Resumes for Skilled Trades People, Technicians, and Factory Workers
In this article, you will find resume tips for hands-on working people, including:
- Security Systems Installer
- Industrial Maintenance Electrician
- Truck Driver / Equipment Operator
- Boiler Operator / Stationary Engineer
- HVAC Technician
- Heavy Equipment Mechanic
- Auto Body Shop Manager
If you make your living working with your hands and don't work in an office all day, sitting in front of a computer to write your resume may not be something that comes easily to you. If you've been around for a few years, you probably remember when you didn't need a resume for these types of jobs. Times have changed, and even technicians, skilled trades people, and construction workers need to present themselves to employers with a well-written resume. If you work in one of these fields, there are several key things to remember as you prepare your resume and cover letters. Here are just a few tips that you may find helpful:
- Document your training and knowledge. If you're a technical person, you've probably attended a number of training schools for installing and/or repairing various models and brands of equipment. Identify those that will really matter to a prospective employer and make sure they're included on your resume under “technical training” or some other appropriate heading.
- Recognize what your accomplishments are and be sure to include them on your resume and in cover letters. Many workers in these types of positions don't believe that they have any accomplishments—they just show up for work and do a great job, working hard every day. But if you make a suggestion that saves time or improves quality, that's an accomplishment. If you are singled out as someone who's great at teaching the new kid the ropes, or training coworkers more formally in new job skills, these are accomplishments. Did you complete your apprenticeship in three years instead of four? Any of these things can be included on your resume as an accomplishment, or highlighted in a cover letter if they are particularly relevant to the targeted job.
- Show your range of experience. If you're an electrician, do you install network and telephone cables as well as 110-volt and 220-volt service? Do you operate a bulldozer and also drive over-the-road trucks? Are you a plumber who works with pneumatics and hydraulics as well as water and sewer lines? In each case, you want to include this information on your resume, most likely in your summary or technical skills section.
- Highlight any technical skills that set you apart from the crowd. Do you use wireless technology to track inventory in a warehouse? Are you competent with state-of-the-art test equipment? Have you been trained to install or repair equipment that's new to the market? Do you use CAD/CAM software to create drawings? Any of these things can distinguish you from the dozens of other job applicants you might be competing against, and including them on your resume may give you an edge.
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