How To: Tailor Your Resume For A Career In Construction

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Every industry looks for different qualities in a candidate. Because of this, you need to make sure your resume is tailored to fit the needs of the field you’re applying to.

Recruiters in construction are looking for the unique skills and experiences you have that are most relevant to their industry. Want to prove that you’re the right person for the job? Here’s how you can tailor your resume for a career in construction.

Resume structure

There are 3 main structures you can use when building a resume; chronological, functional, or combination.

As the name suggests, a chronological resume is one where you start out with an objective statement followed by a list of your experience in chronological order with your skills listed below. This kind of resume is great for someone with lots of experience in the industry. A functional resume that highlights your abilities rather than experience might be a better choice if you’re a new grad or changing careers, however, some employers may think you’re using the format to hide employment gaps or frequent job hops.

For the construction industry, your best bet would be to combine both elements of a chronological and functional resume to create a combination resume. This type of format typical leads with a summary of your qualifications and includes a detailed work history.

Objective

While it’s not mandatory, it’s a good idea to start your resume with an objective statement. For a construction resume, resist the urge to present yourself as a ‘jack-of-all-trades.’ Instead, craft a statement that highlights your unique specialties and career goals.

If you’re applying for multiple types of construction positions, consider creating a general resume format and then tailoring the objective for specific jobs.

Your career objective can be pretty much anything you want that’s related to the job. If you’re not sure how to structure your objective statement, you can follow this basic format:

To obtain a position at (company name) as a (position title) where I can (career goal).

Highlights

The next part of your resume should focus on your career highlights and accomplishments. With this section you want to prove to the recruiters that you’ve performed well in previous jobs and that you have the ability to apply those skills in this new role.

This section is the first thing the recruiter will skim through to determine whether or not you’re suitable for the job so you want to make a good first impression! Include construction-related certifications, licenses, training, degrees, trade union memberships – any industry designations that would be relevant to a potential employer. Highlight job-specific skills by putting them in their own section, and match them to the skills listed in the job description. For example, skills like project management, scheduling, and safety compliance are very relevant to the construction industry.

Experience

One of the most important parts of any resume is work experience. Whether you’re a new grad or shifting careers, every employer looks at your previous employment record to see if you’re capable of doing the job.

When structuring this section, you want to start out with your most recent and relevant work experience. If you’ve worked in the construction industry before, make sure you mention how long you held that role, the details of the work you did, and what you learned that will benefit you in this new role. And embrace your inner math geek – quantify your accomplishments in the form of statistics and numbers so employers can see the actual results of your work.

If you don’t have any related experience, it’s time to get creative. Talk about skills you developed in previous jobs or extracurricular activities that are also used in the construction industry. For example, a customer service position shows you have experience working with clients, a manual labour job means you have knowledge of field work, and a leadership position in a club or society shows an employer that you have the ability to manage and delegate tasks.

Don’t let a bad resume drag you down. Spending a little time to tailor and structure your resume could mean all the difference in landing your next great position.

Make sure you check out our Construction Career Guide to learn more about the industry!

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