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Positioning is Key to Writing Your Former Military Resume

When returning to the workforce after spending time in the military, you have a challenge and an opportunity. Positioning is key to writing your former military resume effectively. Many candidates are challenged by this transition. You should not despair, but consider it an opportunity that non-military candidates do not have.

It takes some thinking and several iterations, but it pays off with shorter job searches and landing the job you want.

The key is to take time to carefully assess your work while in the military. Next you must position the results you achieved while in the service.

this sounds easy enough, but you really must frame your military service work and results achieved, in terms that non-military hiring managers can understand.

Let me say that again: “position your past military work history in terms that non-military hiring managers can understand.”

Do this by thinking like the hiring manager. They have a job position posted, and you are applying for it. How does the work you did in the military translate into civilian terms? No one can answer this question for all cases, but it is the key to shortening your job search.


  1. If you delivered operational and logistics results for the military to distribute fuel or arms to troops, reposition that statement without using military terms, but general terms that showed how much inventory you moved, how fast,
  2. If you reorganized some operation, included this on your resume in terms of how much you lowered waste and increased productivity in measurable terms.
  3. If you managed people, describe your leadership style, how you motivated people to achieve more in less time. Use quantifiable terms that relate to the metrics your prospective employer will know.

Get help from others if you need it. Ask your friends to review how your resume reads. Ask them for critical changes that help position you for the job you are applying for.

Use keywords from the employer’s job description that can replace the military terms you have used.

Ask your prospective employer for advice. Often, companies want to hire former military personnel when they can. If you don’t get the job, don’t be shy and as “How can I improve my resume to be better for the next job I apply for?” You have nothing to lose, and the best advice may just come from someone that has not selected you. And, it may give you an opportunity to articulate your knowledge, skills and experience in a way that re-opens the hiring manager’s eyes for a second chance at that very job.

The founder of Barton Staffing Solutions is a Veteran. We welcome all former military to apply for jobs at www.BartonStaffing.com.