Achievement section located on the top portion in your resume.




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