Are you struggling with developing a resume for your transition to Corporate America? Join the thousands of other officers with the same challenge.
The key with any resume, whether civilian or military, is to create powerful achievement bullets that demonstrate that you offer valuable skills and have used them effectively to produce a significant impact on your organization.
The formula for such a bullet is actually quite simple:
ACTION + RESULT = GREAT BULLET
As for the ACTION, you want to use a verb that translates into a transferable skill that an employer would appreciate. Examples of such action verbs are: developed, created, organized, orchestrated, etc. These verbs are as relatable in the corporate world as they are in the military.
As for the RESULT, you need to clearly indicate that you performed the action exceptionally well, thereby yielding a positive impact. Naturally, the best results are those that can be quantified. We know it’s not always easy to quantify the great things you have done. And, of course, some of the military results that can be quantified (e.g. BDA) probably don’t belong on a resume.
Even if a result isn’t easily quantified, just the fact that you created something that didn’t exist before (an SOP, operational plan, tracking system, etc.) can be effective in and of itself. However, it’s always best when those results clearly describe some new capability.
Here are a few bullet examples:
- Responsible for the maintenance of 30 vehicles to a high degree of readiness.
This is a poor bullet because there is no action and no result. This example simply sounds like a job description. We know the person was supposed to do something, but we don’t know whether he/she actually did it or how well they did it. An interviewer reading this bullet would probably say, so what?
- Maintained a fleet of 30 vehicles to a high degree of readiness.
This bullet is only slightly better because it contains an action verb, but it still lacks a result. So we don’t know if and how the person was effective.
- Developed a maintenance training program for drivers, mechanics, and first-line supervisors that increased the availability of the company’s 30 vehicles from 80% to 95%
This is a great example because we have a more descriptive action and a very positive and easily understood result.