Military spouses know that their resume can look a little funny to an HR manager. With multiple moves or gaps in employments, military spouses have to work harder to get past the first impression of their resume compared to others.

A great resume can open a lot of doors, an inferior can easily close one. Check out this resume guide for military spouses/fiancees/significant others to be aware of most common pitfalls and how you can avoid them.

1) Typos
Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. This goes for your resume, cover letter, email, all the way down to the information you put in the subject line.

2) Acronyms (and other funky words)
FRG, Ombudsman, PX/NEX, these words can sound strange to a civilian HR manager. Somewhere in your resume, be sure to spell out or explain what these terms mean.

3) Not translating
Translate military accomplishments to the civilian world. Instead of help fundraise for the FRG”, put “raised $X,000 to provide funds for the improvement of soldier and family readiness”

4) No cover letter
Your cover letter can help strengthen your personal story and make a better first impression. Even if they don’t ask for one, include one anyway (unless they explicitly say they are refusing cover letters).

5) Revealing too much
The recruiter doesn’t cares what your hobbies are (sorry). And unless they ask for it, there’s no need for a headshot. (However, you should have a professional headshot on your public linkedin page)

6)Highlighting duties instead of accomplishments
1 or 2 sentences summarizing your duties are great, but you should really aim to highlight what you accomplished at each job. Be sure to use hard numbers or statistics if you can.

7) Including objective statement
This practice is dated. Save the valuable space for another highlight of your career.

8) Making the negative obvious
If you have major gaps between employment, fill it with the volunteer experience, education, or training you accomplished. If your job history is looking sparse, fill it with the skills that you have. Move that section to the top. Expand on your education with relevant training or coursework.

9) No keywords
Examine the job announcement and look for keywords that are repeated or highlighted (especially if it’s in the “must have” section). Try to incorporate those keywords in your resume.

10) Design flaws
Don’t be boring, but don’t be overdesigned either. Choose a template that fits you but is still professional. You want to stand out (but for the right reasons).

Lastly, here’s a bonus tip.

Don’t rely solely on your resume.
Your resume has a better chance of being seen if you make the right connections. Attend job fairs, looking to your spouse club, joined linkedin. When you’re job hunting, it’s not the time to be shy. Get out there and network!

Top 10 Resume Mistakes that Military Spouses Make

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