Many employers of maintenance workers have had to clean house in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, laying off and furloughing workers in an effort to stay afloat. So far, more than 30 million workers nationwide have found themselves in the unemployment line, and the numbers continue to increase across every industry. The Congressional Budget Office predicts a 10 percent increase in unemployment between now and the end of June.
Specifically, maintenance workers are experiencing job losses thanks to halted construction projects and the closure of many the businesses, universities, schools and museums that employed them. However, while the numbers sound grim, there is hope for people with maintenance skills. Many businesses are still hiring, and you have valuable skills and training they need right now.
Here, we will show you how you can apply your expertise to the current job market and which transferable skills you should emphasize in your application to get back on your feet fast.
Transferable skills and training to emphasize on your resume
Whether you were a custodian, facilities coordinator, handyman, groundskeeper, journeyman plumber or electrical technician, you have developed a variety of sought-after hard, soft and technical skills that you can transfer to jobs in other industries. Emphasizing these transferable skills on your resume will get you noticed.
Below is a breakdown of the hard, technical and soft skills you may have mastered as a maintenance worker that you should consider adding to your next resume:
Hard and technical skills: Hard skills, including project planning, problem-solving, troubleshooting, mathematical aptitude, and project management experience. Technical skills, including safety procedures, handling and using a variety of tools and equipment, and experience using project tracking tools, like JIRA.
Soft skills: Teamwork, attention to detail, negotiation, organization, dexterity, multitasking, time management, collaboration
Certifications and training: List any certifications or licenses you have obtained, such as Certified Maintenance Employee, Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician, Certified Building Operator, Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician, Apprentice License, Journeyman License, Master Plumber or Master Electrician License, in a separate section on your resume.
Education: Maintenance professionals usually only require a high school diploma or GED, plus on-the-job training. However, if you have an associate or bachelor's degree, adding it to your resume will help you shine. If you don't have a degree but you have taken maintenance-related classes such as maintenance principles, communication skills, applied math or technical courses such as electrical wiring, then you should list those in the education section of your resume.
These industries are hiring people with your skills
If you were a facility maintenance helper, facility maintenance technician, facilities coordinator or groundskeeper, you might be qualified for one of the following roles:
- Maintenance associate (for example, at a health facility such as a hospital)
- Dock worker (for example, at a warehouse for a courier such as UPS)
- Facilities coordinator (for example, at a local government agency such as a city hall)
If you were a janitor, custodian or night cleaner, you might be qualified for one of the following roles:
- Disinfecting agent (for example, in public transportation such as buses and trains still in operation)
- Sanitation worker (for example, in a local government agency such as a City Department of Streets and Sanitation)
If you were a master plumber, journeyman plumber, plumbing apprentice or plumbing service technician, you might be qualified for one of the following roles:
- Residential plumber (for example, for a human service such as a senior living facility)
- Water heater installer (for example, at an essential retailer such as a water heater installation company)
- Commercial plumber (for example, for an independent plumbing company)
- Sales associate (for example at an essential retailer such as Lowe's)
If you were a handyman, you might be qualified for one of the following roles:
- Repairman (for example, at an apartment complex)
- Maintenance technician (for example, at an independent maintenance company)
- Sales associate (for example, at an essential retailer such as at TrueValue Hardware)
- Medical device assembler (for example, for a company that makes medical supplies like Johnson a & Johnson)
If you were an journeyman electrician, electrician specialist, apprentice electrician, or electrician helper you might be qualified for one of the following roles:
- Electrical systems technician (for example, at a utility like an electric company)
- Maintenance electrician (for example, at a senior housing complex)
- Sales associate (for example, at an essential retailer like Lowes)
If you were a project manager, foreman, handyman supervisor, facility facilities manager or facility operations manager you might be qualified for one of these roles:
- Warehouse manager (for example, for a large retailer such as Costco)
- Facility operations manager (for example, at a hospital)
- Sales associate (for example, at an essential retailer like Tractor Supply Company)
- Handyman supervisor (for example, at an independent maintenance company)
How to apply for these roles and what you'll need
If you are applying in person, you'll need a current email address and phone number, a resume and identification, such as a driver's license or passport
If you are applying online, you'll need a current email address and phone number, a current resume and a brief cover letter explaining what you'll bring to the table.
How to find these jobs in your community
- The Society for Maintenance and Security Professionals Job Board
How to create a resume that will capture an employers' attention
COVID-19 is disrupting the workforce but it's not changing the way employers evaluate candidates in the hiring process. An up-to-date resume is still the best way to show hiring managers why you are a great fit, no matter what job you're applying for.
The best resumes speak directly to the job requirements, so make sure you match your experience and skills to each job. Grab hiring managers' attention by highlighting your transferable skills and what you have achieved over the course of your career.
Don't forget to add a strong cover letter, even if one is not required. It will help you stand out from the competition by showing employers you are willing to go the extra mile, even in times of crisis. A cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself to the hiring manager and explain why you are changing jobs or industries.
Cover letters are also a great compliment to your resume, providing the space to expand on your experience and education and give insight to your skills and achievements. A cover letter template can help you craft the perfect cover letter fast, even if you aren't confident in your writing skills.
Below, we've provided a sample resume to help you as you update yours for your new position.
Text resume example
Name: Marsh Ramiro
Address: Hummelstown PA 17033
Phone: (555) 555-5555
Summary Statement: Detail-oriented Repairman skilled in directing, monitoring and performing preventive and unscheduled aircraft maintenance. Thorough knowledge of standard industry hardware and materials with continuous drive for new knowledge.
Summary of Skills:
- Ran service calls for equipment repairs for tenants, meeting set response times outlined in leases
- Conducted basic repairs to plumbing systems such as leaky faucets, clogged drains and toilet fill problems
- Increased overall lifespan of equipment by following preventative maintenance plans and executing unscheduled repairs
- Project estimation and bidding
- Emergency response
- Cooperative team member
- Project management
- Blueprints and schematics
- Experience operating machines
- Basic print reading skills and layout skills
Best Home LLC
Fayette City, PA
- Reviewed blueprints and project specifications to determine correct repair solutions.
- Maintained 100% pricing accuracy by keeping detailed track of progress, parts and setbacks.
- Implemented preventive maintenance measures to decrease emergent issues
Factory Builder Training
- Followed safety practices with tools and general behaviors to promote safety, prevent accidents and safeguard equipment.
- Organized and moved materials from truck to job site to support project requirements.
- Positioned and held materials for senior professionals to complete work.
CustomMade Ventures Corp.
Prairie City, PA
- Reviewed job specifications to determine necessary tools and materials
- Demonstrated in-depth tool knowledge including sanders, saws and routers.
- Created accurate quotes for over 50 clients based on needs, budgets and inventories
Education & Training
Associate of Applied Science: Repair Technology
Finishing Trades Institute