Construction Skills for a Resume (Examples & Tips)

Kellie Hanna, CPRW
By Kellie Hanna, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: May 08, 2024

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Construction workers are versatile, hands-on professionals with specialized skills in trades such as carpentry, plumbing and masonry. They are the backbone of every building project, bringing engineering and architectural designs to life. 

The U.S .Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in the construction industry will grow four percent through 2032, with approximately 151,400 job openings per year expected over the next decade. You must have the right skills for the job to stay ahead of the curve.

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What are construction skills?

Construction skills are the knowledge and abilities construction workers use to perform the essential functions of their jobs. To excel at their jobs, construction workers use various skills, such as math communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. Depending on their job title, they also need trade-specific technical skills and knowledge. 

Examples of construction skills

Hard skills

Hard skills are concrete abilities and knowledge gained through education and experience. Construction workers need a diverse set of hard skills to excel at their jobs, including: 

  • Build codes and regulations
  • Blueprint reading
  • Building information modeling
  • Safety 
  • Machinery
  • Demolition
  • Concrete
  • Welding
  • Project management
  • Quality control

Soft skills

Soft skills are pivotal in the construction industry, complementing the technical expertise required for building structures. Here are ten essential soft skills for construction jobs. 

  • Delegation
  • Patience
  • Assertiveness
  • Attention to detail
  • Self-awareness
  • Stress management
  • Customer service
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Decision making

Physical skills

Physical skills are indispensable for executing various tasks safely and effectively in construction. Here are some must-have physical skills in construction:

  • Strength and endurance
  • Manual dexterity
  • Balance and coordination
  • Stamina
  • Flexibility
  • Grip strength
  • Physical agility
  • Tolerance for physical discomfort
  • Depth perception
  • Quick reflexes

Technical skills

Technical skills are the heart of construction work, encompassing a wide range of specialized abilities and knowledge, such as:

  • Carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical work
  • Concrete 
  • Welding
  • Roofing
  • HAZMAT
  • HVAC 
  • Surveying and leveling
  • Ability to complete work

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are vital for construction workers to effectively communicate, collaborate and interact with others on the job site, as well as with clients and vendors. 

Key interpersonal skills for construction workers include:

  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Relationship-building
  • Negotiation
  • Tactfulness
  • Conciliation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Active listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Diplomacy
  • Consensus-building

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are hard and soft skills that can be applied across various roles and industries. Here are 10 valuable transferable skills for the construction industry:

  • Organizational skills
  • Continuous learning
  • Critical thinking
  • Perseverance
  • Adaptability
  • Resourcefulness
  • Math
  • Analytical skills
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration

How to improve your construction skills

Improving your construction skills requires hands-on experience, formal education, training programs and continuous learning. 

Here are some effective ways to enhance your construction skills:

  • On-the-job experience: Gain practical experience by working on construction sites under the guidance of experienced professionals. Hands-on experience is one of the best ways to develop construction skills in real-world scenarios.
  • Formal education: Consider pursuing formal education in construction-related fields such as carpentry, masonry, electrical work, plumbing, or construction management. 
  • Apprenticeships: Apprenticeships are a common way to break into the construction industry because they provide structured training and mentorship opportunities, allowing you to learn from seasoned professionals while earning a wage.
  • Training programs: Attend workshops, seminars and training programs offered by industry organizations, manufacturers, or vocational training centers. These programs cover specific skills, techniques, tools and safety practices relevant to the construction industry.
  • Certifications: Obtain industry-recognized certifications in specialized areas such as welding, electrical wiring, HVAC installation, or construction safety. There are a number of certification programs available to enhance your skills and learn new technologies and tools.
  • Online resources: There is a plethora of free information online to help you improve your construction skills and learn the latest techniques and tools in the industry. Research construction-focused websites, publications, forums, videos and social media groups for insights, tips and advice from leading industry experts.
  • Networking: Build relationships with other construction workers, suppliers and leaders to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and stay updated on industry trends and developments.
  • Solicit feedback: Ask supervisors, colleagues, or mentors about areas where you excel and identify areas for improvement. Constructive feedback can help you refine your construction skills and address weaknesses or areas of concern.

How to highlight construction skills on your resume

When writing your resume, you must be strategic about how and where to display your construction skills. Obviously, you should have a dedicated skills section to display your job-relevant skills, but consider highlighting them throughout your resume for a bigger impact.  

Here’s how to display your construction skills in your resume in six steps:

  1. First, consider your resume format. There are three standard formats, each of which will highlight your construction skills differently. 
  2. Next, choose a resume template that will display your construction skills clearly and professionally. 
  3. Prepare to write your resume by reviewing the job description and matching your construction skills and accomplishments to the job requirements. 
  4. Add two or three of your top skills to your professional summary or resume objective to make a great impression from the get-go. 
  5. Use your work history section to show what you’ve accomplished with your construction skills. For example, “Led a team of 15 construction workers to complete a $10 million commercial building project three weeks ahead of schedule, resulting in a 20% reduction in overall project timeline.”
  6. Create a skills section to highlight the required skills. To make each one stand out, you might create categories to showcase specific types of skills, like “Technical Skills,” “Interpersonal Skills,” and “Physical Skills.”
 

Common tools and technologies used in construction

Construction projects rely on various tools and technologies at every stage, from site preparation and foundation work to framing, finishing, and maintenance. Becoming skilled in several of these tools and technologies will help you stand out to employers and improve your chances of landing your dream job in construction. 

Here are 12 common tools and technologies used in construction:

  1. Power tools: Electric or pneumatic tools such as drills, saws, nail guns, and impact wrenches are essential for cutting, drilling, fastening, and shaping materials.
  2. Hand tools: Basic hand tools, such as hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, tape measures, levels, and utility knives, are used for various tasks, including assembly, installation, and repair.
  3. Heavy equipment: Construction sites often utilize heavy machinery such as excavators, bulldozers, loaders, cranes, dump trucks, and forklifts for earthmoving, lifting, transporting materials, and other heavy-duty tasks.
  4. Surveying instruments: Instruments like total stations, GPS receivers, and laser levels are used for precise measurement, layout, and mapping of construction sites, ensuring accurate positioning of structures and infrastructure.
  5. Construction software: Various software applications are used for project management, design, estimating, scheduling, and collaboration. Examples include Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, project management platforms, and computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  6. Safety equipment: Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, ear protection, and high-visibility clothing are essential for ensuring the safety of construction workers on-site.
  7. Concrete equipment: Equipment for mixing, pouring, and finishing concrete includes concrete mixers, pumps, vibrators, screeds, and trowels. These tools ensure the proper placement and finishing of concrete structures.
  8. Scaffolding and ladders: Scaffolding systems and ladders provide safe access to elevated work areas and facilitate construction, maintenance, and repair tasks at height.
  9. Material handling equipment: Equipment such as cranes, hoists, conveyors, and pallet jacks to lift, transport, and position heavy materials and equipment on construction sites.
  10. Power generators: Portable generators provide backup power supply on construction sites where access to mains electricity may be limited or unavailable, ensuring continuity of operations.
  11. Temporary structures: Temporary structures like scaffolding, shoring, formwork, and temporary fencing are erected to support construction activities, provide access, and ensure safety during the building process.
  12. Environmental monitoring equipment: Equipment for monitoring environmental factors such as air quality, noise levels, vibration, and dust emissions helps ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and mitigate potential environmental impacts.

Best construction certifications

Certifications on your resume enhance your credibility, show your dedication to the field, demonstrate your expertise to employers and clients, and open up opportunities for career advancement.

When choosing a certification, research the specific requirements and prerequisites for each and choose those that match your career goals and interests.

There are several valuable certifications for construction work, depending on your specific area of expertise and career goals. Here are some widely recognized certifications in the construction industry:

  • OSHA training, American Concrete Institute (ACI) Certification
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification
  • National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) Certification
  • Associate Constructor (AC)
  • Certified Professional Constructor (CPC) 
  • Certified Construction Manager (CCM)

Key takeaways

Before you leave this guide to construction skills for a resume, remember these key points:

  • Construction workers need a variety of skills ranging from the physical to the interpersonal to excel at their craft. 
  • The most effective ways to enhance your construction skills are apprenticeships, self-learning through online resources, certifications and mentorship. 
  • Certifications in construction can help you make the best possible impression on employers and might be the key to getting the job you want. 
  • Construction workers should stay on top of the latest trends and technologies in their field to excel in their careers. Some tools and technologies to master include: safety equipment, power tools, construction software, materials and environmental monitoring equipment.
  • Disperse your construction skills throughout your resume for the biggest impact. 
  • In your job history section, show how you have used your skills through measurable achievements. 

 

 

 

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