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Woman Reading Your military service has given you training and work experience useful to many employers. Your task is to consider your own work and find a way to use this information to your best advantage. Following is a list of some strengths you probably have used in your military service. As you read the list, make notes about your own experiences. You will use the notes later in preparing your resume to emphasize points the company is looking for.
  1. Leadership training — The military trains people to accept responsibility and give direction. You may have had responsibility for other people and their activities. You are trained to lead by setting an example and by giving directions.
  2. Ability to conform to rules and structure — In any organization there must be rules and structure to avoid chaos. You have learned and followed rules in the service. Companies value employees who will follow the rules and fit into the structure of the workplace.
  3. Ability to learn with advanced training — You received intensive, and often specialized, advanced training in the service.
  4. Familiarity with records — You are familiar with the need for records and complete paperwork. You understand the need to be accountable for everything you do.
  5. Ability to work as a team member and a team leader — In the military you worked in a team environment. You understand that everything you do affects someone else. You may have served as a team leader where you analyzed situations and options, made decisions, gave directions, followed through and accepted responsibility.
  6. Ability to work in a diverse group — The military employs all Americans regardless of race, gender, economic status, religion. In the service, you have worked with people of all backgrounds, attitudes, and characteristics.
  7. Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines — In the military you must perform. You do your job right the first time. There is pressure and stress; if you fail, people could suffer. This attitude toward work is valued in the business community.
  8. Systematic planning — Most military operations require thorough planning. You must consider objectives, the strengths and limitations of others, resources, time schedules, logistics, and various other factors. You also assess progress during the operations. The ability to plan is highly valued in many civilian job settings.
  9. Emphasis on safety — Military safety training is among the best in the world. You understand the cost of lives, property, and objectives when safety is ignored. An emphasis on safety will often be valued in the civilian workforce.
  10. Ability to give and follow directions — You know how to work under supervision. You are accountable for your actions. Being disciplined in your life and when dealing with others is important in the workplace.
  11. Drug-free — You have been working in a zero-tolerance environment, with frequent and random drug testing. Most employers view this as a distinct advantage.
  12. Maturity — You may have maturity beyond your years. You can bring this out in an interview by relating your experiences and responsibilities. Employers may see you as more mature than other applicants your age.
  13. Security clearance — Many military personnel have achieved some level of security clearance. For some employers, your clearance will simplify the process of applying for a civilian clearance and save them money.
  14. Initiative — You have a proactive mentality. Employers will appreciate your ability to approach issues and opportunities without necessarily being asked to.
  15. Problem-solving — You are a strategic thinker. You have been trained to assess a situation and address problems and opportunities. Employers are looking for workers who help make work go more smoothly.
  16. Minimized need for supervision — You are accustomed to being given a task and taking responsibility for its completion. Employers appreciate your efficiency and ability to work independently.
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