Tips to Optimize Your Civilian Résumé

You fought for your country. You should not have to fight to get a job. The competition is as strong as it has ever been. Learn how to enlist your military experience to get a leg up. Here’s how.

Translating your military experience into civilian speak can be challenging — but getting it right can make or break your chances of scoring an interview. Here we decode a few common military roles and terms. — Jen Lawinski

AAM/ARCOM (Army Achievement Medal/Army Commendation Medal), n. — Syn. award, recognition for accomplishments, outstanding achievement in a high-stress environment.

AI, abbr. — Syn. additionally skilled in.

battalion, platoon or company, n. — Syn. department, unit, organization, agency or group within a company. This language is more understandable to civilian MILPOs.

Field Grade Officer, n. — Syn. executive, department head or manager responsible for leading projects and supervising workers; self-directed and able to organize a team to execute organizational goals with minimal oversight.

military occupation specialty (MOS), n. — Syn. career specialty. Do not use your MOS on a resume; instead list your duties and responsibilities.

military personnel office (MILPO), n. — Syn. human resources department.

mission, n. — Syn. task, function, objective or goal.

Operations NCO, n. — Syn. operations manager responsible for setting policies, managing daily operations and planning the use of materials and human resources.

reconnaissance, n. — Syn. data collection, survey, analysis.

regulations, n. — Syn. policies, guidelines or instructions.

Sergeant Major, n. — Syn. advisor in fields such as human resources, training and labor relations; strong communication, negotiation and advocacy skills.

WLC/BNCOC (Warrior Leader Course/Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course), n. — Syn. leadership or advanced leadership-development course.

You’ve de-jargoned your resume. Now figure out where to apply.

This content is provided courtesy of USAA.

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