How to write a Resume and Cover Letter for the Construction Industry
If you are looking for work in the construction industry, it is important you prepare your resume and cover letter effectively.
Here are our tips to help get your application to the top of the pile.
Gone are the days of several pages of flowery words in your resume, today's employers want a resume that is brief and to the point. Construction resume writer Nicole Wren, from Resumes to Impress, suggests you aim for 2-3 pages in length, and suggests using the following sections:
1. Personal Details
State your contact details, including your full legal name, phone number and email address. Your home address is optional. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can include the URL here, too.
A brief summary of your skills as they relate to the construction industry is important. Consider skills like safety, teamwork and time management – all the qualities that make you effective in the construction industry.
3. Education / Qualifications
If you lack the tickets and qualifications needed to work in a particular role, an employer will be unlikely to even take a second glance at your resume. Qualifications like your White Card, machinery tickets and licences should be clearly listed.
4. Employment History / Achievements
Australian employers usually prefer the chronological resume format, with your most recent experience going at the top of the resume. Include the dates you worked in each role (month and year e.g., February 2020 – November 2022). Nicole says you should emphasise tasks relevant to the construction industry. For example, in what roles did you complete tasks which showed your commitment to safety? How have you been able to work effectively in a team? Use these to formulate a few 'key achievements' if possible. These are things you have done which go beyond your normal duties.
Include the names, job titles, companies and phone numbers of two people who can vouch for your work ethic. Ideally, these should be former managers or employers. Nicole says you should check with these people before you list them on your resume. "You need to check that they are happy to be listed on your resume, and that they will give you a good report. Referees can be the deciding factor when it comes to whether you get the job".
Your Cover Letter
Applicants often ask whether a cover letter is required. Nicole says that when applying for jobs online, it almost always is. While your resume is more about 'you', your cover letter is your opportunity to talk about why you are interested in the job you are applying for, and why you think you are a good candidate for it. Nicole says applicants who talk about their motivation for a role often stand out. She says: "Employers want to know that you are going to be motivated and a good fit for their business". Where possible, find the name of the person hiring for the role and address it to them.
Be sure to review your resume for spelling and grammar issues when you are finished (or ask a friend to do so).
With the right qualifications and a well-prepared resume and cover letter, that construction job will not be far away.
Need extra help for your Resume or Cover Letter? Nicole and her team specialise in construction Resume & Cover Letter writing in Brisbane. You can view their services here.
Applying for jobs
Now that you have a polished Resume and know how to catch a prospective employer's attention with your Cover Letter, the next step is to apply for jobs. Currently high in demand in Queensland is labouring on Solar Farms. We've written a detailed article on the subject here.