How to write an eye-catching construction resume

The best roles in construction are highly competitive, but a resume boasting your skills, qualifications, and achievements can make you highly desirable. Discover the best ways to stand out in our feature.

The construction industry is unique in a number of fantastic ways for job applicants. Naturally, the roles themselves aren’t in short supply, and it’s a growing industry. Also, no matter where and how the job market swings, there’ll always be a call for new constructions, repairs and maintenance, and everything else that keeps anyone great with their hands in gainful employment.

Of course, while there’s plenty of quantity available in construction, many workers are interested in quality. This is where construction shares similarities with most other industries. Some roles will be better than others and, unsurprisingly, they’ll attract the most applicants. Better conditions, pay, and other factors all play into anyone’s next career move, and a fantastic construction resume can make all the difference when pursuing the very best roles.

The construction industry itself involves numerous different disciplines. That’s why we’ve compiled far more in-depth guides for everything from construction workers to engineers! However, there are some tips, guidelines, and best practices that span the sector as a whole.

So, if you want your resume to stand out for peace of mind, or you’ve already got your next role in mind, try to implement the following tips into your resume to stand the best chance of success!

1. Experience often trumps education

Many roles in the construction industry don’t necessarily require specific qualifications and educational milestones. While there are obvious exceptions, such as electricians, most construction recruiters care more about what you can do rather than what you might have learned as part of mainstream education.

As such, a construction resume will often heavily favor previous jobs rather than diplomas. That means focusing on what you’re good at and demonstrating how you’ve evolved and improved over the years.

One of the best ways to do this is to spend more time on your experience section than any other and to present it in reverse-chronological order. Recruiters usually aren’t interested in the kind of worker you were when you were straight out of high school and college. Virtually every role in the industry sees people getting better over time, as they’re experiencing on-the-job training every single working day.

You’re better at what you do today than you were five years ago. Depending on how much you focus on personal development, you might even be noticeably better than you were this time last week! The present version of you as an employee is almost always the best one, so focus your time and effort on demonstrating to employers the worker they’ll get if they hire you today.

Further to this, try to frame your experience in layperson’s terms wherever possible. People that work in HR and recruitment might not know a jigsaw from a band saw, but they appreciate positive numbers. If your experience has seen you constantly beating deadlines, cutting costs, or winning awards and praise far and wide, these are the kinds of things you should highlight on a construction resume.

You’ve got a few bullet points to showcase your talents in everything you’ve done before, so try to frame your achievements in such a way that they wow even people with no experience.

2. Construction employers appreciate wide and varied skillsets

In many cases, the job you apply for will be the job you do for extended periods. However, many employers dream of the day they find a construction worker with all the basics covered and much more besides.

They might mark you down as management material from your resume alone or entrust you with dealing directly with clients and customers. Your resume isn’t the only deciding factor in opening more doors, but if you want to advance in your career, the skills list may determine where you go and how quickly.

Once again, the construction industry may be unique in many ways, but it shares similarities with other professions and their resumes. One of these ways is to list off hard and soft skills that make you a can’t-miss candidate.

Hard Skills

These skills enable you to be competent in the role in question. Once again, they will vary between different positions, even in the same category, but it’s worth considering:

  • Proficiency with specific tools and technology
  • Aptitude with software for planning and design
  • Regulatory knowledge
  • Complementary work talents, such as inspections and supervision

Soft Skills

Soft skills are harder to measure, but they’re often the primary differentiating factor between two otherwise equal candidates:

  • Communication
  • Teamworking
  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership and management

Some jobs in construction merely require an able body. However, as you work your way up and start to apply for roles that demand more than the basics, the ability to demonstrate and prove a more rounded approach to the position will stand you in great stead with a potential employer.

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3. A relevant construction resume lands more roles

Someone needs a construction worker. You’ve worked in construction for years. You’re a perfect fit, right? Well, you might be, but so are numerous other applicants. You need to stand out, and your resume represents a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate what you’re all about and why you’re the ideal candidate.

Assuming you know nothing about the role you’re applying for beyond the job description, that’s still the perfect place to start. It might mention specific software you have experience in. The role could involve working as a subcontractor for someone you’ve done an excellent job for in the past. 

Think of yourself and the role as two pieces of the jigsaw. The easier you slot into place, the more the person completing the puzzle – the recruiter, in this case – will want to speak with you further.

There will always be generalized aspects to any resume. However, a few minutes spent proving you’re the right candidate for the job can be the difference between getting an interview and never hearing back. Make it easy for the hiring manager to envision you competently completing the role, and they’ll be in a hurry to snap you up before anyone else does!

A documentary photographer and writer. Noel has worked for International publications like Deutsche Welle in Germany to News Deeply in New York. He also co-founded the global multimedia project Women Who Stay and collaborated as a journalist fellow with the University of Southern California. He went from traveling around the world to sitting on a couch thanks to the pandemic, but he gets to help other people actually do things (like find jobs) thanks to Kickresume, so he won't complain.

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