How To Write A CV For Tradespeople

People from various tradesA few years ago it was unheard of that a tradesperson would need a CV, getting by on reputation and skill alone, that and the sheer demand for qualified employees within the construction industry!!! Nowadays – ALL CHANGE. So if you are a tradesperson and you are writing your first ever CV, below are some handy tips.

The general format to a standard CV will remain the same. Writing a concise profile about yourself and fitting in clear objectives about what you are looking to achieve will pay dividends. Remembering your audience is still, in the main, the old school construction foreman who has been pushed kicking and screaming into Human Resource HELL, with mountains of forms and regulations. So keeping it brief and to the point is all that is needed.

Your areas of expertise, is an opportunity to showcase your qualifications, or “tickets”. It is also the place to bullet point your primary skills.

Within the body of your CV, it’s important to not get sucked in to writing your job description or a generic list of your responsibilities, instead focus on your accomplishments, what did you achieve, how did you add value? Think cost savings, time efficiency, deadlines, and objectives, basically anything that will distinguish you from your competition. Blowing your own trumpet isn’t something you will be used to, but if you can put yourself in that frame of mind and use compelling but simple English, it will help. Try, to avoid over complicating sentences, in case they are miss-interpreted.

In many cases, tradespeople have a complicated chronological order of jobs they have completed, putting each individual contract on, could take up pages and pages. It’s best to highlight your most recent companies you have worked for and accumulate the contracts underneath, highlighting achievements across the board. 4 or 5 positions are sufficient. If you are self-employed, your career history can be bullet pointed under a freelance heading.

Finally, in many cases, it is not uncommon for there not to be a long history of academic achievement, if this is the case, don’t worry, you will have copious certificates that can all be put under the professional development heading. Try to include some formal education, even if it wasn’t completed.

Accompany your CV with a cover letter that portrays some soft skills and add in additional secondary responsibilities such as managing staff etc. and you should be good to go.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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