Saturday, 15 February 2014

Military Resume - 3 Issues That Recruiters Look For

In the first article we have seen the three major mistakes in military resumes that are very commonly made by military-experienced-professionals( To read, click here) . In this  second article of this five article series, we have highlighted  the top three reasons why the military resumes are rejected by the recruiters even when they have the potential and required skills for the job opportunity.

Lack of Keywords- Resume Heading For Trash
Because of the service constrains during the military career  especially in the final years, such as remote area postings, busy schedule, and no access to internet, we may not be aware of the latest trends in the constantly changing job market, where new methods and processes are introduced very frequently. One of the reasons for the rejection of military resumes is the lack of awareness on the latest trends about the resume writing among the about to retire or recently retired military professionals. Though many will not use the military jargon and instead use the corporate terms, they will still miss upon the right job specific keywords that give edge over others.
Receiving thousands of resume for a job opening, Many MNCs use Applicant Tracking Software ( ATS) or internet job boards to shortlist only those resumes which come up with the job-essential keywords. Similarly, LinkedIn is used extensively by recruiters to find the right candidate and one of the way to find right fit is by applying the keyword search method. Even when a recruiter is scanning your resume manually, recruiter’s eyes are constantly searching for those job specific keywords. Therefore the value of inclusion of keywords is that they can make or break your chances of being called for interview.
While some keywords are general, many of them are industry and job specific. A particular job description typically conveys what is the position, specific experience required, skills and education desired from a candidate. A number of job descriptions ( They  can be searched on various job portals) for the same position will have a number of common keywords which can be used in context of resume. Inclusion of these keywords will convey that your experience is  relevant to the job,  and increase your chances of success for a job opening.

Resume Left Open Ended- Results Not Shown
In corporate , You are recognized by your work such as  what  growth was achieved by you or what results were achieved with your involvement and most of the these results are shown with numbers and percentages.  With the availability of data matrix in corporate, it’s even more easy to quantify the accomplishments. Whereas in military rarely we quantify our work even though the there is scope  to quantify . By not highlighting  the results in figures, we leave our work accomplishment  open ended and very general in nature.
 Every military training increases operational efficiency and the same improvement can also be quantified. Every weapon training including firing conducted by an individual on his team would have improved the operational effectiveness by a few percentages. Similarly, every innovation or implementation of a new procedure that saved human effort or that made cost-cutting can be quantified to an approximate number and percentage. A good way to quantify is by asking a few questions  such as:-
·          How many staff you managed or How many individuals you trained?
·         What was the value of the equipment you managed?
·         What was the total budget you were responsible for?
·         How much money did you saved?
·         How much you improved upon efficiency or what is the percentage difference from before in productivity?

And the  results of the questions above can narrate the  work experience, and accomplishments  in a more quantifiable statements such as:-
·         Led 120 member staff.
·         Enhanced operational effectiveness of 60 member team from 65% to 80%.
·         Resulted in INR 10 million  savings.
·         Administered budget of INR 15 million.
·         Reduced inventory loss by 10%.
·         Developed result oriented training program for a 800 person organization, taking the professional standards from 70% to 80 %.

Cut, Copy, and Paste- The Resume Sound Too General & Boring
Many a times we have seen the tendency that we ask for the resume from  other veterans who have retired and are working in corporate, thinking that the same resume will communicate about us also. The resume is all about highlighting your past experiences and your individual personality in an effective manner, gaining a call for the interview.  Since it’s about an individual’s personality who has different skills sets based on his or her personality, knowledge and experience,  No two individuals can have the same resume which highlights each one’s skills distinctly. The traditional method of cut, copy, and paste does more harm to your chances of shortlist for a particular opening.  Even if a very professionally written attractive but copied resume is able to fetch an interview; chances are very high that one will not go cross interview. Guess Why?
The online templates have been copied by millions and the same content is thus widely seen all around including on LinkedIn . The words and  the  content are too general and even if we try to tweak a few words here and there to make it work for us, The recruiter who must have seen hundreds and thousands of such resume makes out that this one is another copied resume.  So what?  A copied resume generally reflects that  the person shies away from work and adopts to easier methods.
The two most important steps in finding a job post retirement are preparing an effective resume and making a job hunting strategy.  Resume is the first contact of the job-seeker with the recruiter and recruiters are a experienced lot .If the resume has been accepted for the interview call, will one who has copied the resume will have more confidence during the interview or the one who has taken the time and effort to put exactly one’s own  personality, military skills, and experience in the resume?
To sum it up, Resume writing is a detail-oriented process and requires time, and effort as one needs to pen down the career history from scratch and pull out the ones that exactly conveys the correct picture. By not copying  from other resumes, one  will improve  the chances of success both during the shortlist of resume for interview call and during the interview process as what  one will speak will go hand-in-hand with what is written.
The articles in this blog aim at empowering the retiring/retired military professionals about how to approach successful transition from military to corporate . M2C is also sensitizing the corporate recruiters about the business advantages of hiring military professionals. Some of the articles published in top HR magazines can be seen here, click here . The Team M2C with the support of military community  is committed to create an environment where in each military-experienced-professional has a respectful and dignified job post retirement and corporate companies are eager to recruit military professionals especially in domains other than Security and  Admin.
If you think this article can be useful to someone who is about to retire or have recently retired, Do share generously.
To know more on military specific resume writing, click here