The demand for skilled workers continues to rise in 2022. Hiring firms such as Resource Options, Inc. (ROI) helps candidates working in the construction industry find great employers. With the increase in demand for labor, are hiring managers in construction expecting to receive resumes? Cover letters? We talked with Jeff Bryant, Vice President at ROI to better understand what employers are looking for.
As demand for workers continues to increase, 68% of tradespeople struggled to hire new workers, while demand for carpenters, painters and electricians has doubled since 2021 began. – Zachary Phillips, ConstructionDive
Do You Actually Need a Resume in Construction?
Absolutely! You need an easy-to-read resume that makes a great first impression. At the trade level, take the time to outline your past employment, skillset, and related certifications. At the management level, having a resume that clearly outlines your work history, project experience and management skills is a must for estimators, project managers, superintendents, and projects executives.
Are Construction Resumes Different than Traditional Resumes?
No, not really, with the exception of documenting project specific experience. With any resume, however, consistency and an easy–to-follow format makes for great first impression.
Make sure to:
- Proof-read for typos.
- Read it out loud for readability.
- Make sure dates of employment are included.
Construction Resume Check List
- Is it easy to follow? Consistency is key with formatting. Simple things like bolding all titles helps the person reading it make sense of it.
- Did you indicate the employment “type”? Were these contract assignments, or were you hired to complete a specific job?
- Does all of your professional experience include employer, dates of employment, titles, and responsibilities?
- Did you include a project list? This is vital, and as important as the resume itself.
According to Bryant, it’s very rare to see a cover letter submitted with a resume, and employers just aren’t requiring them as they once did. Instead, he suggested writing a well-formatted resume with a detailed project list. If it’s not well written, it may harm your chances of receiving an opportunity to interview. Put your energy into creating a professional resume and project list.
How to Get Started With Little or No Experience
What are the best resume practices for individuals looking to get into the construction industry, but have little to no experience? Show the hiring manager what you have done. For example, if you worked at your local grocery store for the last few years, include that. It shows the hiring manager that you have held a job before and can be relied upon. If you helped your uncle build his barn, list that as previous hands-on experience. Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity? List the dates that you served and the portion that you worked on. This shows that you have tried construction and are ready to learn and do more. Did you attend a trade high school where you received training? Do you have strong references that you can add? All of these show the employer that you have a genuine interest in the construction industry, and are worth taking a chance on.
For a newer worker, it is ok to add bullet points under a select project to share details of your involvement. A more experienced worker should consider a separate project list to include the project name, type, size, scope, construction cost, and their personal involvement. Within the project list, listing projects by type, such as healthcare, residential, retail, K-12, etc., helps the hiring manager easily identify project experience relevant to their business.
Skilled Pros Need to Keep Resumes Up to Date
Most people don’t keep their resumes up-to-date, and it can become transparent to the reader. It’s recommended that you review your resume every time you complete an assignment or change jobs and make the necessary edits. Letting your resume get outdated makes it difficult when you go to apply for your next role. If you’re working in the trades, include a summary line to quickly explain who you are and what you do. A good summary line might be: “Frame-to-Finish Carpenter with 10 years of experience working on multimillion dollar custom homes.” Follow that with a traditional resume including your professional work history, title, responsibilities, skill, education, and certifications. It’s a good idea to be specific. A carpenter may include detail such as building intricate staircases, trey ceiling, and 3-piece moldings, working with stain-grade exotic woods, etc. After detailing professional experiences, education, and certifications, consider a “Skills” section to include particular or specialized tools you have experience with.
For Construction Managers, What Should You Include?
If you have a managerial role, be it project manager, estimator, superintendent, or project executive, great communication skills are necessary. Show the hiring manager that you had the ability to stay on time and within budget. If a project was delivered on time, state that clearly. Did you manage sub-contractors on-site? Provide all of the documentation and report effectively with the site supervisor? Include all the interpersonal skills you possess so hiring managers can see your strengths in working across teams.
What tools are out there to make this process easier?
A site called www.myconstructionresume.com is great for workers who have experience but do not have a current resume. It is a website that lets candidates answer a list of questions and then takes their responses and makes a PDF-resume for them. This tool lets them add a summary, any education or certifications, and experience then puts it in a formatted document that is appropriate to send to hiring manager.
RESOURCE OPTIONS, INC. (ROI) is a full-service construction, design, environmental services staffing and emergency response firm. We provide customized staffing solutions to clients servicing the built and natural environment. Recognized on five different occasions by Inc. Magazine as one of “America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies”, ROI was founded in 1998 by a group of experienced industry professionals. Our proven ability to deliver highly qualified candidates in a timely fashion has earned us the reputation as a true and lasting business partner with both clients and candidates. www.resourceoptions.com