By Kris Jennings
You may need to explain your qualifications to non-trades people in a company; human resource personnel, business managers, administrators…
Tradespeople (electricians, carpenters, plumbers, painters, boilermakers, landscapers, roofers, tilers, glaziers…) are often so focused on the physical aspects of their job they tend to forget that other people might not know what is involved in their work.
Don’t assume that everyone in the company or the industry knows what you do. The fact is they don’t! You need to make your critical information very clear, or lose potential opportunities. Job descriptions with similar titles can vary greatly from company to company and even trade qualifications may need a little more explanation.
An avoidable but true interview situation about explaining qualifications…
Alan was a young, dynamic ‘A’ Grade Electrician with about five years’ experience working on major civic and industrial projects; initially as a team member, then as a supervisor with responsibility for teams of up to six qualified electricians and apprentices.
Alan applied for a position outside the company. A key member of the interview panel was a business manager, remote from complicated technical issues; concerned and focused on strategic business plans and growing the company. He had little knowledge of trade qualifications and even less understanding about those Roman numerals which followed the certificates. Electrical Trade Certificates III and IV in Electrotechnology were an enigma to him.
As he thumbed through Alan’s résumé he became dismissive of the qualifications; unaware they were significant and appropriate to the advertised job. Caught off guard and unused to a panel of well-suited-corporate-types throwing questions at him, Alan hesitated and missed the opportunity of advising the business manager that he was a highly skilled ‘A’ Grade Electrician with additional accreditations and that’s what the Certificates III and IV stood for.
The result was a negative end to the interview. Taking for granted that others know what you do and not explaining it on the résumé led to a poor result for Alan. All that was needed was for Alan to have put by the side of his qualification – Qualified ‘A’ Grade Electrician; that plus a few carefully chosen projects in the main body of his résumé.
See our article on more résumé writing tips www.resumesenclosed.com.au/resumes-must-capture-employer-interest
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