Army Officer Assignments: Understanding the Value of Confidence in Writing an AIM 2.0 Resume
by MAJ Robert ‘Bobby’ Ali
When applying for jobs within the U.S. Army it is always sensible for officers to describe their work experience in detail. After all, the Assignment Interactive Module (AIM) 2.0 puts a premium on matching the right officers with the right assignments. AIM2.0 emphasizes highlighting self-professed Knowledge, Skills, & Behaviors (KSBs) in resumes amid a much wider range of available assignments. However, not every officer is best equipped with the right amount of self-esteem in writing their resumes, and most of them do end up narrating just the wee basics of their assignments in the first place. At the risk of sounding too monotonous, these officers simply lack the candor in putting a vote of confidence on themselves, in turn denying themselves numerous opportunities to be noticed by key decision-makers.
KSBs provide ample legroom for officers eager to stretch their paradigms in the U.S. Army, especially with AIM 2.0. Key decision makers are always eager to find the best talents for vacant billets during every Permanent Change of Station (PCS) cycle, yet they can only do so much with the way officer resumes feature their self-professed KSBs. As such, when seeking greener pastures in other assignments, it is very important for officers to go beyond the idea of a resume being a mere enumeration of data by espousing greater poise in detailing their professional history in the U.S. Army. The chance to stand out starts with writing down resumes with confidence, which must come first and foremost from officers.
1) Confidence Provides Key Decision Makers Greater Insights from KSBs
Others might say receiving the right assignment is ultimately a matter of coincidence. Yet, opportune encounters during PCS cycles would have to be defined by the weight of an officers KSBs listed on their AIM 2.0 resume. The reality, however, is that not all officers –few of them, even – make the effort to at least stand out from the sea of boring resumes flooding through decision makers weary eyes as the search for the right officer ensues. Glossing through one descriptive narrative to another provides officers with a sense of tiring redundancy – it’s not like they aren’t aware of what most officer duties mean.
Confidence on the part of officers helps eliminate that feeling of mundanity among officers reviewing their resumes in their quest to find the right people for the open jobs. Officers can best express every item that defines their KSBs if they do not hold back on whatever they have gained from the U.S. Army. Instead of merely sharing what decision makers already know in the first place, officers get to show how they performed previous duties in their own unique way – even better if they are even recognized for that. That allows key decision makers to imagine how officers would perform in their potential new assignments, apart from just determining whether they are fit on paper. One pitfall to avoid, of course, is to exaggerate one’s achievements, as key decision makers would be able to verify them anyway given their access to officer references.
2) Confidence Allows Better Assignment Matching
Comprehensive officer data is essential to the heightened efficiency of alignment processes enabled by AIM 2.0. It only follows that lack of confidence can thoroughly undermine the purpose of such a sophisticated system, as such could translate to officers withholding much of their KSBs. Being dismissive of one’s KSBs, much to the point of dismissing certain items as irrelevant to the U.S. Army, reflects timidity and uncertainty on the part of officers. That is where the essence of confidence kicks in – it eliminates the idea that any item under officers’ KSBs is unimportant for determining appropriate assignments.
The data-intensive approach of AIM 2.0 allows it to incorporate every sense there is in every category applicable to KSBs, regardless if any of them sound irrelevant to general impressions towards military service. Never mind if your preference for creative working opportunities (P) given your imaginative demeanor (B) combines rather-oddly with your biology undergraduate degree (K) which you have gotten by through your side gigs at a piano bar (S). Each one of your peculiarities corresponding to your KSBs would surely help you find at least one assignment that you surely wouldn’t regret accepting – if you exert maximum effort throughout the application process.
3) Confidence Reflects Eagerness for Better Growth Opportunities
AIM 2.0 is developed to ensure that the right assignments go to the right officers. “Right,” in this case, can be a matter of attitude, as it is important for key decision makers to get officers who are as motivated and disciplined as they are skilled and knowledgeable. While it truly matters for officers to be more expressive in sharing their achievements and ways of doing things throughout their military service with a respectable modicum of professional frankness, being unafraid to share more about their KSBs demonstrates a greater passion for their desired assignments.
How much do officers really want their target assignments? That is a question largely answerable by no less than the officers themselves, and what better way to express that than being bold enough to convey their KSBs without fearing any irrational uncertainties. Key decision makers would certainly appreciate officers who don’t hold back on their respective claims to a new and better assignment, as that ultimately establishes their desire to move forward in their career within the U.S. Army. Confidence, in this sense, determines officers’ willingness to face greater challenges in new assignments in the name of professional growth.
4) Confidence Guarantees Satisfaction
Lastly, and most certainly not the least, confidence in detailing KSBs provides for a win-win situation for both officers and decision makers. Officers are as good as assured of new assignments that suit their goals – life and professional alike – if they don’t allow themselves to be swayed by feelings of anxiety associated with being more confident in writing their resumes. Key decision makers, for their part, would be secured with acquiring the services of the right people that can run their respective organizations in accordance to set standards. Trusting the process that runs AIM 2.0 through confidence in resume-writing ultimately brings increased success not only for officers and key decision makers alike, but to the entire U.S. Army as a whole.
The author is an active duty US Army officer. He writes here in a private capacity, and his personal opinion does not necessary reflect an official opinion of the US Army or the US government.