A non-military friend recently asked me about writing a good resume. He had seen that I’d accepted a job, and wanted my advice. Well, I’m not an expert. In fact, my resume was carefully proofread and edited by my recruiting firm. I did most of the work, but in the end the final product was a team effort.
That said, I CAN share what I learned from the experience, especially if you’re starting from scratch!
- Think in terms of “achievements”. These are your bullets underneath each job description. The achievements are the meat of your resume, so focus on what you’ve accomplished at work.
- Quantify your accomplishments, and provide the “so what?” answers. You put out a fire. So what? Maybe it was just a little trashcan fire. You put out a fire that nearly destroyed $2M in property and ensured the safety of over a dozen people who were successfully evacuated from the building. BAM! Don’t just list what you were responsible for, list what you DID, and how you made an impact.
- Focus on your work experience, not your high school and college accomplishments. If you’re right out of college, this is different, but for us military folks, you need to focus on your leadership and experience working. You can touch on high school/college, especially if it establishes a track record of success and pursuing challenges and leadership positions. But remember that work experience is more valuable than almost any degree!
- Spellcheck. Seems like a no-brainer, but you WILL find mistakes. Have 2-3 people read it for you, such as your parent, spouse, career-minded friend.