4 Things to Look for in a Military Candidate’s Resume

If you are looking to hire a military veterans, “congratulations”.  You are looking to recruit a part of the most powerful arm of the American workforce.

Your hiring process is not going to be much different than it would be if you conducted your search through the civilian candidate pool. You will write and post a job description. You will gather resumes. You will vet resumes. You will arrange interviews. You will make your selection.

The first real difference will come when you attempt to vet candidates by reading through their resumes. Resumes come in all different shapes, sizes and lengths, and reading through a veteran’s resume can be very different than reading through a civilian’s resume.  The key stumbling block?  Understanding the different job summaries, skills and experiences within the first couple of seconds. Many veterans struggle to write a effective resume simply because they have not been trained to do so.

So knowing this, those who are part of the recruiting team need to tweak their approach. Think about it….many of the military candidates you will meet were recruited right out of high school and have never had the need to write a clear and compelling resume. Because the document does not fit a certain mold, you might miss out on a great candidate – the perfect fit for your open position.

Therefore, as an employer, you should look for certain 4 key components within a veteran’s resume.

  • Focus on soft skills. Veterans can be invaluable to your workforce. They possess the ability to learn new skills quickly, a strong work ethic and (in many cases) battle-tested leadership skills. These are skills that are hard to grow but will serve you well. These are also skills that will probably not be spelled out on a resume. Think about what you need and look for proof of their existence as you scan the document.
  • Look for achievements. Everyone has achievements, regardless of their background. Achievements should be listed on the resume, and will help you understand the vet’s character, work ethic and values. Another good way to capture them is to provide a section to list them on the job application as well.
  • Conducted training. If the veteran has trained others, that indicates an ability to communicate effectively, the ability to master difficult/complicated material and engage others.
  • Attention to applicable skills. A veteran’s resume is never going to a mirror your job requisition. The working environment within the military is simply too different. However, because 80% of military jobs are non-combat oriented, veterans learned key applicable skills (such as supervisory experience, programming knowledge, etc.) in addition to possessing a strong work ethic, dedication and leadership skills. Look for evidence of these in their resume.

Veterans will not enter your hiring process empty-handed, and they will probably end of being some of your most prized employees. If you are interested to hire military and leverage this powerful component of the workforce, the hiring experts at Snelling can help. We have set up military hiring programs for employers across the country. Contact us today!