Build yourself a great construction worker resume

Construction jobs rarely involve sales and marketing, so creating an excellent construction worker resume might be slightly outside your comfort zone. After all, the best resumes in any profession are more than just a list of skills and experience.

Instead, they’re all about demonstrating to an employer why of the dozens of candidates that have put themselves forward; you’re the one they should entrust with representing their company and getting the job done.

Before we get into the specifics of constructing an incredible resume, it’s vital to understand the importance of being specific. You might have worked in places previously where jobs were easy to come by. The roles you filled were all about quantity, not quality.

However, there are exceptional construction jobs out there, such as those that start in or lead to managerial positions. You need to be more than just good with your hands to land them, and your resume is what will get your foot in the door for an interview, where you can go into finer detail on what you’re all about.

Of course, the nature of the most desirable roles means that loads of people want them. These jobs aren’t usually recruited en masse. Your construction resume needs to show that you’re the one in a hundred hire that can’t be missed.

Here’s how to achieve precisely that.

1. Position your construction worker experience front and center

One of the best things about entering the construction industry is that you can usually find a job without prior experience. There are entry-level roles where all a hiring manager and your subsequent boss expect is that you work hard and have a bit of common sense. However, as you climb the ladder in pursuit of better jobs and higher pay, you’ll discover an increasing need for proof that you’re as good as you say you are.

There’s no better way to achieve this than to show in no uncertain terms what you’ve done before. But, of course, that doesn’t just mean listing off the construction companies you’ve worked for in the past, either.

Construction is often mislabelled as grunt work, and while it might be at lower levels, you should never shy away from highlighting your achievements and any instances in which you went above and beyond.

Here’s an example of well-formatted and appealing experience in the construction industry from our resume library:

Home Builder, PulteGroup, Inc., Beltsville, MD, United States (06/2016 - 06/2019)

  • Participated in all phases of the construction process of various custom residential properties, ensuring that the clients’ requirements were fully met.
  • Built and maintained professional relationships with local/global sub-contractors and business partners and negotiated contracts and agreements.
  • Developed and managed construction budgets, performed site visits, and maintained confidential documents and files.
  • Hired and coordinated new personnel, resolved any problematic issues, and developed detailed project schedules to ensure that everything was finished in a timely manner.
  • Awarded Employee of the Month for increasing the client satisfaction with provided services from 87% to 98% within one year.

You’ll immediately notice how the applicant focuses heavily on aspects of the role beyond the manual labor side. Recruiters will assume that if you’re in the market for a construction worker role, you understand the basics of what’s required. So don’t waste time with the limited space a resume affords on talking about how you know how to lay bricks or move something from one place to another. Instead, focus on the real-world achievements that will make you stand out over and above other applicants.

Naturally, you might not have the kind of management experience noted in the example. That doesn’t matter, as you’re not going for the same role. Think about times in which you’ve beat targets or received recognition – basically anything else that the other people going for the position can’t necessarily say about themselves.

2. Catch the eye in under six seconds

Following on from the first tip, one of the most critical skills on any resume is making a great first impression and doing so quickly. You might spend many hours getting your construction worker resume right, and that time investment pays off due to volume. You can expect six seconds of attention or even less for one specific role if there are colossal applicant numbers.

Of course, those six seconds tend to apply to resumes that aren’t going any further. So don’t feel like you only need to keep someone interested for that short time before knowing whether or not you’ll get the job. That’s not the goal. Instead, you want to use those six seconds to make reading on irresistible.

The key to achieving this is through either an excellent resume summary or a fantastic resume objective. If you’ve got experience, use the former and talk about what you’ve achieved and qualified for in the past. If you’re new to the industry and feel you’re better served by showing enthusiasm for the future, go with a resume objective instead.

The goal of both is to demonstrate in around one paragraph and those six seconds why you’re a great fit. Consider the opener as your sales pitch and the rest of your construction resume as the sales brochure where people can find out more information to help them make the right decision.

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3. Use your education and experience to your advantage

You don’t necessarily need specific experience for most construction jobs. There’s no certification to say you’re a better laborer than someone else. If you don’t consider your education and qualifications as being overly relevant, don’t allocate too much space to them. At the same time, think about if there is indeed anything relevant that might warrant further explanation.

If you’ve got extensive experience, then it often counts for more than education. However, if you can demonstrate abilities to work well as part of a team, exceed targets, or anything else that the construction industry demands, go right ahead and use them as evidence of your talents.

Naturally, if you do have specialist qualifications, make a point of shining a spotlight on them – even if the job description doesn’t explicitly require them.

A willingness to go above and beyond, not to mention being literally better qualified than the competition, can do wonders for any resume’s success.

Published on Dec. 11, 2021

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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