Sunday, August 26, 2012

CV Writing Tips for Ex Military Personnel

When ex military personnel start to look for civilian work or training, the first thing that's required is an up-to-date CV. In order to help heroes find employment, organisations need to know what each applicant's skills are, as well as where they're based and what their ideal role would entail.

Some employers appear unwilling or resistant to employing ex forces personnel. As wrong as this seems, sometimes the blame can rest on the prospective employee too. Stereotypes and prejudices are wrong, but it is hard to prove an employer's beliefs wrong with a CV that lacks depth and appropriate information.

It is hard for employers to choose an employee based on a CV that is incomplete and does not show the applicant off in their best light.

A good CV is a headline. It tells prospective employers who you are, what you want, what you can do and how you can improve further. It shows them your potential and it also reveals just how much of an asset you could be to their company.

Think about your CV. What is included? It is almost certain to be lacking in some vital information regarding skills or experience that could land you with your dream civilian job.

It's not that the skills aren't there - often it's just that you haven't laid out what you can do in black and white. In CVs there is no boasting. Show yourself off. Here are five tips for army heroes to create the perfect ex military CV.

1. Fill in all the correct contact information so employers can get in touch.
Add in your email address (if you have more than one, use both), home and mobile phone numbers, address and if you have one, put in the address for your personal website or blog. Double check all this information to ensure it is correct.

2. Include a full career history.
If your career has been within the military for the most part, look at your roles from a civilian point of view. Write in the dates you changed within a certain regiment or service and tour dates. Also include a concise paragraph for each change of role detailing what the new position entailed.

3. Include skills you learned.
It may not seem instantly obvious, but skills learned in the military - for example team work, engineering, first aid, weapon safety and maintenance training, organisation and drill - all count as excellent transferable skills. Weapons training may not be inherently useful in a security or administration role, however the discipline learned in order to safely use and maintain such a weapon responsibly is. Similarly, drill might not be a key requirement of civilian employment, but team work, punctuality, organisation, self-confidence, the ability to follow orders and presentability are all skills every employer looks for in new team members.

4. Talk about your goals.
If civilian experience is a bit thin on the ground in your CV, explain your goals and hopes for the future. If you want a full-time role with the security that brings, talk about your dedication and hard-work ethics. If you are looking for a position that offers training, expand on your willingness to adapt and grow as a team member; put yourself forward as a candidate who is not afraid to work hard to achieve his/her goals, is eager to learn and can pick up new skills quickly.

5. Who are you?
One section of CVs that is invariably done badly is the self-statement. There should always be a part of your CV dedicated to you and what your 'extra-curricular' activities are. Remember, employers are looking for a candidate who fits the correct skill sets, but they are also looking for a colleague. Don't go overboard - a couple of sentences should suffice - but try to tie in your hobbies and passions with your employability and skills. For instance, if you love hiking and climbing, this shows you are an active and adventurous person; reading and photography show adaptability and an interest in learning and discovering new things. If you don't have many interests outside of work, you could cite spending time in the garden or with family as your main loves in life which will show dedication and placidity.

All of these tips have been designed by professionals to help soldiers make the most of the skills they already have to make them work for them in the civilian world.

No comments:

Post a Comment