You speak the language of the U.S. military; the HR person interviewing you for your next job probably doesn’t.
At an interview, you’re supposed to talk about your experience and your training. You got tons of experience in uniform, but describing it to others can be impossible. The military has its own language, filled with acronyms and jargon that civilians just can’t comprehend. Chances are you know how to do a lot of things. That doesn’t mean you necessarily know how to explain it all.
Don’t let the language barrier cost you the job. If you’re a veteran seeking employment, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently launched the Personal Branding Resume Engine to translate your military work and training into business-friendly lingo for a better, stronger resume. The website allows job-seekers to enter their military experience. It then translates the experience into industry-specific buzzwords and qualifications that civilian HR professionals will love.
The Resume Engine aims to assist service members who are having a tough time transitioning to life out of uniform. It’s modeled after the popular Turbo Tax software, so it’s easy to use. It translates every military specialty in all five branches of service. It was developed with Fortune 500 human resources consultants to make sure your resume uses words and phrases that will get attention and improve your chances of landing a good career.
If you’ve scored a face-to-face job interview, the employer already knows that you can work well with others. Your military background vouches for that. What he or she may not know is what skills you offer. That’s why now is the time to set yourself apart. Military culture doesn’t encourage taking credit for one’s accomplishments. In business culture, however, you need to play up your achievements, mention every award or distinction earned, discuss every leadership role you had and explain your specialized training in easy-to-understand terms.
Even if you don’t remember the specific names of awards or distinctions you received, The Resume Engine has pictures of awards to help you find them. And even if you don’t remember the exact title of a training program you completed, if you can describe it the Resume Engine will find it for you and summarize the skills the training covered. Even if you supervised microwave communications systems, multiplexing and COMSEC equipment in the Signal Corps, or you supported the Ordnance Corps on CHAPARRAL and REDEYE systems and associated trainers, translating your old job duties into plain English won’t be a problem.
Service members and their families have another online job resource, thanks to training programs that suit their goals and interests. Meditec’s online career programs give you job skills regardless of your current occupation or location. Medical, pharmaceutical, technology, legal, business, insurance, real estate and other programs help active duty and veteran armed forces and their spouses get the career training they need to find a better future. Military spouse education is also available from Meditec through MYCAA.