Information on a Military Resume

In our Military Resume Benchmarking Report, we found military personnel frequently omitted key data from their resume.  Every resume needs to include a few basic pieces of information.  Without the education, job titles, employers, dates of employment and a description of each job, you don’t have a resume.  This information is just the starting point.  Resumes should include accomplishments, key skills and other a wide range of other details demonstrating the candidate’s capability.  For military personnel transitioning a variety of these key details were missing from the resumes.

The most common detail omitted by military personnel was the military rank.  Military personnel receive a lot of advice about removing military terms and translating their experience into civilian terms.  This is important advice and should be followed.  It is possible to go overboard.  We found 81% of military resumes did not include the rank of the individual.  Many hiring managers have a military background and would find the rank valuable.  In addition, listing the rank of the individual throughout their career shows the pattern of promotions – valuable information for anyone reading the resume.

Another key detail often omitted from military resumes was the name of the employer.  30% of the resumes in the study failed to list an employer.  For someone transitioning from the military, it may seem obvious they were in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy or Coast Guard.  Even if it is obvious to most people where you worked, you should still include your employer.  This ensures there is no confusion about your background.

The most surprising finding from the resume study was that one in six military resumes failed to provide job titles for each job.  Job titles are an absolute requirement for a resume.  It is very difficult to understand the background of an individual without job titles.  In the military, the job titles often use specialized terminology.  Civilians without a military background may find these terms difficult to understand.  This doesn’t mean you should drop your job title.  It just makes it important for you to explain the position.