Recently I worked with a top construction superintendent. He had worked on dozens of top projects across multiple industries for many years with an excellent track record. But he had been sending his resume to top recruiters and top construction firms for 6 months with NO results. I crafted a visually appealing resume for him that targeted the kind of size/scope of position he wanted to focus on (see the actual commercial construction professional resume sample here) and long story short, within 7 days of distributing his new resume he had 4 interviews with top construction companies and an offer was already on the table at double his previous salary. That is 100% pay raise, and that is why professionals hire experienced, certified resume writers. The “career” ROI is often phenomenal.
You pay to earn project management certifications and construction degrees and give your all with years of “on the job training”. The above story is a perfect example of why you should not overlook that equally important is mastering the art of communicating why someone should hire you.
Are you wondering what I did to this construction superintendent’s resume that resulted in grabbing the attention of the same key decision makers that had let his original resume slip by them just a few months prior? Here are some key steps I took that you can use too (and by the way – these tips are applicable no matter if you are writing a senior/executive construction resume, mid-level management construction resume or entry-level/new grad construction resume):
- I focused his resume. The top keywords and opening statement of your resume need to be clearly defined and targeted to what you want. The opening statement should be no more than 4 to 5 lines deep. Your goal is to give your reader a framework of perspective about you that aligns with your career focus. Let’s say you are a PM targeting large construction projects. Your keyword at the top of your resume might include:
Project management | Hospital & Healthcare | Projects to $200 Million
- I wrote to his ideal position. find a couple positions that represent your “ideal job”. Highlight all the keywords and phrases in those positions that match and resonate with you. Now make sure those keywords are integrated into the top first page of your resume. I call this the mirroring technique. It is extremely effective.
- I told his story. In his career history section I began by listing the company name, something positive about the company including their general size and scope and why they hired him. Then I added a couple short stories of issues this superintended overcame which ended up making the companies he worked for more money in the form of more project work from happy clients. I topped this off by including call out boxes of selected projects for each company, highlighting that he had brought those projects in on time and within budget.
If you want or need to write your resume yourself – understanding these marketing elements is going to help you tremendously not only understand your own real and perceived value but will greatly help communicate your focus, strengths, achievements and branding to potential employers to quickly get their interest, beat your competition and ultimately land more interview and offers for positions within companies you truly want.