Crafting the Perfect Resume: Follow These 6 Tips to Stand Out in the Application Process

Wednesday, 18 October
Hands of recruiter holding resume in front of candidate at desk-cm

It’s no secret that most craftsmen can’t stand putting together resumes. These pieces of paper can seem impersonal, especially considering the construction industry is all about face-to-face communication, handshakes, and hands-on work. Still, these documents are a necessary part of finding work. Taking the time to craft the perfect resume can ensure you stand out in the application process to land the perfect job. Here are some tips from industry experts to get you started in the right direction.

Keep things short and sweet.

There’s always a temptation to make resumes as long and detailed as possible. The assumption is that the more experience and skill you show, the more “professional” you’ll come across. In reality, resumes should only take up one or two pages. Why, exactly? Well, studies show the average employer only looks at a resume for 7.4 seconds. Cutting straight to the chase makes it easier for business leaders to gain a comprehensive view of your offerings.

Further Reading: Should Temp Work Be On Your Resume?

Stick with a simple format.

A resume isn’t the place to flaunt your creativity. You want to keep things simple and straightforward so the focus remains on why you’re a good fit for the position. That doesn’t mean you have to use a traditional resume for construction. As a craftsman, your resume might look slightly different than the norm. However, there are still some basic formatting standards that should be met, such as:

  • Avoiding colors
  • Using standard fonts
  • Creating a consistent style
  • Sticking with a bulleted format

Trying to stand out with an unusual resume style can distract from the contents of the document which are actually relevant to the job.

Prioritize skills over experience.

As mentioned before, a construction resume isn’t going to perfectly mirror the traditional standard. The most important distinction is the focus on skills over experience. In the construction industry, employers care more about the qualifications, abilities, and knowledge you bring to the table than where you’ve worked. Creating a skills-based resume is all about highlighting this information by placing it right below your basic contact information. Don’t eliminate your work experience, just make sure your skills are more prominently displayed.

Tailor the resume to the position.

Using the same resume for every job application is like bringing the same set of tools to every project. Your chance of success isn’t high. Before applying for a position, take the time to understand what skills the employer is seeking in a potential hire. Usually, this information is provided within the job application. Tailoring your resume to reflect those required skills makes it easier for employers to see why you’re a great match for their company.

Play to your strengths.

While you should always adjust your resume to meet the demands of the job, you don’t want to bury your unique strengths. Every craftsman has something valuable to offer clients which helps to set themselves apart from the competition. This might be a hyper-specialized hard skill you developed or an uncommon soft skill you come across naturally. Regardless, finding a place on your resume for these differentiators can strengthen your application.

Cross your t’s and dot your i’s.

The attention to detail you exercise on the job site comes in handy when putting the final touches on your resume. The last thing you want is to have a potential employer notice an obvious spelling, grammatical, or punctuation mistake. It might not seem like a big deal (especially in the construction industry), but even the smallest factors can make or break the job search. Make sure you proofread and edit your resume before submission. 

Crafting the perfect resume is only half the battle. The other half of the job search is knowing where to look. At Madden Craftsmen, we simplify the process by pairing talented craftsmen with leading industrial employers. Check out our job search for immediate job openings in your local area. Within just a few minutes, you can get matched with dozens of potential best-fit positions.

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