Guest blog | How to land an entry-level job in construction by Laura Slingo

There’s undeniable evidence that the construction industry is crucial to the success of the UK’s economy, as not only does it generate revenue over £110 billion every year, it’s also responsible for 10% of the nation’s total employment.

Despite the ongoing skills shortages, the construction industry is in robust shape, particularly for graduates. The average starting salary in construction stands at £29,530, placing it second in the best-paid sectors for grads.

In addition, CV-Library’s data showed that average salaries for the industry were at a significant high in December 2017, up 3.5% month-on-month. Data also shows that the advertised jobs in the sector have increased by 4.6% year-on-year, suggesting that construction is a top industry to look for work in 2018.

To land a graduate job in this growing and rewarding industry, check out the following tips.


Tailor your CV to the role and industry

It would be unwise to send out a generic CV and hope to hear back from prospective employers. Graduate jobs in the construction industry are highly sought-after due to their tempting salaries and are therefore incredibly competitive.

A successful CV is one that is tailored to the job description. To target your CV effectively, read through the job spec, identify where your abilities match the requirements and pull out keywords and phrases. Then pepper your CV with these terms to make it clear to the prospective employer that you’re a fit for the position.


Format your CV to highlight your skills

As a graduate, you may be struggling to format your CV, especially if you’ve never written one or have little work experience.

Start with your name and contact details, including your phone number and email address. There’s no need to include your full home address; your town and county will do.

Next comes your personal profile which is a short, snappy paragraph introducing the employer to your graduate status, your skills and your career goals.

If your education is more impactful than your employment history so far, list this next. Zoom in on the hard and soft skills you picked up throughout university and the classification you obtained. Since your degree will take up a lot of space on your CV, you can condense other grades and qualifications into one line, rather than listing every single A level or GCSE certificate, for example.

Up next is your employment history. If you haven’t had a lot of industry experience, you can retitle this section to read “projects and placements” or “projects, placements and work experience”. Detail key modules and projects from in and out of university in the same way you would any other position of employment to compensate.

Remember to keep your points tailored to the job description at all times; detail examples of skills that the prospective employer values most.


Diversify your job search

If you want to land a job in construction, it’s important to utilise a variety of job searching tools to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity. However, it’s equally important to conduct a manageable search, so try to avoid overwhelming yourself.

Consider signing up to job boards like CV-Library that host thousands of jobs from top companies and recruitment agencies. Not only can you search for the latest jobs, but you can also increase your chances of being headhunted and pitched job opportunities by consultants.

It’s also worth registering with a generalist or construction-focused recruitment agency. The expert consultants can work with you and pitch you the freshest construction jobs as soon as they become available.

Other great ways to search for a graduate construction job include browsing employers’ websites, checking out postings on social media and networking with your lecturers and fellow alumni.

Even though reports suggest that the robots will snatch approximately 600,000 builders’ jobs in the UK by 2040, you must remember that modern construction jobs extend beyond the building trade. Use these tips to land a graduate role in the industry and let your rewarding career commence.

About the author: Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.