Writing the Right CV

A person is wearing a blue shirt with a Columbia logo, presenting in front of a background with the Compass Datacenters logo and text about career transition tips.

Hello, I’m Tony Grayson. I’d like to welcome you to another podcast on transition tips. As always, please reach out if you have any questions or you want me to talk about any topics in feature episodes. Today, I want to talk about resumes or CVs. To start off with, some of the things I’m about to say definitely fly in the face of what some of the other resume veteran companies put out online, and I think that’s okay. This is just based on my experience in the technology sector.

First, let’s talk length. What you need to do is keep it at two pages or less. But if you are more senior, three pages is fine. Second, and I think this is important, do not try to add any kind of equivalency from your job in the military to the civilian. For example, don’t say you’re a CEO or a CIO or CO or something like that. Most companies have great veterans programs and they know exactly what you did based on your rate or your rate and your MOS. Also, by saying that just because you’re in command, you’re a CEO, this shows the company you have no clue what a CEO actually does.

Third, you really need to translate your accomplishments into something specific. You can’t just say you did this or did that. You should be saying, for example, I trained 20 sailors and raised performance by 20% on X exam or Y tests or you developed new procedures that were integrated into local operating procedures reducing errors by 10%. You really, really try to translate that stuff.

Fourth, don’t feel like you need a certification for a job. But if you want get one, that’s okay if you want to get it to better yourself. An example for 10 years in the military, in my experience, a PMP certification will not help you land that job. What will get you hired is all that experience you’ve had in managing logistics and preparing and going on deployment. Finally, grammar and spelling matter. If you don’t have time to get that right, companies will question your work ethic and will also question about the quality of work that you turn in.

Well, hopefully that was helpful and thank you for listening. If you find it useful, please give me a like so I’m on the right track. Thank you.