top of page

Advice From our Expert Federal Resume Writers: How to Translate Military Jobs to Civilian Language

Transitioning from military life to the civilian workforce can be a dismaying time for many veterans. It can be challenging to convey the skills, experience, and achievements gained during service in a manner that resonates with potential employers. This challenge is magnified when seeking federal employment, where the application process is complex and demanding. However, armed with the right tools and guidance, translating your military jobs to civilian language for your federal resume can be a smooth and successful process. In this post, we will explore advice straight from our expert federal resume writers on how to translate military jobs to civilian language.

Understand Your Goals for Federal Jobs

Knowing how to translate your military jobs to civilian language may not be second nature to you, but let’s break it down. Your job search goals are a good starting point. Before you start translating your military career to civilian language, you must understand the specific requirements for your target job. Look for position descriptions online that align with your military experience and read them carefully. This will help you frame your experiences in a way that appeals to hiring managers. Use specific keywords and phrases, and make sure to tie them back to the job's required competencies. Be sure to use exact verbiage from the duties and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities section.

How to Translate Your Military Jobs to Civilian Language

Next, it’s time to focus on using civilian-speak to describe your military career. Start with your job title. A quick Google search will help you translate your title to the civilian counterpart. We have included this list to make it easy.

Avoid military acronyms and jargon that will only confuse civilian readers. Use action verbs to describe your accomplishments, making sure to specify your achievements and the scope of your duties. For example, if you were an officer in the Navy responsible for small arms repair, you could describe yourself as an “Equipment Maintenance Manager with expertise in small arms repair, maintaining a $5M inventory of weapons and equipment.” Reviewing your evaluation reports and award writeups will help jog your memory on accomplishments.

Highlight Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are abilities that can be applied across different jobs and industries. They are vital when transitioning from military life to civilian employment. Identify valuable skills you have developed through your military career, such as leadership, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork, and clearly articulate them in your resume. Demonstrate how you can apply these skills to the position you are applying for. Again, review job postings carefully to get clues to what is required in your industry.

Make Use of Resources

There is no shame in seeking assistance in translating your military skills to civilian language. That's where our expert federal resume writers come in. You can always count on us to help you highlight your accomplishments and skills in a way that is clear and understandable to civilian hiring managers. Moreover, you can find great resources to help you create a successful federal resume, including job boards, career fairs, and online job coaching.

We get asked questions regarding how to translating your military jobs to civilian language on a regular basis and we help hundreds of jobseekers every year. This can be a challenging endeavor, but it is essential to secure a rewarding civilian career after your time in the military. To create a compelling federal resume that attracts the attention of hiring managers, it is crucial to understand the job qualifications, translate your military experience to civilian language, and highlight transferable skills. Utilizing expert resources and tools will also help you successfully navigate the complex federal hiring process. With these tips, you can create an effective federal resume that truly represents your worth and opens up doors for you to have a fulfilling civilian career. If all else fails, hand the job over to our team of experts. We will make sure you land several interviews within a month of leaving our office.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page