The metal worker’s guide to writing the perfect resume

Metal Workers are responsible for many crucial components of construction and industrial projects. Along with having a wide range of technical abilities, employers seek out applicants who have a willingness to learn and work well in teams and crews.

In this guide, we will discuss how to write the optimal metal worker resume and how to tailor each section to show your best strengths. Keep reading to learn about:

  • Choosing the correct resume format for your experience level as a metal worker
  • Writing a resume summary that helps your resume stand out
  • Including both hard and soft skills to showcase your diverse abilities
  • Tailoring your work experience to highlight your accomplishments as a metal worker
  • Properly listing your education and certifications

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1. Choose the correct resume format for your experience level as a metal worker

In trade jobs such as metalwork, the typical career progression moves from Apprentice to Journeyman, though not all metalworkers or metalworking companies follow this apprenticeship method. However, the level of job you can apply for will depend on your level of experience – as will the format you choose.

There are 3 main types of resume formats to select between:

  • Reverse-Chronological: A resume focused on work experience, listing your most recent position first and working backward from that point.
  • Functional: A resume focused on education, skills, and unpaid experience.
  • Hybrid: A combination resume that places equal emphasis on all sections of a resume.

Of these formats, we typically recommend reverse-chronological or hybrid resumes for metalworkers, as employers are most interested in your professional experience.

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2. Write a resume summary that helps your CV stand out

A resume summary is a brief introductory statement that comes at the start of a resume.

For metal workers, it can be difficult to set your resume apart from your competition. However, a well-crafted resume summary can work wonders in the way of engaging the employer and sparking their interest in your specific skills and value as a potential employee.

Incorrect metal worker resume summary

Metal Worker with a specialization in precise welding. Many years of experience working in industrial settings preparing and installing sheet metal and other metal products. Certified in HVAC metalwork.

Why is this Incorrect?

The details provided in this resume summary are good information, but the language used to describe them is too passive and disengaged. When writing your resume summary, keep in mind that it should hook the employer’s attention and compel them to look further into the document.

Corrected metal worker resume summary

Dependable Sheet Metal Worker and Certified Welder, certified by the American Welding Society. HVACR Certified Technician with more than 5 years of experience working preparing and installing sheet metal and other metal products in an industrial setting.

Why is this Correct?

In this corrected example, the applicant provides much more specific details regarding their experience and certifications. Though they have a few different certifications, they list them in an order that highlights their desired position (sheet metal worker) and follows this assertion with their specializations (welding & HVAC).

3. Include both hard and soft skills to showcase your diverse abilities

When you write your skills section on your resume, it is important to distinguish your hard skills from your soft skills.

Hard skills are technical abilities that you learn through training and education. These skills can be both physically and mentally demanding, and serve as a benchmark for your competency within the field of metalwork.

Soft skills are your interpersonal abilities – the skills you use to communicate and work with others. Though not as complex as hard skills, soft skills matter just as much if not more in certain scenarios.

A balanced resume that attracts the attention of employers will have both hard and soft skills to showcase. With this in mind, here are 10 examples each of hard and soft metalworking skills:

The best metal worker hard skills to put on your resume

  • Metal fabrication
  • Installing and repairing metal products
  • Reading and assessing blueprints
  • Ductwork
  • Operating machinery
  • Soldering and welding
  • HVAC metalwork
  • Quality control analysis
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Basic mathematical skills

 

Handy soft skills for your metal worker CV

  • Verbal communication
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Time management
  • Social awareness (Working in a labor-intensive field such as metalwork requires you to be aware of the people around you and how their attitudes and behavior may affect you and your team’s ability to work).
  • Willingness to learn
  • Adaptability
  • Excellent memorization

4. Tailor your work experience to highlight your accomplishments as a metal worker

A metal worker’s resume should focus not only on primary responsibilities from previous positions but on key skills and accomplishments as well.

As you work in any given position, you should take notes on every project or assignment you work on, as well as how these projects performed according to company goals. This will help you to track notable accomplishments that you contributed to and can mention on a resume.

By listing these types of achievements, you will help your resume stand out to employers and demonstrate your value as a future employee. Think of it as similar to a sales pitch in which you are selling yourself as the most qualified and capable candidate.

Here is an example of a work experience entry from a metal worker resume

Johnson’s Metal Cutters, Buffalo, NY
Sheet Metal Apprentice
September 2018 to October 2020

  • Efficiently loaded and unloaded tools and equipment and the start and finish of every job.
  • Assisted in the implementation of a new organizational system that helped boost project completion time by 10%.
  • Aided in the layout and installation of mechanical equipment, ductwork, and sheet metal.

5. Properly list your metalworking education and certifications

The minimum education requirement that qualifies you for most entry-level metalworking jobs is a high school diploma or GED. However, more competitive candidates will typically have completed a vocational or trade school program to earn additional certifications.

For applicants who have pursued a two- or four-year degree, you may be able to apply for higher-level positions within metalworking, such as management or administration.

Regardless of how much educational history or certifications you have, it is crucial to list this information succinctly and accurately.

Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on a metal worker resume

Education

St. Matthew’s High School
High School Diploma
Ogunquit, ME

  • Graduated: 2019
  • GPA: 9
  • President of the Student Vocational Careers Society

 

Certifications

  • Metal Fabrication Certificate - Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International
  • Precision Sheet Metal Operator Certification - Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International

 

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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