Special Forces veterans bring a wide range of valuable skills to the civilian job market. However, effectively conveying these skills to potential employers can be a challenge. Crafting a strong special forces resume is the first step in standing out among the competition. Let’s take a look at how to create the ideal special forces resume that employers can’t ignore.
Defining Special Forces and the Variety of Roles They Play
Special Forces, commonly referred to as “Green Berets,” are elite soldiers who undergo rigorous training to be able to execute complex missions anywhere in the world. Special Forces units conduct a variety of operations, including unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, and counter-terrorism.
What Skills and Traits are Demanded in Special Forces
Special Forces soldiers must be intelligent, disciplined, and physically fit. They must be excellent problem-solvers who can think both strategically and tactically. They must possess excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing, and be proficient in a foreign language. Mental toughness and the ability to work well under pressure are also essential.
Leveraging Special Forces Experience to Stand Out
Special Forces veterans possess skills and experience that are highly sought after in the civilian job market. They learn to adapt and improvise in a variety of challenging situations, think critically, and lead teams to success. These skills translate well to fields such as security, law enforcement, and emergency management. As a Special Forces veteran, it is important to tailor your resume to the job description, featuring the skills and accomplishments that are relevant to the specific role.
Highlighting Specific Accomplishments and Quantifying Results
Employers want to see how a candidate’s skills and experience have translated into specific accomplishments. Special Forces veterans should highlight their most significant accomplishments, such as leading teams in high-pressure situations or successfully executing complex missions. It is also important to quantify results wherever possible, using specific numbers to demonstrate the impact that your work made. For example, stating that you trained and led a team of 20 soldiers is more impactful than simply stating that you supervised a team.
Choosing the Right Format and Language
The format of a special forces resume should be simple and easy to read. Using bullet points and short sentences can help make the resume more scannable. Language should be impactful and action-oriented, using action verbs to highlight your accomplishments. Avoid using generic or cliché phrases and instead opt for specific, results-driven language. Additionally, make sure to proofread the resume carefully and have someone else review it as well before submitting it.
Taking into Account Common Questions
Special Forces veterans often face questions about explaining gaps in employment or accounting for time off-duty. It is important to address these questions directly on the resume, emphasizing relevant skills acquired during that period. For example, that experience could include attending leadership training or volunteering in a related field.
- Highlight specific accomplishments and quantify results using specific numbers.
- Choose impactful and action-oriented language with the emphasis on results.
- Tailor the resume to the job description.
- Take into account common questions and address them directly.
- Keep the format simple and easy to read.
Q: What if I didn’t serve in Special Forces but I still want to work in related fields?A: While Special Forces experience can be an advantage in fields such as security or law enforcement, it is not always mandatory. Focus on highlighting relevant experience and skills and tailor your resume to the specific job description.
Q: How do I account for time spent off-duty?A: Emphasize relevant skills acquired during that period, such as attending training or volunteering in a related field.
Q: Do I need to include my rank on the resume?A: Including your rank is optional, but it can be helpful, especially if you held a high rank.