Translate Your Military Experience to a Civilian Skill Set and Prepare Your Resume

Transitioning successfully from the military to a civilian position is an important process to consider. A critical step in this process is translating your military skills into a skill set that will make you a highly desired, competitive civilian job candidate. The Career Center can help you with this important step.

Make sure to have your resume reviewed by a Career Advisor. Visit the Career Center to have your resume reviewed and approved. Drop-in resume reviews are held between 2-4 pm, Monday through Friday.  These brief, 15 minute meetings are an excellent way for you to receive tips to improve your document to better highlight your strengths and skills.  For a more in-depth conversation, you are welcome to schedule an appointment with a career advisor.

Upon leaving the military, Veterans may request a Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET DD Form 2586) document which is an overview of your military career. This document provides valuable information as you transition into the civilian world. Below are answers to important questions about the purpose and benefits of acquiring a VMET:

How is a VMET document helpful? Your VMET document can help you create a resume and complete a job application. You can choose to show the VMET document to potential employers, employment/government agencies (including Department of Labor, Veterans Administration, etc.) or to educational institutions, however, it should not be used as a replacement for your resume.

How do I request and obtain a VMET? Go to the following link with your DoD CAC to obtain your VMET DD Form 2586, the VMET Cover Letter, or responses to Frequently Asked Questions about the VMET documents. The VMET documents are provided in PDF format so that you can download them and print them.

The same website also explains how to obtain a copy of your VMET if you do not have access at this time.

Along with the VMET document, use your DD Form 214, performance and evaluation reports, training certificates, military and civilian transcripts, diplomas, certifications, and other available documentation to achieve the best results in building your resume.

Developing Accomplishment Statements:

What is the one of the most important parts of a resume? Many employers are impressed by a resume that clearly spells out past performance. They know that past performance is the best predictor of future behavior on the job. As a Veteran student, the primary concern is being able to convert your military experience to civilian job specifications. The Career Center can help with this by working with you to create effective accomplishment statements.

Choosing a Resume Type:

There are three different types of resumes from which you may choose. They include functional, chronological, or government style resumes. To help you decide which style is the best option based on jobs for which you are applying, we have provided helpful information below about each style of resume. The job for which the resumes were created is listed below:

Job Description: Entry Level Intelligence Analyst position:

Responsibilities for Intelligence Analysts – ENTRY LEVEL

Intelligence Analysts in this organization seek creative solutions to answer analytic questions … solve difficult technical problems … work independently and collaborate effectively in analysis and research … apply new techniques to solve analytic problems … demonstrate a thorough understanding of the communications environment and technology trends of their targets … prepare written and oral assessments of foreign intelligence that provide unique insight into target intentions unavailable from other intelligence disciplines.


Highly competitive. Applicants should have strong academic background and excellent communication, writing, critical thinking, analytic, and advanced research skills are essential. Demonstrated interest and knowledge of world/current affairs is required, as well as a familiarity with quantitative analysis techniques and previous exposure to data analysis.

Entry level applicants normally have 5 years or less of Intelligence Analysis cryptologic (SIGINT) experience or are college graduates possessing a bachelor degree or higher. Ideally, the applicant’s academic background or former cryptologic experience should focus on a topical or technology area, or on particular region of the world.


An ideal candidate would possess:

  • Bachelors or Master’s degree in areas such as: Int’l Relations, Int’l Studies, Int’l Security, Int’l Affairs, Global Studies, Security & Intelligence Studies, Political Science, Regional Studies (such as Southwest Asia, Middle East, China, Korea, etc), Geospatial/Geography, Topical studies (such as counter-proliferation, counter-terrorism, international crime, etc), Finance/International Economics, or Chemistry/Biology.
  • Coursework, knowledge or previous experience in the following areas is highly desirable: quantitative analysis, statistical analysis, data modeling, comparative analysis, data mining, data science, social networking analysis, computational data analysis, cyber security, computer forensics, computer science, computer networks, telecommunications, and/or critical languages. Relevant internships, extracurricular activities, and/or foreign study are also considered.
  • Desired overall GPA 3.0+ (Transcripts are reviewed for relevant coursework and grades).

Chronological Style Resume:

This style of resume is most often used by college students. It lists education and experience in reverse chronological order, with the most recent information listed first. It is also used for civilian employment.

View the sample resume for a Veteran student, following a chronological style resume.

Functional Style Resume:

One option when creating a resume is to use a functional format. This style of resume is best used for those in transition, re-entering the job market, or for highlighting specific, relevant skill sets. If you are lacking direct relevant experience, you can use a skills summary instead of a work history section. This style focuses on transferable skills you have instead of focusing on where you got them. It is used for civilian employment.

This resume is for a Veteran student who followed a functional style format. It was created using information from the above job description and a VMET document. This  resume demonstrates how you can market yourself as a competitive job candidate in the civilian job market.

View the sample resume for a Veteran student, following a functional style resume.

Government Style Resume:

This style of resume is used when applying for government employment. It is a combination of the chronological and functional style resumes. View here for more information about government style resumes.