Transferable Skills: 9 Military Skills to Put on a Resume



The above picture is of two people, one a soldier holding a clipboard and the non-soldier pointing to the paper on the clipboard.

Transitioning from military duty to civilian life is no walk in the park. But, you don't have to make it more complicated than it already is, especially when it comes to job hunting.

You may not think your military skills are transferable, and if that's the case, think again. You're more qualified for civilian jobs than you think, you just have to know which military skills to put on a resume.

It's not like you can talk about everything you did in the military in detail. However, there are certain ways to present your skills without giving up confidential information and in a way that employers can appreciate.

Here are 9 on the top military skills to put on your resume.

1. Problem-Solving

There's always a problem that needs solving when you're on a mission and when you're on base. Regardless of if you were part of the infantry or the technical support working behind the scenes, chances are, you had big problems to solve every day.

Talk about this on your resume. Mention that you're a solutions-oriented professional with the ability to recognize problems and fix them. Don't be shy about saying you're a self-starter when it comes to problem-solving, either.

2. Collaboration

While it's good to take on a problem on your own, employers also like to know that you're able to collaborate. Teamwork is crucial in any business, and as you know, it can be a matter of life or death in the military.

Clearly, you know a thing or two about collaboration so make sure you talk about it! This is something more and more employers are looking for these days.

3. Leadership

Another skill that's good to have is leadership. The military definitely makes a leader out of you. Even if you weren't a high-ranking member, you still learned a thing or two about how to lead others and hold yourself.

It's something any team could use more of. Leadership is what encourages collaboration and makes problems easier to take on. Employers want to know that their departments are in good hands from the top down. Having leaders at every level of the business ensures them of that.

Don't be afraid to talk about your leadership skills in an interview, either. Do it in terms of your leadership approach and what this skill means to you. This will help you avoid going into the grey area of confidential information.

4. Innovation and Efficiency

Sometimes, using problem-solving and leadership skills results in innovation. Maybe you noticed there was a more efficient way to do part of your job in the military. Maybe it was your ideas that improved the work and/or working conditions of your team.

If so, you have to put these skills on your resume. The more innovative you are, the more attractive you are to an employer. This skill is promising because it means you'll hit the ground running ready to improve all aspects of the business wherever you end up.

5. Flexibility

There's no more effective way to learn how to adapt than to join the military. Things change all the time, and as your experience in the military grows, your ability to be flexible does, too.

Put this on your resume as well. Flexibility tells employers you're able to roll with the punches and have a can-do attitude. It's more valuable than you think.

6. Organization and Planning

The next skill to put on your resume is organization and planning. Some people assume these are traits everyone has, but that's not exactly true. It's good to tell employers you possess these skills.

When you do so, you're saying you have an eye for detail and that mistakes aren't a habit of yours. Although no one is perfect, it's good for a potential employer to know they can count on you to stay on track and do your job well.

7. Consulting

Here's something to think about: all the times that different teams and individuals collaborated in the military, did you speak up? Were your ideas the ones that agreed upon and implemented?

If so, you have a knack for consulting. Put this on your resume, too.

This shows you have the ability to look at a situation from all angles. Instead of acting on a whim or doing what you've always done, you know how to choose the best course of action. This is beneficial for the future company you'll work for and for all its clients.

8. Technical Skills

Don't forget to write down any technical skills you learned in the military. Maybe your job had something to do with engineering or computer programming. Maybe you know how to crunch numbers or stretch resources.

This is valuable, too! But, an employer won't know about your ability to do such things unless you write them down. Don't go into too many specifics, but don't undersell yourself, either.

9. Job-Related Specifics

The final skills worth putting on your resume are any job-related skills you're at liberty to talk about. These are different from technical skills because they also include any hands-on abilities or soft skills.

Maybe you worked with others, which taught you how to negotiate and/or mediate. Did you have a role that was your sole responsibility, which shows you're able to work autonomously and do a good job?

These are a few examples of what your role in the military gave you to take into civilian life. Think long and hard about everything you learned and how you can present it to a job hunter.

Find Your New Job with These Military Skills to Put on a Resume

Ready to find your new civilian job with the help of these military skills to put on a resume? Great - now all you have to do is actually write one!

We can help. Whether it's been years since you've created a resume or you've never done this before, you've come to the right place. Click here to discover all the ways we can support your job hunting process as a new civilian.

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