How To Highlight The Skills Employers Really Care About

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Here’s a challenge for you: choose the top five skills that your military background gives you that other candidates in the job marketplace don’t have. Now look at those skills and really ask yourself if these are actually unique? Are you really highlighting your best talents? And, most importantly, are the skills that you’ve chosen things that really matter to employers?


The truth is that it’s entirely possible you don’t know what it is you have that makes you special to employers. Translating the skills you earned in the military to the corporate world is a challenge. But sometimes, all it takes is a new perspective and a new way of thinking about your abilities to really make your resume pop, and to ensure that you stand out in your next job interview.

So you say you have a strong work ethic, that you can be trusted, and that you’ll show up at work on time, everyday. Great. But work ethic isn’t exactly a skill. What’s more, they don’t say anything real or meaningful about your experiences or what you have to bring to the table.

Related: My greatest life lessons came through failure.

That’s why it’s up to you to find a happy middle ground.

Really think about the things that you did, and the ways that they can be applied in the real world. And don’t wait for employers to figure it out – tell them what you’re capable of based on your experience.

If you learned how to analyze risks in the military, this gives you an edge on your competition when it comes to analyzing risks in business. If you coached or trained in the military, you already have the skills needed to effectively train and lead workers.

So let’s go back to the beginning and start over. Choose the top five skills that you learned in the military. Now stop and really think about how those skills can be used in the industry that you want to work in. Put that on your resume and speak about these things in more depth when you finally do land that interview. Potential employers will be impressed.

 Watch this video to see how to get the most out of job fairs.

U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Brian Kimball

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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