Unlearn For A Better Opportunity

When exiting the military I completed multiple sessions of TAP (Transitional Assistance Program) courses. We followed the TAP book and learn multiple tricks when developing a resume. When thrown into corporate America, I quickly realized that some of the strategies learned about resume writing didn’t work, so I investigated. In short, here are three strategies you need to avoid:

  1. Simplicity! For example, under the SUMMARY or VALUES section, annotating strengths such as: Dedicated, Motivated Supervisor, Familiar with Records, or Excellent Problem Solver. It’s great that you have these values but any hiring authority would expect you to have these qualities at the door. A great solution would be to use this section for values that are tailored to the position/career you’re applying for: Logistics Manger, Active Security Clearance, Records Filing, Facilities Maintenance, and other career specific qualities.
  1. Over optimizing your resume with keywords to get through the Automated Tracking System (ATS) or resume pre-screening software. In this day in time, many organizations have adopted some sort of automated resume reader that weaves through unqualified candidates to save time for the readers (HR reps/recruiters). The automated system picks up and forwards resumes that match keywords in the job description and qualification sections of the job announcement. Therefore, candidates tend to over optimize (stuff keywords) their resume to get through the system and forwarded to the recruiter who will eventually realize your knowledge, skills, and abilities are not represented very well. Over optimizing is unpleasant to the reader and is spotted very quickly. The human being analyzing your resume will be the ultimate deciding factor and not the automated system, so create the right formula that calls for a perfect mix of ATS + Recruiter representation.
  1. Developing a functional resume instead of a chronological resume- to hid competency in a particular job field. The problem is employers know functional resumes are developed to hide shortcomings in a particular job field and it brings immediate attention as to why you are doing that. Also, a functional resume doesn’t tell a story about when you acquired these functional skills so it raises another red flag. No date leads the reader to believe you acquired these skills a long time ago and that is the reason for hiding the dates. There are a lot of skills we acquire during our time in the military that we don’t even think of: managing (at all levels of rank) accounting, customer service, logistics, inventory control, administration, troubleshooting, transportation, quality assurance, office automation and so on. The key is to chronologically categorize your skills according to your MOS, and according to unit tasks actually performed.

In summary: Don’t waste space on your resume with information that is not valuable – over optimizing will lose the reader – and utilize a chronological resume format. Unlearn for a better opportunity. For more information, contact us.

Jeruard Anderson

Author Jeruard Anderson

Jeruard's experience comes from Logistics, which he carries a Masters degree in. He is a Veteran of the Army and has spent several years working over seas for the Federal Government. His background is extremely valuable for the government sector.

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