The Importance Of Job-Readiness For Skilled Tradespeople

There are many ways to embody job-readiness, but those qualities vary a bit for people working in a skilled trade, such as plumbers, graphic designers, carpenters, and electricians. It’s important for everyone to know how to present themselves in a professional manner and how to work on soft skills, such as how to speak on the phone and work with others, but for those working in a trade, building a reputation for reliability is just as critical. This is because many employers return again and again to the people they know they can count on for a job, and they’ll also refer those employees for other jobs. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to find the best ways to be prepared for an interview, or for a new job. Having a good plan means you’ll be able to nail that interview and work your way up within the ranks quickly, so do some research to get started. Look up information about the business you’re interviewing with so you won’t be caught off guard by any questions. Here are some of the best tips on how to prepare.

Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to find the best ways to be prepared for an interview, or for a new job. Having a good plan means you’ll be able to nail that interview and work your way up within the ranks quickly, so do some research to get started. Look up information about the business you’re interviewing with so you won’t be caught off guard by any questions.

Here are some of the best tips on how to prepare:

Do​ ​some​ ​homework.

Do some research on the company you want to work for; find out how many employees currently work there, what their business model is, and what their code of ethics is. Get familiar with the job descriptions they have posted, especially for the position you’re interviewing for, and look at the requirements to make sure you have a good understanding of what you’ll need to bring to the interview. For tips on where to start doing your homework, check out this helpful article.

Hold a mock interview

It can be helpful sometimes–especially if you think you’ll be nervous–to hold a mock interview
with a friend so you won’t stumble over your words when you’re sitting down with your future
boss. Think about some of the questions that might be asked, and come up with some answers
that will demonstrate your knowledge of the job at hand.

To get a better understanding of what employers look for when hiring, look over this list by
HomeAdvisor.com.

Think about how to present yourself

A first impression can go a long way, so think about the type of clothes you’ll wear to the
interview and how you’ll introduce yourself. For a business environment, business-appropriate
clothing is a must. That means clean, well-pressed shirts, skirts, and slacks, well-cared for shoes,
and well-groomed hair and nails. If you have tattoos and believe they’ll give a negative
impression, consider using tattoo cover-up or wearing long sleeves.

Once​ ​you​ ​get​ ​the​ ​job…

Be​ ​professional.

Many of the same rules apply for the job as they do for the interview. Just as important as how you look is whether or not you’re on time, so leave your house early; always plan for traffic or other issues that might make you late. Leave your phone in the car or silence it and keep it in your purse or pocket. Show your boss that you take your job seriously; this will be very important if you want to move up within your company.

Work​ ​on​ ​your​ ​soft​ ​skills.

Soft skills include everything from knowing how to regulate your emotions while on the job to being able to effectively communicate to customers and coworkers alike. Understanding these skills–and how to make people feel comfortable–will help you boost your confidence and lower your stress level, making you a more effective employee. For a list of soft skills to focus on, read on here.
Job readiness is important for everyone, not just those who are going in for an interview. Knowing what it is expected of you and how to improve your performance is key if you want to prove to your employer that you’re management material. Do some research, remain professional, and find the best ways to build upon your skills every day.

5 Signs it’s Time to Start Looking for a New Job

THE DAYS OF WORKING AT THE SAME COMPANY FOR YOUR WHOLE CAREER ARE LONG GONE…

According to a study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American workers hold an average of 10.8 jobs between the ages of 18 and 42. A study from 2008 finds that the average American’s tenure with their current employer is only 4.1 years. Job-hopping is the new norm. For many employees, the question isn’t if they should switch jobs, but rather when. How do you know if it’s time for you to look for a new job? Below are five indicators it’s time to start looking around…

1. THERE’S NO OPPORTUNITY FOR ADVANCEMENT

There are few things more frustrating in a job than being stuck in the same position without any opportunity for advancement. If you’ve continued your education, developed your skills, and expanded your general knowledge, you’ve earned an opportunity to grow within your company.

Are you seeking to supervise a team? Manage projects? Take on another challenge at your company? Talk to your boss about your career path, asking about opportunities for advancement. Ideally, he or she would share your enthusiasm and help you develop a path to reach your goals. Unfortunately, you may not strike such luck.

If your supervisor isn’t on board with your larger vision, you may not be working for the right company. If your employer doesn’t provide an opportunity for advancing within your company, investigate openings with other companies in your area and embark upon a job search elsewhere.

2.YOUR COMPANY HAS UNDERGONE MULTIPLE ROUNDS OF LAYOFFS

Having full confidence in the future and long-term stability of your company is important to you. In many trade industries, the loss of one major customer or large project can undermine a business’s livelihood, directly jeopardizing your position. If your place of employment isn’t stable, you are in the line of fire when layoffs come around.

While loyalty to your employer is likely very important to you, you also have to weigh your own needs. Your place of employment should always promise to support your needs as a hardworking and loyal employee. If business is getting slower and talk of layoffs is picking up, take the initiative to begin exploring other job opportunities for yourself.

The last thing you want is to lose your job and face an unexpected period of unemployment. So take the first step and see what’s out there. Being prepared and proactive can only benefit you.

3. YOU LACK CONFIDENCE IN UPPER MANAGEMENT

When you’re employed by a company, you are, in large part, dependent upon upper management to ensure the business’s long-term growth and success. If the folks who reside in these roles are skilled and competent, your company will likely face a bright future.

If the opposite is true, it may be time to start looking for a new job with a company whose culture and approach you have confidence in. Talk to friends and associates who within the skilled trades industry, asking them how much confidence they have in their company’s upper management. If you choose to embark upon the job search process, be sure to ask employers key questions that will give you insight into their management style. With all of your experience, you will be able to pick up on whether you trust their approach to growing and sustaining the company.

4. YOU ARE UNDER-COMPENSATED OR UNDER-APPRECIATED

It’s hard to be enthusiastic about your work when you feel like your employer doesn’t appreciate all that you bring to the business. Maybe you feel like you should be earning more. Or perhaps you feel like you’ve been overlooked for a promotion or new position. Perhaps your employer isn’t providing any means of advancing yourself in your career: training, education, or programs to polish your skills and relevance in the field.

If you identify with one of these scenarios, talk with your employer one-on-one. There may be a reasonable explanation for the lack promotion. Perhaps your manager wants to see you improve in certain areas before you take on more ownership. If this is the case, you can now re-direct your focus on the areas where there’s room for improvement, and take constructive steps toward earning a promotion.

Unfortunately, it can often be the case that your employer has no good reason for not providing opportunities for advancement. Your employer may quite simply refuse to offer a better pay, training, or promotion. If this is the case, start looking for a new job. You want to work for someone who values your contribution and provides opportunities for you to grow.

5. YOU DREAD MONDAYS

The most obvious sign that you should find a new job is that you absolutely dread going into work each Monday. The average American spends 8.9 hours a day working. Say you stay with your company for 10 years, do you really want to be miserable for 23,140 hours of your life. Your stress level and deep unhappiness negatively affect your work productivity, relationships, and mental and physical health. The bottom line is that it isn’t worth it.

Whether it’s because of management, interpersonal conflicts, work conditions, or other factors, your health and happiness takes precedence. Don’t stay with a job that makes you miserable. If you have talked to your boss about your frustrations, and he hasn’t been able to resolve them, take that as an indicator. It is time for you to find an employer who will support you for the hardworking tradesman or woman that you are. Trust us, they are out there.

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Looking for a tool that will help you find your next job in the trades? CraftForce’s powerful platform was built for tradesmen and women seeking fulfilling job opportunities in their field. After signing up, you can:

  • Search through 1,000’s of job opportunities
  • Sign up to receive real-time notifications on openings that match your specific criteria
  • Communicate directly with employers
  • Find work anywhere in the country
  • Apply for jobs with one click

Sign up for a free account today!




 

Want to contribute to the CraftForce blog? Submit your blog topic idea(s) at blog@craftforce.com 

How to Ace Your Skilled Trades Job Interview

NAIL THE INTERVIEW AND LAND THE JOB…

The prospect of interviewing can be a bit daunting. In the construction, manufacturing, and other skilled trades industries, communicating your ability to prospective employers is vital. But with some solid preparation and the right approach, you can ace your skilled trades job interview, no sweat!

There is no good reason to be nervous! Just abide by these “Do’s and Don’ts” to ace your interview and land yourself the job in the trades…

DO…

ARRIVE PREPARED TO WORK.

It is possible that your interview will take place on a manufacturing floor or in a trailer on a construction site. This is because an employer may expect you to prove your abilities on the spot. In anticipation of this, be sure to bring the tools suited for the job for which you’re applying.

As with any interview, of course, always wear clean jeans or slacks, a non-offensive shirt, and adequate footwear. Dressing to impress and bringing your toolset demonstrates that you’re committed to your trade.

BRING A COPY OF ALL APPLICABLE LICENSES AND YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD.

Our nation’s construction and manufacturing companies are in the midst of a labor shortage. This means that they need your skills pronto and are often ready to hire immediately. Bring a copy of all licenses, your social security card, and other documentation in the case that you are asked to work the day of your interview.  Arriving with all official documentation tells employers that you’re organized and ready to work.

BE COMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT WORK EXPERIENCE.

Employers seek applicants who can grasp the scope of any project and can handle all kinds of personalities. To show this ability, speak in depth about problems you’ve collaboratively and independently solved on the worksite. You want your prospective employer to know you’re confident working both independently and on a diverse team.

Don’t be afraid to brag! If you have good, relevant experience, share it openly. Need practice? Try delivering your credentials to yourself in the mirror, or videotaping your spiel. Though it may feel awkward, the practice will pay off when it is clear during the job interview that you’re comfortable in your experience and abilities!

DON’T…

BRING AN OUTDATED RESUME.

Glowing recommendations are not enough to set your resume apart. An outstanding resume opens with career goals and identifies the clear value you would bring when hired. Employers seek applicants that are not only goal oriented, but enthusiastic about their company. Flesh out your resume with a qualifications and skills summary, and detailed work history. Make it easy for a prospective employer to scan your resume quickly and understand what value you would bring to their organization.

Constructing the perfect resume can be time-consuming. CraftForce’s free resume building service makes it easier! You can create one quickly by signing up for a free account today! We’ll ask you a few questions about your background and build a professional resume that will showcase your assets perfectly.

FORGET APPLICABLE INDUSTRY STANDARDS.

Reserve a section on your resume for licenses, construction related certifications, training, trade union memberships, and degrees. Employers are looking for applicants with achievements in the field, so this information is valuable! Note the date and location of each certificate so you can verify where and when you earned each one. A resume full of experiences and active licenses sends a strong signal to employers that working hard is part of your DNA.

FUDGE INFORMATION ON A RESUME.

Being honest during an interview is the best route if you want to land the job you’re qualified for, especially in the skilled trades. Most employers run a background check on potential hires, so don’t withhold anything that might turn up! Honesty is, as they say, the best policy.

An excellent resume is transparent with a natural flow and proper grammar and spelling. Human Resources managers and recruiters seek out these resumes and typically trash the others that appear deceitful or are hard to read. The time you invest into your resume, using CraftForce’s free service, will pay off!

[hubspotform portal_id=”2270785″ form_id=”383840da-3fe9-4c81-ab06-47e87dec2bc8″ css=””]

Looking for a tool that will help you find your next job in the trades? CraftForce’s powerful platform was built for tradesmen and women seeking fulfilling job opportunities in their field. After signing up, you can:

  • Search through 1,000’s of job opportunities
  • Sign up to receive real-time notifications on openings that match your specific criteria
  • Communicate directly with employers
  • Find work anywhere in the country
  • Apply for jobs with one click

The best part? It’s totally free. What are you waiting for? Sign up for a free account with CraftForce and kickstart your career TODAY by clicking here.

Want to contribute to the CraftForce blog? Submit your blog topic idea(s) at blog@craftforce.com 

5 Ways to Land Your First Job in the Trades

…SO YOU’VE JUST GRADUATED FROM TRADE SCHOOL AND YOU’RE READY TO START YOUR CAREER. 

Congratulations! A career in the trades can be fulfilling, fun, and lucrative. First, though, you have to land your first job.

Your trade school may have a number of resources to help you get started. They may have a co-op program to help you transition into full­-time work. Or they might help you move into your local union’s apprenticeship program.

If those options aren’t available, though, you may have to do your own legwork. The good news is that there’s high demand for most skills in the trades. If you are a reliable worker who is willing to learn, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding work. Below are a few options you may want to consider as you look for your first job.

1. CREATE A RESUME

Before you start knocking on doors and applying for jobs, prepare a resume to showcases your skills and education. You’d be surprised how many applicants for trade industry jobs don’t have resumes. If you take the time to create one, you’ll be one big step ahead of other applicants.

Most resumes highlight work experience, though you may not have much of that, if any. If this is the case, go in ­depth about your schooling. Jot bullet points to highlight courses you took, projects you completed, and unique skills you acquired. Be sure to also list any work or co-­op experience that you have had. The most important thing is that the resume be clean, polished, and easy to read.

Not sure how to create a resume? No problem. You can create one for free on CraftForce. Simply sign up for a membership and answer a few questions about your background and education. CraftForce takes this information and creates a professional resume for you. Bring this resume with you to interviews and and you’re already one step ahead of most candidates!

2. BE PROACTIVE

No matter your skill set, there are jobs out there. Employers aren’t going to beat down your door, though. You have to be proactive and get out there to find them.

One way to do this is to spend some time researching local employers online that you may want to work with. Don’t just look for companies that have job openings posted online, make a list of all the companies that might be a good fit for you. If you’re a machinist, make a list of local machine shops. If you’re a carpenter, make a list of builders, remodelers, and contractors. You get the idea.

Next, start making phone calls. Ask for the general manager or whomever is in charge of hiring. When you get them on the phone, simply introduce yourself and briefly explain what you’re looking for. They’ll either have jobs available or they won’t. The worst that can happen is that they don’t have any openings.

Either way, they will likely be impressed by your professionalism and will keep you in mind for future openings. This will expand your network. A big network is always a good thing to have as you advance your career!

3. LOOK FOR APPRENTICESHIPS

Apprenticeships are a great way to start a career! Though you may get paid a little less than you would at a normal full­-time job, the experience will qualify you to earn more at your next gig, paying off over the span of your career.

Ask your trade school to connect you with any apprenticeship opportunities. Also, reach out to your local union. Most have apprenticeship programs that will place you with a great employer.

4. NETWORK

The best jobs are often landed through a network of friends, coworkers, and classmates. Want to hear about job openings before they’re even posted online? Build a big network within the industry. Great contacts can also put in a good word for you, giving you a leg up. A big network is always a valuable asset.

Make an effort to get to know everyone in your trade school and keep in touch with them after you graduate. You never know who could give you a great referral! Also, ask your school if you can reach out to alumni. Many of them will be in the workforce, so they may know about potential openings. They also may be eager to help someone who is just starting out in the industry.

Don’t be afraid to connect with people. Your connections are often your most powerful tool when it comes to finding a new job.

5. USE CRAFTFORCE

So… we’ve chalked up some of the most solid pointers for landing your first job in the skilled trades. Exciting stuff, eh?! In following these guidelines and leaning on the right resources, you’ll be employed and advancing in your career in no time.

If you’re looking for an additional resource that’ll make the job search process even easier, look no further than CraftForce’s online job-search platform. With a powerful engine that locates opportunities in the your field, instantly, CraftForce will have you gainfully employed in no time. You simply create a free account and profile describing the type of work you’re looking for. Our search engine finds job openings that meet your criteria (completing what’s otherwise known as “the hard part” of finding a job).

The opportunities are out there! It’s just on you to find them. With a little smart effort, you can and will land your first job, taking your  first step in a long and fulfilling career in the trades! ‘One small step for man… one giant leap for…’ you get the idea.

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Photo credit: vonderauvisuals via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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