Resume Tips for Blue Collar Jobs

If you think you don’t need a resume for a blue collar job, think again. An organized, professional resume is a great way to stand out in today’s crowded job market.

A strong resume may even offer greater advantage in the blue collar job market, because many of your competitors won’t have one. Here are the “Top 10 Tips” on blue collar resumes:

  1. Don’t list salary requirements or past hourly wages on your resume. If asked, you can provide this information, but common practice is to leave it off your resume.
  2. Be specific and brief – list detailed information about your skills and experience, but do not overwhelm with detail. Do not exceed two pages.
  3. Include multiple contacts: email, home address and a phone number where you can be reached.
  4. Tailor your experience to the job opening: One way to improve your chances of being hired, is to leave off irrelevant information and tailor your resume to the job opening.
  5. Avoid Discrimination based on age. Provide only your most recent (and relevant) work experience. For example, if you’ve been working since 1980, you could choose to include only your experience from 1990. This is the fastest (non-surgical) way to cut 10 years off your age! Do not include a date next to high school graduation.
  6. If it doesn’t “sell you,” leave it off. For example, if you did not graduate high school (or got a GED instead), it is better to omit the education portion of your resume, if you have 5 or more solid years of work experience. Your work history now supersedes your high school record.
  7. Joblessness: If you have had long periods of joblessness, you don’t have to make that obvious on your resume. Instead of including start and end dates next to each position, simply put the total years worked. For example: Pete’s Auto Shop – Mechanic – 3 years (as opposed to 1995-1998).
  8. Do include references: Include names and phone numbers of references. Make sure you contact your references in advance to ask their permission and confirm their contact information.
  9. Make it e-mailable. If you are emailing your resume to potential employers, create a pdf version. If you don’t know how to do this, ask a teenager.
  10. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread! If you are not good at proofreading, have a friend, relative or neighbor review your resume. Also, use classic fonts like Times New Roman. Your resume is no place to experiment with funky fonts.

In his 40-plus-year newspaper career, George Morris has written about just about everything -- Super Bowls, evangelists, World War II veterans and ordinary people with extraordinary tales. His work has received multiple honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press and the Louisiana Press Association. He avoids debt when he can and pays it off quickly when he can't, and he's only too happy to suggest how you might do the same.