How to Get Into Construction: Advice on Landing a Job in the Construction Industry

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Oct 19, 2018

Oct 19, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

More than 1.2 million Canadians work in the construction industry performing residential and nonresidential work like engineering and repair work.

Many of these jobs are entry-level or require trade school education. So how can you get in on the action? Learn how to get into construction with this helpful article.

Consider an Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship means that you will be working underneath a mentor who is an expert in their field and be paid for your time.

For most starting construction jobs, you will likely make minimum wage. That's why many people consider this part of the job acquisition process as "paying your dues".

While you are completing an apprenticeship, you won't just be learning how to perform skilled labor. You will also have the opportunity to make valuable connections and show people in your industry what you are capable of.

If you perform well in your apprenticeship, then you will have a much easier time finding a job when it's completed and you will be able to ask for higher pay in that position.

Go to Trade School

While unskilled labor is an option, going to trade school is a great way to make your entrance into the construction industry. At a trade school, you will learn specialized knowledge that will help you grow in your career field.

While trade school can be expensive, it also gives you the opportunity to make connections, get certificates and licenses that allow you to be paid more, and teach you new skills to do your job better and more quickly.

The best part is, many trade school programs offer night classes. So if you want to work during the day, you can get your education in your spare time and be ready for advancement opportunities.

Consider Unskilled Labor Opportunities

While going to trade school and getting an apprenticeship are the surest ways to enter the construction industry, there are unskilled labor opportunities available for those who look.

These positions are good for people who have just a high school diploma or GED and are physically able to work, will be on time, and have an attitude that says they're willing to learn.

When you take an unskilled labor job, you will often learn new skills on the job and if you demonstrate your value to your employer, they could end up sponsoring you to go to school and get your license or certification so that you can take on more advanced roles.

The construction industry is all about proving yourself and being willing to put in the time to demonstrate you're a reliable employee.

One often overlooked job in the construction industry is the role of a security guard. Of course, many of these people are being replaced by new technology. Learn how businesses are taking control of their construction site security with Mobile Video Guard.

Selecting a Construction Job Opportunity

To select a job in the construction industry, you need to consider all of the skills you possess. Make a list of your certifications, awards, and experience.

Then, get online. It's time to start looking at job postings. You'll find that locating these listings is no trouble.

The difficult part of your search will be locating the jobs you are qualified for. The best way to search through the posts and stay organized in your approach is by creating a job spreadsheet.

You can use word processing software to create columns and a chart for the jobs you are interested in. Then, when it comes time to write your cover letter, you will be able to write one that addresses all your relevant skills for each position.

Just Google It

Google is doing everything it can to make searching for things easy. One of the places they have recently improved is in their display of job postings.

You can now use the Google's search bar to type in "construction jobs" and it will automatically populate a list of relevant openings in your area. This will give you a good overview of what kinds of jobs are available and help you broaden your search.

Of course, you will still want to hunt down directories to find the most up-to-date and relevant postings.

Customizing Your Application

Once you have found a position you are interested in, you will need to create a resume and cover letter that demonstrates you have the skills necessary to do the job.

Start by looking at your spreadsheet of the employer's requested skillsets. Look for common themes and make note of them. For example, many people may mention punctuality as a trait they desire in a candidate. This is the kind of thing you will want to mention in your cover letter.

Once you have an idea of the skills you need to demonstrate, you can attribute your experience to each of these things. Write down a few sentences about how you have performed each task and what your strengths are.

In addition to a cover letter that states your skills, you will need to build a professional resume that highlights your accomplishments. Make sure that you keep your resume under one page and focus on the most relevant experience you have for this kind of job.

No hiring manager wants to pour over blocks of text, so make sure your resume is quick and to-the-point. Let them know what makes you a good candidate for the position and move on.

Preparing for the Interview

Once you successfully secure an interview, you will need to take the time to practice some common interview questions and come up with a reasonable response.

On the day of the interview, you should dress neatly, be on time, and be friendly to everyone you meet. You should also send a thank-you note to your interviewers within twenty-four hours of the meeting. This will show them you're really interested.

How to Get into Construction Summarized

Learning how to get into construction is as simple as taking the time to identify the jobs that are available in your area, and crafting the right resume and cover letter to secure a position.

To locate positions in Canada that are currently open, check out our job board today.