In honor of Memorial Day this year, we will focus our blogs this month on celebrating those who have served our country in the United States armed forces. Some Veterans may find themselves entering the civilian job market for the first time in a long time – or ever! 

Serving in the military for any length of time requires extensive training. If this is you, you’ve undoubtedly cultivated a wide range of skills in various areas. Regardless of the position you’re applying for post-military, there are some skills that should always be highlighted to stand out from the crowd. If you need help writing your resume for this new chapter of life, we’re here to provide some guidance. 

Why are military skills important?

During your time in the military, you acquire valuable hard (technical) and soft (how you work) skills. This learning is essential as it helps you develop in various areas to ultimately boost your career options. Your strong work ethic and skillset will appeal to employers providing you with many opportunities in the future. 

What belongs on your resume?

Everyone in the military has an occupational field, and you will want to highlight how you advanced in that field during your time in service. Some individuals may feel more challenged by this task than others based on their military career. 

According to, if your qualifications are not directly related to the job you’re applying for, you will want to think about how you have used your skills to achieve quantifiable goals. lists the top transferable military skills:

  1. Communication
  2. Adaptability in the face of adversity
  3. Flexibility
  4. Problem-solving
  5. Technical skills
  6. Integrity
  7. Teamwork
  8. Leadership
  9. Organization
  10. Compliance
  11. Strategic Planning
  12. Dedication

Tips for Writing Your Resume

Represent your military experience proudly.

Always represent your military career truthfully, without feeling like you need to diminish it for civilians’ sake. Include your military rank and your billet title with pride. It may be helpful to include an equivalent civilian title to help the corporate-minded better understand your title. 

If you achieved any awards as a military member, it is important to mention them in your resume to illustrate your actions were rewarded. These honors will reinforce your commitment to your work. 

Don’t fluff your military skills.

While we are encouraging you to take pride in your military service, it is also critical that you do not embellish the details. Going into too much detail and providing information that doesn’t relate to the job will not be in your favor. 

Focus on the transferable skills listed above and show how you achieved that through your work experience in your military career. You can communicate this on your resume by including quantifiable results in your roles and duties. 

Minimize the jargon. 

Avoid filling your resume summary, job description, and duties with too many military terms. Aim to keep it clear; mention your career achievements in a practical way that correlate with the length of time you were in the armed forces. 

Keep it relevant. 

Match your skills with those required in the job or industry you’re applying for. If you received awards or honors, try writing descriptions for them in terms that are relevant. Doing this will eliminate confusion and make your resume easier to read and understand.