Military Spouse Magazine

MAR 2019

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G O O D A D V I C E Illustration by Brook Nall Searching for a new job is overwhelming, but for a military spouse it can be extra complicated. Numerous moves mean frequent updates to your resume. But those frequent updates may lead to a resume that seems scattered. How do you overcome this and make your resume competitive in today's job market? GAPS OF TIME BETWEEN POSITIONS: Moving around every few years – sometimes every few months – is one of the biggest obstacles that military spouses face with their re- sumes. It is not uncommon to have several months between positions throughout your career. Instead of using the month/year format for each job title, eliminate the month so that only the years show. For example, if you held a job from March 2016 to January 2017, you may choose to list that you held that position from 2016 to 2017. This will aid in reducing timeline gaps in your resume. Note that this does not apply for federal resumes, as you must include the month and year format when applying to a federal position. APPLYING TO A JOB AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION: You are excited about new op- portunities ahead and have already started applying to jobs at your next duty station but you are not receiving any calls for an interview. A simple reason why may be due to your address that is listed on your resume. Hiring managers can set parameters on applicant tracking systems (computerized systems that you upload your resume to) limiting the geographic area for candidates. If your ad- dress is across the country, they may not review your resume. An easy way to get around this is to place the city and state of where you will be moving to as your address on your resume. Change your LinkedIn profile to your new city and state as well. Be prepared to fly out for an interview, if the hiring team would like to meet you in person for your interview and you have yet to move there. VOLUNTEERING TO FILL IN THE GAPS: Many military spouses volunteer their time when they cannot find paid work, either because they moved to a location where jobs in their career field are scarce, they become stay-at-home-parents or caregivers for a family member, or spend time at overseas' duty stations where they may not be able or choose not to work. Volunteering is valuable experience that can be included on your resume but in the right place. Instead of placing a general laundry list of every volunteer position you have ever held, be strategic about what and where to include your volunteer experience on a resume. If your volunteer experience is relevant to the job you are applying for and you have a paid experience work gap in your resume for that same time frame, then include your volunteer posi- tion within the professional experience section of your resume. Incorporate accomplishment statements to highlight your achievements as a volunteer, just as you would with your paid work experiences. Mention the word volun- teer in your title or your position overview so as to not mislead the hiring manager. Conquering Resume Obstacles By Amy Schofield, owner of Schofield Strategies, LLC, Navy Spouse 26 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / MARCH 2019

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