If you're asking yourself, Do construction workers need a résumé? The answer is yes. Your résumé demonstrates all of your best qualifications, giving potential employers a sense of what skills you bring and whether you will be a good fit for the job they are seeking to fill.
First, you should know that if you’re applying for a job in the construction industry, it’s crucial that you craft your résumé to fit that career niche. And if you're applying for different types of construction jobs, you’ll need to write a unique résumé for each one. One size will not fit all. Yes, this effort is time-consuming, but the time won't be wasted because when you apply for a job in the correct way, you’ll experience greater success and will hear back from more potential employers.
Here’s how to write a résumé specifically curated for a career in construction.
Job Qualifications: You Need to Have the Right Experience
Having too much unrelated experience will be detrimental to your résumé’s effectiveness. Your résumé should include relevant experience, and provide sufficient detail about that experience.
Before you apply for the construction job, make sure you have the right experience for that job. You could be an advanced architect applying for an entry-level position, making you overqualified for the job. In that instance, the employer is likely to hire people who are more appropriately skilled.
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It’s also important to make sure you aren’t applying for a position for which you are not qualified or are underqualified. Job postings will always include the required education, experience, and desired skills the company is looking for. Read through the listing and reflect on what points match your abilities, knowledge, and overall experience.
The bottom line is, you should only apply for a job if you perfectly or closely match the experience level and requirements needed. This will save you time and will guide you to choosing jobs that are a better fit for you.
Experience Specifics: Don’t Be Vague When Describing Past Work Experience
Explaining yourself fully in your job application is a key way to be more successful when applying for construction jobs. Employers appreciate seeing what you’ve learned and your awareness of what you have accomplished during your career journey.
For example, one of your prior jobs may have been an assistant position. In that case, instead of simply saying you helped your boss, explain exactly what type of experience and insight you gained from that job.
Even better, when explaining a past job, describe exactly what you did, don’t just give the title of the position.
This same résumé rule also includes specifying the details of your skills and education. These details will justify your work history and expertise and will support the other information in your résumé.
Why References Matter When You’re Applying for a Construction Job
More often than not, jobs in construction aren’t for amateurs, which makes having strong references important. Construction industry employers can be extra cautious when it comes to hiring new workers, since having under-qualified employees fill a position can lead to accidents, low-quality work and customer dissatisfaction, callbacks and warranty issues, and other complications.
Unlike a cashier, office assistant, or fast food worker, construction jobs often require more serious and specific skills, so it’s key to have a strong list of references from past employers that can verify your skills.
Reach out to your past employers, teachers, and others who can speak highly of you and confirm your experience and skill level.
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The Role of the Cover Letter
Your cover letter is essentially a summary in letter form that describes why you are applying for the job. It’s your opportunity to introduce yourself to the employer, share why you are interested in the job being offered, and what makes you a strong candidate for the position.
Without a cover letter, it’s unlikely you will receive any responses from employers because they don’t have enough information about you to grant an interview or to make a job offer.
Your cover letter should include: an introduction, supporting claims in a body paragraph (multiple paragraphs, if necessary), and a conclusion. Share your construction journey, education, goals, and passions in an organized format.
First impressions are a crucial part of the job application process. Writing a quality cover letter that’s tailored to the construction position you’re applying for will increase your chances of landing the job.
And Finally … How Should Employers Reach You?
Now that your cover letter, résumé listing the details of your past work experience and relevant references are ready, don’t forget to include your contact information, availability, and time you are able to start the job on your résumé and cover letter. All these things combined will increase your odds of successfully securing a job in the construction industry.