What Should You Put on Your Resume If You Work in Construction or Engineering?

Walker Brown

What to Include on Your Resume If You Work in the Construction, Engineering, or Environmental Fields.

When working in the construction, engineering, or environmental industries, the most difficult part of a job search is often not the application or even the interview, but knowing what to put on your resume.

Resumes, on the other hand, remain the cornerstone of your job search, particularly if you work in construction, engineering, or the environment. They give your potential future employer a glimpse of your life’s work, your skills, projects you’ve worked on and achievements, and even a little bit of your personality.

A resume can set you apart from all of the highly qualified and trained individuals competing for the same position in highly specialized or skilled fields. Here are a few things to think about.

Keywords In the age of the search engine and the algorithm, employers are increasingly relying on computers to weed out undesirable candidates based on keywords used (or not used). When writing your resume, keep your previous experience and current job goals in mind to include as many keywords as possible. While not exhaustive, The Balance Careers has compiled potential lists for construction specialists to review, as well as several engineering specializations (including mechanical engineers and environmental professionals).

Job Description
Request what you want! With your name and contact information at the top of your resume, it’s also a good idea to list the position or title you want; if you’re applying for several different positions with different titles, taking the extra time to modify and customize your resume for each application can help you stand out as a candidate. However, make certain that your resume demonstrates that you are capable of performing the duties of the position you are advertising.

Experience at Work
This section of your resume will most likely constitute the majority of your resume (if you are newly graduated, it may not, in which case, replace this section with your “Academic History” section). If you have worked a variety of jobs in the past, some of which were unrelated to your current field (for example, a stint at McDonald’s), or if you changed careers, you may want to consider leaving out the irrelevant work experience. However, do not be dishonest; if you leave off work experience because you had a bad relationship with the company, it may be revealed during subsequent background checks and cast you in an unfavorable light. Over-explaining is usually preferable to under-explaining.

The skills section of your resume is an excellent place to incorporate the keywords you’ve chosen for your profession. Many people list generic things like “proficient in Microsoft Suite” or “team player,” but for candidates in construction, engineering, and environmental careers, these generic lists will not highlight the specialized skills that people in these fields frequently have. List the useful and specific skills that will set you apart from the competition.

Contributions and Academic Achievements
Employers need to know that their employees have been thoroughly trained, especially for skilled jobs. Obviously, you should list the universities you have attended (along with your cumulative GPA) and the training programs you have completed. Furthermore, if you have taught in your field or conducted academic research in a specific area (this is especially important for environmental professionals), you may want to include a Curriculum Vitae or at least list several of your publications to demonstrate your expertise.

A few extra hours spent perfecting your resume could mean the difference between a job offer and a polite rejection; it may be a few hours you do not want to spend, but the results are worth the effort for landing a great job opportunity in the construction, engineering, or environmental industries.