Construction careers have been hit hard by this recession, which makes applying for a new job - or applying for a better job - that much more daunting. For those seeking construction employment, there has never been a better time to get creative, think outside the box, and invent a way to stand out. Sometimes off-the-wall strategies are the best way to gain a potential employer's attention.
In the current construction market, there can be hundreds - if not thousands - of applicants vying for the same position. While this might be intimidating, it also provides a way for an applicant to get a foot in the door using non-traditional methods. Having an application that stands out is a great way for employers to keep an applicant in the "Prospective" file and lets them know s/he is serious about his/her construction employment.
So how can construction applicants make sure their information stands out?
1) Make Your Construction Resume "Stick"
One can only imagine what it's like to be the person sitting at a desk, thumbing through online and paper resumes, trying to sift through the "keepers" and the "stinkers". One way to break through the haze is to make sure that an application and/or resume is different than the majority. When the belt has been cinched a little tighter and the bank account is non-existent, it can seem like a DIY resume is the way to go. Unfortunately, the template resumes provided by computer programs all start to look the same to a potential employer.
For $100 or less, job hunters can have a resume created by a professional who knows exactly what they are doing. Fancy-schmancy graphics, pictures of completed construction projects, or photos of an applicant caught in previous on-the-job action can all work towards new construction employment opportunities. Local unemployment offices often offer free resume services, which take an individual's employment history/experience and word it in a way that captivates a reader's attention.
If a little extra money is spent for a professionally created resume, it should be considered an investment towards a creative, colorful, and engaging resume that will allow a potential employee to stand out in the crowd.
2. Use Social Media Wisely To Gain Construction Employment
Have a Facebook account? Is it presentable? Would you want a future employer to see what's posted? These are things to think about for those who work in construction and are interested in a job. Any online profiles need to be professional enough to impress a future employer. Odds are that s/he will be looking online to investigate potential construction employees. Any illicit pictures, friends who might post inappropriate comments/pictures, etc. should be blocked, hidden, deleted, and/or cleaned up. Once public profiles are worthy of an employer's visit, construction workers need to begin using them to look for work. DO get some shots of you helping out at a Habitat for Humanity event or some other charitable work you can do doing your down time.
Heard of LinkedIn? A profile on LinkedIn is a must for the business world. Once profile and resume information have been added, job-hunters can begin networking by linking to other social media profiles and online job boards. Potential employees should always visit the public profiles of any business they are interested in working for. Following the twitter feeds, blog posts, and general website content can provide valuable information. This info can be used later to impress construction employers during an interview.
The more connected an applicant is, the better chance s/he has of nailing that perfect job (pun intended!).
3. Use Unemployment Time To Get Ultra-Creative
It's all about standing out in the field when a person is applying for a job that a good deal of other people are interested in too. When the social media tools have been tapped, the creative resumes are going nowhere, and it seems like there is no hope in sight, it might be time for construction applicants to take it to the next level and really wow the employers.
What about building a simple birdhouse with a resume tucked inside? A golden hammer with a resume tied around the handle boasting, "If you hire me, I'll be worth my weight in gold!", or an application neatly folded into an empty construction-oriented container - such as a nail box - can work wonders. This kind of approach not only ensures an application and resume will stand out, it also shows a person in charge of hiring that the applicant is human, original, and creative - all great assets in construction careers.
The key to landing the perfect construction job is persistence and creativity. These on- and off-the-wall strategies can help create a well-rounded plan towards construction employment. Once construction applicants have honed a creative method to use when applying for jobs, it is only a matter of time until construction employment is on the horizon.