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5 ways to get the construction job you want with a better resume

Posted by Jim Fearon, Hays Canada Vice President, on Friday, Apr 28, 2017

Hays Blog: Build a better construction resumeThe construction industry is worth almost $74 billion to Canada and employs 1.2 million people – that’s a growth of more than 50 per cent since 2008 according to Statistics Canada. And as investment grows so does the workforce. According to statistics from the Canadian Construction Association, the workforce has increased more than 36 percent since 2005. The industry is continuing to grow, and the continuing skills shortage means lots of opportunities for you.

It’s great to be in a market where you’re in demand, but that doesn’t mean that you can sit back and wait for the opportunities to come to you. Do you know what your ideal career path is? How do you plan to get there?

The first step is to get the right kind of attention from employers and hiring managers with a stand out resume.

Employers can’t find the mid-level and senior managers they need. This is an opportunity for you to accelerate your career growth, but it will require proactive work from you. Invest in professional development, find a mentor, and seek stretch assignments to prove you’ve got what it takes to step into leadership. Not sure where to start? Talk to your association experts, or ask your recruiter what specific skills employers in your sector are looking for.

1. Include an impressive personal statement:
A personal statement at the beginning of your resume is your chance to highlight skills, technical abilities, competencies and key achievements relevant to the job description.
When writing a technical resume, particularly within construction, it’s always best to add in specific project experience and include details such as the size of a project and your responsibilities.
By mentioning key achievements, valuable accreditations and relevant projects you have worked on, you will avoid clichés in your personal statement, setting you apart from other candidates.

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2. Make your abilities clear throughout:
It is crucial for employers that you demonstrate a balance of the qualifications and experience which could improve their company. Emphasize your contributions to whole projects, rather than just your personal tasks.
If you have a specific skillset, as an electrical engineer or quantity surveyor for example, give a detailed list of your professional qualifications, registrations and accreditations as well as your key areas of expertise.
Let these ensure your compliance; rely on your aptitudes and experience to sell you as a potential employee.

3. Detail your experience, and how you’ve developed:
When detailing your experience, establish what skills or personal development you have gained from each position.
Write a short summary of each role and your responsibilities, and make sure you can explain all gaps in your employment history as these tend to set off alarm bells with employers.
You needn’t do this on a resume, but expect to be questioned and have responses ready, if possible, explain how any time-off benefited you as a person or a building services professional.
While you don’t have to include reasons for leaving a job, you may also be asked about this at interview.

4. Tailor your resume to the role:
Your resume needs be immediately appealing to the employer, it’s worth customizing it to highlight areas of your skills or experience most beneficial to the role you’re applying for.
Your resume should not seem generic, but carefully considered. This way, your enthusiasm and desire for the role will be clear to any hiring managers or recruiters. Do some research and tailor your resume to the company and building services role you are applying for.
This doesn’t need to be too dramatic, but needs to be specific enough to give you an edge over the competition. For instance, if applying for a position within a small boutique consultancy, highlight any experience you’ve had working in boutiques or small companies, and the lessons you took away from it.

5. Polish, edit, double and triple check:
Pay attention to detail and ensure there are no mistakes. Spelling and grammatical errors can severely damage your chances next to a properly proofed resume.
Two pages in length is typical, but don’t squash your content, it must be easy to read. If you have too much text to comfortably fit two pages, don’t be afraid to edit.
Focus should always be on experience and your chartered status, professional accreditations and technical capabilities.

As a final note, make sure any online presence you have, LinkedIn pages, websites, professional profiles, are all up to date and complimentary.
These will be included in the standard background checks for most businesses so it’s important to make sure they present you in the best possible light.

If you have more questions about crafting a resume or want help finding a new position in building services or wider construction and property, contact your local Hays office.


Talk to Jim Fearon, Vice President, Hays Canada, on the Canadian construction labour market.

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