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What to Include in a Worker Resume

No two worker resumes will be the same. Education, experience, and specific skills will impact the content of each resume, but if you review worker resume samples, you'll see more similarities in format than differences in content.

The three accepted resume formats are chronological, functional and combination, and while they serve job seekers differently, the have the same basic resume structure in common. The recommended sections for any resume are:

    • Contact info (name/phone/email)
    • Resume summary statement
    • Accomplishments*
    • Work experience
    • Skills
    • Education
*The accomplishments section is added if you decide to use the functional style.

    • The chronological style focus on the work experience section and works best for those with no employment gaps and a traditional career path
    • The functional format allows you to separate your accomplishments from previous employers and is especially helpful for those with employment gaps or who want to emphasize their transferable skills in hopes of a career change
    • A combination style resume is a third option that lets you take elements from both styles  

How to Write the Worker Resume Summary Statement

Now that you've done some research by reviewing how other worker resume samples look and sound, it's time to write the all-important first element of your own resume - your resume summary statement. This is an introductory section that should get the employer interested in who you are and what you have to offer.

What piques an employer's interest? Seeing their job requirements jump off the page right off the bat, so in addition to worker resume samples, review the employer's job description.

As truthfully as you can, mirror the employer's needs in your summary and follow these writing guidelines:

    • A summary should be no longer than 2-3 statements
    • The statements should be incomplete sentences
    • There should be no first-person pronouns in your summary or anywhere in your resume
To get a feel for the tone and construction of a well-written resume summary statement, read a few of them from the worker resume samples already identified. In addition, below are two resume summary examples from different industries:

Experienced refuse and recyclable material collector who has gone from a suburban route requiring lifting garbage cans by hand to collecting refuse from urban dumpsters using a hydraulic lift. Qualified to operate modern recycling truck as well as train new employees. Have maintained a sterling safety and attendance record and the physical stamina required for the job.

Construction laborer with experience on various construction sites including road crews with responsibility for operating breakers, jackhammers and earth tampers. Also assisted craftworkers like brickmasons, stonemasons and tile and marble setters by helping with moving equipment and tools, clean up and waste disposal. Experienced helper to pipelayers, plumbers and pipefitters.

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How to Write the Worker Work Experience Section

At this point, you need to decide whether you're going with the chronological or functional format. If you're still not sure, take another look at the worker resume samples and imagine how your qualifications and accomplishments will be best highlighted.

If you go with the chronological style, you can begin the work experience section immediately following your resume summary. Your previous jobs should be listed in reverse chronological order with the following information: job title, employer and location, employment dates, and 2-3 accomplishments or responsibilities.

A typical job listing would look like this:

Material mover
Harrington Products - Cleveland, OH
August 2011 to February 2016

    • Responsible for moving materials from storage to production line in a timely fashion
    • Unloaded cargo from trucks at loading dock
    • Operated hand-held scanner to ensure product accuracy and accountability
If, however, you've decided that the functional style suits you better, now is the time to insert the accomplishments section. If you have difficult-to-explain employment gaps, are looking to change your career path, or you want to focus on your transferable skills, the added accomplishments section will allow you to focus on the skills and qualifications that match up with the employer's job description.

By listing all of your career accomplishments in one section, you should be able to write at least 6-8 bullet points written similarly to the examples above. If at all possible, describe a situation where you identified a problem, came up with a solution, and had a positive impact on the employer.

Once you've illuminated your accomplishments, you can move on to the now bare-bones work experience section, which will be a simple list of job titles and employers. No need to mention employment dates or irrelevant jobs.

Refer to the worker resume samples for guidance if you choose to write a combination style resume.

Action Verbs to Include in Your Worker Work Experience Section

A worker, as opposed to a manager or executive, performs physical tasks throughout the work day, and you want to use action verbs to bring your skills to life. A list of possible action verbs to consider using follows:

    • Clean
    • Prepare
    • Load
    • Unload
    • Dig
    • Build
    • Operate
    • Assist
    • Greet
    • Serve
    • Replenish
    • Stock
    • Prepare
    • Pack
    • Wrap
    • Move
    • Fix
    • Assemble
    • Measure
A quick review of the worker resume samples from your particular field will likely provide you with even more applicable action verbs.

How to Write the Worker Skills Section

To write the skills section of your resume, start by taking a close look at the employer's job description to determine which skills are most important. If you have any of these skills, be sure to list them in this section. After you exhaust this avenue, include technical skills, soft skills and language skills that you have not already mentioned elsewhere in your resume.

Following is one example of how a skills section could be written:

Operation of tools:

    • Liquid propane torches
    • Electric boring machines
    • Laser levels
    • Circular saws
    • Water spraying equipment
Industry knowledge:

    • Construction materials, methods and tools
    • Public safety and security policies
    • Arithmetic, algebra and geometry
Interpersonal/personal skills:

    • Active listing
    • Reading comprehension
    • Social perceptiveness
Physical attributes:

    • Manual dexterity
    • Near and far vision
    • Physical stamina
    • Static strength
    • Coordinated finger movements in order to grasp, manipulate or assemble small objects
A quick review of worker resume samples may provide additional formatting suggestions.

How to Write the Worker Education Section

The fact that you've written a resume already makes you a standout candidate, and if you can add any type of degree or diploma, that will further distinguish you. In your education section, start by listing your highest level of education first. Provide the name of the school attended, school location, and degree/diploma obtained.

Furthermore, a technical or vocational school diploma or certification, or individual course work in mathematics, blueprint reading, or welding, will make you hard to resist.

An additional sub-heading in the education section, if it applies, would be apprenticeship programs. Since they can include up to 4 years of technical instruction and on-the-job-training, if you're currently in a program, list it with the qualifier œin progress. Apprenticeships are offered by various organizations, like:

    • Associated Builders and Contractors
    • Home Builders Institute
    • Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Inc.
Depending on your particular field, you might have information to list under another sub-heading called œlicenses, certifications and registrations, for example:

    • Commercial driver's license (CDL)
    • Industry competency exam offered by North American Technician Excellence
    • EPA certification offered by the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)
    • The National Center for Construction Education and Research offers certifications as Mobile Crane Operator and Rigger/Signal Person
Memberships might also matter, so create that sub-heading if you're a member of a related organization like the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA).
TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Worker Resume Samples.

Should I Include References in my Worker Resume

When it comes to references, it's recommended that you simply state that they're available upon request. There are a few good reasons for this tactic:

    • First, adding references to your resume will make it longer than it needs to be
    • Second, you don't want to waste valuable resume space that would be better used to highlight your qualifications
    • Third, you'll know for sure the potential employer is interested when they request them
Your reference list should include 3-4 previous managers for whom you've worked and developed a good relationship. A shift foreman or front line supervisor who will testify to your work ethic and dependability will make a strong impression on a potential employer.

Worker Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

    • If you've listed an accomplishment where you identified a problem and came up with a solution, take a look at your wording. You don't want to come off as a complainer or a malcontent, so make sure you describe the situation without placing blame. Always be positive.
    • If you've gone to all the trouble to write your resume, the final step to make sure it's polished and professional is to make sure it's error free. It's really hard to proofread you own work, so before you submit your resume electronically or print off numerous copies, have a friend proofread it.
    • Don't talk about what you're looking for in an employer. You want the job. Instead of stating the obvious, tell the employer what you can do for them.
    • If you're applying online, be aware of the importance of using keywords. Keywords are the words used in the job description, and larger companies often use applicant tracking systems to detect these words in a resume. To get to a human being, you may have to satisfy an electronic gatekeeper first.

Job Prospects in the Worker Industry

The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment projections for all occupations for the period 2014 to 2024 is 7 percent. Following are projections more specific to the worker employment sector: Employment of construction laborers and helpers for the same time period is projected to grow faster than the average, at 14 percent.
Overall construction activity and repairing and replacing infrastructure will create demand for workers. Economic fluctuations will affect construction workers' employment, but those who can perform a variety of tasks will be better job prospects. Food and beverage serving and related workers can look forward to a 10 percent increase in job opportunities.
This growth comes as a result of an anticipated increase in fast-food and casual dining restaurants, and the food service operations in other facilities like hospitals and residential care locations. The best job opportunities will be at upscale restaurants, but there will be strong competition as well. Included in the same occupation category, employment of: Cleaners of vehicles and equipment is projected to grow slightly higher than average, at a rate of 10 percent Refuse and recyclable material collectors is projected to grow at the average rate of 7 percent Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, is projected grow slightly slower than average, at a rate of 5 percent Hand packers and packagers is projected to grow slower than average, at 2 percent Employment of general maintenance and repair workers is projected to grow 6 percent, impacted largely by the real estate market. Overall job prospects should be good as construction and remodeling rebound from the recession.

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