If you’ve never needed a CV before because you’ve been serving in the military, it can seem like a daunting prospect. What on earth do people want to know about you? What can you do to make a recruiter want to interview you? 

You’re not alone in wondering how you can translate your service experience for a civvy-street audience but we’re here to help! 

Your CV exists to give employers a snapshot of your skills and experience. It’s got to be short and sweet but cover all the basics; your education, the roles you’ve held and what makes you special. For the last, this may be aspects of your experience, personality or even outside interests. 

The key for ex-military personnel is layout out a CV that gets you an interview with someone who may have little or know knowledge of the forces. 

We’ve got some sample CVs for you: 

Skills Based CV: For showing off your transferable skills and any courses or qualifications you’ve taken. This is the best CV to use for more technical non-military roles. 

Chronological CV: Probably what most people think of when they think about CVs, this type of CV lists your work experience in reverse order and is best suited to people who have some non-military experience already. 

A reminder of some important hints and tips to help you secure that interview with your CV: 

  • Tailor your CV to the role. Many employers are using software to scan CVs, so if you want your CV to really stand out and land on the recruiter’s desk, it’s best to pick out key phrases.
  • There is no ideal length for a CV, it depends on how much experience and how many skills you have, but try to keep it minimal where you can.
  • Think about social media. Employers will often do an online search and you want to ensure that if they stumble upon your LinkedIn profile, that it matches your CV, if they visit your Facebook page they don’t see a profile photo of you in a state of disrepair and that if they find you on Twitter, you’re not offensive. 
  • Cover letters are still important for many roles, this is where you really get to talk up your skills and experience but keep it to one page! 
  • Make sure that your CV and online profiles are all written in good English. If this isn’t your strongest suit, ask someone to read through it for you. 
  • And remember, try and remove all of the military jargon and catchphrases, you may know what they mean, but often the person reading the CV will not and it will be meaningless and possibly confuse them.

Remember, your military service has given you exceptional skills, attitude and experience that can’t be found elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to boast about it and make your CV stand out from the crowd.