Quick painter resume guide to help jumpstart your career

A 5-step resume guide for professional painters covering how to properly craft and write a resume tailored for the job. Topics covered include formatting, how to write a summary, important skills to include, optimizing work experience sections, and properly listing education. 

Pursuing a career as a professional painter is a respectable and essential occupation. When it comes to labor-intensive jobs such as painting, it is crucial to highlight both your experience and skillset to employers to help you stand out from the competition. To do so, you must focus on creating the optimal resume that showcases your best qualities and strengths. 

In this guide, we will take you through 5 necessary steps for crafting the ideal resume as a professional painter. From formatting to writing tips, we cover it all.

Keep reading to learn how to: 

  • Choose a resume format that fits your experience as a painter
  • Write a compelling resume summary that captures your strengths as a painter
  • Select skills that reflect your greatest and most relevant abilities 
  • Optimize your work experience section and job descriptions 
  • Properly list your education and certifications as a professional painter

1. Choose a resume format that fits your experience as a painter

When choosing a resume format, there are 3 main options for you to choose between: reverse-chronological, functional, or hybrid. 

The format that is best suited for you is highly dependent on your experience level. In most cases, you want to opt for the reverse-chronological format whenever possible, as this is the format employers are most familiar with. However, if you lack relevant experience, you may need to choose one of the alternatives.

Here is a quick breakdown of each format and when to use them: 

  • Reverse-chronological: This resume format focuses mainly on your work experience, listing your most recent job first and working backward from there. The RC format is best suited for applicants who have enough work experience to fill more than half a page of a resume, generally between 3 to 5 jobs.
  • Functional: The functional resume takes the focus away from work experience, instead emphasizing sections such as education, skills, or other elements of the resume. This format is well-suited to applicants who are recent graduates of either high school or college and do not yet have a long list of relevant work history. 
  • Hybrid: The hybrid resume combines elements of both functional and reverse-chronological resumes. This format is helpful for applicants who have some relevant work experience, but not enough to fill an entire RC resume. The hybrid format is often used by those who are either switching career paths or have large gaps in their resume

2. Write a compelling summary that captures your strengths as a painter

Your resume summary comes at the top of the document and is a short statement that helps introduce you as an applicant to a potential employer.

As a professional painter, your summary is an excellent opportunity to highlight your best strengths that qualify you for the position and set you apart from other applicants. As you write your summary, consider how the details you include might compel or dissuade an employer from reading further. 

Check out the below example of an incorrect resume summary and how to correct it: 

Incorrect painter resume summary example:

Professional painter fairly new to the industry with experience working in a commercial setting. Strong customer service skills and a background in other areas of construction, seeking a long-term position with a painting company. 

What's wrong with this example? In this example, the applicant makes a critical mistake by saying they are “fairly new to the industry.” You should always strive to emphasize the experience and skills you possess rather than highlighting the fact that you lack relevant experience. Additionally, the applicant mentions they have a background in construction. This detail should be expanded upon further. 

Corrected painter resume summary example:

Detail-oriented and dependable painter with over a year’s experience working in a commercial setting. Previously worked for a construction company for 5 years, specializing in residential and commercial drywall installations. Customer-centric attitude with strong communication and customer service skills.  

Why is this better? In this example, the applicant provides a much higher level of specificity in regards to the types of skills they possess and how many years of experience they have. Though they only have one year’s experience as a painter, they have relevant prior experience in construction which helps to show they are familiar with the industry. 

3. Use your skills sections to show off a wide range of talents

As a painter, you must possess both strong physical capabilities and communication abilities. When listing skills on your resume, it is key to showcase both types of skills, also known as technical (hard) skills and interpersonal (soft) skills

Here are 10 examples of both technical and interpersonal skills that are great to include on a painter’s resume: 

Technical skills

  • Strength, Stamina, and Dexterity (in many cases, a painting job will have minimum strength requirements, such as the ability to lift 50 lbs. Be sure to include this type of detail when listing your strength as a skill)
  • Prepping surfaces for paint and applying primer
  • Pressure washing 
  • Mixing custom paints
  • Color matching 
  • Assembling scaffolding
  • Knowledge of painting tools
  • Spray painting
  • Setting up and climbing ladders
  • Industrial and commercial painting

Interpersonal skills 

  • Customer service and satisfaction
  • Collaboration
  • Teamwork 
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Adaptability 
  • Problem-solving
  • Client consultations
  • High work ethic
  • Self-confidence

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4. Optimize your work experience section and job descriptions

In your work experience section is where you will include details regarding your relevant experience and past jobs. As you write these entries, be sure to include specific examples and quantifiable details that help showcase any of your best strengths or accomplishments

Here is an example of a work experience entry from a painter’s resume:

Residential Painter | Sun Valley Painters

Los Angeles, CA  | June 2019 to May 2021

  • Prepared exterior of homes by pressure washing and applying primer before beginning painting. 
  • Consulted with clients and homeowners to select and mix custom exterior and interior paint colors.
  • Earned the company a 5-star rating on Yelp for professionalism, timeliness, and customer service. 

5. Properly list your education as a professional painter

You should always include your highest level of education on your resume when possible.

Even if this is a high school graduation or GED, be sure to include the right relevant details such as which school you attended and when you graduated.

As a professional painter, you may be required to have specific certifications or licenses depending on the state you reside in and the specialization you are pursuing (industrial, residential, etc.). If you have such requirements in your state, make sure your education section lists all the proper credentials needed. 

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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