After a challenging year brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction industry is beginning to recover. A recent survey released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Associated Builders and Contractors found that American construction companies will need to hire 430,000 more workers than they employed in 2020 if they want to keep up with demand.
On the one hand, that’s great news. But on the other, it means there’s a significant amount of competition. If you’re trying to land your next position, a traditional resume isn’t going to be enough to stand out from the crowd. Instead of just sharing your work experience, take the time to try and highlight your professional skills. Let’s take a closer look at some of the abilities that are in high demand:
1.) Physical strength and endurance. About 50% of construction jobs require heavy lifting. Whether you’re moving two-by-fours, transporting asphalt or carrying tools up a ladder, your muscles, joints and musculoskeletal structure are put to the test. If you enjoy physical challenges and regularly work out, you’ll fit in fine. Just make sure to ease into new activities. Before work each day, take the time to stretch and warm up. When lifting objects, make sure to practice proper form. Always squat down and lift with your legs and buttocks, not your back.
2.) Technical skills. Did you know 36% of contractors fail because they don’t have the necessary skills to thrive on a job site? You don’t necessarily have to be a jack of all trades, but you should try to specialize in at least two or three areas. Some of the contracting skills in high demand include plumbing, masonry, electrical, roofing and HVAC. Even if you aren’t an expert, knowing the tools and materials needed to perform these tasks can go a long way.
3.) Communication. A construction site features dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of moving components. For a blueprint to turn into reality, team members from various backgrounds and skill sets must come together and work in harmony. It’s important to have a good attitude and listen to your supervisors. At the same time, it’s crucial you’re able to identify potential problems and speak up if questions or concerns arise. In stressful situations, communication can get intense. Keep a level head and don’t take the reactions of others personally.
4.) A passion for technology. Construction sites are becoming increasingly high-tech thanks to the use of drones, building information modeling and mobile apps. These tools are undoubtedly exciting, but they present challenges and risks, too. As a construction professional, learn everything you can about new technologies and how to use them safely.
If you hone these four professional skills, your job search is bound to be a success. To access a complete list of job openings from around the state of Washington, click here.