Gone are the days when reputation would be enough to secure job security and mobility. Nowadays, industries like transportation, logistics and manufacturing are far more competitive. For candidates to stand out from a similarly qualified crowd, they need a stellar CV that’s been personalised for the job at hand. Here, we highlight the importance of an up to date CV and provide a guide for positioning yourself ahead of other candidates.
Why do I need a Blue Collar CV?
You may be surprised to see the “upload resume” button at the end of a time-consuming online job application. Surely they have all the information they need to know, right? The fact is your CV is the first time you clearly present yourself to your new employer. In the application you respond to prompts and tick boxes whereas in your CV, you communicate directly about who you are, why you are the best man or woman for the job and you do it with your own written voice. Furthermore, your CV allows you to demonstrate accomplishments and skills both hard and soft that might not have been highlighted by the online application. Finally, employers like reassurance. A CV that supports and builds on your application shows that you are consistent, believable and hungry for the job.
How do I Compile a Stellar CV for Blue-Collar industries?
ONE: Include key words/phrases from the job description.
Why? Because companies sometimes use computers to complete the very initial screening, and the bots scan for key words. Key words are meaty, and often located in the ‘key responsibilities’ section of a job description. They are the words that tell you, you can do this job. They might include: computer literacy, LF forklift license, order picking experience, or communication skills. With each job, the key words will be slightly different, so it is worth tailoring your CV to ensure a robot doesn’t rule you out.
TWO: Start Strong because first impressions count.
When CVs finally reach employers they can’t read each one thoroughly. Be clear about who you are and what you are looking for in the first sentence of your CV. Furthermore, make sure your professional certifications are easy to spot.
THREE: Keep it Professional.
This doesn’t only include the language and layout. This includes the email address you provide. Employers will be turned off by addresses like musclemaster@X.com or Bretsawesome@X.com. So get a professional email address specifically for work. Ideally the address will be name@X.com.
FOUR: Highlight Skills and achievements via your employment history.
A common mistake is to simply list previous responsibilities. Instead, list your accomplishments. Look at the two examples:
- I was responsible for ensuring all products on my line met quality standards (Responsibility).
- I ensured all products on my line met quality standards (achievement)
FIVE: Don’t repeat Information.
No one likes to read the same information over and over. It implies you think the reader is stupid and it’s boring. Furthermore, condense bitty information. For example, if you have had a lot of similar roles explain your achievements in one section and then list your employment history in bullet points. If you’ve had lots of short-term roles with one temping agency, for example, list the temping agency as the employer and list the jobs in one section.
Once you have written your CV read it for mistakes in grammar, spelling and formatting. Then ask a friend or family member to proofread it as well. We don’t always notice our own mistakes. The best writers in the world get their work checked by others. Do the same.