In many cases, competition for defense jobs is surprisingly fierce. Often, these openings attract a wide array of highly skilled candidates, so seizing opportunities to set yourself apart is essential. Otherwise, your application may get lost in the sea of other qualified applicants.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to make yourself appear like the strongest candidate possible. If you need to set yourself apart from other defense candidates, here’s what you can do.
Review the Job Description for Fit and Keywords
As with any job, defense candidates that want to stand out should review the job description carefully to ensure they’re a good fit for the role. Having the required skills and experience is a critical first step in the equation, as falling short means you likely won’t qualify.
When you’re assessing your eligibility, consider your professional career, education, volunteer work, personal projects, internships, or any other source of skill-building and experience. They can all become part of your work history to highlight your capabilities.
Additionally, as you review the job description, make notes of the words and phrases associated with the must-have skills and abilities. When you write your resume, you want to include those that you possess using the exact terminology. Often, those words and phrases are the ones used in any automated screening processes, so exact matches work in your favor.
Include Details About Recent Security Clearances
If you’ve previously had a security clearance – even if it’s currently expired – make sure to list it on your resume. Security clearances are a necessity for a wide array of defense positions. By including this information, you’re demonstrating that you’ve previously passed the associated screening, which can give the hiring manager piece of mind. Plus, it highlights your familiarity with the process.
Ideally, you want to include the issuing agency, the level, and the date it was issued. For expired security clearances, list the dates it ended, too. That allows you to honestly show that it isn’t a current clearance while still letting you include this critical detail.
You can list this information with a simple header or within an education, credentials, and training section. If you have multiple relevant clearances, then creating a separate section for them is wise. Just make sure you don’t also include any sensitive information, as the details of your clearance shouldn’t be disclosed.
Avoid Military Acronyms and Jargon
The military uses a wide array of acronyms to describe programs, functional areas, and skills. Additionally, military-specific jargon is commonplace in these communities. The issue is that those outside of the military may not be familiar with the terminology. As a result, veterans should forgo these terms when creating a resume.
Even in the defense industry, not every human resources professional or hiring manager will know the meaning of every acronym or all of the jargon. That can cause them to inaccurately assess your capabilities. Instead of using those terms, go with widely used versions. Take cues from the vacancy announcement or other job descriptions, allowing you to identify the common nomenclature associated with those abilities.
Are you ready to set yourself apart from other candidates and secure your next defense industry job? Partner with the Staffing Resource Group to gain access to exciting, career-boosting opportunities. Contact us to learn more about our services today.