Construction Workers – Job Application Tips
by Daniel Green
With any luck you’ve read Construction Worker Resume Advice and have shot off a killer resume to that awesome company you’ve been eyeing. So now you’re in the game! The waiting game that is. Bleh.
The Waiting Game.
We all know how fluid timelines need to be in construction. One tiny issue, change to the design or error can cause multiple delays with flow-on effects that literally last weeks, sometimes months. What does this mean for you, the humble jobseeker? It means that perhaps that immediate start is now in three weeks. Should you be made aware? Probably. Does the recruiter have time to call every single applicant, of which there could be thousands? Sadly, no – which means now you’re in the dark. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in. So we just have to wait. But not for long!
Give It A Nudge.
So you’ve sent off your killer CV and you’re feeling good but it’s been a few days and no word. When’s good to call? The next day is too soon – you can look desperate and as well, the recruiter is probably still looking at CV’s because there will be hundreds of them. Three days is too long because you may miss the boat – the early bird catches the worm n’ all. Two days is like the middle bear’s porridge from Goldilocks – it is just right. So like your two-year-old on a park swing, give ‘em a gentle push.
But before you call them up and demand why they haven’t called you [because clearly, you’re the best one for the job], be sure to have a plan in place. First of all – make sure you’re in a quiet place and aren’t going to be interrupted. Secondly – prepare what you’re going to say. Even go so far as to write some notes and a list of questions you really need to know the answer to – you’d hate to leave anything out that’s vital. Third, ask for and use their name in conversation – it will stand you out from all the other joe’s who simply call them ‘mate’. Fourth, speak to them as though you’re speaking to your nana. NO, NOT LOUDLY BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING DEAF – with respect.
Hot damn, they’re calling right now! Maybe they want to meet you! Must have been that great resume and gentle nudge phone call. Whilst that phone is vibrating hotly in your hand, ask yourself – are you ready to take the call? Or are you in the middle of something that requires your full attention? Is it loud where you are or can you have a decent conversation? What if they ask you a time and place you can come to an interview – can you commit then and there? If the answer is no to one or more of these questions, let it go to voicemail.
Then listen to the voice mail, take down their name as well as the number they have asked you to call back on, consider a few times in the coming days that you will be free to go to an interview and find somewhere quiet as soon as you can and call them back. If they invite you to an after-work interview, let them know you’ll be in work clothes so you can manage their expectations.
A famous spray painter once said that 95% of painting cars is in preparation. This is probably true for everything, job-seeking included. Remember, your resume has described you as a certain type of person – hopefully, the professional version of you – so now it’s time to go and be just that. You’re about to give your second first impression – the real one! So let’s get this right.
- Dress code. No, it’s not a black-tie affair but yes there’s still a dress code. First of all, if you’re coming directly from the site and you can’t shower and change first, at least change into a clean work shirt. Wash your face and hands, tuck your shirt in, do your hair, and wear some cologne [especially in summer]. Heck, some guys even clean their pits with a washcloth. Good going I say
- Timeliness. Be early. As we all know, Sydney is woeful to get around and a simple 15-minute journey can turn into a 45-minute one in the blink of an eye. Account for this as much as possible so you can arrive early.
- Greetings! When you first meet them, be prepared for the fact that they may look nothing like the sound of their voice. Smile if you can and remember their name. People love to feel special, and this simple act will get them feeling all warm and fuzzy when they think of you – which will go a long way to a great interview.
- Charge Up. More and more businesses require their workers to have smartphones. Make sure yours has some battery left in it in case you need to use it in the interview. Please also ensure you have phone credit.
- Integrity. This is the biggest one so remember that you have it. If you’re being interviewed for your dream job but they ask you to compromise your integrity to do it – is it really your dream job? For example, if they need you to start tomorrow but you have to give two weeks notice – do you accept the job and tell them you don’t like your current employer anyway? The way you treat your current employer is the way you’ll treat your new one. So if you leave your old job without notice then a smart recruiter will expect you to do the same to them. So what to do? How to retain your integrity but still get what you want? Negotiate. No, not like in Shark Tank. Have a meaningful discussion around the start date. Chances are the recruiter can make a call and see if the immediate start is absolutely necessary. You can also make a call and see if your two-week notice period is absolutely necessary – perhaps your employer is about to go into a quiet period and you’re doing them a favour. Open up the topic and talk it out.
Once the interview is complete, do the Craig David and walk away. If you’re hanging on too tight you’ll strangle any chances you have. It’s just one of those things in life. One of the best things to do when you’re waiting for the call back is to go onto
Tinder Seek and try and meet find another partner job. It puts you in a better headspace.
You’ve done all you can do anyway. It’s now out of your hands. Ultimately you’ll either get the job or you won’t.
Some Inside Info From Behind The Green Curtain.
Finding the right worker for the job is actually pretty tough. There’s a lot riding on it. Let’s say you didn’t get the job. In most cases it’s not personal[ except #6 – it’s very personal], so here are some things you may not have considered:
- It might not be the recruiter’s decision. Everyone has a boss and sometimes that boss overrides us even if we think they’re wrong. The recruiter probably actually really likes you and is fighting for you but could be outranked meaning someone else is hired.
- Your skills fit but your attitude doesn’t. If you got the job perhaps you’d spend your days clashing with the site supervisor, and as a good judge of character deep down the recruiter knows this.
- Unforeseeable changes. Perhaps the design of the build changed at the last minute and now the site needs someone with a different skill set. Happens all the time.
- Know thyself. Perhaps you think you’re suitable but you’re not. Maybe for you, the job is an hour drive each way, and while you’re in the honeymoon phase of employment, you’ll go the distance. But three months in when you’re nice and comfortable a sick day or two a week may become the norm. After potentially interviewing and recruiting thousands of workers, recruiters can develop a sixth sense of these things.
- They’re helping you. In a moment of weakness, you may be willing to do something that won’t really make you happy or isn’t in your career path. Hiring you will take you away from the next opportunity just around the corner, so whilst it may seem unfair they really could be helping.
- You’re not who and what you say you are, and you’ve wasted everyone’s time including your own. Self-explanatory.
Cliches are cliches because they’re true and some of the biggest ones are the old adages that at least you had a shot and you’ve never failed if you learnt something. Now is a good time to reflect back on the process, on what you did [or didn’t do], and what you could do next time.
Good luck! The recruiter is pulling for you!