If I get my dream job working for viral sensation Denise, Heaven's Receptionist, I'm pretty sure she will put me to work as Heaven's Receptionist in Charge of All Your Old Resumes. Because I feel as tender and informative and resigned toward your past resumes as Denise feels about the souls she upgrades to Angel Premium Plus status.
As Military.com's transition master coach, I have seen thousands of resumes from transitioning military, veterans, senior leaders and spouses. These resumes are so earnestly written, they could not possibly disappear into the Cloud. Instead, I am sure there will be at least five resumes waiting to meet you in heaven.
Why? Well, if I were Denise, I'd probably let my eyes get all big and soft while I tell you that transition is a time you get to learn, change, play and grow. Each one of these resumes represents an important part of who you needed to become before you landed the civilian job you love.
Here are the five resumes you meet in heaven:
1. Your TAP Resume
If you attended the Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, in person, you will remember how they set aside a whole afternoon for you to work on your resume. This was probably the first resume you had to write in your entire adult life.
Instead of ending up with a completed resume, you got a sparse, little document on your computer that featured your name and address. An exact replica of the professional statement given as an example in the book. Your current job title, the command and your dates of employment. Nothing else.
This is because you totally freaked out trying to put into words what you do at work. You could not imagine your "value proposition" or any employer willing to hire you. So you took a smoke break. Even though you don't smoke.
This resume will greet you in heaven, because it represents the moment you realized your military career was really and truly ending. This resume might represent heartbreak, fear or the chasm of the unknown. It also represents the minute you realized you don't know how to make columns in a Word document.
2. Your Gobbledygook Resume
The next resume you put together is your Gobbledygook resume. This is the one you borrowed from your employed friend who warned you that it was not very good. You ignored that because your friend had a civilian job, and that was the only marker of success that mattered to you at the time.
You furiously copied civilian-sounding phrases from the borrowed resume, tweaking each one until it sounded more like your assignments. You added fonts from a resume book. You had the brilliant idea to spread out your margins and shrink your type so you could fit in 20 years of experience on three, four or five pages.
The end product -- laden with three-syllable words, important job titles and maybe a "modern" layout -- made you look super professional and eminently employable. To you.
When you asked for feedback on your resume, everyone said it was fine, even though you didn't score any interviews with it. That is because this resume is full of gobbledygook no employer understands. But it is fine, bless its bold, italic little heart.
This resume will greet you in heaven because it represents your effort to fit into a new civilian world. This is you trying on your civilian costume. This resume also represents your genuine welcome from people who know and like you. Don't ignore that. Don't stop working on it.
3. Your Federal Trash Heap Resume
When you don't get any offers from your Gobbledygook resume, you'll go with your backup plan: federal employment. You will find jobs on USAJOBS that you "could" do, and you will send in your tweaked resume hoping for the best. You get nothing but crickets, and you are sure this means that the federal government does not really want to hire veterans.
I will have a whole pile of these waiting for me in heaven. This resume represents how often in life we don't know what we don't know, so we have to make up an answer -- even if that answer isn't exactly true.
You can avoid meeting this resume in heaven by taking our FREE Federal Resume Master Class, so I can show you exactly what you don't know and how to qualify yourself for that interview every time.
4. Your Checklist Resume
This resume will glow when it meets you in heaven. This is the resume you write after you are smart enough to take our FREE 60-minute Checklist Resume Master Class. You have downloaded the free template, filled in all the important parts and matched your keywords.
This resume will glow because it represents the moment you decided not to figure everything out for yourself and asked for help. This is the biggest soul growth that happens during transition. Even though you have been trained to be self-sufficient and find your own answers, transition requires a different kind of knowledge that you can't Google. You can only learn it from other people. Something Heaven really likes.
5. Your Dream Job Resume
St. Peter himself -- or Denise Heaven's Receptionist -- will probably be holding this resume in their hand when they greet you in heaven. This is the resume that has it all. It is written specifically for a job that is a great fit for you. It not only contains the exact skills and keywords the employer is looking for, but it is also written in a clear, simple style that people understand right away. It was hand-delivered by someone in your network.
This one will greet you in heaven, because it represents the moment you understood where you were going to fit into the civilian world. It lands you the interview. It pulls you in with other people. It is the beginning of something great.
Someday, you are going to look back on these resumes and see exactly where they were leading all along. You have a lot of work to do before you get to heaven. You might as well start right now. I'll help.
Jacey Eckhart is Military.com's transition master coach. She is a certified professional career coach and military sociologist who helps military members get their first civilian job by offering career-level Master Classes through our Veteran Employment Project and on her website, SeniorMilitaryTransition.com. Reach her at Jacey.Eckhart@Monster.com.
Find Your Next Job Fast
Transitioning military, veterans and spouses may be qualified for the job, but they are missing the secrets of civilian hiring. Find out everything you need to know with our FREE master class series, including our next class. You can view previous classes in our video library. Questions for Jacey? Visit our Facebook page.