How to Write a Resume for a Construction Worker Position

By My Perfect Resume

If there is one field you are almost guaranteed to find a job in today, it's construction. Why? Because the industry is hungry for laborers. Business is booming and there's more than enough work to go around, but despite this, contractors are struggling along in the face of a major national talent shortage. For various reasons, including the impact that the recession had on the workforce a decade ago, they simply cannot find staff to build the structures that need building.

Naturally, this is bad news for the market, but it's good news for anyone who's looking to break into a new field, or who's fresh out of high school and unsure of where to take their career. After all, as you don't need to attend college to get into construction, it's an ideal option for individuals who aren't so keen on spending years studying for a degree and would prefer to jump into the working world now. 

Of course, if you're going to start looking for a role in the construction industry, you'll need to develop appropriate job search material, starting with a resume. While this key document should be tailored to fit each role you apply for, it also needs to include certain fundamentals. To make sure you cover the basics, we recommend using an online resume builder. Otherwise, follow the guidance below to craft a targeted resume for a construction worker position that'll get you hired.

Choose your format wisely

If you don't have a formal college education and your work experience is limited, it's best to use a resume structure that emphasizes your skills and downplays your career chronology. A combination resume is ideal for this purpose - it profiles your abilities and technical expertise first, before detailing your work history. What matters most in the world of construction is what you're capable of, so you want this to be clear to hiring managers from the get-go.

Indicate your areas of expertise in a summary statement

The summary statement at the top of your resume gives you an opportunity to sell yourself and your strengths in a few short sentences. To do this effectively, it's best not to position yourself as a jack of all trades, but rather to explicitly lay out your focus areas in the field. State clearly whether you specialize in residential or commercial construction, whether you mainly do installations or repairs, and whether you're first and foremost a carpenter, roofer, ironworker, or equipment operator (for example). You can then use the rest of your resume to back up how you excel in these specific trades.

Get down to the details in your skills section

When crafting a resume for a construction worker position, the goal is to give prospective employers as detailed an idea of your abilities as possible. So, when you're filling in your key skills section, avoid making broad statements or using vague terminology. Instead, get specific about the kind of materials you're comfortable working with, the types of tools and equipment you can handle, and the depth of your understanding of blueprint plans and conventions. Safety is also of the utmost importance in the construction industry, so remember to spell out your knowledge of safety procedures and regulations here, too.

Don't leave off your soft skills

Although construction work is a very technical field, it's dangerous to assume that employers are only interested in your hard skills. There are a number of soft (interpersonal) skills that are highly valued in the industry, too - the ability to communicate effectively, work well as part of a team, manage your time efficiently, and speak more than one language (especially English and Spanish) are a few examples. So, if you possess these competencies, be sure to make this clear by calling them out in their own sub-section.

No formal work history to speak of? Leverage your informal experience 

So you've never held an official job in construction. That doesn't necessarily mean you don't have anything to list in the work experience section of your resume for a construction worker position. Maybe you've done volunteer work or completed an apprenticeship, or perhaps you helped a friend to renovate their home - these are all worth including. What's most important is to highlight what you accomplished and learned through such experiences - future employers will just want to know that you possess the required skills; they'll be less concerned with where they came from. If you do have an employment history in the industry, remember to contextualize each job you've held with as much detail as possible: include the company name, the site location, the type of structure built, and the scope of work done.

Use figures and strong action verbs

You ideally want your resume for a construction worker position to stand out in the minds of those who read it. A good way to achieve this objective is to use numbers to quantify your experience and abilities. You could, for instance, state the size of the facilities you were assigned to, the monetary value of the projects you completed, and the weight of materials you're capable of lifting. When possible, your accomplishments should also be expressed in figures - if you, for example, helped to reduce time spent on an assignment or improve overall quality of work by a measurable percentage, you should definitely include these statistics. Similarly, you can also make your resume more memorable by using a good spread of strong, highly descriptive action verbs, like 'hoisted,' 'installed,' and 'disassembled.'

Highlight relevant training and certifications

You might not feel the need to include a traditional education section in your resume for a construction worker position, but you should still ideally dedicate space to applicable training. List courses you've completed (even if they were just part of your high school curriculum), seminars you've attended, and licenses you've acquired. If you haven't earned any industry-recognized credentials yet, it would be worthwhile looking into an OSHA and/or NCCER certification. Just avoid using jargon when you describe your training - even laymen should be able to read and understand your resume.

Write for both ATSs and humans

Before your resume for a construction worker position is inspected by a human, it will most likely be screened by an applicant tracking system (ATS) that's been instructed to search for specific industry-related keywords. It goes without saying, then, that if you want your application to land at the top of the pile, you need to make use of the phrases that employers have earmarked as being of importance. To get this right, it's best to echo the wording used in job ads exactly. For example, if a posting uses terminology like 'site maintenance,' 'materials handling,' and 'surface preparation,' you should find a way to sprinkle these keywords throughout your resume (if they apply to you), too.

Easily build a resume for a new job using My Perfect Resume's free resume builder. You can also consider working from one of our resume templates or resume samples, all of which take the guesswork out of resume writing! 

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