Milspouse PCSing to a New Town? 3 effective Resume Updates

Moving is known to be one of the most stressful events in life.  In fact, it is so stressful that many experts believe it can lead to seriously negative effects on the physical health and wellness of individuals.  This is not only due to the surface aspects such as packing and coordinating schedules, but also the inevitable indirect aspects such as building relationships, learning the geographical layout of an entirely new city or neighborhood, and ensuring you find just the right grocery store.  One of the most clear and tangible examples of these challenges, however, is finding a new job. 

Milspouse PCSing to a new town?

As if finding a job does not already cause enough anxiety, it becomes even more stressful for military families (since apparently they do not already have enough extra things to think about).  Changes are difficult for most people, let alone permanent changes of station that uproot everyone you care about in order to move them to somewhere new.  In addition to the standard preparation that any family has to go through, there are additional steps that a military family must take in order to relocate. Furthermore, for military spouses there are often anomalies such as gaps in work history and the explanation is far more complex than simply "relocation." 

PCS to a new town? Below are effective resume updates in 3 areas that may limit your need for an exhaustive explanation and help get your foot in the door.

  1. Gaps:

    As mentioned above, this is possibly the most concerning issue surrounding military relocation. Fortunately "hours for wages" jobs are not the only things that belong on a resume. Make sure to include any volunteer work, consulting, or educational pursuits during those gaps in employment.  Clearly summarize your qualifications and goals specifically in your "objective" section of the resume. This draws attention away from the gaps and provides focus/context for the person reading it.  Also include how you have kept up with the industry while you were not working.  Remember, you did nothing wrong (quite the contrary), so make sure the tone is positive and not apologetic.
  2. Properly Represent Unique Background:

    Military spouses are unlike any other people.  They have found  strength to not only make an entire family function, but also to manage solitude and many emotionally distressing issues that come along with supporting one serving in the armed forces.  This has to be clear in your resume.  Frequent moves and adapting to changes have resulted in gaining unique abilities that other candidates may not have.  For example, you may have learned a new language or communication skills in your travels.  You definitely learn new skills more quickly and multi-task better than most.  Do not to overlook these skills just because they have not been in a formal setting.
  3. Take Control and Be Prepared:

    Take pride in all your family has accomplished as you have exillustrationmake_your_own_luck.jpgperienced challenges and growth both unusual and worthy of respect.  Make this clear in a well written cover letter from the heart.  Know your story before you begin the process.  Use active verbs and focus on accomplishment instead of chronology.  Each time your spouse is up for orders and each time you complete a volunteer assignment, see if you can get a letter of reference from a former employer/volunteer coordinator to accompany the resume. While there are a lot of things that cannot be changed, preparation can give you some sense of control. 



Fortunately, military families are some of the most resilient and adaptable groups of people.  The concern is more about how the potential companies interpret your background as opposed to whether or not you have the ability to do the job. 

Make your next PCS suck less:

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