The 2009 Military Resume Benchmarking Results provides transitioning and former military personnel with hard data on resume writing best practices. The report identified common resume writing mistakes and recommendations to avoid these pitfalls.
The 2009 military resume benchmarking study examined thirty-six separate elements within each resume. All of the resumes were from former or current military personnel, representing all branches of the military. Both enlisted and officer ranks were included.
The study examined the content of each resume. A few results stood out:
Employer Name – 30% of the resumes failed to include the name of each employer in their work history. Listing the employer name for each job is an essential component of a resume.
Job Titles – One in six resumes failed to include job titles for every position in their work history. Job titles are critical to understanding the experience and career progression of a job seeker.
Introduction – In the study, 90% of the resumes had an introductory section, typically including an objective statement or summary of the candidate’s background.
Based on these results and others contained in the report, Palladian provides specific resume writing recommendations, especially applicable to military transition candidates. Specifically, a resume should provide the employer name, job title, start and end dates (with months and years) and the location for each position listed. The resume introductory section should focus on accomplishments, not responsibilities. Resumes should be one to two pages, and 300 to 600 words in length. To improve the readability of the resume, short bullets should be used. Finally, the job seeker should provide the military rank, or the highest rank achieved at minimum.