Highlighting Military Experience on a Resume

Gabe Nelson is a content specialist of over 7 years of experience, currently working with lifesciences.com.  He has a passion and keen understanding when it comes to the HR and recruitment industry. He has written hundreds of content pieces in numerous niches. Currently, he lives in Missouri with his wife and kids.

A career in the military is a unique experience. There is learning and people that cannot be found anywhere else. Upon the time for service retirement, it is the opportunity to share that experience with others.

There are different ways this experience can be displayed and shared with others. One of the best ways is through employment. Businesses will look for certain skills when hiring, but military backgrounds can give them the required skills and the knowledge learned from barracks, routines, places stationed, fellow officers, and more.

Each resume needs to be written to fit the individual job description. Keep a listing of all the professional experiences and education acquired in the military. Take the list and add those that fit the job description to the resume. Here are some soft skills to highlight based on your career.

Multiculturalism and Diversity

This learning from different people in different countries, languages beliefs, and backgrounds leads to better flexibility, communication, and thought styles. The broader background allows awareness and openness concerning others without prejudices. It also ignites creativity, innovation, thoughts, and inclusion from diversity.


In the military, you have been in the realm of being punctual, productive with others, workload management, and different types of communication. These communications are both non-verbal and professional. This shows that you have the experience of working responsibly and ethically with integrity and learning from mistakes.


This will raise the insight of an organization. Military experience gives coaching skills to help them help others with inspiring others to their potential and more. Highlight that you have experience in seeing the bigger picture and pointing out our opportunity for others and the business.  


Being able to talk with others effectively is essential in the business atmosphere. The higher the ranking of the position you are applying for, the more important the communication is. Critical information and goal-oriented writing need to have proper communication to have the best results. Military services give you communication experience on how to approach teammates, higher-ranking officers, and subordinates.


In the business world being ready for the unexpected is common. What is planned and what happens is not always the case. The military trains you to adjust and flourish, sometimes in unknown areas. This is a great trait for businesses when they encounter the unknown.


Working together with new people, on a new project, or just in a new setting is a learning experience. Teamwork brings a different level of skills, education, and training together. An advantage of having military services is developing teamwork skills that help to know when to take the lead and when to sit back and watch.  


Make sure to list it on all job applications. It has the meanings of hardworking, trustworthiness, and selflessness. If there is a security clearance necessary for the position some may modify or even override the requirement if there is an honorable moral code listed.

Planning Skills

The ability to change the plans on a whim is a skill that is obtained from the military and is greatly needed in business settings. Moving forward without a plan is even better when it comes to tight schedules or deadlines. The unknown and unforeseen happen, businesses know this and look for those that can deal with the suddenness. 

Problem Solving

In the service, there are more types of unknown problems encountered. It can be anything from weather, peers, subordinates, to shortages. These do occasionally happen in civilization and military experienced personnel will have seen these before and know different outcomes.

Technical Skills

Some positions are directly related to the time in the military. If mechanics on military vehicles was one of the specialties, look for employment in the vehicle industry and highlight your skills. There are others such as financial, telecommunication, and health care that are highly military areas that have civilian job opportunities.


Take the time to choose and use specific wording to show the proud military experience advantage now and in the future. 



Employers that are searching for workers are looking for responsible individuals. They want people that can take care of themselves and can tackle a project with little or no direction.  Show possible employers that you are self-sufficient and can take a goal that you will self-start and accomplish.


Some military terms and titles have civilian synonyms. Try to use them when searching for job titles and when writing a resume. Some common job title examples are:

  • Field Grade Office = Executive or Manage
  • Operations NCO = Operations Supervisor.   

Some general terms that can be changed for searches are:

  • Combat = Hazardous Conditions
  • Regulations = Policy or Guidelines.  

So when job searching, writing a resume, or letter of interest and are not finding anything matching the job description try using the civilian words.

Getting Further Assistance With Your Resume

Resumes can be created from scratch. There are classes available and assistance programs available to help create a resume. You can also take a personalized approach and employ a military resume writing service. These experts can help you craft a resume that will get you noticed. They also know the best methods to highlight your skills and show prospective employers that you are a great fit for their positions.

The military is what makes the applicant unique. Now is the opportunity to take these different specialties and list them in a resume according to the job postings. Make sure to state how the specialty relates to the job and show the business how the hiring would be to their benefit.   The business wants what is best and will help it show that your military experience makes you the ideal candidate.

Take the time to choose and use specific wording to show the proud military experience advantage now and in the future.  There are military words that can be used as catchwords and phrases. When writing a Letter of Interest, make sure to include the military terms with examples. State in the letter how the experience would affect the business and be advantageous to it and to its employees. Make that the resume is an asset to read and the military experience shows the priceless value that it is to the employer too.

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