Whether candidates are just starting out in a career in construction or have a number of years of experience, it’s always useful to keep a few things in mind when looking to apply for a new role.
No matter how experienced an applicant may be, it will always help to keep an industry-relevant CV up to date. If it only gets brushed up when needed, it can be hard to remember all the important experience or responsibilities that have occurred since the last update.
It’s worth making a note on a CV whenever a promotion comes up, new skills are learnt or responsibilities increased, to make sure nothing relevant is left out. It can always be pared down a bit when it actually comes to crafting a version to send off to employers, but it will make it much easier to remember key points of interest and dates.
Remember to add non-work elements that also demonstrate key attributes, such as sports team leadership or volunteering roles that show self-motivation and commitment.
Our construction, property and engineering recruiters outline their top CV tips here:
Narrow down the roles of interest.
Of course, the “construction industry” is a wide and varied one, so potential applicants need to think clearly about which sectors appeal. For example, some may be looking for labouring roles, perhaps working their way up to site foreman over time, and others will want to target project or facilities management within the construction industry.
Those with relevant engineering qualifications may wish to go into building services engineering or planning, or structural engineering. All applicants should ensure they have a good understanding of what the different roles entail, and which position would suit them the best.
If not sure, applicants should ask one of the experts within a specialist recruitment agency - it’s their job to make sure candidates and potential employers are well suited, after all. Ask them to cast an impartial eye over a CV or application form, too; another pair of eyes may well spot something that’s been missed, and should be able to help tailor the content for the specific construction role targeted.
Consider an apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship can give a direct route into specialist careers.
For school leavers wanting to break into construction, CVs will obviously be fairly sparse, so younger applicants need to make sure CVs emphasise all the important skills construction employers look for that can be transferred from education or volunteer roles; for example, good communication, team work, good time management and the ability to learn new skills efficiently. Apprenticeships in various construction sectors such as civil engineering are a well-established route into the industry for school leavers, and offer support and career development opportunities.
Many prospective employers will be looking for ambitious employees who are aiming to improve their skills and move onward and upwards over time. Recent graduates should look for companies that promote their graduate schemes, as these will be designed to help new employees learn and make progress quickly.
Good career progression will often require gaining additional qualifications, so always promote a willingness to do this. Thinking not only about this job, but about what comes after that, will promote the impression of an ambitious, valuable potential employee.
If you’re looking for more in-depth interview advice, take a look at our short video guide below.