5 Tips to Prep Your Resume—and Yourself—for a Career in Construction
June 27, 2020
Looking for a job can become overwhelming – fast! Knowing how to present yourself, your skills, and your credibility can create even more stress. These five easy tips—as well as the many resources on Build Your Future Arizona—will prepare you, and your resume, for a successful career search in construction.
1. Recent and Relevant
Whether you have 20 years of work history or are just graduating high school, include job experience that is both recent and relevant to the positions you’re applying to. You can also include side projects, community involvement, and volunteer work as opportunities to highlight transferrable skills, teamwork, and good citizenship. Whether describing a job position or an extracurricular activity, use bullet points to itemize key aspects of your role, your accomplishments, and explain why you’re a great fit for the job. As a rule of thumb, include up to 10 years of experience on your resume, with five to six bullet points under each role. Check out this resume resource by Colorado State University and this sample resume by Monster.com for tips and tricks about action verbs to include in your resume.
2. The Simpler the Better
Use a basic, modern font at a size that’s readable (10-12-point size) and a streamlined design that’s easy for a hiring manager to follow. To make your resume stand out, remember that consistency is key: double check your spelling and abbreviations, and make sure that your margins, line spacing, tabs and indentations, and use of bullet points are all consistent. Canva is one of many free resources online that can help you build an eye-catching resume, step-by-step.
3. Stick to One Page
More often than not, recruiters won’t read beyond the first page of a resume. While it can be tempting to include more information about yourself and your experience, keep in mind that recruiters look at dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes for any position. Think about what experience is relevant to your position versus what may not be and include volunteer experience if it relates to the job you’re applying to. Use language that highlights experience relevant to the position you’re seeking, and avoid over-used terms like “detail oriented,” “team player,” and “hard worker.”
4. Remember Your References
Your references are your strongest asset when you reach the end of a hiring process. Generally, a recruiter will set aside a handful of resumes that fit the position and will narrow them down based on your references. References should always be a credible professional, never a family member or friend, that can speak to your great skills. Let your references know in advance that you are putting them on your resume and tell them about the position you are applying to. This way, they will know which of your skills to emphasize when a recruiter contacts them.
5. Don’t Forget Your Contact Information
You finished your resume, you’ve read it front to back, and you’ve let your references know you’re applying to a job. Now what? Don’t neglect your contact information! Believe it or not, many applicants will skip putting their phone number and current email address on their resume and will include it in a separate email or via a hiring website. When recruiters have hundreds of applicants, a small hurdle like not having your email address can mean the difference between getting called for an interview … or not. Make it as easy as possible for recruiters to contact you by including your email and phone number. And make sure to always answer your phone professionally, listen to your voicemails, and check your email often (including spam folders)! Tip: Research questions hiring managers may ask you before an interview so you can stay prepared.
Job hunting can be intimidating, and we’re here to help. Build Your Future Arizona and NCCER are dedicated to helping job seekers like you find career resources and connect with local employers. Start your journey in the world of construction, today!