• Jennifer Warren
  • Friday, March 1, 2019
Blog Image - CVs for Tradespeople: Five Steps for Success

If you’re looking to land your next contract, you may be taken aback by the apparent unimportance of your experience, skills, and reputation. This doesn’t mean you aren’t equipped for the role. It just shows that you need to improve your CV to better market yourself.

Whether you’re writing one for the first time or are simply updating an outdated version, here are five tips to ensure that your CV reflects your potential:

Showcase Your Primary Skills

Now, bullet point them front and centre in your CV, so that the person reading it can quickly assess whether your qualifications match up with what their needs.

Highlight Achievements, Not Responsibilities

It’s easy to end up writing basic descriptions of the positions you’ve held in the past. Try to imagine that you’re talking to a potential client, face-to-face. Don’t tell them that you work in construction and have that be the gist your pitch. Instead, talk about your perfect track record of completing projects on deadline, your high-profile customer who gave you an impressive review, and the amount of money you saved your last company by eliminating inefficiencies. If you’re used to letting the quality of your work speak for you, this may be uncomfortable at first--but remember that this is the equivalent of showcasing your work on paper.

Keep It Clear, Concise, and Uncomplicated

Throughout your CV, keep your sentences short and use strong action verbs to describe your skills and achievements. Powerful word choices such as “managed,” “negotiated,” and “initiated” present you as a competent candidate. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one who’s used to traditional hiring methods--this evaluator, foreman, or CEO probably wishes that they could eliminate this paperwork as well. They’ll appreciate it when you outline your work history, qualifications, and achievements in simple terms, bullet points, and clear English.

Consolidate Your Work History

Most tradespeople find it arduous to compile an easy-to-read chronological history since they’ve subcontracted their skills for different companies and clients at overlapping times. To solve this headache, feature the companies that you’ve worked for most recently, and list off the contracts you’ve held with them underneath. Four to five positions will keep the list concise while proving your value. If you work for yourself, simply list your job history underneath a freelance category.

Feature Your Certificates

You know that quality work requires in-depth knowledge of your craft. Thus, certificates and required trade cards speak volumes on your CV, as they prove your expertise more than any formal schooling. Emphasise competency in a specific area under your “Professional Development” heading, whether it be carpentry or contract management.

Although writing a CV for the trades may seem optional, taking the time to present a quality portfolio pays off. Want to clinch that next contract? Put together a concise and detailed list of your skills and achievements, use our five tips for success...and voila!

You’ll be a candidate who stands out.