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What Should Be on My Resume?
Making a resume is a relatively simple process. There are key parts that should be on every resume, regardless of what job you are applying for. These include:
- Work qualities: Work qualities show an employer your work ethic and what you plan on bringing to their company. Such work qualities could include fast learner, a team worker, responsible, reliable, and goal-oriented.
- Education: List your level of completed education and when you received it. If you are in the process of completing your education, then make sure to say so on your resume.
- Work history: If you have any past work experience, show where, when, and what you did. This can help employers know if you are a good fit for the job you are applying for.
- Skills/qualifications/certificates: Specific skills or certifications you have can qualify you for the job you are applying for. Some examples include being proficient in another language or certified in working with a particular computer program.
- References: It is recommended to add references or people you have worked with or know well that can verify your integrity as a person or employee. Include at least two ways of contacting the person and the relationship you have with them. Try to avoid adding family members as references and seek out other important people in your life such as teachers or supervisors.
All the above-mentioned key parts should be on your resume, regardless of the job you’re looking for. This article will specifically look at construction job resumes, which will be different from normal resumes for other occupations. Depending on the specific career in the construction industry, an employer will look for specific criteria on your resume. We will cover some of those specifics below.
5 Construction Careers and Resume Samples
There are different careers within the construction industry that you may want to apply for. It is important to understand what they are and the different requirements there are for each one. Making a resume for one career in the construction industry will be significantly different than another. We will go over some resume suggestions for positions such as construction worker, construction tradesman/specialist, construction contractor, construction safety supervisor, and construction project manager.
1. Construction Worker
Construction workers are the employees that do the majority of the hands-on tasks of construction work. They have a rigorous work life but also a very rewarding one. Construction workers are vital to construction companies because they are the ones who do the actual labor for each project.
As a construction worker, you will be expected to perform this physical labor, which includes tasks such as unloading materials, assembling work equipment, operating heavy machinery, spot checking for vehicle operators, and clearing debris from the worksite.
Construction Worker Resume
The requirements for becoming a construction worker are relatively few. There is a high demand for construction workers and minimal training requirements necessary prior to being hired. When you make your resume, you should include:
- Education: It is important that you include when and where you graduated from high school or earned an equivalent GED.
- Work qualities: Employers like to see what qualities you prioritize as a person and will bring to the workforce.
- Work history: Include any work experience you have doing construction or other manual labor; this can be pretty general and doesn’t need to always be specific to construction, but it’s better if it is.
- Skills: If you don’t have any work experience yet, add any relevant skills that could apply to construction, any certificates you have earned in safety, or any specialty training.
2. Construction Tradesman/Specialist
Construction tradesmans or specialists include anyone who has a specialized skill or trade of construction work. Some examples of construction tradesmen/specialists include carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and masons. They are usually hired as subcontractors for construction projects but can also work full time with construction companies.
Construction Tradesman/Specialist Resume
When making your resume as a construction tradesman or specialist, remember that you require more training than a typical construction worker and will have a more extensive resume. Pay special attention when covering your training and/or education, which should involve some sort of certificate from a trade school or apprenticeship.
- Education: Include the name of the organization you earned your certification and the date you received it.
- Experience: The amount of time in hours that you have completed training for your trade is something important to include on your resume as well.
3. Construction Contractor
Construction contractors play a vital role in the management of the construction industry. They write out contracts with clients and provide all the needed equipment and materials for a project. They also are responsible for hiring subcontractors for a project if needed.
Construction Contractor Resume
Entry-level contractor work can be difficult to get, so what you need to focus on with the resume is not always the same as what you would focus on with other resumes.
- Education: Not all contractors necessarily need to have an extensive education for a job, but do need at least a high school degree or GED. Some obtain a college degree in construction management, which certainly could help your resume.
- Experience: Listing past experience as a construction worker or in other construction-related careers is most important to build your credibility as a potential contractor.
- Accomplishments: Specific tasks and projects where you played an essential role can build the appeal of your resume.
- Specificity: Be specific for the job you are applying for and don’t share information that is irrelevant or non-applicable, such as work as a certified forklift driver.
4. Construction Safety Supervisor
Construction safety supervisors are another important role within construction management. Primarily, they are responsible for the safety of all construction workers. They create a safety program that ensures all workers are trained, prepared, and aware of workplace hazards and how to mitigate them. Safety supervisors work with the construction workers to give feedback and coach them along as they do their job and learn.
Construction Supervisor Resume
If you are applying for a position as a supervisor, your skills and experience are the most important things to highlight. You don’t need an extensive education for a supervisor role, and working as a construction worker is a good way to build up for a supervisor role.
- Skills: Include different tasks and skills you have learned and excel at from your experience previously doing construction or manual labor.
- Experience: Make sure to include where you learned the skills you have. Any position where you worked as a leader or coordinator with other employees can really boost the likelihood of getting a job as a supervisor.
5. Construction Project Manager
Construction managers take on a lot of responsibilities and oversee the progress of all construction workers on the job. The main responsibilities of a project manager include planning, supervising, and directing the work of a construction worksite. They also collaborate with the contractors and subcontractors, manage the budget, and hire new employees.
Construction Manager Resume
The requirements for a job as a construction manager are different from those of a contractor even though it is also a management position. Your ability and experience to work as a manager and effective team leader will be the most important parts of your resume. On top of that, most managers have an advanced education in some field relevant to the construction industry.
- Education: It is important that construction managers have some sort of education beyond a high school diploma. Most have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in construction management, business, or engineering.
- Leadership qualities: It is very important that, as a manager, you have qualities that make you a good leader. These qualities need to be on your resume and show that you know how to be responsible and reliable.
- Past experience: If you were a manager previously or were responsible for a team of construction workers, include how many you were in charge of and how you lead them.
What Should Construction Resumes Look Like?
The format that a construction career resume should have will depend on what career you are applying for and on what you include. Resumes for entry-level positions should never be longer than a page. The idea is that you convery everything about yourself in one page with enough information to show your relevant qualifications and what you can offer. Should you land an interview, the hiring manager will likely ask you to elaborate on some of the items on your resume.
Resumes should only ever include relevant information. For example, if you are applying for a position as an electrician for a construction company, adding your work experience as a retail worker at the mall would likely be irrelevant to the job you are currently applying for.
Certain things you should avoid when putting together a construction career resume are:
- Clutter: Make sure that everything on your resume has some space. You want to maximize the amount of space you use on one page, but you also want to avoid crowding the information so that the resume isn’t hard to read and follow. White space, or empty space, can be appealing and make your resume easier to read.
- Too many fonts and colors: Do not use more than two fonts and two colors. Stick to black for your main text and maybe another easy-to-read color for headings. If you use more than one font, use only one for the body text and another for headings and titles.
- Graphics, photos, and charts: These are distracting and unprofessional and should not appear on your resume. Very few careers will ask for a photo of yourself on your resume, but it is a guarantee that no construction career will ask for one.
- Spelling errors: A resume with any kind of spelling error will usually be thrown out immediately. Conduct a thorough spelling check of your resume before submitting it.
- Bad organization: Make sure to put everything in the right order, which is not chronologically. Especially for construction careers, you will want to add experience and skills near the top and education and qualities after them. References, if you include them, should be at the very bottom, making them the last thing the hiring manager sees.
Should I Include a Cover Letter With My Resume?
Not all jobs require you to add a cover letter, especially entry-level jobs. For example, very rarely would anyone who is applying to become a construction worker be asked or expected to include a cover letter. Past entry-level, however, most jobs will ask you to include a cover letter. Careers as managers and tradesmen, for example, will almost always expect you to include a cover letter.
A cover letter is usually a page-long letter addressed to whoever has posted the job. A cover letter should include two things: a description of why you believe you are the perfect candidate for the job and why you are passionate about the work you will be doing for the company you are applying with.
This letter is your opportunity to persuade the hiring manager to consider you as someone who can offer appropriate skills and knowledge for the good of the company. For this reason, it is always best to include a cover letter if you can.
Cover Letter Template
Most cover letters should look the same, or at least follow the same format. The content of your cover letter needs to be completely written in your own words. Write is as if you were actually addressing the hiring manager in person.
At the top of the letter should be your name, phone number, and email. Then, follow the format of a letter like so:
Dear Mr./Miss (hiring manager’s last name),
Next, write your two main arguments as to why you should be hired: why you believe you are the perfect candidate for the job and why you are passionate about the work you will be doing for the company. This should be one to three paragraphs long and use concise, professional language. Avoid repeating yourself or stating your weaknesses or shortcomings.
(your full name)
If you do not know the name of the hiring manager, writing “Dear hiring manager” or “Dear hiring manager of (company name)” is also appropriate. Make sure the cover letter is not longer than a page. Be straightforward and remember that saying less is more, so make sure what you say makes sense and gets to the point.
What Additional Skills Should I Add to My Resume?
If you want to gain additional skills that you can add on your resume, you should consider getting certified. There are many certifications that construction workers may or may not need for their work. To avoid getting irrelevant training or certifications that you may never need, it is best to stick to some of the more basic, widely applicable ones.
- OSHA 10-Hour Construction Training: This is a course intended for entry-level construction workers. It covers basic safety training and hazard awareness. It is a great course to prepare you for working in the construction industry. Most construction companies will require you to receive OSHA 10 training before working, but not all will.
- OSHA 30-Hour Construction Training: This is a course intended for managers and supervisors. Like the OSHA 10 construction course, it goes over basic safety information and hazard awareness training. However, this course is more thorough and trains you on how to act in a supervisory role to guarantee the safety of everyone on the worksite.
- CPR & First Aid Training: There is a risk of injury at every construction site, more so than other workplaces due to the higher number of hazards. This course teaches you the basics of first aid and how to perform CPR in an emergency situation. These are great skills to prepare you for work as a construction worker because you will be ready to help should someone be injured on the job.
- Fire Safety Training: Fire is a possibility at any workplace and it is very important to be prepared for one. This course covers what to do in case of a fire and what information you should know about your workplace that will help you to be able to evacuate safely in an emergency.
- Traffic Control Training: A lot of construction projects happen on or near public roads and highways. In these projects, there is a high risk of collisions with passenger cars or pedestrians. Knowing good traffic control practices and standards will help you to prevent such accidents from happening while on the job.
- Focus Four Safety Training: The “Focus Four” are the four most common workplace hazards to look out for. These four hazards are falls, struck-by accidents, caught-in/between accidents, and electrocution. Specific training on these hazards will prepare you to safely avoid and handle them in the workplace.
We offer these courses here at Hard Hat Training in a variety of options, including online training. Check our catalog today to find the training you need!