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Published Sep 15, 2022 6:29 AM

The top resume writing services for military to civilian transitioning can help members of the armed forces translate their uniformed background into private sector work experience. Many veterans can find it tricky to express their vast operational and leadership know-how to meet the needs of today’s employer. For example, resumes that state your “MOS was 11B” may mean very little to a hiring manager. But when you convert military abbreviations and jargon to show your “role in the infantry was to manage the safety of equipment appraised at over $1.5 million,” then managers have a much clearer understanding of the value you bring. 

Employers are keen to find professionals with your teamwork and critical thinking skills. And, you don’t have to transition from your military careers into the private sector alone. There are resume consultants who are eager to assist you. So if you’re ready to make the leap from chopper to cubicle, the first step is gathering hiring materials like cover letters, thank you emails, resumes, and in today’s job market — a compelling LinkedIn profile. Keep reading to discover resume writing services for military members and veterans seeking employment with civilian companies.

Best Online Service

While most resume writing companies are online these days, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all good at it — which is why many regard Find My Profession hard to compete with when it comes to ease of use, a smooth process, and online career resources for digital natives. For those who are transitioning from military careers into the civilian workforce, Find My Profession may offer an efficient and speedy online service at a competitive price.

This company’s online offerings provide a variety of solutions for military members seeking entry-level positions, managerial roles, and executive careers. It even extends support for curriculum vitaes (CVs) and federal resumes. All packages come with a 60-day guarantee and options for LinkedIn networking, interview coaching, and career counseling. You can even opt to let the team at Find My Profession take over your job search for you — it’s sort of like reverse recruiting.

Trustpilot gives Find My Profession 4.9 out of five stars, and many reviews highlight the company’s results-oriented approach and affordability. Find My Profession says its clients have been hired by the likes of Apple, Nike, Tesla, Morgan Stanley, the Department of Justice, and other high-profile employers. To find out if this service is right for you, take a look through its sample resumes and testimonials.

Key Features
  • Online service with options for phone correspondence
  • One-on-one session with your resume writer
  • Three- to five-day turnaround time
Why It Made the Cut
  • If you’re looking for an online maker of military-to-civilian resumes, then you should check out this zippy service that offers job hunters a wholly digital platform.
PROS

Federal resumes, C-level, and curriculum vitaes also available

Member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC)

Packages come with one week of unlimited resume revisions

CONS

Packages with higher price points may be required to enjoy all benefits

LinkedIn profile not available with all packages

Best for IT

Nearly 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies simplify the hiring process by scanning and filtering resumes using some form of applicant tracking software (ATS), according to a recent Jobscan report. Smaller companies, too, have adopted similar digital methods. This is why commissioning a resume service with modern IT baked into its process can help get you seen by employers that are keen to identify candidates quickly.

In addition to its ATS-optimized system, TopResume offers a Military Resume Package that pairs you with a military resume expert who will align your service experience with the types of jobs for which you’re applying. You’ll also receive a cover letter, up to three resume revisions, and unlimited email correspondence with your consultant. TopResume also has a selection of other non-military resume packages, each with their own terms and offerings.

TopResume features testimonials and reviews on its website, many of which are written by former military service members. In fact, you can review a sample of the company’s military-to-civilian resumes, along with examples from other industries. TopResume has earned 4.2 out of five stars on Trustpilot, where over 70 percent of its some 11,000 customer reviews give it “excellent” ratings.

Key Features
  • Industry-leading ATS-optimized platform
  • Speciality services for Army, Air Force, Marine Corp, Navy, and Coast Guard
  • Military Resume Package starts at $199
Why It Made the Cut
  • Jobseekers who are looking to get one step ahead of the competition may like what they see with TopResume. Its internet technology is arguably second to none.
PROS

Federal resumes and curriculum vitaes also available

Free resume critique via online upload

Turnaround time is generally under seven business days

CONS

Military Resume Package does not include a money-back guarantee

May not be ideal for those looking for managerial or C-suite level roles

Best for Federal Jobs

Many military members find themselves in federal jobs after their uniformed service. But not only do some struggle with translating military jargon into civilian vocabulary, even more find the federal resume itself quite challenging. That’s because federal jobs require specialty resumes that are often four to six pages long with formatting that varies by department. In these cases, a federal resume expert like TopStack is critical in helping military personnel apply for government jobs.

TopStack furnishes new customers with a choice of packages, all of which can be paired with its federal resume service. Yet those who select its Premium Package will presumably enjoy the most that TopStack has to offer, including working with the most experienced writers, 60-day interview guarantee, phone and email correspondence, career counseling, and an optimized LinkedIn profile — that’s in addition to your federal resume and a cover letter.

Still, TopStack’s standard of service can take upwards of 10 business days to deliver. Plus, its interview guarantee is not a money-back guarantee. If you’ve applied to at least 10 jobs and not received any interviews within 60 days, TopStack will only provide one-on-one career guidance and application support, free of charge. So you’ll need to look elsewhere for a faster turnaround or an actual money-back offer.

TopStack receives 4.9 out of five stars on Trustpilot, and many customers praise the company for its effectiveness and affordability. Besides these accolades, TopStack donates five percent of its profits to the Fisher House Foundation, which is a charity dedicated to providing free lodging to families of hospitalized military members.

Key Features
  • Payment after you approve the first draft of your federal resume
  • Two rounds of revisions included in all packages
  • One-on-one career counseling and other services available
Why It Made the Cut
  • If you’re confused by the strict resume formatting required for federal jobs, then TopStack might be right for you. It's an industry leader in federal resume writing.
PROS

Select packages come with a 60-day interview guarantee

All resumes are ATS-friendly

Discounts and promotions for return customers

CONS

Turnaround times are upwards of two weeks, which is longer than other options

No money-back guarantee

Whether you’re a researcher pursuing your dream job or you’re seeking international employment, the perfect curriculum vitae (CV) will get you noticed. But not all resume services are right for this type of document, and even fewer are qualified to translate your military record into civilian work experience. But the team at Career Confidence Resume Services is well-equipped to help military members and veterans find work that is commensurate with their educational and service backgrounds.

Career Confidence was founded by Cassie Hatcher, a self-professed former Air Force brat who works with a team of military spouses who can leverage their unique insights to assist members from “all military branches and across a wide range of Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs).” You’ll receive two versions of your CV — one that is more general and the second that is tailored for a specific role. Furthermore, your CV will be assessed by a CVCS and CPRW (see above), and it comes with a money-back guarantee. Career Confidence also provides a custom LinkedIn profile, and it will throw in a 200-page ebook to guide you through your job search.

That said, the biggest drawback to Career Confidence is that this boutique service only has the capacity to assist a limited number of clients at a single time. So if you’re in a rush, a company that is built for volume may be better suited to your needs.

While we couldn’t find any customer reviews on Trustpilot, Career Confidence showcases testimonials from its military customers, some of whom have landed employment with Northrop Grumman, Amazon, Verizon, and the Civil Aviation Authority, to name a few. You’ll also find sample resumes, career resources, and an option for a free resume review on the company website.

Key Features
  • Dedicated military-to-civilian resume service
  • All packages include an ATS-friendly resume, Linkedin optimization, and email support
  • Certified Veteran Career Strategists (CVCS) and Certified Professional Resume Writers (CPRW) available
Why It Made the Cut
  • Scholars who need to incorporate military service into their curriculum vitae might have a lot to like about this company’s expertise with both academic writing and military life.
PROS

Full 100 percent money-back guarantee

Free resume review

Career and job search resources

CONS

Limited number of clients at any given time

No “hard” pricing; costs vary by customer

Best for Executives

Regardless of your military rank, your service background makes you a strong contender for executive positions with many private sector companies. Undoubtedly, Great Resumes Fast is up to the task of communicating your skill set effectively.

This company’s C-Level Job Alignment package is designed to bring your candidacy to the attention of hiring managers. You’ll have access to the full range of services that the standard packages provide, including an ATS-friendly resume, a custom LinkedIn profile, cover letter, and two rounds of revisions. But you’ll also receive a customizable thank you letter, a value proposition letter, and a professional career biography. Additionally, you’ll work directly with a writer who has proven executive and C-suite level hiring experience.

That’s an impressive set of tools to work with, but it comes at a premium. This vendor’s resumes can cost nearly $3,000, but considering the concierge service you’ll get and the potential pay off when you land your corporate job, the investment in yourself could be worth it. Still, there are other amazing resume builders out there who can support your job search for much less money.

Great Resumes Fast has earned a 4.9 star rating from Trustpilot, and almost 90 percent of its reviewers ranked the company as “excellent.” What’s more, you’ll find success stories and testimonials on the website, including one case study that features a former military service member who transitioned into an executive role with a civilian company.

Key Features
  • Process begins with a 25-minute phone call with the company founder
  • Turnaround in three to five business days
  • Two rounds of revisions included in every package
Why It Made the Cut
  • Professionals searching for tailor-made executive resumes should know about Great Resumes Fast. It provides next-level service and support for applicants who are serious about landing that big job.
PROS

Full 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee

SEO optimization for LinkedIn profile

Customizable cover letters

CONS

Premium packages may be cost-prohibitive for many

Things to consider before choosing a resume writing service for military

Resume writing for military service members and veterans

Resume services can take the stress out of writing a military-to-civilian resume, but service members and veterans do have other options, many of which are free. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides an online employment toolkit with career counseling, job search guidance, and resume writing advice.

Veterans can also receive resume support through the Veterans Employment Center, as well as free online-based services through VetNet. In addition, many U.S. military bases and installations offer civilian transition instruction. You may also find resources with charitable organizations, such as HireOurHeroes, that specialize in mentoring service members as they begin their journey in the civilian workforce.

How resume writing services work

Resume-writing services create tailor-made hiring documents that are specific to the job seeker. You’ll generally work one-on-one with an expert who will use your employment history as the basis for a resume that will appeal to both human resources managers and job applicant tracking systems. Communication between you and your resume writer often takes place by phone or via email, but occasionally you’ll upload your details through the company’s website.

The cost of a resume writer varies depending on the level of service you require. However, you can typically expect to pay at least $150 for some of the more basic offerings, and upwards of $3,000 for an executive resume or a helping hand with your job search.

Evaluating resume writing services for military personnel

When choosing a resume maker for your military-to-civilian transition, look for companies that highlight the qualifications and backgrounds of their writers. Vendors that do not employ certified writers may be cheaper, but you’re potentially purchasing an inferior product. Similarly, you’ll benefit from direct correspondence with your writer, which can take place through phone calls, video meetings, or even email. It’s this type of one-on-one collaboration that will truly yield an effective resume. Also, prioritize companies that offer some form of guarantee. If a service doesn’t stand behind its product, then that’s generally a red flag that you’re working with an inexperienced team.

FAQs about resume writing services for military

Q: Is it worth paying for a resume service?

A: Yes, it’s generally worth it to pay for a resume service, especially for military members who are inexperienced with the private sector. An expert can translate your military background into civilian work experience and provide a polished, ATS-optimized resume. 

Q: What are employers looking for in a resume?

A: Employers want to see resumes that show alignment between an applicant’s experience and a hiring manager’s expectations for a role with their company. Resumes should be scannable, honest, and formatted to display your qualifications in a coherent employment history.

Q: What are most resumes missing?

A: Many military-to-civilian resumes are missing relatable work experience that is expressed using modern vocabulary. It’s important to translate military abbreviations, acronyms, and jargon into qualifications and skill sets that recruiters can easily understand. 

Q: What words should not be used in a resume?

A: Military service members and veterans who are transitioning into the civilian workforce should avoid using words on their resumes such as medal, platoon, mission, and subordinates, to name a few. Instead, substitute those jargon words with terms like award, team, task, and employees.

Final thoughts

Resume-writing services for military members and veterans can relieve much of the stress from a job hunt in the civilian workforce. Many services will provide you with all of the hiring materials you need to successfully find a steady, well-paying job. Yet, those who do not want to pay for a commercial service may find support through the VA employment center or with non-profit organizations. Review your options beforehand to ensure you’re making an informed decision.

Methodology

To choose the best resume writing services for this list, the team at Task & Purpose looked at a large number of companies. We focused on cost, plan features and options, ease of use, customer service reviews, and past customer ratings as the most important factors in our ratings. Learn more about our methodology in the Task & Purpose review guide