Who Are You Saluting This Veterans Day?
Have you ever been watching an awards ceremony and suddenly a rush of pride overcomes you—your eyes begin watering unexpectedly and your throat constricts? You may or may not know the awardee or even understand what he or she did to receive the honor, but suddenly you feel a surging pride and in some small way, even wish you were more like him or her?
That’s how we feel every time we meet a member of our military forces—active, separated, or retired—and are given the honor of helping our military heroes settle back into civilian life and into a new job that doesn’t use “flash bangs” to wake them up in the morning or requires them to salute “management.” A new job that allows them to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a restaurant of their own choosing instead of a noisy mess hall and where, at the end of the day, he or she can settle back into their own beds surrounded by their loved ones all under one roof.
As civilians, we sometimes take the freedom and liberty to live our lives as we wish for granted. How often do we stop and thank those who make those very liberties possible?
Professional military-to-civilian résumé writers know that there is a story behind every military career, but the transitioning service woman or man may struggle in telling their career story. Or worse yet, don’t think their story is worth telling.
That is never the case, as we have come to find through the years of helping our clients land their dream jobs. We proudly count among our honored CC Career Services “alumni” former General Officers whose last assignments were at the highest levels of military structure— Purple Heart Recipients, Colonels who led tens of thousands of people at major military installations, noncommissioned officers; infantry foot soldiers, medics, cooks…the list goes up and down the chain of command, many times over, and they ALL have a career story to tell that can help them gain employment or promotion.
Sadly, for many veterans, when they come home and change their uniforms for civilian clothes, they fold their career stories up and put them away with the rest of their memories of service. In reviewing the résumés our returning service members have written for themselves, and sometimes have had written for them, we are regularly astounded by the lack of substance and value they have placed on their jobs, missions, or accomplishments.
Their résumés don’t demonstrate progressive growth, achievement, and the recognition they deserve.
Recently, I reviewed the self-written résumé of a 20-year veteran who had represented his entire career in one, simply written job description-type block with the title “Logistics Supervisor, Stateside and Abroad” and the dates 1995-2015. In the description was the requisite “résumé language” of a logistics supervisor that can be found in any repository of rote job descriptions.
At first glance, I couldn’t even tell if he was military or government civilian employee or contractor. It wasn’t until I analyzed his service record that I learned that he was a Sergeant Major (the highest noncommissioned level) who had been responsible for an entire logistics operations at several military logistics hubs.
He had been continuously promoted through the years, had been a star student at the Sergeants Major Academy, and had several Meritorious Service Medals—4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters for outstanding achievement. He had been recognized for streamlining logistics processes, saving the government millions of dollars, and getting desperately needed supplies to troops on the front lines as well as civilians in great need of humanitarian assistance.
The résumé undervalued the superior training received in the military because it didn’t come with a diploma or degree.
I’ve lost count of the number of résumés I have reviewed that list only a high school diploma as the sum and substance of education and training. The résumés discount the hundreds of hours put into basic training and other on-the-job training.
Wait! There is value in that military training, including classroom education, direction, discipline, endurance, marksmanship, trials, camaraderie, confidence, and skill development. These attributes are highly valuable to the civilian employer. Beyond basic training, a service member will spend hundreds of hours learning a specialty in any of approximately 190 military occupational specialties that can be quite technical and intended for military purposes, but also mirrors civilian jobs with their transferable skills, such as Information Technology Technician, Dental Hygienist, HVAC Technician, or even Social Worker!
There are more military occupations that easily translate to civilian than not, so be sure to get your American Council on Education (ACE) transcript. You might even find that some of your military training is transferable into college credit!
They leave off their awards.
As I mentioned in the opening of this article, I can’t help but feel immense pride in those people who have essentially written a “blank check” from the book of their lives to the United States, payable up to and including their very lives by volunteering to serve in the armed forces.
And while it may seem unimportant to list the lesser-value-added awards like Combat Readiness, Parachutist, or Marksmanship (unless planning a career in law enforcement), listing the awards such as Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service, Presidential Unit Citation, and even Good Conduct show the dedication, loyalty, perseverance, and performance above and beyond the call of duty that potential employers are seeking in employees.
These awards demonstrate high performance and commitment to protect the life and liberty we all enjoy. Chances are great that the narratives supporting the awards will be a great foundation for formulating a compelling, accomplishment-based résumé and application.
CC Career Services salutes and offers its heartfelt thanks to each and every one of our men and women who have served and are serving our country. We recognize your sacrifice and appreciate your service.
We would love to help you transfer your skills, talents, education to a new job in Federal government, or in private sector. To get started, download our free gift—The Federal Job-Landing Blueprint™ to help you take the mystery out of federal hiring process. This blueprint is the first step in helping you land your next federal job or promotion…with ease. Click here to download yours today!
Who are you saluting and remembering today?
Leave us a comment. Please share.
#Veterans #Military #USAJOBS #Resumes
Please feel free to leave a comment or question about the article
"Who Are You Saluting This Veterans Day?"
Recent Blog Posts
Subscribe to get email updates on new blogs.