How To Update Your Resume As A Military Spouse

This is a guest post by Amanda Bruns of Military Spouse Central.

Finding employment after military life can be difficult for a military spouse who has spent the past years serving alongside their veteran. Deployments, TDYs, PCSs and other demands for flexibility don’t always lend themselves to establishing a steady job or continuing education—two areas of attention on a resume.

Luckily employable skills can come from other sources, including the military spouse lifestyle. Consider the following:

Skills of a Spouse

Given the variety of locations a spouse may live in, the roles he or she may take on and the circumstantial conditions a spouse may be dealt, there are a lot of opportunities for growth. For instance:

  • Flexibility/Adaptability: Spouses learn quickly to keep plans tentative. Assignments may be extended or completely changed last minute. Given the possibility a service member can be called away on duty, spouses must develop the skills to manage the home, kids, pets, finances, and more. Employers are attracted to employees that can adapt and take on challenges that arise.
  • Diversity: The military can expose a spouse to multiple locations, which can mean they see different cultures, climates, size of community and different paces of lifestyle. The gained perspective and insight can offer employers a fresh set of ideas, strategies and practices.
  • Stress Management: Anyone that says a military life isn’t stressful is just plain silly. Whether it’s single parenting, managing budgets, preparing logistics for relocations and/or maintaining a home, spouses develop stress-management skills. (That is before the emotional stressors are taken into consideration). Employers will be able to trust that a spouse can take on multiple tasks and handle them effectively.

Ways to Expand

A consistent career may not always be realistic, but there are some flexible, travel-friendly programs a spouse can look to for developing experience and skills. Consider:

  • Volunteering: No matter the location, chances are there are opportunities to be a volunteer. A spouse can show off their leadership skills with coaching a team or leading a scout troop. Tutoring or mentoring can develop educational and communication skills. Other volunteer opportunities can expand the competency in organization, time-management, writing abilities and interpersonal skills.
  • Home-based Business: An entrepreneurial spirit can lend itself to some major proficiency in management, self-motivation, organization, customer service, sales and marketing. Perhaps he or she can turn their favorite hobby into a profitable business or explore the realm of a virtual work-from-home job.
  • Utilize Military Resources: There are educational courses offered by the military that educate in the fields of computer technology, foreign languages, leadership, health and wellness, finances, relationships and more.
  • Check out online schools: Take advantage of some of the hard-earned benefits for military students and their family. Anyone who was on active duty after September 10th, 2001 is potentially eligible for the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Program . Essentially, this is a benefit in which the Veteran Affairs department matches your tuition and helps cover any other school-related fees. Going online and seeing what benefits you qualify for takes just a few minutes, and it could save you money while changing the course of your life.

If you’re a military spouse, take advantage of the opportunities you have and be ready to sell your qualities to employers when the time comes. You have a lot to offer.

This is a guest post by Amanda Bruns of Military Spouse Central.

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