I’ve targeted a company I really want to work for, so I’m applying for multiple jobs. Is that okay? Do I have to use the same resume or should I change it each time?

QUESTION: Should I include my military service on my resume? It goes back to more than 20 years ago. 


Ruth Pankratz, Gabby Communication

Thanks to those who served in the military. U.S. military experience is a marketable resume asset. Some employers specifically recruit veterans due to the skills and variety of job experiences, such as service, discipline, accountability, complex project management, teamwork, and training. Getting assistance highlighting military experience in civilian terminology can help secure interviews.

Camille Roberts, CC Career Solutions

My suggestion: YES! It’s foundational to your career. For private sector resumes, you can write: Translated Job Title. Military Branch. Month Year-Month Year. List 2-3 Key Accomplishments. For federal resumes, you list Military Service as a category. Translated Job Title. Military Branch. Month Year-Month Year. List 2-3 Key Accomplishments. You can also list it under Experience to score higher.

Cathy Lanzalaco, Inspire Careers

Skills and experience gained during military service can be highly desirable to an employer and should be included in your resume. When that experience is 20+ years old, you can carve it out from the Work Experience and create its own section to showcase the position(s) you’ve held along with the skills gained – think technology and leadership – and thank you for your service!

Angela Watts, MyPro Resumes

You do not need to include dates or details about your military service, however, it’s a great idea to mention this in an “Early Career” or “Military Service” section (since many employers give preference to veterans). If your military positions relate to your target roles, then provide more detail in this section.

Laura Smith-Proulx, An Expert Resume

Yes, please do! Military experience is often welcomed by employers, as it demonstrates the ability to meet stringent deadlines, follow orders, and collaborate with colleagues. Show the last rank achieved with a brief description of achievements in your work history; omit dates if needed. Showcase your military background up front in the resume summary (such as “Navy veteran”).

Cherie Heid, Competitive Edge Resume Service

Yes! Many American employers value our military and they may prefer to hire a veteran. You do not need to list your job duties in great detail since it was 20 years ago unless it relates to the job you are applying to now. At least list the branch of service, dates, and your last job title and rank. On another note – Thank you for your service to our country!

Lisa Hebert, LMH Advisors, Inc.

Most times showing your service is beneficial but translated to be relevant to your target positions. I work with former military and each situation is different. Mention it (maybe not all the details) if it helps in the hiring process. Many times, former military are evaluated by a separate team specializing in military hiring. Your service needs to be mentioned to be routed to that team.

Nancy Grant, Regional Career & Employment Services

Absolutely. You don’t necessarily need to include the dates, however many employers desire to hire Veterans. You should provide the branch of military you served, general titles you held, and the rank you held upon leaving. If you had any significant achievements or roles while enlisted that are relevant to your job search, you can provide them. Otherwise, just a listing of service will do.

Grant Cooper, Strategic Resumes & Business Plans

Yes. Some employers give preference to hiring veterans, and the general public has a favorable opinion of those who have served. The fact that it was 20+ years ago should not pose a major problem, in most cases. You may also want to include your job duties, promotions, military awards, performance evaluations, projects, and training courses. It is best to use civilian terminology, where possible.

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