construction worker holding resume

What does it take to build a successful trades resume?

How do you build an effective resume for trades jobs? Here are some tips we hope will make your resume stand out and help you land a great job.

Do you know how to create an exceptional resume for trades jobs? 

What do you do when you’re building your resume for trades jobs, and you’re new to the field? 

If writing isn’t your strong suit, it might seem daunting to try to sit down and compile your trade experience into one or two pages. 

But if you are intimidated, don’t worry! There are plenty of people who want to help you land a great skilled trades job. 

Here are some resume writing tips we hope will help you on your job search! 


Do you even need a resume for skilled trades?

If you have a recent certification like a Red Seal in a certain trade, you may already be in high demand and even have recruiters approach you. 

In addition, you know there are websites like LinkedIn where you can display your skills and certifications, and employers can find you. 

But despite this, employers still want to see a resume for trades. 

It’s also a good exercise for you to review and summarize your key skills and attributes and keep this updated in a single well-designed document. 

It might seem like a pain, but truthfully you will be happy you have it. Make sure you keep it updated as you move through your job and career search. 

This skilled trades resume could be what gets you this next job, so don’t skip this step. 

Are you looking for a job in the skilled trades? Check out our job search board!  


Don’t Skip the Soft Skills

If you are a skilled tradesperson, chances are you’ll have no trouble elaborating on details to do with your training and expertise in your specialized field. 

But if you’re new to the job world, what else can you add to your resume to make it stand out? 

Take a few minutes to brainstorm your past experiences. If you’re stuck, consider asking a classmate, teacher, friend, or family member to give you some feedback on what they see as some of your best personality traits, and then think about how you apply those in day-to-day life. 

Besides certifications and hard skills, take a good hard look at other examples you’ve used your incredible skills in various scenarios in your life. 

In your resume for trades, you could:  

  • Talk about how you demonstrated leadership skills in a group project 
  • Discuss some skills you used during an apprenticeship or volunteer position 
  • Consider skills used in your approach to problem-solving 
  • Discuss how you apply critical thinking or technical skills 

Almost all employers are looking for skills to do with leadership, teamwork, communication, and critical thinking, so be sure to have these highlighted on your resume no matter what.

Remember that many employers, superintendents or foremen are busy and any “leadership” skills that you can offer, will quickly position you as a valuable asset to the company.


Use Keywords that Apply to Your Sector

Applicant tracking systems are the norm these days for recruiters and employers. This means that to “show up” in a search, you’ll need to have some key terms on your resume.

Most likely, your key terms will already be in there.

The language you use on your resume matters for you to get noticed because these automated systems scan for keywords. 

If you aren’t sure what keywords to use, simply look at the ones listed in a given job description. 

Be sure to include keywords related to: 

  • Schools
  • Certification
  • Licensing
  • Relevant trade associations 
  • Apprenticeships
  • Co-op programs 

Consider including certifications at the very top of your resume for trades in the summary section.


Designing Your Resume for Trades 

You may have heard before that you need to keep your resume to a single page, and it’s true: one to two pages is still the norm.

Beyond that, it’s best to keep it well-organized and clear. You don’t need to do anything fancy—using a simple Word template is fine.

Consider using a special header section to summarize your skills in a few sentences. This is a short statement that covers your professional achievements right up top. Make sure it matches with the job description for the job you are applying for. 

Make sure your header and summary are eye-catching and that your contact information is clear and up-to-date. If you have your own website, include that there as well. 

Here’s an example of a three-sentence summary: 

“I am a Red Seal Electrician with extensive experience installing, troubleshooting, and servicing electrical controls. Apprenticeship experience with (X company). I am a skilled leader who thrives in a busy environment and loves to tackle complex problems.”

If you feel you don’t have much information to add to your resume for trades, don’t add extra information just to fill up the space. For instance, a section devoted to hobbies is unnecessary. 

However, don’t neglect to mention hobbies that are actual hands-on experiences. (You could list this under “other experience” or “informal training.”) 

For instance, if you’ve been helping your dad fix cars for years and you’ve just recently gotten your certification in mechanics, this will likely be of interest to employers. It suggests a genuine interest and depth of skill that others may not have. 


Find Your Dream Job Today 

Today, innovative companies are making it easier than ever to get connected to employers.

If you are passionate about what you’re doing and interested in the work, you should have no trouble landing an interview. But a solid resume is the first step to catching the eye of your dream employer. 

If you want more information about trades jobs in Canada, we’re happy to help. Contact us today for more information. 

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