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Make civilian your second language and remove the military jargon

While we employ many Veterans just like you here at VA, we also have civilians in a number of roles, including in human resources. So, while there are plenty of folks who speak the same jargon as you, the person reading your resume may not understand the words, phrases and especially acronyms you use in the military.

Taking the time to translate your experience into terms that will be more familiar to a broad audience is a good step on the path to a successful job application.

A good place to start is in the job description itself. Every job announcement will have a “duties” section that describes the expectations for the role, as well as a “qualifications” section devoted to experience and skills. Look at the postings associated with the jobs you want and see what words they use to describe the requirements.

Another good tip is to focus on communicating the functions of your role, no matter your rank or your specialty. While some job duties are self-explanatory, there are others that require a little more definition, as civilians aren’t likely to know the duties that accompany things like ranks.

Work at VA

Ready to learn more? Head over to VA Careers for more in-depth tips and access to more resources aimed at helping transitioning military personnel like you find a place on our team.

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