Translate Your Experience

Translating military specific skills and training into terms that non-military hiring personnel can understand is a significant challenge for military veterans. Civilian recruiters and employers may overlook a military applicant because how a resume is presented may prevent the recruiter from understanding how military skills make a match for an open position. Common mistakes include:

  1. Limited to a list of military job titles and military skills.
  2. Written using military acronyms and jargon.
  3. Not clearly targeted to the specific job opportunity.

To assist you in making the transition to a civilian occupation, there are a number of resources that can help translate military experience into civilian language.

Military to Civilian Skill Translator Resources and Websites

The Department of Labor’s O*NET website helps translate military skills by providing common language and terminology to describe military occupational specialty. To use O*NET, you will need to know your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), Navy Rating or Air Force Military Occupation Code (MOC).

O*NET

These websites were developed in coordination with the Departments of Defense and Labor. They catalog and define comprehensive information on occupational credentials correlating with military ratings, jobs, and occupations.

Army COOL Navy COOL

This is a military to civilian occupational translator that provides a wide range of information such as occupational outlook by state, wage information and other job-specific resources.

America’s CareerInfoNet

Type in a job title and this site will provide a resume objective and industry-standard terms to describe a job(s) you have held.

Jobsaurus, The Jobs Thesaurus

This site provides information on the civilian job that relates to your military specialty.

Military.com Translate Your Skill

Enter MOS, MOC or Navy Rating and this site will provide a very brief description of your job in civilian terms.

Mil-Skills Translator

Few companies accept paper applications in today’s world and fewer still have the manpower to handle mailed resumes and cover letters. Download our military application template to better assist you.

Military Application Template


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