Military Resume Examples

A good resume can cause your superiors to stand at attention

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Professional Resume Samples for the Military

Advance your career using our resume writing tips and examples

Military Resume Tips and Ideas

Military promotions aren’t just given—they are earned. Creating an outstanding military resume is one way you can boost your chances of promotion when applying for an officer position or a specialization in administration, construction, environment, IT, intelligence, public affairs, law enforcement, or other specialties.

Your resume should demonstrate that you are able to excel, both mentally and physically, even when under pressure. Leadership, budgeting, and logistics are valuable skills. Depending on your specialty, you may also be expected to hold a college degree.

Use the following tips as well as our professional resume samples to create a resume that will make a good impression on prospective employers.

Top Tips

Format
  • Functional or combination resumes are recommended
Design

When designing your military resume consider:

  • Classic design
  • Neat and organized appearance
Photo

No

Sections

    Required:

  • Contact information
  • Objective statement
  • Skills summary
  • Work experience
  • Education

    Optional:

  • Awards and honors
  • Certifications
  • Language proficiency
Resume Length

1-2 pages

Format

Functional or combination resume formats are recommended for military promotion because these focus on your skills and abilities.

In each of these formats, you will begin with an objective statement followed by a skills summary. Tell your superiors about your goals and the skills that are most important to the position you seek. Quantifying your skills is a good way to demonstrate them in action. For example, how many people have you led? What training have you participated in as an instructor? How many did you teach?

Next, list your work history and educational background. If using a combination resume format, you should list these in reverse chronological order and include the dates of service. If using a functional format, you can exclude dates and list these items in the order of pertinence.

Design

Your resume content is vital for getting the job, but its design is what will catch your superior’s attention. Your resume should be well organized and pleasing to the eye, following a classic resume design. Plenty of resume templates are available online to help you get started.

Select an 11- or 12-point font such as Arial. Begin each section with a clear header, and leave ample margins and white space around each block of text.

You can make your resume stand out by including simple borders or blocks of color such as black, grey, or dark blue. Avoid bright colors, graphics, or logos except for infographics, which can be used to graphically represent your skills.

Photo

In the United States, photos are generally not included with resumes. Do not attach a photo unless specifically asked to do so.

Sections of a Resume

A number of resume sections are vital to making successful career advancement. These include:

  • Contact information
  • Objective statement
  • Skills summary
  • Work experience
  • Education

The above will allow the hiring officer to get a clear picture of your past, your abilities, and your ambitions. Depending on your circumstances, you may also wish to include:

  • Awards and honors
  • Certifications
  • Language proficiency

Awards and honors, including favorable quotations drawn from previous reviews, demonstrate that you are able to do your job well.

During your time in the military or before, you may have acquired various certifications. This can differ greatly, from CPR or OSHA training to notary or heavy equipment operation. These certifications demonstrate unique abilities that others applying for the position may lack. Any certifications should be included.

Do you speak a language other than English? Language fluency can be a real asset, especially in a diverse work environment or when stationed abroad. Include on your resume any languages you speak.

Resume Length

Your resume should be one to two pages in length, depending on how much experience you have. Format your resume to standard letter size, 8.5 by 11 inches.

Military Resume Section Headings

Every part of your resume is important. To get promoted, however, your skills, work history, and education are especially so.

Skills

Your skills are likely the most important aspect of your resume. You need to show that you have what it takes to not only do your job but to do it well.

The skills on which you focus will differ depending on your specialization. When applying to an officer position, for example, you may highlight skills in leadership, logistics, and resource allocation. On the other hand, if applying for a military police (MP) officer job, you may site knowledge of military law, firearms safety, crowd control, investigation, and victim/witness/suspect interaction.

Work experience

Much of your work history will likely consist of your military service. This service demonstrates your progress throughout your career. It shows dedication.

You can also use your job descriptions as a platform for showcasing your skills in action. Finally, secular work prior to your military career may have included skills or qualities beneficial to the position to which you are applying.

Education

College degrees may be required for certain specialties or promotions. Even if a degree is not a necessity, include it on your resume. Why?

Completion of university education demonstrates determination and perseverance. Your field may have also equipped you in unexpected ways. For example, the principles you learned while studying business may fuel your interaction with others when in a leadership position.

You may also have received dedicated training while in the military. List any training that may impact your ability to carry out your new job.

Military Resume Vocabulary & Writing Tips

Assuming that your military resume will be submitted within the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense, your readers will likely be familiar with military abreviations, jargon, and terminology. Feel free to use these terms when applicable.

Try to think of keywords essential to the position to which you are applying. Consider the job description. We’ve included the following terms to help you get started.

When complete, take the time to reread your resume, proofreading for errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation.

Words to Use

  • Specialist
  • Public affairs
  • Dedicated
  • Physically fit
  • Calm under pressure
  • Field instruction
  • Rank
  • Officer
  • Personnel
  • Operational readiness
  • Duties
  • Combat
  • Success
  • Mission
  • Troops
  • Cargo

Action Verbs

  • Administrate
  • Motivate
  • Train
  • Eager
  • Supervise
  • Excel
  • Teach
  • Forecast
  • Budget
  • Deploy
  • Plan
  • Organize
  • Represent
  • Evaluate
  • Coordinate
  • Pilot

Resume Samples

  1. 1. Candidate seeking position as human resources consultant.

Combat Veteran who can utilize logistical skills and the ability to remain calm under pressure to smoothly handle the base’s human resource needs.

  • Two-year deployment to Iraq, including 12 successful missions
  • Improved logistical efficiency of troop and cargo transfer
  • Recognized for safety officer duties
  • Advised senior officers on safe disposal and decontamination procedures
Build Your Resume
  • 5 years’military experience
  • Bachelor’s Degreein Business Management
  • MBAin supply chain management
  • 2 yearsof combat experience
  1. 2. Candidate seeking military officer language course instructor position.

Developed and administered a language learning course in Arabic while serving in combat conditions.

  • Aided English-speaking personnel in learning the language basics needed to communicate with local support staff
  • Advised on cultural differences to avoid unnecessary confrontations
  • Completed over 400 hours of instruction with approximately 150 students
  • Acted as a translator between the U.S. and foreign personnel
Create Your Resume
  • 6 years’military experience
  • 4 years’combat experience
  • 400 hoursof teaching experience
  • Fluencyin Arabic