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Transferable Skills Every Military Member Should Highlight

transferable military skills

Transferable Skills Every Military Member Should Highlight

When applying for a job it is important to highlight yourself in areas you might fall short. Businesses are increasingly seeing the value of hiring from the military community and often take experience over education. Military members operate with a “mission-critical” mindset, elevating their performance to a higher level. These transferable” skills are valuable across all industries and should be used to your advantage.

Transferable Skills Gained through the Military


It is important to highlight that you are confident in your leadership ability, can motivate a team, and lead by example. Military members are often called to lead by example, through direction, delegation, and motivation. These are positive leadership skills that inspire people and showcase your ability to achieve results and manage staff.


Show that you can start and finish a project with little to no guidance. Those who have been in the military long enough know that being able to start and finish a task with little to no guidance happens daily. This ability turns veterans into self-starts who can anticipate project needs.


Being able to change gears at a moment’s notice and handle any situation that comes your way is a critical skill. Adaptability is hugely emphasized in the military community as the ability to adapt to a new direction at any level of a project or situation is a powerful skill. This can be shown through last-minute taskings or changing deadlines.


Integrity is a highly valued trait that speaks to your character, employers want to know they can trust you. There are many ways integrity can be shown through decision-making in areas such as resource allocation, one’s behavior, and implementation of guidelines or procedures.

Effective Communication

Military members have been trained to communicate with a wide range of personalities and ranks clearly and respectfully. Everyone has value and military members have been trained to communicate effectively in any situation. Communication up chain and down chain requires clear concise effective communication.


Top candidates for upper management positions can successfully express their experience and success with multi-dimensional teams. Military members are trained in team-oriented environments that promote coordination and collaboration.


Being able to anticipate problems and handle problems that arise quickly with seamless execution is a desirable skill.

Highlight your transferable skill as a problem solver.  This will show your ability to handle people, processes, and resources at a moment’s notice. This skill also showcases your ability to direct or establish systematic planning.


Military operations require extensive planning and workload management. Being able to take ideas that are not your own and implement and execute the plan only enhance the organization.

Highlighting this underrated transferable skill shows that you:

Financial Responsibility

It is important to share financial experience relating to budgeting, contract management, resource allocation, or financial management.

When it comes to financial tasks in the military there is no room for error.  Highlighting your military-related financial responsibility will mean a great deal to a prospective employer.

Maintaining personal financial stability is also a transferable skill.  This can be critical for those who have had to maintain a top-secret security clearance.

Highlighting Transferable Skills on a Resume and Cover Letter

It is important to not only highlight transferable skills but to translate military skills into terms to the civilian world can value. Make sure to choose a resume template employers can easily read that showcases your transferable skills. Military One Source is a great resource for more tips on how to write a resume.

The cover letter is your opportunity to highlight transferable skills that align with the job description. It is crucial to tailor each cover letter to the position you are applying for. Explain a change in career, how transferable skills apply, and why you are the best fit. Remember to provide short strategic examples.



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