mark with graduate

Recently I wrote about "Getting a Hold on the REINS of Your Transition" from military life. REINS is Resume, Experience, Interview, Networking, and Serving. Today we'll begin our deeper dive into the "REINS" necessary for a solid transition.

The resume is like Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS). Everyone knows it should be done, everyone has some general idea of how it’s done, but no one wants to really do it until it absolutely has to be done, which is often times too late. If done properly and timely, it can make the difference between a successful transition and being broken down on the side of the road.

Here are some great tips to help you navigate a successful resume:

  1. Start NOW - The best time to complete your resume is as soon as you get to your first assignment. The 2nd best time is NOW. The sooner you get a completed resume, the easier it is to add to it each time you get a new assignment, certification, education or training upgrade.
  2. Just do it - There are numerous resume-writing services and resources out there. There is NOT a best one or right one. It doesn't matter which route is best for you as long as you just do it.
  3. Write, break, review, and rewrite - If you're going to write it yourself (highly recommended), that's awesome! There are numerous formats, pick one and get started. Don't get hung up on getting it right the first time. Write it and take a break. Come back fresh and read it and you'll see where changes need to be made. Keep writing and reviewing and rewriting until you feel good about it. Then give it to a friend who is smarter than you and/or has more experience and will be honest. Then give it to a civilian friend and work through all of the military speak that needs to be translated into civilian speak. Once you've done this process a couple of times, you'll have yourself a pretty solid product from which to operate when you "need" the resume.
  4. Maintain your progress - Keep your resume updated. Each time you gain new skills, experience, education, or assignments immediately update the resume. Waiting several years, or 20 - 30 years, like most of us do is not the best way to keep track of all the great stuff you've accomplished over your career.

These tips will help you get a resume completed and allow you to improve on it as needed. There is no perfect resume, but the one that is completed is more perfect than the one intended.

Mark A. Weedon is Trident's National Director of Strategic Alliances and a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Army. An avid learner, Mark holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is currently working on a Master of Science in Human Relations.