How to Find Key Words in Job Descriptions to Tailor Your Resume

Who are you?

My name is Jonathan Barreda and I am a Marine Veteran who deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Helmand Providence.

What do you do at NextOp?

At NextOp, I am one of the Employment Team Coordinators who works with the veterans to assist them in their search for employment in their desired industry.

How to Find Key Words in Job Descriptions to Tailor Resume

Having a resume that stands out when given to a recruiter can be challenging and confusing. I use the term confusing loosely because I can get an opinion from multiple people and still not have a clear direction of what should be included in the resume. Something else that can be challenging can be a special task that requires time and a selection process to pick out a job. I personally read the resume and either highlight repeated words that can be considered hard/soft skills and recommend that there is an emphasis on those specifically highlighted words. Rule of thumb is that if an employer is looking for a certain candidate they would expect the resume to answer all of the requirements on the resume itself.

There are some tools that I wish I would have known when I started my transition from the Marine Corps. The website can be a great asset because you can easily see what are the words that are mostly used in the job description and you can capitalize on explaining your accomplishments. Another source that I found very useful was O-net Online and that site helps you see what type of jobs would be closest related to your military specialty. At the end of the day, NextOp is here to assist in translating military experience to civilian terms.

MEMORIES for Military May 2017

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example” — Benjamin Disraeli

NextOp’s Military May Mentorship & Fundraising Campaign kicks off May 1st, the first day of National Military Appreciation Month! Highly motivated Fire Teams of supporters compete against each other to raise awareness and funds that will help get more veterans employed. Aimed at easing the post-military transition process, our goal is to recruit more mentors that would like to guide veterans into long-term careers, raise funds to help NextOp improve our employment programs, find more job opportunities, and reach more veterans in need of our services. Learn more about our Military May Mentorship & Fundraising Campaign here.


Help us recognize our nation’s veterans and their service to our country by submitting military pictures to Please be sure to include the name of the service member and branch of service.

Military Construction (MILCON) Summit

Join us at Fort Hood in April 2017!

Bringing skilled transitioning Soldiers and Construction Industry professionals together.


Military and construction industry experts will come together to highlight upcoming reductions in force, major issues impacting soldier transition into the construction industry, as well as provide direct networking opportunities for soldiers and construction professionals.

Organizations Speaking at MILCON

NextOp Veterans Jobs in Houston


NextOp recruits, trains, and places high-performing middle-enlisted military leaders into Industry careers.

NextOp provides companies with world-class, skilled candidates and coaches them on how to be effective employees. Our mentors work with each transitioning veteran to adjust to their new roles and cultivate the necessary skills to excel in field work, increasing satisfaction and reducing turnover for these positions. We serve those who have served so many—our hardworking veterans.

Speaker and Presentation

John Boerstler, Executive Director

NextOp Process  NextOp Process »

Veterans in Construction

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)

ABC is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. ABC’s membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors.

Speaker and Presentation

Mike Glavin, ABC Workforce Policy Director

Construction Industry Workforce Data Construction Industry Workforce Data »


The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)

NCCER is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) education foundation created in 1996 as The National Center for Construction Education and Research. It was developed with the support of more than 125 construction CEOs and various association and academic leaders who united to revolutionize training for the construction industry. Sharing the common goal of developing a safe and productive workforce, these companies created a standardized training and credentialing program for the industry.

Speaker and Presentation

Mark Thomas, NCCER- Senior Manager, Programs NCCER

Construction Credentialing Programs for Engineering Soldiers & Officers Construction Credentialing for Soldiers »

The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME)

The Society of American Military Engineers leads collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security infrastructure-related challenges. Founded in 1920, SAME unites public and private sector individuals and organizations from across the architecture, engineering, construction, environmental and facility management, cyber security, project planning, contracting and acquisition, and related disciplines in support of national security.

Speaker and Presentation

Joe Schondrel, Executive Director SAME- Society of American Military Engineers

MSG Jason Parlor, US Army School of Engineering- NCCER Construction Credentialing Programs for Engineering Soldiers & Officers

The Soldier for Life- Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) Fort Hood, TX

The Soldier for Life — Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) is a centrally funded commanders program that provides transition assistance services to eligible Soldiers. Public Law is the foundation of the Transition Assistance Program initiative, along with DOD and Army policy.   SFL-TAP supports the Army’s Active Component recruiting effort by producing successful alumni. Those who are capable of translating Army skills, training, and experience into rewarding careers are living billboards promoting the Army as a great place to start.

Speaker and Presentation

LTC Jon Sowards, Soldier for Life Central Region Director

Permissive TDY Policies and Soldier Life Cycle  ARMY 101 »

Martin Traylor, Fort Hood SFL-TAP Transition Services Manager

Transition Assistance Program Transition Assistance Program »

Did you miss MILCON?

Don’t worry you can still register with NextOp

We will help you with your veteran hiring needs

Date and Time
Thu Apr 20, 2017
7:30 AM – 7:30 PM CDT
Fri. Apr 21, 2017
7:30 AM – 11:30 AM CDT
Texas A&M University Central
Warrior Hall, Multipurpose Room
1001 Leadership Place Killeen, TX 76549
Parking Map
Military Construction

NextOp Placements since 2015


Title Sponsor

AECOM is a global network of experts working with clients, communities and colleagues to develop and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most complex challenges. Delivering clean water and energy. Building iconic skyscrapers. Planning new cities. Restoring damaged environments. Connecting people and economies with roads, bridges, tunnels and transit systems. Designing parks where children play. Helping governments maintain stability and security.

Installation Sponsor

Veterans in Construction

PCL Industrial Construction Co. is a diversified heavy industrial contractor, based in Atlanta, Georgia, and Houston, Texas, with extensive experience in the power, oil, gas, chemical, cement/aggregates, mining/minerals, and pulp and paper industries. An expansive project portfolio consists of work throughout the United States.

Soldier Social Sponsors

Turner Industries Veteran Friendly Employer
KBR Veteran Friendly Employer

Corps Sponsors

Performance Contractors Veteran Friendly Employer
Webber Veteran Friendly Employer
Jacobs Veteran Friendly Employer
Brock Group Veteran Friendly Employer

Been There, Done That: The Benefits of Mentorship



During your time in the service, you were trained to lead. In the office or in the field,  you know leadership involves taking your junior service members to the side whether in a group or individually and teaching them the ropes.

You mentored them; you taught them how to think and take care of others, you gave them the tools necessary to succeed.

Your enthusiasm and knowledge made them the leaders they are today.

Now that many service members are transitioning, they need your guidance again. 

Remember how you felt when you made that decision to transition. 

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

—Benjamin Franklin

If you have an interest in becoming a mentor, register today!.

Mission Accomplished: The 300


This year, NextOp Veterans had a goal; it was to have 300 veterans and transitioning military hired in the construction, healthcare, and energy industries by the end of 2016. 

We reached that goal on October 31st and to date NextOp has placed over 450 Veterans since March 2015.

NextOp’s impact on the local economy is over $25 million based on the first year earnings of 456 successfully placed veterans.

We wouldn’t be able to reach this goal without the support of our Corporate Partners and our Top Contributors. Without your contributions and support, we wouldn’t be able to successfully serve those who served.

Our Top Contributors and Supporters:

The William Stamps Farish Fund

Chevron Phillips Chem Co LP

Vaughn Construction Community Foundation

Strake Foundation

Herzstein Charitable Foundation


Adaptive Construction Solutions

Harris Health


Consolidated Infrastructure Group


Performance Contractors

Schulte Building Systems




Texas Medical Center TMC

Fort Polk

Fort Sam Houston

Fort Hood


Texas Medical Center Hosted a Veterans Breakfast


The Texas Medical Center (TMC) hosted a Veterans Breakfast honoring veterans in all branches who recently joined their organizations.

Some of the organizations represented at the luncheon today: Baylor College of Medicine, CHI-St Luke’s Health, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas Medical Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and Houston Methodist.

Today’s keynote speaker was retired Army Major Marvetta M. Walker. She is working as the Clinical Administrative Director at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her speech was very inspirational, full of great advice to veterans seeking opportunities within the Texas Medical Center.

The ceremony also included a Challenge Coin Ceremony.  Veterans who joined one of the organizations at TMC received a coin welcoming them to the organization.

This event is just another example of why Houston is the best place to transition in after the military.

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Greater Houston Partnership presents Houston No Limits Football & Freedom Movie Night

Please read below for a great event hosted by one of NextOp’s Corporate Partners.

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Company: Greater Houston Partnership

Location: Houston , TX

Event: Houston No Limits Football & Freedom Movie Night

Event Date: 11/11/2016


Event Description: 

Date: Friday, November 11th (Veteran’s Day)
Time: 6:00pm – 9:15pm (Movie begins at 7:05pm)
Location: Discovery Green, 
1500 McKinney St, Houston, Texas 77010

Movie: The Blindside

Full Description: Join #TeamHouston under the stars for a celebration of two of Houston’s favorite things: Football and Freedom! The Greater Houston Partnership and the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee will tip their hats to local veterans and jump into Houston’s fifth season, football season, with a screening of football fan favorite film – The Blindside.

Come out for an evening of fun with photo opportunities with Houston Texans Cheerleaders, food and beverages for sale, raffle prizes, Super Bowl Host Committee and #TeamHouston giveaways and more!

Blankets, lawn chair and picnics are welcome. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages. Share your experience using #TeamHouston and #CityWithNoLimits.

Please RSVP to Lindsey Peters at

For more info, visit or email

Veterans ‘drilled’ for oil and gas: Insight on Schlumberger’s Industry Day

NextOp Veterans partnered up with Schlumberger for Industry Day, held at the company’s Sugar Land Technology Centers on Oct. 21.

The day was filled with informative sessions where veterans learned about the oil and gas industry, and how to enter the industry.

Veterans toured the rigs, received personalized resume coaching, and interview coaching by Schlumberger’s human resource professionals.

Schlumberger is one of the world’s largest oil field services company, with offices in Paris, Houston, London, and more. According to the Houston Business Journal, the company plans to move their National Headquarters to Sugarland. The anticipated completion date for the new headquarters is 2019.

The company is Houston’s third largest public company based on the Houston Business Journal’s research.

If you missed the last Industry Day, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for the next Industry Day, and be sure to register with us for career placement assistance, mentorship, and career guidance.





Construction companies meet with soldiers on Fort Polk Industry Day


On August 3, fifteen different construction companies gathered at Fort Polk, La. to speak about their experiences making the transition from military service into the construction sector.

Companies representing on the industrial construction side included Bechtel, CB&I, KBR, Jacobs Engineering, Cajun Industries, Performance Contractors, Turner Industries, UPS Industrial Services, along with Marek and Adaptive Construction Solutions, which trains soldiers to become NCCER-accredited ironworkers on the commercial construction side.

Cheniere was the only owner-company in attendance, since their partnership with Bechtel to establish an innovative welding program at Fort Polk has enjoyed so much success in transitioning soldiers to craft industrial workers.

All of these companies serve on the Construction Industry Advisory Board for NextOp, a Houston-based organization that helps recruit, train, and place high-performing middle-enlisted leaders into the energy and construction sectors in the Gulf Coast region.

The board meets quarterly to discuss ideas on how to pipeline more military into the construction sector, how to help positively impact military credentialing policy by partnering with SAME, and to have a better awareness of what opportunities and projects are coming together for each partner. It’s not a competitive atmosphere but one of collaboration as all companies are united in the mission to recruit more veterans into the industry.

Fort Hood will be the group’s next target as one of the largest bases in the world that boasts the largest population of transitioning soldiers – over sixteen thousand a year – and home to six Army Engineering Battalions.

Fort Hood transitions 250 soldiers per week on average and many do not know how much potential exists in transitioning to a career in construction. NextOp’s job is to help educate these soldiers by engaging them on base via job fairs, employer briefings, and by coordinating industry visits with the transition assistance program leadership.

NextOp doesn’t want the industry or your company to hire veterans because you think it’s the “right” thing to do. We want you to hire veterans because it makes your jobsites more productive, safe, and team-oriented. Together we will all help build a better future by pipelining more military talent into our industry.

If you’d like to get involved with NextOp’s Construction Advisory Board or participate in an upcoming industry day or job fair, please email them at or go online to register as a Corporate Partner by logging onto

Three Resume Tips From a Recruiter

Photo source:
Photo source: Flazingo Photos

When it comes to applying for jobs, the first impressions are not usually in person, but on paper.

And by that, we mean resumes. The resume is what employers look over before deciding to pick up the phone and make the call to set up an interview.

But what makes an employer pass on a possible candidate?

It’s not just grammar and spelling errors. There are other blunders that a human resource specialist will catch and place your resume on the “pass” pile.

Thus, here are three types of common errors many applicants make, and you must avoid:

  1.     Responsibilities vs. Results.

When inputting your job descriptions, it’s easy to put in your duties at your previous places of employment.

“Was responsible with sensitive information.”

“Was in charge of logistics.”

“Took care of twelve Marines/Sailors/Airmen/Soldiers/Coasties.”

Which is great, don’t get us wrong. And of course, the more responsibility you’re given, the more your higher-ups trust you.

However, what kind of results did you produced from those responsibilities?

Charles Dominick, president, founder and chief procurement officer of Next Level Purchasing, said there are four key words that must be used in your resume: increased, saved, reduced, or improved.

“Use them often because they indicate what you achieved, not merely what tasks were assigned to you,” Dominick said.

One method you can use and guide you is the PAR Method.

PAR stands for, “Problem, Action, and Results.”

As for how to put it down on the resume, you can always go backward.

“Increased productivity by 12 percent by hiring two more employees to the staff.

“Saved the company $12,000 by negotiating a new contract.”screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-4-14-05-pm

A good example of this is provided by Portland Community College, which you can find here.

Action words are also the key. If you need help on which words to use, Quintessential Careers has you covered here.

  1.     Relevance.

Now, just because you applied for a position in the energy, construction, or healthcare industry, doesn’t mean you add lifeguard duty or your time as a shoes salesman.

Instead, you should only add experiences relevant to the position you’re pursuing.

For example, if you were a corpsman in the Navy and you’re applying for a unit coordinator position in the Hermann Memorial hospital system, you want to tell the recruiter about your experience with patients. If you are certified in CPR or a licensed radiological technologist, you list it on your resume.

  1.     Keep your resume to ONE (1) page.

As we mentioned in the previous blunder, you only put down experiences, skills, etc. relevant to the position you’re applying for.

With that being said, be specific, but don’t be too detailed.

As we learned in the military, keep it short, straight and to the point.

You don’t want to lose the recruiter’s attention, and you don’t want them to pass you up. So keep these blunders in mind to avoid when you create or correct your resume.

If you are a veteran in need of help with your resume, career placement, and transitioning into the civilian world, register with NextOp Vets today.