Your Career plan should focus on designing your resume and cover letter to get the interview.

Resume Basics

Being ready to interview, or better yet win the job when given the opportunity to interview, requires planning. Before that first interview, developing a sound resume will be necessary. Your resume should be planned and developed to accomplish two objectives:

  • Open doors for you, or generate interest in you
  • Be user friendly or easy to use as a guide for the interviewer during an interview

Before developing a resume, take time to review and take stock in yourself.

  • What are the facts about you?
  • What type or what is the extent of your education?
  • What were or do you have any significant events or accomplishments that occurred for you while obtaining your education?
  • Do you have any specialized training or qualifications?
  • List your experience and responsibilities.
  • For what were you held accountable?
  • What were your or your team’s accomplishments?
  • Are there other significant accomplishments that are noteworthy outside of work and education (Eagle Scout, completed marathon, etc).

Before organizing your data into a resume you must first determine the best format. The two most popular formats are chronological and functional

  • Chronological is a widely use format that allows for logical flow of work experience, showcases growth in skills and responsibilities, and is typically easy to prepare.
  • Functional emphasizes skill rather than employment, organizes a variety of experience, and can disguise gaps in one’s employment history.

The overwhelming feedback is that the majority of employers and hiring authorities prefer a reverse chronological resume. Therefore, that is what we will focus on developing.

When writing your resume your goal will be to demonstrate the relevancy of your education and experience, results you have achieved, and your potential. When first developing your resume, do not be concerned with the length of the resume, or providing too much information. It is much easier to trim away irrelevant information from a lengthy resume than to search for more information to add when fine-tuning and polishing up your resume into a finished product.

Write specific information that is noteworthy about:

  • Education - where you went to school, when you graduated, what was your grade point average? Honors and accolades you were awarded. Extra curricular activities, etc.
  • Specialized Training – significant training that may have led to certifications, qualifications, or licenses.
  • Jobs – responsibilities, the number of people you supervised, budgets you managed, dollar value of equipment you maintained or operated.
  • Achievements – more than just your responsibilities but how well did you perform your jobs. Good quantifiable specific accomplishments will catch the eye of most employers reviewing resumes. Explain:
    • How you increased efficiency and effectiveness
    • The amount of money you raised or saved with your efforts
    • The number of people or organizations who adapted your process because of its effectiveness
    • The actions that came about as a result of your efforts
    • The scope of the problem and your solution to it; think of this for each job or position you have held and write good examples of each.
  • Additional Information – Write down additional skills and items about you that rounds off the picture of you.

Build your resume. All good resumes have four things in common. They are organized, concise, contain all pertinent information, and look professional. That does not mean you need to collect this information and have a professional develop the resume for you. Save your money; you can do this yourself.

Organize your resume as follows: Heading, education, training/certifications/license, experience, and personal or additional information. When writing your resume, do not get carried away with lines, tables, multiple fonts, characters, etc. An easy to read resume will get read.

Do not include the following on your resume:

  • Social Security Number
  • Marital Status
  • Names, ages and number of children
  • Age
  • Race
  • Religious or political affiliations
  • Height and/or weight
  • Health status

Keep your resume concise, easy to ready and easy to use during an interview. The latter is very important and the most often overlooked aspect of developing one’s resume. If your resume is easy to use as a guide for the interviewer while he or she conducts an interview, it will be used.

Last, the two most common mistakes made on military resumes are the use of military acronyms and over-civilianizing the resume. Avoid the use of acronyms in your resume unless you have defined the acronym. Do not try to over-civilianize your resume…we have reviewed some resumes of military veterans and one could not tell that the individual was even in the military.   Example, if you were a Commanding Officer of an Armor Unit, you were not a CEO. Keep in mind that employers are using this site because they see value in military candidates for their organization. These employers are expecting to see military resumes.

View Sample Resume

Career Planning Guide

Assessment & Career Counseling - Tools to help you clarify your career choices and identify jobs that might suit you.

Research - How do you find information on the things your are interested.

Networking - Links to other information sources related to careers, job searching, relocation, transition assistance, and more.

Resumes - Preparing your resume.

Interviewing - Communicating who you are and why you can do the job.

Offer Stage - Getting the compensation package you want requires knowledge of the market.