Why is Construction Experience Based?
It is helpful, in these cases, to first look at why a job or a particular industry may be run or worked the way that it is. Construction is a job where time is money and where it is almost always preferred to choose someone for the job that already has experience over someone that might be fresh out of school or just coming into the industry. Since many construction companies work on time tables that dictate how much money they make and any delays may cut into profits, finding someone that has experience is going to be able to jump right in.
Being able to cut down on things like training, showing someone the ropes, and trying to get your workers on the same page can help move the job along and can help construction teams meet critical deadlines. This means that if you do have experience, you are not going to have to be taught as much and often, that is a big draw for the hiring process. This does not mean however that if you have no experience you are going to have to enter the workforce as a general laborer and then break your back to work your way up. You can put in a bit more effort and get a better construction job, even if you are not super experienced.
Construction Jobs and Networking
Networking is one of the most important aspects of any construction job, company, or project. Think of it this way, you are more likely to hire someone to do repairs on your home based on the recommendation of someone that has used that particular company before, right? Similarly, the construction industry works on a system of word of mouth, and oftentimes, they use networking to help fill positions and to help get jobs done.
Most construction companies do not have a full team that can do it all, this means that for specialty construction jobs like carpenters, tile layers, drywall installers, etc. are going to be filled on word of mouth or based on the established network that the company often uses. This can be used to your advantage when it comes to landing a job that is more than that of a general laborer. Word of mouth and networking is one of your best bets when it comes to getting a great construction job without much experience.
Taking the time to talk to the right people can make a huge difference in the position that you ultimately get and it can help you to find the right person to hire you. Talking to the site manager, to those in charge, or even working to build a relationship with other workers on the site can help you to build a reputation and to make it more likely that you will get hired. With networking you should present yourself as a person that is punctual, dedicated and willing to learn. You are more likely to be hired, even without experience, if you appear to be the type of person that would flourish in the job and that is willing to be flexible and learn.
The Resume Issue
With many companies you are going to have to submit a resume. This means that if you are applying with a big name company and you have to show that you have no experience on your resume, you are going to have a far lesser chance of landing a job. A great way to avoid this is to take the time to reach out to different networking groups, perhaps handyman or repair groups, take the time to talk to the home builder association in your area, and try to aim for smaller jobs that might not be so concerned with your resume.
For the most part, big name construction companies are going to be focused on your resume rather than the way that you work or your overall readiness to learn and to advance your skills. With smaller companies it is going to be more about the person and less about the resume or the application that you fill out. With smaller job sites they are also going to be more likely to hire someone with less experience because they have the time to teach and the time to get you to the point that you are going to work well.
There are tons of different jobs you can apply for, you can apprentice under skilled workers, you can apply to be laborers under a specific category, or you can apply a worker that floats from position to position to gain more skills while you go to school to further your education.
Landing the Job
When it comes to finding and getting a construction job with no experience you really do need to focus and these steps can help. First, you should take the time to do an extensive search to find the job that you want. Do not apply for jobs that are not going to fit what you want to do or that are outside of the scope of what you can actually do. A spreadsheet with possible jobs is a great way to help you organize your thoughts and organize your process so that you can better keep track of what you are doing and how the process is going. A spreadsheet is also going to allow you to see all the information you have collected in one easy to access and easy to use file.
After you have picked out the jobs that you might want to do, you should take the time to do a bit of research about the companies. This does a few things for you in terms of your interview and job hunt. Researching a company can help you learn about the history of the company, the overall organization and how it is set up, and even how the culture of the company works. This helps you to tailor your resume if you need one and also helps you to direct your interview.
The next step is of course filling out your applications and making a resume that is going to serve you well. Though your resume is not going to have a ton of experience listed on it, that does not mean that it cannot showcase your abilities and show your potential employer that you are worth taking a look at. You should make a list of common skills that all the jobs are looking for, take the time to compare and contrast what might be useful and what might be detrimental. You can also take the time to look at any special skills you may need.
Since you have no experience in the construction industry, now is the time to be creative and to take from life any experience that you might feel is useful. Say you are applying to a construction site where you will be working to help install cabinetry. You should take the time to think about all possible experience, building furniture for your home perhaps, that might be applicable. You should note that you are task and detail oriented, that you work to create a clean and efficient workplace, that you are a quick learner, basically any skill that would be useful on a construction site.
Taking the time to tailor the skills that you do have while not focusing on what you might be lacking is going to help highlight your actual skill set and make you look like a better candidate. After you have applied and made your resume, you do need to think about your interview. Interviewing is one of the biggest parts of landing a job. Practice what you are going to say ahead of time, dress professionally, be on time and make sure you are taking the time to truly make yourself look like the best candidate for the job.
Though experience might help, it is not the be all, end all and without it you can still get jobs that are going to help further your career in the long run.