Describing military experience on a resume can be a challenge. MOSs, weapon systems, ranks, battalions, platoons, military schools…all those acronyms.
Civilian hiring managers don’t get it and are usually unwilling to translate your jargon into a language they understand.
Unless you applying to a government defense position, it is crucial that the hiring manager view you as a civilian who in the past received an incredible experience from military service, not someone is still in uniform.
Spot any military jargon in your resume?
If so, take a hard look at the language you used to describe your expertise and explain it in terms a civilian can easily understand.
Think beyond your job function and identify the core values, skills, and expertise you bring.
Make the necessary edits on your resume and proceed to the next step.
One of the biggest red flags raised by hiring managers are those pesky unaccounted-for time periods between jobs.
Hiring managers scan for gaps in your employment history. If they spot one, expect the infamous raised eyebrow.
Don’t let this happen to you!
Gaps makes them wonder what’s wrong with you and what exactly were you doing during that unemployed stint.
Playing video games all day? Applying to hundreds of jobs and no one hiring you? In jail?
Sounds horrible I know, but when you don’t fill your gaps with a clear explanation of how you spent the time, the hiring manager’s imagination will roam.
And too often, instead of trying to figure it out, they simply add your resume to the Reject pile and move on to next applicant.
Here’s how to fill that gap. Think back to something productive you were doing at that time.
Were you enrolled in online classes? Studying for an industry certification? Doing contract or freelance gigs? Volunteering? Caring for a sick family member? Taking that once-in-a-lifetime overseas?
Those are all valid reasons. You just need to explain them with professional-sounding descriptions as best you can, so hiring managers will be impressed, and not penalize you.
But don’t make stuff up just to fill a gap.
They appreciate and expect honesty.
Now make the necessary edits to your resume to eliminate those gaps and proceed when ready.
A “short stint” is defined as being on the job for roughly two years or less.
Red flags go up when hiring managers see one or more recent short stints and they immediately assume you’re a “Job hopper.”
And no one wants to take the risk and hire a job hopper.
They immediately assume you can’t hold down a job for more than few months before quitting or getting fired.
Can’t get along with others? Unstable personality? Lazy worker? Give up easily?
That’s not you so don’t give them the satisfaction!
Even if the short stint wasn’t your fault — maybe you had an unethical boss, the company was going out of business, or it was just a toxic work environment — hiring managers, unfortunately, rarely give job seekers the benefit of the doubt.
To resolve short stints on your resume, never mislead or lie, but instead, simply rephrase the bullets so it’s crystal clear why you didn’t last at least two years.
For example, if you did back-to-back contract gigs for several months each, maybe list them together under one job heading and explain the details in the bullets.
Did you leave a job prematurely because your family moved out of state?
No problem! Just add a bullet explaining your relocation and that you left on good terms so the hiring manager evaluating your resume understands.
Did you lose your job because of Covid layouts that had nothing to do with your performance? That’s okay…just explain it.
So take the time now to add clarity to your short stints and proceed to our BONUS STEPS when you’re ready.
You have just increased your chances of landing an interview.
But hold on! Why stop now? Your resume deserves next level.
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