The ultimate guide to writing an electrician resume
Electricians are skilled tradesmen that commit hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of their time to learn their craft. Yet, with the field becoming more competitive, training alone is not enough to create a competitive electrician resume.
As an electrician, your resume needs to showcase not just your credentials, but also your accomplishments and experience.
In this article, we will teach you how to:
- Choose the right resume format according to your electrician certification level
- Optimize your resume summary to display your expertise
- Showcase not just job responsibilities but also accomplishments in your work experience section
- Include the proper information on electrician training, credentials, and education
- Highlight the best skills and keywords for electricians
1. Choose the right format for your electrician license and level
The very first step you must take when writing your resume is determining which format will best fit your electrician license type.
As an electrician, there are 4 main types of licenses you can earn:
- Apprentice electrician: An apprentice electrician will still be in the training phase of their career, though they will participate in jobs and on-site training. Becoming an apprentice electrician does not require past experience, but will require you to hold this position for upwards of 2 to 3 years.
- Journeyman electrician: The journeyman electrician license is earned once candidates meet the necessary training and experience requirements, as well as pass a state-mandated exam. The journeyman level is when electricians can begin working independently.
- Master electrician: Master electrician is the highest licensing level, allowing electricians to take on much more complex jobs, gain permits, and develop projects. Masters also often supervise the lower license levels.
- Specialty electrician: On top of being a journeyman or master, an electrician can also earn specialty licenses to work on more unique jobs, such as HVAC systems or pools.
Your ideal resume format may differ depending on which license you currently hold. With this in mind, let’s look at the two main types of resumes, reverse-chronological and functional, and assess which will suit your needs.
Reverse-chronological vs. functional resumes: Which is better for electricians?
A reverse-chronological resume emphasizes work experience, listing the most recent job first and working backward from there. Comparatively, a functional resume takes the focus off work experience and places it instead on other sections, such as skills or education.
When it comes to resumes for electricians, a combination of both of these resume formats is typically in order. This is largely due to the fact that education and training overlap with work experience for electricians.
For apprentices and journeymen, a combined resume format will still showcase their work experience but will add extra emphasis on the education components. However, once journeymen become more experienced, they may prefer to use a more traditional reverse-chronological format.
For masters, the reverse-chronological format is the best option, as they will have an abundance of experience to show off.
2. Optimize your resume summary to display your expertise
Whenever you create a resume, you should always include a resume summary or objective at the very top. This short blurb not only introduces your resume to an employer but also allows you to highlight your very best skills or accomplishments.
For electricians, the summary is the best place to announce your current licensing and experience level.
Incorrect electrician resume summary example:
"Experienced Electrician that has been working on home wiring for many years. Responsibilities include maintenance, repairs, and supervising apprentices."
What's wrong with this example? As you write your electrician summary, you want to be as specific as possible. Include your precise license title and any specialties you may have. Additionally, job responsibilities should be moved to the work experience section.
Corrected electrician resume summary example:
"Journeyman Electrician with more than 5 years experience working in residential neighborhoods and commercial buildings. Specialized in HVAC system wiring, maintenance, and repair."
Why is this better? In this corrected example, the applicant provides their license level (journeyman) as well as a quantifiable amount of years of experience. They also include their specialty area of expertise.
Your work experience section on your resume is more than just a place to list out your previous jobs and responsibilities. To make this section as effective and compelling as possible, you should use it to showcase your relevant accomplishments.
Here is an example of a strong work experience entry for a master electrician
Georgia Power | August 2015 – Present | Atlanta, GA
- Supervised and mentored a team of 4 Apprentices, helping each to advance to the Journeyman license.
- Developed strong customer relationships that led to a company rating improvement from 3.5 stars to 4.8 stars out of 5.
- Installed, maintained, and repaired commercial building wiring, electrical panels, and mechanical schematics.
4. Include the proper electrician credentials and education
As previously mentioned, an electrician’s education and training will often overlap with their work experience. Depending on how much experience you have as an electrician, you may want to separate your initial apprenticeship off into its own education section.
Additionally, you should create a small section for licenses and certifications. This section should include each of your licenses, as well as when and where they were earned.
Electricians will also often have additional certifications to promote the health and safety of their crew, such as First Aid or CPR certifications. These extra certs should always be included, as they give you a greater competitive edge as a candidate and show your commitment to team safety.
5. Highlight both technical and interpersonal skills
Being an electrician is a highly technical profession. As such, it can be tempting to only include technical skills on your resume.
However, there are many interpersonal skills involved in electric work as well. From working with a team to communicating with customers, your electrician resume should also highlight your ability to work well with other people.
Best hard skills to include on your electrician resume
- Knowledge of National Electric Code (NEC)
- Installing and Maintaining Electrical Systems
- Wiring system repair
- Quality Assurance
- Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
- Blueprint and Schematic Analysis
- Commercial Buildings
- Residential Electric
- Apprentice Mentor
- Equipment Testing
Best soft skills to put on your electrician resume
- Customer Service
- Team Leadership
- Problem Solving