how to add military experience to a resume

How To Add Military Experience To A Resume

Are you a veteran struggling to translate your military experience onto your civilian resume? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Military jargon and acronyms can confuse potential employers, making it difficult to highlight your transferable skills.

However, this experience can be a valuable asset in the job market, showcasing discipline, leadership, and teamwork qualities. As a veteran, you possess unique skills that make you a desirable candidate for many employers.

But first, you must know how to communicate those skills on your resume effectively. In this article, we’ll provide tips and guidance on adding your military experience to your resume and standing out from other candidates. So, let’s get started.

What Is Military Experience and Why Can It Be Useful When Applying for Civilian Jobs?

You might be surprised to learn that military experience can be a considerable asset when applying for civilian jobs. With their valuable expertise, skills, and work ethic, employers often seek out these candidates because of the many transferable skills they bring to the table. These include management and leadership skills, hard skills specific to MOS, NEC, or AFSC, dedication, strong work ethic, teamwork, and integrity.

Adding military experience to your resume can help you stand out from other candidates and showcase your unique qualifications. It’s crucial to translate military words and acronyms into civilian-friendly language to ensure employers understand your experience’s relevance. You can use a military resume or a resume template to help you organize your work experience, education, and skills in a way that is easily understandable to civilian employers.

Remember, military service should be treated like any other professional work experience on your resume. Don’t be shy about highlighting your achievements, awards, and certifications. You can increase your chances of landing your dream job by showcasing your military experience in a way that is relevant and transferable to civilian careers.

Where Should You Put Military Experience on a Resume?

One effective way to showcase your service background is by incorporating it into your resume’s chronological work experience section using quantifiable achievements.

When listing your military experience on a resume, make sure to include your military experience, military title, branch, and dates of service. Also, try to avoid using military jargon that may not be familiar to a civilian job recruiter.

When writing your work experience section, be sure to tailor it to the position you’re applying for. Highlight relevant experience, skills, and any achievements that apply to the job description. Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible with hard numbers, such as increasing sales by a certain percentage or managing a team of a certain size. This will show potential employers the value you can bring to their organization.

What you learned in the military can be a great asset when applying for a civilian job. By incorporating it into your resume’s work experience section, you can demonstrate the skills and leadership abilities you gained during your service.

Remember to keep it relevant, translate military keywords, and use quantifiable achievements to showcase your strengths.

How To Add Your Military Experience to a Resume

When incorporating your military service into your work experience section, it’s essential to tailor it to the job you’re applying for. This means highlighting the skills and training that are most relevant to the position.

Additionally, quantifying your achievements with hard numbers can help make your experience more tangible to civilian hiring managers. One way to do this is by incorporating a resume summary highlighting your military knowledge and leadership experience. This can be a great way to showcase your skills and achievements in a way that’s easy to understand.

Translating your military experience into civilian terms is important, avoiding jargon and acronyms that may not be familiar to those outside the military.

When listing your military experience on your resume, consider using bullet points to highlight specific accomplishments and skills. This can help break up the text and make it easier for employers to scan your resume quickly. Remember to highlight hard and soft skills, which can be valuable to civilian companies.

Military Resume Summary or Military Resume Objective?

Are you looking to showcase your military background on your resume but unsure whether to use a summary or objective statement? When deciding between the two, it’s essential to consider what you want to accomplish with the section.

A resume summary is ideal for those with significant job experience, as it provides a brief overview of your qualifications and skills. On the other hand, a resume objective is better suited for those with less experience, as it outlines your career goals and what you hope to achieve in your next position.

It’s important to consider how you want to describe your experience and which skills you used. For example, if you were in a leadership position, you may want to highlight your management and teamwork skills. Alternatively, if you were in a technical role, you may want to focus on your technical expertise and problem-solving abilities.

Ultimately, whether you choose a resume summary or objective statement, highlight your military background and the qualifications and skills you gained during your service. This will help you stand out to potential employers and demonstrate that you have the experience necessary to excel in your next position.

With a bit of effort and attention to detail, you can add your experience to your best resume in a way that effectively communicates your value to potential employers.

Tips for Adding Military Experience to Your Resume

List your military experience the same way you would any other work experience. This means highlighting your responsibilities, accomplishments, and achievements.

Describe things that may not be obvious to civilians and focus on transferable skills such as leadership, teamwork, and discipline.

Use contractions throughout your resume to make it more conversational and approachable.

Avoid Acronyms and Military-Specific Jargon

When you list military experience on a professional resume, avoiding acronyms and other military terminology that might be unfamiliar to potential employers is crucial. Instead, use simple, clear language that allows employers to read and understand your experience without confusion.

By adding your military experience to your resume in a way that is easy to understand, you can showcase your military skills and demonstrate how they translate to civilian employment. Whether you’re applying for a job in the private sector or in the government, crafting your resume carefully is essential.

List It the Same Way That You Would Any Other Work Experience

Don’t forget to list your experience like any other work experience on your resume. This means using clear and concise language to showcase your skills and accomplishments.

Start by listing your job title, the years you served, and any important details about your role. Then, use bullet points to highlight your achievements and skills. Don’t forget to include any soft skills you developed while in the military, such as leadership, teamwork, and a strong work ethic.

Listing your military experience clearly and concisely will show potential employers how your skills and experiences can transfer to civilian life. It’ll also demonstrate your ability to adapt to new situations and environments.

If you need help formatting your resume, consider using a resume builder that can show you how to list your experience effectively and professionally. Remember, your experience in your years in the military is a valuable asset in the job market, so make sure to highlight it in the best way possible.

Describe Things From Your Resume That Are Not Obvious to Civilians

Highlighting your unique military experiences on your resume can help catch the attention of employers who may not understand the value of specific skills or achievements. It’s important to remember that not all hiring managers or recruiters will be familiar with military words or the specific duties of an army job. Therefore, it’s essential to translate your military experience into language that is easy for civilians to understand.

Focus on describing the impact you made in your role rather than simply listing your duties. For example, if you received military awards, explain why you received them and what they signify.

Additionally, describe any non-obvious aspects of your previous work that may be unfamiliar to civilians. This could include anything from the unique challenges you faced during active combat experience or military exercises to the leadership skills you developed as military personnel.


Congratulations on taking the first step towards transitioning from a military to civilian career! Adding military experience to a resume can be challenging, but proper guidance can help you stand out as a candidate.

By highlighting transferable skills, avoiding jargon, and proofreading for errors, you can make your unique experience accessible to civilian employers.

Remember, your is not just a list of skills but a story of your leadership, teamwork, and discipline. By framing it as a story, you can evoke emotion in the employer and show how your experience can benefit their organization.

So, don’t be afraid to showcase your military experience proudly. Remember, you’re not just any candidate but a veteran who’s served your country with honor and dedication. You bring a unique perspective and valuable qualities that can make a difference in any organization.

So, use that hyperbole because you deserve to stand out from the crowd!