Resumes come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, there really are no rules about how to build a resume, and they definitely don't teach it in school. What might seem passable on your computer screen on a Friday afternoon could get thrown out immediately if it lands on a hiring manager's desk if it doesn't pass muster, so you want to take a pragmatic approach to creating a resume that will do what you want it to do – get you an interview with a company.
How To Build A great Trades resume that will get you an interview
Alberta companies are blessed in that the Alberta workforce is (almost) always up to the task of applying to open trades and labour positions. In fact, the application volume can be so high that you'll often see "only selected candidates will be contacted for interview" in the fine print of a job posting.
So how do you build a great trades resume that will get you an interview with a company in Alberta?
There are probably more than a few correct answers, but our approach at Alberta Labour is to keep it clean, simple, clear, and concise. Save the fine details for your interview; the job of your resume is to get you to the top of the pile and get a call back.
The Alberta Labour Trades & Labour Job Resume Template
The following is a sample template for a trades position resume, with a breakdown of what is included in each section. The goal is to create your resume quickly and efficiently, and make it easy to understand for any potential hiring manager. Plus, because you're not expected to be a Photoshop pro, a simple black and white document that can be formatted in MS Office is totally fine.
1. Clear Name & Title
Your name is clear and near the top, and is tied to your position – there should be no room for misinterpretation about your intended work.
2. Clear & Professional Contact Info
There's nothing worse than when a resume does a great job selling a candidate, but then the email is firstname.lastname@example.org and the phone number is short a digit. If you need to set up a newer, more professional email, do so, and make sure your phone number is current.
3. Logical Employment & Education History Outline
List employers, date ranges, and responsibilities. You do not need to write a novel or say why you left a job. In fact, just stick to the top 3-4 highlights and save the details for your interview.
You would assume every candidate includes these, but you would be wrong. List your earned credentials or tickets, and any that you may currently be working on acquiring. It looks professional, saves phone calls back and forth, and can open up doors you may not have expected.
5. List Your Safety Certifications
Safety and trades or labour work in Alberta go hand in hand. Show your prospective employer that you are proactive and committed to maintaining a safe workplace by showing credentials you currently hold. If you have a credential that will need to be re-done when moving to a new employer, that's fine to include – the hiring manager will know what to do with it and will appreciate your experience in maintaining the indicated safety standards. You can also upgrade your safety certifications online through Alberta Labour's online safety training portal.
Bonus Point: Keep It To 1 Page
Unless you are applying for an academic or top executive position that requires a detailed outline of your accomplishments, education, and published works, just try to keep your document on 1 page. If you find it's getting too crowded with the amount of information you want to include, do a hard audit on what is really necessary before you commit to adding page number 2.
How to create your trades resume
Again, there are probably over a hundred methods to create something similar to the above template. Our preference is to utilize tools and software you probably already have access to. Microsoft Word is handy, and actually you can format a grid and input text cleanly using Excel as well. We often see people using a cheap editing tool like Canva if they want to include a couple more detailed elements, but it's not a must-have.
The task of creating a fresh, clean resume using our template should ideally take you less than an hour or two. It's always worth updating your old resume to keep on hand in case a new opportunity pops up – you don't want to be late to the application stage just because you were busy cleaning up an outdated resume.