General laborers truly make things happen. Specifically, they are the ones who make construction work move forward, help keep our roads intact, and assist other members of the construction work team with an array of chores.
If you plan to work as a general laborer, you deserve a job that pays well, offers great benefits, and keeps you safe. But to get the job you need, you have to have a great resume.
Want to know a secret? You don’t have to be a stellar writer to craft a compelling resume for a job. All you have to do is know the several guiding principles for formatting and curating information on your document. This post will show you how it’s done.
Create a List of Skills and Certifications
Remember that you are using your resume as a tool to sell yourself. Don’t start until you have some good notes. Make a list of all of your relevant hand skills, certifications, union memberships, etc. Then, as you write a customized resume for each job, you can emphasize the things that are the most important.
Sample general laborer skills for a resume:
- Hand tools and power tools
- Concrete work
- Plastic injection work
- Foundation preparation
- Material loading and unloading
- Truck driving
- Forklift operations
- Safety protocols
Choose Your Resume Format Based on Your Experience
There are two basic resume formats:
- Functional resumes
Each one is great for general laborers. And you should choose the one that works best for you. As a general rule, use the chronological resume when you have continuous employment in your field.
If you are less experienced or had an array of contract-based gigs, use the functional resume.
The difference between the two is that your chronological resume is written in reverse order chronologically. It shows your progression and accomplishments throughout your career.
A functional resume list is built around your skills and emphasizes your capabilities, acquired at different times and projects.
Don’t Forget to Detail Your Soft Skills
A successful laborer must be able to communicate with others, do basic math, use various tools and machinery without much training, and deal effectively with disagreement. It isn’t enough to have construction skills and physical strength. You have to have good soft skills too. This includes communications, teamwork, and conflict management.
Widen Your Job Search
You can write a great resume, but where will you send it? Are you finding that there isn’t much in your local job listings? Don’t worry. These jobs are often posted elsewhere. Widen your search to include the following:
- Your local unemployment office
- The jobs or workforce center at your local community college
- Labor union halls
- Construction company websites
The city or county that you live in may have a jobs training center or a recruitment agency that will help you apply for jobs and connect you with potential employers.
Edit Out Irrelevant Items
Should you include your high school in the education section of your resume? What about part-time jobs you’ve had, or work that isn’t related to being a general laborer? The answer is probably not.
If you are younger or inexperienced, you want your resume to reflect all the education and experience you have. In that case, leave those jobs and that educational history in place. On the other hand, if you have many years of experience, you might consider leaving that off. Instead, focus on the items that are relevant. In any case, your resume should not exceed one page.
Resume Example for General Laborer (Word version)
Download resume example (.docx)
General Labor Resume Sample (text version)
General laborer with more than seven years of experience in commercial and residential construction seeking a position as a journeyman laborer with a union-friendly company. Eager to move into a leadership position.
General Laborer – Journeyman
2018 – Present
Performed a range of tasks to assist in the construction of custom-built homes, apartment buildings, and cabins. Work included:
- Cutting and milling wood to specification
- Unloading lumber, drywall, and other materials from delivery trucks.
- Reconciling materials against shipping receipts.
- Verifying the quality of items delivered.
- Assisting carpenters with tasks such as setting trusses and digging piers.
- Maintaining tools and equipment inventory
Mayer-Thompson Development Group
General Laborer/Modular Building Fabricator – Journeyman
2014 – 2018
Worked in a facility fabricating modular building parts that were used to construct a variety of warehouses, government buildings, and other commercial structures. Duties included:
- Framing interior and exterior walls
- Moving finished materials onto delivery trucks
- Ensuring work areas were clean
- Providing cutouts for electricity and plumbing
County Line Roofing
2012 – 2013
General Laborer – Apprentice
Assisted roofers and carpenters with framing, shingling, tuckpointing, and other tasks related to roofing and exterior remodeling.
International Brotherhood of Construction Laborers And Operating Engineers
General Laborer Accelerated Journeyman Program
General Laborer Apprenticeship Training And Development Program
West County Technical High School
High School Diploma
Certificate in Construction and Maintenance Trades
Final Thoughts: Write a Great Summary or Objective
Every resume should start off with a well-written objective statement or professional summary. Which one should you choose? That really depends. If you have some experience, then a professional summary is a better choice. Basically, you write down what you bring to the workplace as an experienced laborer.
Are you entry level? Then a resume objective is best. You will use it to describe the position you want, some positive attributes you have, and your aspirations.