A defense contractor, also referred to as a military contractor, is a business or person that provides services or products that the government uses as part of their defense strategies. This can include anything related to the aircraft, vessels, weapons and electronic devices. They can also provide security, assist with general duties around camp (like securing food or building housing) and even do the housekeeping.
These people are contracted by the military to provide these services or products, and although they are under the direction of the Department of Defense, military contractors are still stand-alone civilian businesses. If you fall into this category and find yourself in need of a résumé, here are some basic tips on how to write a résumé specifically with military contractors in mind.
List your strengths. If you plan to apply to a job that will value your previous role as a military contractor, then it is a good idea to focus on your skills as a military defense contractor. At the top of your résumé, under ‘Skills', list important skills or qualities that you have that might interest your new employer. Consider the following traits:
- Work well under pressure
- Execute commands perfectly
- Committed to a confidential work environment
- Skilled using all types of weaponry/machinery/etc.
Outline your education. As with any résumé, you should list your education. Unless it was only a few years ago, don't mention which high school you attended. Instead, focus on the college you went to. And also list other training you've had, including the date and duration of that training.
List your work experience. While military contractor work is usually of a confidential nature, it's still important to mention your previous roles. If you can, avoid mentioning who you directly reported to and instead, just use a general title when listing your past military contractor experience. Furthermore, don't incriminate yourself by admitting to being involved with any projects that were highly classified. (The military and the Department of Defense will not take lightly to you disclosing information like this, so it could get you in a lot of trouble.)
Think about the skills and experience that will be valued in the job you are applying for, and then list jobs and assignments you've had that relate to those. (Don't bog down your résumé with unrelated jobs you had back when you were in high school. Only include the important stuff.) And make sure that you separate your experiences in chronological order too. Even if you were doing the exact same job for 3 different companies, list those jobs separately. It makes it look like you have more experience, and that you've got a reputation for doing fine work that keeps getting you recommended.
Provide a colleague as a reference. Again, since you were working for the Department of Defense as a military contractor, you can't really use them as a reference. (Go figure!) Get creative with who you choose to act as a reference for you. A close colleague should do fine. If the employer requires references from a supervisor, provide the name of a supervisor from a past job not related to the government. It will lessen the likelihood that the employer will be met with red tape when he seeks to speak with your references.
As always, ensure that your résumé looks neat and professional. Proofread it and don't use any crazy fonts or colors. With these modifications, you can produce a well-written military contractor résumé that will impress any employer.