Alexander McCoy served six years in the Marine Corps, separating in 2013 at the rank of Sergeant. As a Marine, he deployed to Saudi Arabia, Honduras, and Germany in support of the U.S. Department of State. His writing on foreign policy, defense and veterans issues has also appeared in Reuters, Foreign Policy, the Jerusalem Post, the Daily Mail, and the Journal of Political Risk. He is the Marine Corps co-chair for Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tom Ricks' Council of the Former Enlisted, and currently studies political science at Columbia University in New York City. He serves on the board of the Ivy League Veterans Council, which advocates on behalf of veterans in higher education, and High Ground Veterans Advocacy, which trains veterans to become grassroots activists.
Members of the military transitioning back to civilian life face a bewildering array of colleges at which to use their hard-earned G.I. Bill benefits. Many claim to be “veteran friendly,” but are they?
Translating your experience into civilian terms takes more than simply replacing military acronyms and terminology with civilian equivalents. As a transitioning veteran, writing an effective resume requires adapting to an entirely different culture. Approaching it in the same way you filled out your military performance evaluations will result in potential employers failing to understand your full potential. Here are some things to keep in mind to avoid some of the most common mistakes veterans make.