Be prepared: Writing a successful resume

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Irby
  • 62nd Operations Group superintendent
Parents and teachers have lectured on this for as long as I can remember: the Boy Scout motto. I learned this many years ago and it still rings true today.

As with anything, it's never too early to start preparing. You prepare for college, marriage, children and leaving the military, either to retire or to simply separate. Eventually, one begins to wonder when the right time is.

With nearly 30 years of military service and retirement looming, it seems only yesterday I began my retirement preparation only to learn that I, like many others, are not as prepared as you may have thought.

The realization started to set in while attending my first Transition Assistance Program class last week. Marketing yourself for a life after the military can be nearly as stressful as a trip to the dentist for some.

The Air Force TAP is mandated by Congress and provided at every active duty Air Force base. It's available to all personnel and families from any branch of service and administered through the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Many program opportunities are available to assist you in this transition. Prepare early!

The TAP includes counseling, job search assistance and family transition skills. These broad topics can be further broken down into many smaller and more specific areas. With so many subareas, I tried to focus on one that I considered most important to myself: the resume. A three day seminar on the "do's" and "don'ts" of writing resumes was almost too much information absorb in the allotted time.

Learning to translate military terms to fit the civilian work force and knowing which resume format to use for certain jobs was strenuous. With a rough draft in hand, the ultimate goal is to move toward the evaluation of the final product. I compare it to writing an enlisted performance report. The more eyes you get to look at it, the better the product.

The final product can and should be tailored to fit whatever position you are applying for and ever evolving. Remember, the resume is your professional calling card and should not be taken lightly. Prepare early, because being prepared will alleviate a lot of your headaches. Note to self!