If you are looking for a construction job that matches your qualifications, you need to acquaint yourself with practical job search skills. With better skills, you can improve your odds of getting hired quickly.
Every month, there are thousands of job openings in the construction sector, rendering it a lucrative industry for construction workers. Quoting a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 263,000 jobs in the construction industry in June 2018. The report shows the construction sector’s capacity for job creation and employment.
In this guide, we explore the necessary construction job search skills that can help construction workers get employed fast. Since every employer will always ask for a resume, you’ll also get to learn the essential construction resume skills.
How to Get a Construction Job Fast
Here are the steps to follow when searching for the construction job you need.
1) Use the Construction Job Boards
When searching for construction jobs on the internet, it’s wise to use job boards that specialize in construction instead of generic job boards. Finding a construction job in a generalized job board is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It consumes too much time as you might get hundreds or thousands of responses in a single search.
Legit construction firms on the lookout for competent employees will often use job boards to hire workers with a mix of technical skills and site experiences. With construction-tailored job boards, your resume stands a better chance of getting noticed quickly by prospective employers, especially if you are a qualified job applicant.
Advantages of Using Construction Job Boards
Searching for a construction job in a niche job board that focuses on construction allows you to customize your search to get invaluable results. It saves you productive hours by filtering out irrelevant results. Some other advantages include:
- High-Quality Construction Jobs: Recruiters understand that savvy job seekers use niche job boards to search for construction jobs. They, therefore, post lucrative vacancies in such platforms to find workers with top-notch skills.
- Detailed Job Descriptions: When posting jobs on the boards, employers can use construction jargon to give better job descriptions. You will have a better idea of the skills and experience needed. Also, it will help you customize your resume.
- Reduced Chances of Losing Resumes: It’s no secret that generic job boards get thousands of entries daily. That makes it easier for job applicants to lose resumes. With niche job boards for construction, the chances of losing your resume will become low.
Examples of Construction Job Boards and Sites
These job sites and boards can help you secure relevant construction jobs. Although other popular platforms like LinkedIn provide listings for construction jobs, it can be quite tricky to narrow down the search results.
Here are some excellent examples.
2) Determine Your Construction Skills
When searching for a construction job, you need to note down your skills to help you find the right job position. There are various skills required for every construction task.
Some of the construction tasks in the industry include:
- Carpentry, masonry, drywall finishing, and painting
- Plumbing, electrical, wood framing, flooring, and concreting
- Demolitions, renovations, repairs, and building codes
- Sheet metal work, roofing, ironwork, and metal lathing
- Surveying, building site supervision, and drawings interpretation
Some of these tasks require many physical skills, while others need management or office skills. When making an application, you will need to inform your prospective employer of the experience you have, whether physical, office or management skills.
Gaining resourceful skills for construction jobs is preliminary to job hunting. To get skills of crucial relevance in construction, you need to enroll for training in a highly reputable institution. Notably, every construction project requires a unique set of skills.
To be a project engineer, you can start with a five-year degree course in any engineering discipline for construction. It can be either civil or mechanical engineering. For specialized projects such as wind energy projects, an electrical engineering degree can be the best starting point.
With a degree at hand, you can start building your profile by working as a volunteer or an intern at a construction firm. The experience you would gain is what will set you up for career advancement. As a project engineer, this article will help you gain experience.
3) Highlight Your Experience to the Selected Position
As you write a cover letter and resume for the position you are interested in, you need to tailor your skills and experience to match job requirements. The resume or cover letter should be easy to customize for every construction job you will apply for in the future.
In all construction job postings, there are usually skills and qualities commonly required. You should identify such skills or qualities and note them down in the spreadsheet. That will help you determine the top requirements for the desired position.
If applying for the construction project manager post, outline skills and past experiences for team-building and problem-solving. Also, highlight the projects you have successfully conducted despite risks. Mentioning the challenges you experienced and how you solved them will prove how good you are at handling project risks.
With a list of skills and qualities required for a specific position, you need to compare it with your experience. You’ll get ideas for writing catchy resumes. A good resume should highlight all your accomplishments in the construction sector.
Consider using construction resume examples to draft a quality resume.
4) Customize Your Application Documents
In this case, we look at how you can customize your resume and cover letter. After drafting a general cover letter and resume, it is always essential to update the documents when applying for any construction job.
A well-customized cover letter will make you stand out among many job applicants. When updating it, you should mention the company and position interested. Mention vital requirements listed in the job posting to make your cover letter more professional.
Your resume must also match the requirements of the position you want. If you have a lot of information to include in the resume, you should first consider the experiences unique to the job title. If you already have a standard resume, remember to edit it.
5) Prepare for the Interview
Now that you’ve applied for the construction job you want, you should start preparing for interviews. When a company schedules an interview for shortlisted applicants, you should begin by researching the company, including the services they offer.
Recruiters in a construction firm usually have concrete parameters for every job vacancy. If you are applying for the construction manager post, you must prepare enough evidence that proves your competencies in leadership and team building.
Nowadays, interviewers focus on questions that test your construction experience rather than knowledge. As you prepare for an experience-based interview, gather enough proof of your past engagements in construction projects.
For every vacancy you applied, find out the crucial aspects of that particular post.
If you applied for the construction superintendent post, expect scenario-based questions like:
- “How did you introduce effective alternatives to reduce project costs when the need arose in your previous project?”
- “Could you give examples of disputes that arose between workers in your previous project, and how you resolved each of them?”
- “Which strategies would you use to minimize costs if a construction project goes over budget?”
On the day of the interview, dress decently to create a good impression. Remember to show up before the official interview time. If you report late for the interview, the company may not consider you because they might assume you’ll also be reporting late for work.
After the interview, write and send a thank-you note to your interviewers. In the email, I appreciate the company for creating time to interview you. Use this chance to restate your interest in the job position and remind them of your key competencies.
In many cases, the interviewers would send you a feedback questionnaire. They will ask you about the experiences you had during the interview. Your feedback will help them avoid some costly mistakes that employers often make when hiring workers.
6) Consider Construction Apprenticeship
If you are a school leaver who doesn’t hold any construction degree, an apprenticeship would be the best place to start your career in the industry. You’ll get the necessary skills that construction recruiters often look for when hiring employees.
Most construction companies offer apprenticeship programs at different levels from intermediate, advanced, higher, to degree levels. Some of the popular apprenticeship skills you can gain include bricklaying, plastering, roofing, welding, site supervision, planning, surveying, and steelwork.
Apprenticeship programs in the construction industry are well-established to improve skills of ambitious employees venturing into the sector. Most construction recruiters value apprenticeships because they are aware you are committed to developing the skills they need.
Many professionals in construction started their careers as apprentices. If you genuinely desire to venture into this industry, failure to have a degree should not hold you back. An apprenticeship will help you gain valuable skills in your area of interest.
Securing a construction job can be quite challenging at times. But when you follow the six construction job search steps highlighted above, you stand a chance of getting the job you want.
If you don’t have the skills required in construction, consider learning through apprenticeship or enrolling in a construction trade school for training.