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krose1223's avatar

Help writing a resume for active duty military?

Asked by krose1223 (3254points) July 27th, 2010

My husband is in the military and he is going to possibly be getting out as early as January. He wants to start sending his resume out but doesn’t know how to translate all of his training into a resume. He is a fire control technician on a submarine and has a lot of schooling and training. We have both been calling Family Fleet and Services (in Guam) but there is only one guy that does it and for the past two weeks he hasn’t been there and hasn’t returned any of our messages. I even tried calling the Navy college but they don’t do it. My husband is going to be going underway sooner than later and will not be in port long enough to do this once he leaves. He has already had lots of people come to the island from Progeny and places like that that have told him he would get a job easy, but he has to have a resume. There are guys there now that want him to work for their company and said they would hand deliver his resume for him when they go back stateside. If he can’t find a job he is going to re-up, and neither of us really want him on a submarine any longer. Are there any civilian places that could help? Or maybe even a website that we just aren’t seeing? We are getting really desperate.

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8 Answers

Austinlad's avatar

Just a thought… there are some very good and inexpensive software programs you can download that offer a huge variety of resume templates.

krose1223's avatar

It’s not the template… It’s putting his military experience into plain English.

Dog's avatar

Are you referring to the TAP instructor who is unavailable?

If not have him enroll in the TAP class as soon as possible (Transitional Assistance Program) and they will help him write his resume properly and gear him up for his career outside the Navy.

Congrats on your new chapter in your life.

shilolo's avatar

This website seemed to give some sound, sensible and reasonable advice. For instance, he should tone down the military speak and convert to more understandable language (I admit to not knowing what a fire control technician is, but I looked it up). Perhaps he could incorporate something like this (obviously this is rudimentary, at best, but he should highlight his extensive experience and training in a stressful real-world environment):

Education
XXX High School
YYY College
ZZZZ Advanced naval school, submarine, blah blah

Experience
200x-2010 US Navy, Fire Control Technician

• operated, maintained and tested submarine combat control systems including XYZ computer experience
• participated in weapons handling functions and operated and maintain non-tactical computer systems and peripherals
• supervised X number of blah, blah
• received commendation for YYY

After he is done with it, he should have some people read it that are not knowledgeable about the military. If it makes sense to them, and makes him look accomplished, you know he’s done.

YARNLADY's avatar

Has he tried asking within his unit? There might be some experienced people there. Also try the local Veterans Association.

jerv's avatar

Unfortunately, FC training is a bit hard to translate into the civilian job market since there is little/no call for the ability to guide weaponry. He is going to have to break down the various parts of his training, but without knowing a little more about what sort of specialties he has, I can’t really help beyond that. Most FCs have a wide variety of computer skills, including repair and some form of networking, but those will have to be broken down a bit.

And, as @shilolo mentioned, there are other things like supervisory and general military experience that should also be mentioned. Not too many people know what an EM3 is, but most employers understand what installing and repairing 115-volt equipment and supervising a 4–10 man workcenter means.

Collateral duties can also be a plus, depending on the jobs he is going for. While all sailors learn basic firefighting and CBR defense, not many learn to deal with chemical hazards of other sorts; the few months I spent in Hazmat have helped me on a few civilian jobs, if for no reason other than familiarity with a wider variety of protective equipment.

And don’t try to put everything on there; keep it to the relevant stuff. I have made that mistake a few times and been rejected for being overqualified. The Navy taught me a lot, and now I know too much :D

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