In our recent post, we broke down how to wow interviewees in virtual interviews. But how exactly do you land an interview in the first place? Today, we share our top tips to promote yourself in the construction industry.
When the average construction worker is asked how they promote themselves for their most desired positions, they respond with “the proof is in the work.” And while doing the very best work is an important part of landing a job, it isn’t the only way or for everyone or every position. For starters, new-to-the-industry individuals have little real-world experience to showcase their skills. And, you can’t very well take a potential employer onto your existing jobsite.
All job seekers need to focus on something that isn’t exactly the most comfortable: putting yourself out there. But how do you get in front of employers’ eyes? Keep reading and follow these three steps.
Identify who you want to work for.
First thing’s first: find the right company for you. List out potential construction firms you’re most interested in. You might be familiar with their work from their recent projects in your local community, from a friend who works there or from a quick Google search. No matter how you know them, list as many as possible, without forsaking quality or authentic interest. Your list can be as small as two or three companies, or as long as nine or ten — or more. Before adding any construction firm to your list, take some time to really get to know each of them, from the type of work they do to the company culture. All of the above will be important in helping to maintain a lasting career in construction.
Connect with the leaders of the construction firms of your dreams.
Once you’ve identified “who” you’d like to work for, it’s time to build your network and create good rapport with the right people. As we shared in our recent post, “Building a More Trustworthy Construction Industry,” the construction industry is built on trust. And, in order for you to be a part of an established construction firm’s team, whether as a temporary contractor or full-time salaried employee, you need to earn their trust on an individual level. We recommend getting in the habit of reaching out to firms every single week until you land the job of your dreams.
If this grassroots, in-person lead generation isn’t exactly your thing, especially in the middle of a pandemic, there are digital ways to network. From simple searches in your preferred search engine to automated lead generation services, there are plenty of resources available at jobseekers’ fingertips:
- When making an online search, be intentional with what you type in the search bar. Try things like: “‘Type of client’ + in city” or “‘Type of client’ + zip code” or “‘Type of client’ + near me.”
- For more efficient and strategically personalized searches, you can also sign up for paid lead generation services. These are ideal for general contractors or subcontractors looking to land a job. We recommend you check out sites like The Blue Book (thebluebook.com), iSqFt (isqft.com) and Building Connected (buildingconnected.com). Keep in mind, these services do typically come with a monthly fee, with the exception of Building Connected.
Convert your job leads into rewarding positions.
Once you’ve followed our first two tips, it’s time to take all those leads you gathered and finally land the position you’ve been seeking. This is the last step, and the one that most people working in the industry feel the most comfortable with. This is where you can finally prove to the that the companies you’ve connected with need your services.
If you’re already actively working in the construction industry, show why you’re best for the job by providing a bit of upfront work. It may seem like you’re giving away your work for free, but you’re proving your value with every action. You might also consider bidding high on a project. It might seem counterintuitive, but securing a bid will set you up for the future. If you’re new to the industry, be open to taking a “learn as you earn” apprenticeship that will reward you with more than just a paycheck. Even if you had an established career before construction, taking an entry-level job isn’t a step-back, it’s a stepping stone.
With these three tips, we hope to see a new generation of construction industry members, eager to make an impact. Be sure to read our post, “Our Best Tips for Virtual Interviews” so you’ll be well prepared to prove you’re right for the job after successful self-promotion. If you are interested in additional, ongoing support, click here. We’ll deliver all the latest news and resources directly to you so you always stay in the know.
Photo credit: I Build America