Building Your Resume as a Military Spouse

Military spouses face many obstacles when building a career or looking for employment, such as PCS-ing, deployments, TDY stations, NTC or training that takes their soldier away from home for long periods of time. As a spouse sometimes your primary job is keeping the household running. While the hurdles of being a military spouse cannot be avoided, learning how to account for them on your resume is important. Say you’ve had to take time off for a year because of deployment; that year should be accounted for when you go to apply for your next job. Making it clear why you’ve been at home is an important factor for your future employers to understand.

Some tips for building your resume as a military spouse:

  • Beginning with your resume overview, make sure to include that one of your job titles was being a stay-at-home mom and military spouse.
  • Add job skills in a professional summary with key words that you have obtained while being home that apply to the job you are looking to apply for. Oftentimes, as a military spouse, you have obtained a skill set that may be unique to other individuals. Many military spouses have outstanding organizational skills, and are great at multitasking, working in short time frames/last minute notice, and possess sought-after soft skills such as communication or interpersonal skills.
  • Include your most recent work history.

An example of “work experience” from Military Spouse Resume shows how a military spouse might be able to list skills obtained during their time as household manager:

Stay at Home Mom and Military Spouse / January 1996 to July 2017

“I have held the position of military wife and mother since 1996. I have handled phone calls, appointments, travel arrangements, administrative duties, cooking duties, cleaning duties, and much more. I have enjoyed this job, but now it is time to move on since I will no longer have to move with the military. I have worked through multiple overseas deployments with my husband and am very effective at operating under stress.”

  • Include volunteer work with work experience, listing responsibilities and the duration of those events.
  • Add education next, if applicable. If you’re interested in pursuing education or certification programs MilCareerEd and Ed4Career are great resources for information on schooling and building your foundation for your future!
  • Add military spouse groups that you are a member of, and any roles you may have filled or duties performed as a part of those organizations.
  • Finally, take the time to review formatting and grammar.

When creating your resume, peruse available templates online. Indeed offers a basic template perfect for military spouse resumes.

Many employers respect and understand the hardships military couples face. Try searching for military spouse-friendly positions. Use military spouse resources for job search through indeed or other job search engines.  Military spouses deal with years of overwork, stress and the pressure of a household on their shoulders while their soldier is away. Organization, commitment, strength, patience, and dedication are just a few of the skills military spouses have. Many employers long for this skill set in an employee.

Remember, your life experience counts! Jump over the obstacles of being a military spouse and begin looking for a career or job with a strong resume!