On this page, you will find tips on how to write a good resume for trades jobs. You can submit your resume right here on RedSealRecruiting.com to access the best trades jobs in Canada.
A good resume will boost your chances of getting an interview by highlighting relevant skills, experience, and value to a potential employer. It helps to follow some basic principles when writing your resume.
If you prefer, we have a 5 part video series that will take you through all the basics of writing a resume.
View other clips of the “How to Write a Canadian Resume – Video Series”:
Ensure your resume is well presented and easy to follow. Most employers are understaffed and busy – that is why they are hiring. They may have less than a minute to look at your resume.
A two-page resume with a simple font and no italics is ideal. Clear headings highlighted in bold or capitals, such as WORK EXPERIENCE and EDUCATION will draw attention to the right areas of your resume.
Use a traditional format of your employment history placed in chronological order beginning with what is most recent. If your career history is fragmented due to career breaks or a period of unemployment, you will need to write a skills summary of why you feel you are qualified. You should follow it with a historical overview of the work you have done.
Download Sample Resumes
- Power Line Technician (pdf | doc)
- Heavy Duty Mechanic (pdf | doc)
- Millwright (pdf | doc)
- Power Engineer (pdf | doc)
- Electrician (pdf | doc)
An employer will expect to find information covering the following areas:
Personal details – include your name, address, phone numbers and email address.
Professional qualifications – if you are Pipefitter with an Inter-provincial Steamfitter/Pipefitter certificate make sure you highlight it, complete with the School/ Institution where you received it.
Work experience – list the most recent experience first. Describe your work experience in short sentences using straightforward, positive language. Describe the job, point out any general qualities that arose from work such as the ability to manage staff or troubleshoot, how many and what kind of trades you supervised, etc.
Education – list brief details of qualifications: trades certifications, Red Seal and other certification. WHMIS, First Aid, forklift and drivers licenses are all important information for employers. Include the school’s full name and location.
Skills – include specific skills such as reading blueprints, instructing apprentices, etc. Don’t assume the employer will know acronyms or abbreviations.
References – it is usually expected for you to provide the names and contact details of three work references, one of which should be your most recent employer. Recent graduates with limited work experience should include an instructor. Be sure to speak to your references in advance in order to get their permission to use them as a reference. Do NOT assume they will give you a good reference but instead ask them in advance what they will say to a prospective employer so there will be no surprises.
Hobbies – (optional) By adding details of specific hobbies, you are giving an employer a more rounded picture of your personal qualities. Work-related hobbies like working on hot rods, computers, landscaping, athletics and group activities show an employer your ability to work with others and participate physically and mentally in the workplace.
Volunteer experience – be sure to include all of your volunteer work. This shows an employer that you are engaged in your community, your child’s sports, church, etc.
- Use a confident tone and positive language.
- Concentrate on your achievements, not your responsibilities. This means listing things you have done – such as products launched, sales increase, awards won – not rewriting your job description. Quote figures whenever possible.
- Make your most relevant experience and skills prominent to encourage the employer to read on.
- Keep it to the point and concentrate on the quality of your achievements, not the quantity.
- Be ruthless with yourself and keep it to a maximum of two pages. Only very senior and experienced executives have more than two pages.
- Check thoroughly for correct spelling and grammar – spotting errors is a quick and easy way of weeding out weaker candidates when faced with a mountain of resumes to read.
- Get a second opinion from someone you trust.
- Submit the resume as requested in the job- email is often best.
- Submit your resume in Word (Doc) format. Most word processors will allow you to “save as” using the file extension “.doc”
- Leave any gaps in your work record – employers may assume the worst, for example, that you were fired.
- Lie – many employers check resume details for accuracy, including educational qualifications, places of study and the integrity of job references.
- Include a photo unless you know the employer wants one.
- Use elaborate fonts, spacing, formatting, or colours – keep it simple. Many companies use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), which usually don’t register anything fancy. Your resume could end up as a bunch of question marks!
- Forget that your resume is just a tool for getting you an interview. It will not land you the job on its own: the rest is up to you.
For more advice about your trades resume, please submit your resume and we can suggest improvements.
Job search beyond the resume…
Network, Network, Network: The best part of using Red Seal is that we are networking full time and will be able to network for you even when you are at work. As trades recruiters we spend most of our time networking with the very people that are looking for your skills.
Your network of friends, acquaintances and family can also work for you. Let everyone know that you are looking for work, ask questions about where people work and if they know of companies or people who may be hiring. Ask people you meet for their business card and if you can send them an email to find out more about their company or businesses that may be hiring.
Tip: Keep your resume up to date and ready to go.
Look Good: An employer can’t see how well you work when they first meet you, so they have to make some judgments based on how you look. A shower, shave and haircut make a difference. Clean work pants, button down work shirt and steel toes show you know an industrial workplace and are ready to work.
Tip: Don’t chew gum or wear a hat .
Be Courteous: People like to be around people who are considerate of others. Smile and be positive even if you don’t get what you want. Always thank people for their time as leaving a good impression ensures your resume will be kept on file.
Tip: Ask: “Do you have a few minutes to speak with me?” If the answer is no then ask “When would be a good time?”
Be Early, Reliable and Flexible: If you have an appointment or start time for a job, make sure you are early. It will give you a chance to go over your resume and or see how people in the company look and work.
Tip: Make sure you can make your self available for interviews at the employers’ convenience.
Be Yourself: Think about all the good traits that you have and feel good about yourself. Being positive about yourself will show. Most employers are extremely busy and it will take visits to many employers before you find one that needs your skills.
Tip: there is an employer out there for you. Don’t get down on yourself if you aren’t offered the position. Stay positive and keep working at finding that ideal position for you.
How do I get Information About Current Job Openings?
You can check out our current job postings on our Canadian trades job board where we post new jobs regularly. You can also subscribe to our career alerts newsletter below.
Subscribe for More:
- Relevant job and career information
- Instant access to Canadian Skilled Trades salary information
- Manage your alerts