CV Writing Military stuff into Civvy speak

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by PapaGolf, Jun 22, 2011.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Anyone got any good advice. Mainly changing scaley trades into civvy language. Got a couple of years left but want to start applying for jobs now. EdCen won't touch me cos i'm not in the resettlement period. Cheers
  2. Specifically what quals?

    I had a bit of trouble with this but might be able to help.
  3. Comms Sys Op, SAA Instr, DMI, CBRN Instr, BCDT, Adv Drill, Plus the usual crypto quals. I heard that DMI is worth something toward CTLLS, but i've not been able to get anymore info on it
  4. You want to apply for jobs, whilst you have a couple of years left??? Why?
  5. Dont use ANY TLA's.... Civvys will have no idea at all what they are. Most Mil quals are worth f-all in civvy street, unless there is direct 1-1 equivalence (e.g driving, plant op, plumber), so instead you need to highlight the transferable skills. In turn, this is dependant on the role you are seeking.

    As with everything, there is no hard and fast rule; for example, Signals is of interest to certain sectors of the communications industry. Certain sectors - a background in VHF, HF, Ptarmigan (ie RF comms) for example is of no use to an ISP or telco. A Scaley who has worked with routers and switches (e.g Cisco) is of limited interest to an ISP (its all WAN switching and BGP routing, for example, and Cisco is not the major player), but might be to a telco/service provider.

    Again, depending on what you want to do, consider rank. Simply being a SNCO counts for not a lot unless you can demonstrate that you have managed teams/'departments'. Or led teams. Civvies are very very different to soldiers, and you can't inspect them, give them extras, or 252/AGAI them! But thats going a step too far - the CV and the spiel generate the interview...

    A thought. Its no point sending your CV out yet. You will be wasting your time and a recruiting agency's time. And if you sent it to an employer.... DONT get a reputation as a time-waster (funny what notes recruiting databases can hold). Also avoid ANY "placement" agencies, or those who guarantee a position...

    Its not exactly a quick answer type question. My CV when I left was two pages, with a lot of white space; and presentation is important, so the white space helped. Now, I have 4 versions of CV depending on the role in question, each is 4 pages long (and thats with judicious editing), and my project mangement CV has an optional 5th page listing major project work... although I'm looking at changing that one all together.
  6. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    Good advice - and I'll add my tuppeny worth...

    Although there is no harm in pointing out your military background means you're good at timekeeping, take instruction easily, etc.

    But that doesn't stop you doing your homework. Find out how your military skills might map to jobs in the civilian market. If you get some degree of match, start reading up on the areas you haven't got covered at the moment. You've got two years to do your homework. Then when you go for an interview you can say "I didn't do this directly in the military, but I understand A, B & C is the case...." That way you can demonstrate you'll hit the ground running if they offer you a job.

    Don't send your CV out to a recruitment agency until its close to the time you want a job. Recruitment agencies have an attention span of about 2 seconds. When your CV arrives it'll be checked against all current jobs. If you're not a a match, they'll rapidly lose interest. Sending your CV to a recruitment agency way ahead of the time they can place you will guarantee your CV will end up in some obscure filing cabinet. Remember recruitment agencies only get paid when they place candidates in jobs.

    This is very important. For every job you apply for, you need to read the job advert and check as many boxes as you can in your CV. Take a standard CV and tweak as required. The first thing I do when trying to fill a position is to skim read to 50 - 100 CV's that'll come in. I'm trying to come up with the 10 - 12 I want to read more carefully for my interview short list. The ones I'll pick are the best match with the job advert. The rest will go into the 'no thanks' pile.

    I'd maybe disagree about the 4 page CV - the tendency is to keep them shorter.

    As well as a CV, you'll need a covering letter. These need to be tailored for each vacancy. Don't just recycle your CV - think of several additional reasons a company should employ you. Again, you're trying to stand out from the other 50 - 100 applicants.

  7. I don't know how much use you will find them, but if you haven't already done so join the LinkedIn Royal Signals & British Forces to Business groups. There can be a lot of good leads out there, but like here one has to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff!

    I'd also advise, unless you have a real wedge stored away, avoiding the outplacement agencies who advertise in the better papers, often saying they specialise in ex-Forces members. There's no harm in being in touch & even going to a session with them, but bear in mind after the hard sell on how good they are & some (IMHO) slightly spurious claims about having databases of jobs which no one else hears about they will try and sting you for about £5,000 (or that's what I was quoted about 5 years ago). Caveat Emptor should be the motto with anyone who is claiming to want to help you for a fee.

    As for the CV I have heard some good things about the service meridian on here does in exchange for a donation to H4H. Don't know if he's still doing it, though. However I'm currenly helping my ex-RN Officer brother-in-law with his transition after 18 years (he claims not to have had his resettlement because of "the exigencies of the Service) & keep having to tell him that his CV is his document, not mine or anyone else's.

    Finally, when you leave, you will get access to the Careers Transition Partnership "Right Job" website. FFS use it while your access lasts (ISTR it's only 2 years). I didn't properly & regret it now.

    All the best from a fellow Scaley (former) but an Officer so with no useful trade skills at all!
  8. Very sound advise, Wordsmith. I also recommend exploring the job descriptions of the job(s) you want to pursue following your career in the military. You might be able to fill the gaps with online courses from some of the universities.