Table of Contents
Even if you’re applying for a job in person, having a resume to submit along with a job application is a plus, so if you’re ready to begin writing, a good first step is to take a look at handler resume samples. If you search by the business sector in which you have experience, like warehouse, merchandise, or cargo handlers, you’ll see examples of industry resume format options, the kind of information to include, and how best to present it.
Reading further, you’ll be provided guidance on tone, grammar, phrasing conventions, and even tips about common mistakes to avoid. Whether you’re updating your resume or writing one for the first time, it’s to your advantage to review samples of resumes that reflect the current best practice.
What to Include in a Handler Resume
It’s true that handlers come in all stripes. While the basics of the jobs are similar, the acquired skills and experience in one sector can differ greatly from another. A food handler will have quite a different resume from a baggage handler. You can use the handler resume samples as inspiration, but in the end, you’ll write your own story based on your own experience. By taking it one step at a time, you’ll end up with a well-written resume.
First, consider the format options, which differ in the way you present your work experience.
The chronological style is used most often and is most familiar to hiring managers. The work experience section is a list of previous jobs and your accomplishments at each, beginning with the most recent first. The recommended sections are:
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume summary
- Work experience
If you have an employment gap or you’re considering a career change, the functional style might be a good option. The difference is the addition of an “Accomplishments” section between the summary and work experience sections. The advantage is that you don’t have to stick to a time line, so the accomplishments that most clearly apply to the job opening can be listed first. Recommended sections are:
- Contact info (name/phone/email)
- Resume summary
- Accomplishments (additional section)
- Work experience
Since you’ve already listed your accomplishments, your work experience section will be a simple list of previous jobs.
With a combination style, you can split your achievements between both sections, but be careful not to repeat yourself.
You can see what each style looks like as you review handler resume samples. The choice is yours.
How to Write the Handler Resume Summary Statement
Time was, every resume started with an objective, but with changes to accepted resume formats, the objective has been replaced with a resume summary statement. Objectives told the employer what you wanted, a resume summary tells them what you have to offer. Much better.
It’s important to review not only handler resume samples, but the employer’s job description as well. Since your summary is the first thing a potential employer reads, it should draw them in by matching your best accomplishments to their job requirements. The idea is to make them want to keep reading.
A summary statement is a brief, 2-3 sentence paragraph, describing you at your best. Try to make each sentence tell a brief story: You saw a problem, you came up with a solution, and the result was good.
There are a few grammar rules to follow:
- First-person pronouns are fine for your cover letter, but not your resume
- Sentence fragments are preferred over complete sentences
- It’ll help if you write each sentence as a first-person statement with the pronouns removed
Take a look at the handler resume samples you’ve found, even ones from different sectors, just to get a feel for a well-written summary statement.
Here are two from different industry sections for your review:
- Experienced material mover who, when working in warehouse receiving, was responsible for tracking and sorting incoming materials for production line. Reduced production downtime. As supervisor, trained new employees on use of hand-held RFID scanners, proper use of material moving machines, correct procedures to load materials onto conveyor belts, and safety precautions related to the job. Reduced on-the-job injuries with a record 572 days without a safety incident.
- Air cargo handler for major airline at Chicago O?Hare airport for 10 years specializing in loading, staging, and securing cargo and baggage in all weather conditions. Operated trucks, forklifts, conveyors and baggage tugs. Promoted to Supervisor of ground crews and determined orientation of cargo after computing aircraft center of gravity. Often traveled on flights to monitor cargo in flight. Transported over 400 animals safely to their destination.
How to Write the Handler Work Experience Section
If you’ve decided to follow the chronological resume style, each of your jobs, with the most recent first, will be a sub-heading, as follows:
Senior material handler
ABC Manufacturing – Canton, OH
January 2009 – February 2016
Under each job heading, list 3-5 bullet points written in the same fashion as the statements in your summary – problem/solution/result. When possible, show quantifiable results.
As discussed earlier, the functional format displays all of your achievements in the accomplishments section. If you’ve performed successfully in areas that are important to the employer, list them first, no matter when in your career they occurred. Do your best to come up with a minimum of 6-8 well-written bullet points.
Because your on-the-job successes will have already been mentioned in the accomplishments section of a functional style resume, the work experience section will be a bare-bones list of previous jobs, and it’s not even necessary to include employment dates.
A combination format might be useful if you only have a few accomplishments that correspond to the job description, but others at each job that were performed successfully. If that’s the case, you’ve have a short accomplishments section, but you should still list 2-3 bullet points under each job.
Review handler resume samples for inspiration. Following are a few samples of how you might reflect your work experience:
- Ensured production areas were fully stocked with products needed to fill orders on time
- Trained and evaluated employees regarding safety and operational protocols
- Coordinated activities of transportation and material-moving machine operators to ensure product was always available for production line
Action Verbs to Include in Your Handler Work Experience Section
In the above examples of accomplishments for the work experience section, note that each bullet point begins with an action verb. Since yours is a very hands-on occupation, action verbs should come easily, but to get you started, here’s a list of industry specific ones to consider:
A quick scan of the handler resume samples you’ve already identified should yield more action verbs.
How to Write the Handler Skills Section
Let the employer’s job description be your guide as you write the skills section of your resume. You may have many admirable and even desirable skills, but list the ones the potential employer has identified as requirements first.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to create categories of skills, as follows:
- Good part-number memory and counting skills
- Good spatial skills for packing parts into bins/boxes
- Legible handwriting
- Experience operator of material handling equipment including forklift, pallet jacks, and hand trucks
- Physical stamina
- Good listener
- Cognizant of the importance of material safety data sheets (MSDS)
- Capable of focus and endurance
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
A quick review of handler resume samples can prompt additional skills you may not have considered. As long as you can honestly claim them, list them.
How to Write the Handler Education Section
For most handler positions, formal education beyond high school isn’t required, but a diploma plus some experience will give you an edge. If you have or are working on a degree in business, you could find options for advancement in the aircraft cargo handlers sector or in larger organizations.
List your highest level of educational attainment first. The only information you need to include is school/school location/degree or diploma. If your degree is in progress, list it, but identify it as such.
Vocational schools often will offer apprenticeships. If you’ve taken part in this type of program, be sure to list it.
Refer to the job description for license or certification requirements or preferences. Even if there are none listed, if you have some, list them. Examples to consider are:
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) training
- Hazmat removal workers state license or permit
- Forklift or other heavy equipment operator’s license
- Driver’s license
- Commercial-class driver’s license
Should I Include References in my Handler Resume
References should be ready to submit as a separate document but not included on your resume. They take up valuable space, especially if you’re trying to keep your resume to one page. The simple statement that they’re available upon request is enough.
It could be that the employer won’t even ask for them, but if they do, you don’t want to have to scramble to come up with something. Be prepared. The best references are previous supervisors or co-workers who can vouch for your dependability. You should try to have at least three work-related references.
Handler Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- The following things should never be included on a resume: Date of birth, marital status, a picture, or salary information.
- If you’re applying in person, you’ll have a hard copy of your resume to present, but if you’re applying electronically, consider the likely hood that the employer may use an applicant tracking system (ATS), which scans resumes for keywords. Keywords are the words the employer uses to describe what they’re looking for. If you haven’t matched your skills and experience to the keywords in the job description, your resume may never make it to the hiring manager’s desk.
- A resume with mistakes or typos is a resume of someone who doesn’t pay attention to detail. Don’t let that be you. Proofread your resume more than once, and if you can, have a friend read it as well. Once you submit it, it’s too late to fix mistakes.
- Don’t say anything negative about previous employers. While it may be true that you were treated unfairly, if you place the blame on others, you’ll be viewed as a negative influence and your resume will probably go to the reject pile.
Job Prospects in the Handler Industry
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently updated their employment projections which now represent the period of 2014 – 2024. The average employment projection for all occupations for this period is 7 percent. A breakdown of employment projections for various sectors in the handler industry follows:
Cleaners of vehicles and equipment
- – 10 percent
- Continued demand for automotive repair and maintenance as well as the growing automobile dealer industry is responsible for the faster than average projected growth.
Refuse and recyclable material collectors
- – 7 percent
- Trash collection will grow with the population
Hazardous materials (hazmat) removal workers
- – 7 percent
- Employment growth of some positions will depend on federal funding for cleanup projects.
Freight, stock, and material movers
- – 5 percent
Hand laborers and material movers
- – 5 percent
- – 3 percent
- Slow growth in this category because most workers are employed in manufacturing, where many of the job functions have been automated.
First-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators
- – 3 percent
Hand packers and packagers
- – 2 percent
- Grocery stores will probably employ fewer baggers as more customers bag groceries themselves, but warehouse workers will experience some gains.
First-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers
- – 2 percent