Is preparing a resume for a blue-collar job a good idea? The question itself explains why the answer is “absolutely.”
Today’s job market is so competitive that you gain an advantage when you stand out from the crowd. And since so many people think resumes are only appropriate in the white-collar world, submitting a well-written resume for a blue-collar job will automatically ensure that your application is noticed.
Having a resume is just the first step, though. There are some surefire ways that blue-collar resumes can really stick out. Read on.
Look Serious With A “Real” Resume
At first glance, the usual template for a resume seems unsuited for blue-collar workers. Objective? Education? What do you put down when your objective is simply to get a good, stable job and you don’t have any degrees to brag about? Shouldn’t you use a different format?
Not really. Think about who’s going to be reading your resume. There’s a good chance it will be a human resources professional or manager who also hires lots of white-collar workers. They’ll expect to be able to find important, relevant information on your resume quickly, in the format they’re accustomed to seeing. It’s not up to them to figure out your resume. It’s up to you to create one they’ll find useful.
There’s an added benefit: submitting a standard resume makes you look serious and organized. You’ll immediately earn respect and set yourself above the field.
Before we get to specifics, however, one crucial warning: be brief, to the point, be sure to check your spelling and grammar – and then have someone else check it. You don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons.
What Should I Say?
There should be three major sections on your resume, after you list your name and contact information.
- Objective: Consider what the employer is looking for, and use this section to “sell” yourself in a brief sentence that matches your abilities to their needs. For example: “Responsible position as a plumber, with a company that places a premium on quality work and customer service” will resonate with a plumbing firm that emphasizes those attributes in their advertising. An objective of “Plumber, 40 hours per week” won’t impress anyone. If you can’t figure out what to list as your objective, leave it out.
- Work History: Don’t just list employers and dates. After the name of each company, briefly detail the skills you used and your accomplishments at each job. You can list the equipment you operated, your licenses or certifications, special training, awards or safety records, the number of employees you were called on to supervise or train, even perfect attendance if it’s relevant – anything that will make you stand out, and more importantly, anything that will match what the hiring company is looking for.
- Education: This section isn’t just for high school diplomas, GEDs and college degrees. If you’ve had special vocational training, continuing education courses, employer-supplied training or anything similar, be sure to include it. Employers love employees who learn new skills and are trying to better themselves or qualify for higher positions.
We know this is repetitive, but all of this should be brief. Your resume should be no longer than one page and easy to read. But rest assured – having a resume will make you stick out when applying for a blue-collar job. Having a great resume may move you right to the top of the list.