Look Good on Your Army AIM 2.0 Resume
The Army has released AIM (Assignment Interactive Module) 2.0 as a new way of managing its number one asset…people. AIM is a new Talent Management system that brings the Army’s talent management into the technology age and allows a soldier-centric selection process for selecting assignments.
If you are a US Army officer looking at a new assignment during the upcoming 2020 PCS cycle, you already know about AIM 2.0 and are in the middle of navigating a brand-new, first of its kind system. This article highlights my tips on how to stand out during the AIM application process and increase your chances of getting the job you want in your desired location.
AIM 2.0 is a lot like Tinder i.e., “swipe right if you like me” and if both parties swipe right…ding, ding, ding! The AIM marketplace imitates a traditional private sector hiring process where companies and applicants must find each other. Then they exchange information and move on to the meat and bones – competing for the job. Here’s how it works:
- Units advertise open positions, post the opening in the marketplace and list the qualifications.
- The soldier views assignments in the marketplace and rank orders their
- The units rank order qualified service members.
- If both the soldier and the unit “like” each other, a tentative match is made based on the highest–ranking solider on the unit’s list and vice versa, the highest ranked unit on the soldier’s list.
- Direct communication begins with written correspondence, potential interviews and eventual selection.
The Ugly Truth
Soldiers don’t know how to write resumes. I won’t name any names, ahem… but when I saw my husband’s first attempt at a resume and cover letter I almost died. I’ve already had my hands on quite a few AIM resumes and let’s just say that they’re all awful.
Soldiers don’t know how to brag. The number one problem I’ve seen in working with thousands of soldiers is that you’re too humble. A resume is designed for you to highlight accomplishments, NOT explain your jobs. If you tell a hiring manager what you did (boring and not helpful), you’re losing an opportunity because they’re going to hire the person that brags a little. More importantly, you need to explain your impact on their unit and how it improved the Army/DOD’s overall mission.
AIM 2.0 is NEW. We’re navigating murky waters here; nobody knows what the heck is going on. Soldiers and units understand the second and third–order effects of being the guinea pig on a complex hiring system overhaul. Literally, AIM could ruin a soldier’s career, or put the wrong person in the wrong job.
Soldiers aren’t getting help with AIM documents. The guidance I’ve seen involves some cute little cartoon videos explaining how the new system works and a couple of lackluster examples of a resume and cover letter. YOUR CAREER IS ON THE LINE. Your bad AIM resume and cover letter puts A LOT at stake for your military career.
Here are a few tips to help you.
- Highlight accomplishments on your AIM resume and letter of introduction NOT what you did. Describing your job isn’t helpful to the hiring manager (and it’s BORING) because they already know what you do.
- Add accomplishments that aren’t easily apparent as a resume bullet. For example, BZ promotions require a lot of math for people to figure out that you’re a hot shot.
- Write resume bullets in “Action verb, # and details” format and avoid using the first person.
- Write your cover letter in the first person.
- Don’t be afraid to brag a little bit, “I received an informal XYZ Award from a 3-Star General Officer for my contributions to ABC Mission.”
- Take your time when applying and illustrate the specific value value you bring to the unit you’re corresponding with.
Don’t get stuck at Fort Polk.
If you don’t want to get stuck at Fort Polk, Louisiana, consider getting professional help on your AIM resume and cover letter. I have already got my hands on quite a few AIM 2.0 applications letters and given them an overhaul allowing soldiers to shine.
At Begin Within, we speak military. Over 70% of our clients are in the military community, and ALL of our staff are military spouses or veterans. We don’t want you to get stuck in an awful job at a terrible duty station. We’ve got your back and want to showcase you and your professional aspirations.