According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 1, the median wage for HVAC technicians was $20.98 per hour, or $43,640 per year, in 2012 (the last year for which data is available). If you have just finished HVAC training and are looking for an entry-level position in the industry, it’s essential to build a strong resume that clearly represents your skills and knowledge, thus increasing your chances of getting hired for a gainful position. Use the following tips to create a convincing resume.
1. Detail Your Training
Monster.com recommends that your resume clearly indicate the full extent of your skills and training. If you are creating a resume from scratch, you may find it helpful to talk over your HVAC coursework, past work experience, and acquired skills with a friend, family member, instructor or career services. While it might be clear to you what you have learned during your training, it needs to be clear to the hiring manager who is reading your resume that you have the experience and skills needed for the position. Make a list of all the classes and certification exams you took and include these credentials in your resume.
2. Expand Your Knowledge Base
Creating a detailed list of your training and credentials can also show you what areas you may not be familiar with and where you might want to gain experience to enhance your chances in a competitive job market. For example, if you have not had much experience troubleshooting refrigerators, see if you can fill this gap by resuming training (if possible) or reading up on this particular matter. You may also address any possible gaps in your cover letter, explaining why you might not have enough experience with a specific aspect of the job and assuring your potential employer that your other qualifications can make up for this lack.
3. Use Headings & Spell Out Acronyms
While the content of your resume is obviously very important, the formatting is just as crucial. Your resume should be well arranged and easily readable. Use clear, bold headings (such as “Education” or “Work Experience”) to organize your resume, so the person reading it can find relevant information quickly. Spell out acronyms or abbreviations. While your supervisor likely understands industry abbreviations, your resume could be read by a hiring manager who does not understand these terms. If you use abbreviations, he or she could pass over your resume by misunderstanding your skill set and expertise.
4. Use Action Verbs
Underneath the subheadings, list out your related education and work experience, and provide a brief explanation usingaction verbs. For example, if you know how to read blueprints, you would write “Read blueprints, diagrams, and related materials” instead of “Can read blueprints.” The former is an action verb, while the latter is not. Action verbs will catch your potential employer’s attention.
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5. Clean It Up
Once you have written your resume, take time to clean it up, review the content for spelling or grammar mistakes, and ensure that the resume is readable and properly formatted. As Red Seal Recruiting notes, employers in the HVAC industry are often extremely busy. They may have a minute or less to look over your resume and make a decision on whether to call you or put your resume in the recycling bin. A cluttered resume with typos will likely be thrown out.
6. Review All Your Materials
Finally, before you send your resume to a potential employer, draft a brief cover letter that clearly indicates your interest in the position and your aptitude for the job. Consider including potential knowledge/experience gaps if necessary. Then read over all of your materials again to ensure that all the information is correct and that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Have a friend, family member or industry professional read over your resume and cover letter one more time before you submit your application.
Good luck and be persistent!