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Military Service on your Resume

Occam

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For anyone who hasn't heard of it (and there seem to be quite a few), VAC offers Career Transition Services (CTS).  The details of who qualifies is on the webpage, but it's fairly broad in who is eligible.

The three day seminars are excellent.  If you think that your military experience doesn't seem to "fit" civilian-style resumes, it's because you haven't been taught how to properly present it.  There is always some type of experience that you've gained in the military that can be used on a civvie resume.  The seminars deal with topics such as employment searches, interview techniques, resume writing, salary negotiation, etc.

I strongly recommend the seminars, as well as the 15 hours of personal coaching you're entitled to afterwards.  The people VAC have hired to do this are great at what they do, at least as far as I can tell from the ones I've met.
 

The Bread Guy

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Swingline1984 said:
WOW!  Did they ever get my job wrong.  Take that link with a GIANT grain o' salt.
Good point.  In a government world where people often seek "pigeonholes" to categorize stuff, I have to agree this is a pretty blunt instrument for categorizing - I note Int Op is in the same category as tank driver and air defence technician.

Given the broadness of this sort of reference, use it as a VERY broad starting point.

Here's how I've summarized some of my military experience re:  planning/logistics and teaching leadership courses:
Operational Management:  .... Planning operations, training, exercises, and special projects in military environment; Training junior level supervisory candidates in material and project management skills (time management, setting priorities, planning, worker supervision), small-group leadership .... 

Teaching/coaching:  .... Approximately 850 classroom hours teaching/training experience, teaching skills and theory subjects, with students aged 12 to 40; More than 300 classroom hours teaching principles of instruction, lesson planning, use of visual aids, student assessment techniques and student behaviour management; Assessed and developed junior level supervisors and small group trainers ....

Also, +1000 on this:
Greymatters said:
I would also advise you restrict the CF skills and experience you mention to those that are relevant to the job you are applying for. 

Also include training or skills you have gained that are applicable to the job you are appllying for, i.e. describe how proficient are you with a computer; almost every CF resume I've reviewed fails to mention this. 
 

daftandbarmy

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I suggest that you include a couple of examples of 'projects' you've been involved in that help illustrate your many and varied skills e.g., "Over a 6 month period in Kandahar province I participated in over 100 high risk combat patrols. During this period I searched several dozen civilians, over 50 dwellings, and detained 25 suspected terrorists while faciliatating improved relationships between the local military and police forces. My performance during this period was exemplary, as indicated by my company commander in my PER (copy attached at Annex A)." This will help more than a bulleted list.

Check these guys out. They're hiring: https://search.employment.gov.bc.ca/cgi-bin/a/highlightjob.cgi?jobid=6577
 

Sythen

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Hammer Sandwich said:
This may seem out of left field, but, IMO, skip it completely...
I worked for a company that only supported me because they had to.

I have seen (with my eyes)  people denied from the pool of applicants because of Military Service.

The last place I worked, we were shown a resume of a guy who drove trucks in Somalia.

REJECTED.

Oh...he's probabaly  crazy..........we don't want that here...


I know that people understand it here.....but they may not in public.

(anyways...just a little ignorance I've ran in to....YMMV)

I appreciate the heads up, and I figured some places would be like that.. However I am very proud of my service, and no matter what way the wind is blowing in the public opinions I will never hide my service :)
 

Greymatters

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daftandbarmy said:
I suggest that you include a couple of examples of 'projects' you've been involved in that help illustrate your many and varied skills e.g., "Over a 6 month period in Kandahar province I participated in over 100 high risk combat patrols. During this period I searched several dozen civilians, over 50 dwellings, and detained 25 suspected terrorists while faciliatating improved relationships between the local military and police forces. My performance during this period was exemplary, as indicated by my company commander in my PER (copy attached at Annex A)." This will help more than a bulleted list. 

I hate to disagree with daftandbarmy as I respect him and his opinion immensely, but I would advise that you never write a paragraph like this on your resume unless you are specifically applying for a security-related job that requires a particular level of experience and skills.  Most resumes are read by HR and support staff and these kind of descriptions tend to scare the crap out of them.  A lot of this detail can be saved for the interview, which is the point of the resume, to get the interview. 

I would also point out that although these are well-written descriptions of work, none of them decribe how well you did them, which is also an important point in resume writing.

 

daftandbarmy

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Greymatters said:
I hate to disagree with daftandbarmy as I respect him and his opinion immensely, but I would advise that you never write a paragraph like this on your resume unless you are specifically applying for a security-related job that requires a particular level of experience and skills.  Most resumes are read by HR and support staff and these kind of descriptions tend to scare the crap out of them.  A lot of this detail can be saved for the interview, which is the point of the resume, to get the interview. 

I would also point out that although these are well-written descriptions of work, none of them decribe how well you did them, which is also an important point in resume writing.

OK, so I'm putting THAT in MY resume! Tell my wife too, will you please?  ;D
 

Greymatters

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daftandbarmy said:
OK, so I'm putting THAT in MY resume! Tell my wife too, will you please?  ;D

I dont think my opinion is gonna swing much weight with many people; but, maybe next time I'll show up with with an embossed and framed letter for her, showing that statement?



 
 

Sythen

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Bumping a necrothread cause it's the only one I can find that kinda/sorta discusses what my questions are about.

I need help with my resume, and figured there are tons of guys on here that have applied for jobs after getting out. I am finishing college very soon, and this will be the first "professional" type of job I've applied for. Most of my previous resumes did not have a lot of thought put in to them.

I guess my question is, what should I put for duties as an infantryman that would interest a law firm? (Am applying for a Paralegal internship) Like I know what I've personally done, but putting driving a LAV or shooting Taliban does not really translate to legal services. Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Blackadder1916

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You could start here.

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/business-reservist-support/tools-resume-writing-guide.page
 

Sythen

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Blackadder1916 said:
You could start here.

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/business-reservist-support/tools-resume-writing-guide.page

That is perfect, thank you! When I googled military skills translator I got a lot of American sites and I don't know what a Cpl is equivalent to in their numbering system.
 
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LightFighter

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Sythen said:
I don't know what a Cpl is equivalent to in their numbering system.

E4


In your prior positions, did you do any 2IC duties? Admin, preparing section stores/kit for patrol/operation to ensure the section was ready, etc ? 


Search LinkedIn for profiles by former/current Infantrymen and see how they worded their responsibities/duties.
 

Sythen

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LightFighter said:
Search LinkedIn for profiles by former/current Infantrymen and see how they worded their responsibities/duties.

That's an excellent idea, thanks!
 

cupper

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Emphasize the leadership aspects, problems solving skills, communications skills, team oriented environment.
 

Teager

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I would also suggest Canada Company they have people that will help you write your resume and deal specifically with military members and translating your military skills into something a civi employer will understand.

https://www.canadacompany.ca/canadacompany/met/en/
 
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LightFighter

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If you're going to go the professional resume writer route, VAC will cover the cost. I believe it is for a lifetime total of $1000 for certain post CF/next career items.
 

brihard

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Sythen said:
Bumping a necrothread cause it's the only one I can find that kinda/sorta discusses what my questions are about.

I need help with my resume, and figured there are tons of guys on here that have applied for jobs after getting out. I am finishing college very soon, and this will be the first "professional" type of job I've applied for. Most of my previous resumes did not have a lot of thought put in to them.

I guess my question is, what should I put for duties as an infantryman that would interest a law firm? (Am applying for a Paralegal internship) Like I know what I've personally done, but putting driving a LAV or shooting Taliban does not really translate to legal services. Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.

Good stuff man, congrats on chasing the new career path.

Things that would be worth highlighting:
- Any experience with preparing written reports/returns. Section admin, memos, briefing notes, witness statements, anything like that.
- Any (positive) experience you might have with the military disciplinary/justice system, if you've gotten any training about military justice, summary investigations, etc.
- Any leadership experience you've gained leading other people.
- General self-reliance, problem solving, confidence bringing up and addressing issues, etc.
- Experience working in a professional environment with a hierarchy that still has mutual respect and dependency between the ranks (e.g., officers / troops; lawyers / paralegals)
- Any office administration / logistics. Have you worked in an orderly room? In a QM? Done section admin such as PDRs/PERs/UERs?
- Ability to deal withs tress, high workload, uncompromising and inflexible timelines, etc.
- Experience with things like first aid, workplace health and safety, etc. (There are always tedious tasks at any company that need to be delegated)
- Experience working in a fast paced environment where priorities can change on the fly and multiple conflicting demands may need to be juggled successfully.
- Any experience you may have in situations where legal or adminsitrative decisions are argued and given, and potentially appealed to a tribunal or a judicial body (VAC claims, things like that).

I'm sure there's more, but those should help. Good luck!
 

mariomike

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Saw this in a thread about Latvia.

I wanted to reply, but didn't think that was the place for it. Did not want to start another thread either. So, hopefully, this thread is on topic for my reply.  :)

CBH99 said:
It is hard to blame people for wanting to leave the military & pursue a career in the emergency services.  Stable career, more excitement, you actually get to DO your job every single shift, and you KNOW you are making a difference in your community.  It is also hard to blame people for jumping ship when many emergency services tend to prioritize ex-military folks when hiring. 

After the war, Toronto would only  hire veterans, and only   under the age of 26.

Because they were young when they joined the department, the '46ers were still a powerful influence when I hired on. My service in the Reserves may  have been a hiring factor by the time I came along, I don't know. Although there were residency rules at the time, as far as I could see, the diversity policies were still in the future. The Chiefs back then had the ultimate say in who was hired.

Of course military veterans are still, and always will be, hired. But, not likely with the same priority they received in the old days.

Now, we see things like, "Although we appreciate your service in the military, all current and past members of any military service will proceed through the  Selection System like any other candidate."

See also,

Army Reserve on Resume?
http://army.ca/forums/threads/60237.25.html
2 pages.

 

daftandbarmy

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mariomike said:
Saw this in a thread about Latvia.

I wanted to reply, but didn't think that was the place for it. Did not want to start another thread either. So, hopefully, this thread is on topic for my reply.  :)

After the war, Toronto would only  hire veterans, and only   under the age of 26.

Because they were young when they joined the department, the '46ers were still a powerful influence when I hired on. My service in the Reserves may  have been a hiring factor by the time I came along, I don't know. Although there were residency rules at the time, as far as I could see, the diversity policies were still in the future. The Chiefs back then had the ultimate say in who was hired.

Of course military veterans are still, and always will be, hired. But, not likely with the same priority they received in the old days.

Now, we see things like, "Although we appreciate your service in the military, all current and past members of any military service will proceed through the  Selection System like any other candidate."

See also,

Army Reserve on Resume?
http://army.ca/forums/threads/60237.25.html
2 pages.

I've noticed that many military folks under value their own experience, to their detriment in competition with their peers. They also tend to have less 'formal education' than the bright sparks coming out of various business schools etc.

If you've got a solid degree PLUS the practical experience the military provides, and you're not shy about explaining what that is, you are a solid contender IMHO.
 

mariomike

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daftandbarmy said:
If you've got a solid degree PLUS the practical experience the military provides, and you're not shy about explaining what that is, you are a solid contender IMHO.

I agree. And perhaps equally important, explaining it in civvy-speak.
 

runormal

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mariomike said:
I agree. And perhaps equally important, explaining it in civvy-speak.

This, 100%.

There is a fine line between not providing enough information, and over providing.

You need to provide enough context information so that they can understand but try not to get lost in a sea of acronyms. The first interview that I tried to fill in the gaps via my time in the reserves was awful. The second time I felt a lot better, unfortunately I got screened out for just failing my French test so I'll never know how I did.

Ah well, next time.
 
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