Silhouettes of soldiers walking in a straight line

Career Services works closely with Veteran and Military Affairs to address veteran students’ career development needs. Career development advisors can assist with specialized resumes, cover letters, preparing for interviews, and internship/job search strategies, as well as the graduate school application process.

Converting Military Resumes for Civilian Positions

  • One page for every 10 years of service.
  • Avoid using military acronyms (spell them out) and minimize military lingo.
  • Ensure you’re writing about your military experience in as complete and descriptive a manner possible. 
  • Use language common in industry. For example, instead of “supervise subordinates,” use “supervise employees.”
  • Expand the use of “manage” to “coordinate,” “lead” or “supervise.” Employers are most interested in results, not simply job descriptions.
  • Use key phrases such as “...resulting in...” and “...which led to...” to state your accomplishments.
Example 1:

Original: Coached, prepared and screened aviation candidates during hiring process as aviation advisor.
Improved: Coached, prepared and screened aviation candidates during hiring process as aviation advisor. Results-driven program management led to 30 percent reduction in training time for graduate-level flight program with a $250,000 annual budget.

Example 2:

Original: Responsible for leading team and program management of all aircraft supply and maintenance programs.
Improved: Led and trained 30 personnel in the maintenance of multiple $30 million aircraft resulting in sustained 98 percent maintenance operational readiness rate for a one-year deployment cycle.

  • Ask “how” and “why” for every line. Fill in the gaps.
  • Seek feedback about your resume from Career Services, an HR recruiter and an employer who is familiar with veteran resumes.
  • Have your resume reviewed by someone not familiar with military resumes, to ensure it’s understandable in layperson’s terms.

Job Search & Workplace Resources for Student Veterans

Feds Hire Vets: A one-stop resource for federal jobs for veterans.

GI Jobs: Provides additional resources for converting your resume.

My Next Move: Explore career options for returning veterans.

Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS): Department of Labor resource for veterans.

Military Hire: Veteran job database and resources.

Boulder Vet Center: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in Boulder.

CU Boulder Veterans Alumni Club: Network with fellow CU Boulder veterans.

Workforce Boulder: Community resources for veterans in Boulder.