Resume Assistance

The first step to getting a job after your military career is creating a new resume from your OPRs and experience. However, resume writing can be a daunting task. You most likely have many marketable skills that are in demand - but how can you translate your military experience into a resume or job application that's attractive in civilian industries? In today's competitive job market, you need to be able to speak on the employer's terms. And that means using the language and the keywords that the employer is looking for in the respective industry/career path.

For free one on one resume assistance please email Benny Kinsey at


"Benny was very helpful as I navigated the transition from a military career to the business sector. He helped me understand the typical hiring process and the type of information both a humans relations specialist and a hiring manager would be looking for in a resume and how to present it in way that would resonate. I think it is terrific to provide this type of service to our transitioning veterans and am grateful for it." - Mike Rothstein `88

"I found out about the resume assistance in the AOG's Checkpoints. I connected with Benny and was super grateful to be able to talk to someone about my professional goals and interests, outside of the Transition Assistance Program. Even though TAP offers great resources, they can only offer so much for specific education and professional goals. He gave me new ideas for locating different government job vacancies. He advised on the timing of certain listings and helped me tailor my resume to specific positions. Although I ultimately ended up pursuing an academic degree after separation, I appreciated the one-on-one attention that helped orient me to the new and daunting experience of applying for jobs as my separation date neared." - Kristi Tanaka `15

"Benny provides exemplary service to those transitioning out of the military. He took me under his wing and helped translate my 20 years of military service into language understood by the civilian business world. I felt his wealth of knowledge and personal connections with key figures in several industries gave me a leg up while trying to find my next career." - Joshua Cadice `01

Resume Resources


Resume Do's and Don'ts


  • Include a summary of your most important qualities, achievements, and abilities.
  • Keep resume length to one or two pages.
  • Keep the font between 10 and 12 to allow for readability.
  • Use a standard black font such as Arial or Calibri.
  • List information in reverse chronological order.
  • Set off your accomplishments and work experience in a "bullet" format.
  • Quantify your accomplishments.
  • Use your evaluations to find key points to highlight.
  • Triple check spelling and grammar.
  • Use a professional email address.
  • Check the tense and ensure alignment.


  • Include an objective statement. Space is limited so use it wisely.
  • Be afraid to change the margins. This will often adjust the information to fit far better on the page (do not make the margins smaller than 0.5)
  • Use pronouns such as I, me, my, our. Never speak in the first person.
  • List GPA if it is lower than 3.0.
  • List information in reverse chronological order.
  • Put "References Supplied Upon Request"
  • Use military jargon.
  • Include date gaps on your resume.
  • Include Pictures or icons.
  • Use text boxes when formatting your resume.
  • Include any hyperlinks on your resume.

Translating Your Military Experience for a Civilian Hiring Manager

Hiring managers need to be able to easily extract your civilian qualifications and experience from your resume, so you need to make it targeted and concise, with clearly spelled out qualifications and experiences. Here are some tips for translating your skills and experiences on your resume.

List all positions with specific and quantifiable detail. Quantify how many people worked for you and the dollar amount of the equipment, budgets and programs for which you were responsible for. "Mission Commander" on a resume may not convey much to a civilian hiring manager, but quantifying with "As Mission Commander, I was overall in charge of the processing and deployment of 270 personnel and five million dollars worth of combat aircraft." will demonstrate the depth of your responsibility. Numbers are critical.

Translate your achievements. Treat your achievements and assignments as programs, and include details relevant to the position for which you are applying. Illustrate how you were able to map out a plan and achieve it. Use practical examples to show transferable skills, such as leadership, decision-making, and technical skills and certifications. By doing this, you can prove that your skill set is a match for that required.

Use the civilian counterpart job title on your resume with your military position and rank in parenthesis. Hiring managers may not always know what a Major in the Air Force does or how many people they oversee. This position may best be described as a Manager or Leader. Keep in mind, though, that rank is often not an important factor on your resume. Many hiring managers know that service members' experience often exceeds their pay grade and that responsibility doesn't always come with rank. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms. Write your resume so any reader will understand what you are trying to convey.

Disqualifying mistakes such as using C-level titles (i.e. CEO or COO) to translate your experience; or a generic, one-size-fits-all resume should also be avoided.

By using these tips to translate your military experience, you will have already overcome many of the biggest obstacles to creating your resume!

Types of Resumes

Chronological Resumes

  • You should typically use a chronological resume if your professional experience and your professional timeline are relatively easy to follow.
  • This format lists your professional experience in reverse chronological order, so a potential interviewer, military or non-military, can easily follow your professional timeline and get a good overall understanding of what you are qualified to do in a very short period of time.

Skills Based / Combination Resume

  • You should typically use a skills based/combination resume if you have more than 15 years professional experience, a very diverse professional background, and/or are trying to tailor your resume for a specific industry or position.
  • This format starts with a professional summary and highlights several key professional attributes that you want to emphasize.
  • The skill based/combination format allows a potential interviewer to view your background in an easy-to-read format that emphasizes the skill sets you are trying to convey.