Writing an air force resume can be difficult for those individuals that have been in the military for any extended length of time. The military experience is rewarding and these individuals have the opportunity to learn many skills, but they are also out of the civilian job market for quite some time. The key is selling yourself and marketing yourself so that your military experience will help you land a position in the civilian world.
When you are writing your air force resume, you will want to focus on the future. Try not to rehash the past, but to show what your skills will do for a potential employer in the future. You should be able to clearly define your objectives and identify the skills that are necessary for the position you desire. Position yourself as someone who is a qualified professional and emphasize any people skills that you have learned while in the military. IF you have held presentations, negotiations, closings and other military related activities, you should show how these benefit you in the position you desire as well as how these positions will benefit your future employer.
When writing your resume you will want to focus on the skills that you will most likely use. If you have been an Air Force mechanic you may have a head full of knowledge about airplanes and other vehicles as well as information of how to train people to work on those vehicles. If you are seeking a position where you may be training individuals, then you will want to focus on the training skills that you learned while you were a military mechanic, not necessarily all of the information you know about military vehicles. This requires “re-weighting” your skills in order to put emphasis on the skills that you will use in your prospective job positions.
Eliminate all of the military jargon that you might be tempted to use when writing your Air Force resume. The military has devised a communication system that may work well for them, but it does not necessarily work well for individuals that are trying to find a place in the civilian job market. Every time you use an acronym, you are confusing the prospective employer. You will either want to explain what the acronym means or leave it out completely. Instead of using a catch all phrase, break down the job duties that you had in every position so that they employer will understand it. A great way to break these job duties up is through the use of bullets so that the key duties are able to stick out more and catch the employer’s eye. Using a lot of jargon makes it very easy for the potential employer to skip you and go to the next resume in the pile.
A good resume will sell the skills that you learned while you were in the Air Force. If you were responsible for multi-million aircraft, sell this fact by using detail and actual numbers. If you just simply state that you were “responsible for aircraft,” the employer will not know if you mean little airplanes or jet airplanes. The use of numbers and dollar amounts really drives home what you are trying to say. In this example, you would sell you self by stating, “Managed a fleet of military aircraft that valued in excess of $400 million and achieved 100% operational excellence.” This will sell your self rather than telling the employer.
The military veteran often has all of the qualities that employers are looking for. They want someone with discipline who will be at work on time every day, they want a team player, and they want responsible individuals that they can trust. The military is known for instilling these qualities in individuals, so play them up as much as possible. When you have completed your resume, have your family and friends look over the resume and ask them if there is anything you should clarify. It will be easy to fall into the military jargon and ways of doing things, but looking for civilian help will help you focus your resume on your potential job.