Application & Resume Tips for New Technicians
So, you found an opening for an entry-level technician job that you want to apply to on our career center. Before you submit your application, take the time to assemble a resume that perfectly represents you and your background.
For those candidates who have never applied to a full-time position before, it is important to understand that a shop or field supervisor will prefer to review the resume document attached to the application you submitted. Your application information is important for the recruiting team but isn’t always the best representation of who you are as a candidate. Your resume is your ticket into the job interview and the first impression any interviewers will have of you!
To make your first impression a great one, do your research and customize the resume you are supplying to the job you want. Most importantly, use your resume to address the following questions that the hiring manager will have as they review your application.
- HOW CAN THEY REACH YOU?
Resumes traditionally begin with your name, address and contact info, followed by your professional summary, skill set, work history and education. Since accuracy is one of the key features that Fabick Cat shop supervisors look for in any technician candidate, it’s important to start things right.
List your latest and most up-to-date contact information. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you provide an email address that you don’t regularly access, or a home phone number that you’re never around to answer, you might miss the hiring manager’s request for an interview in the first place.
- WHAT MAKES YOU QUALIFIED FOR THIS POSITION?
Before you put together your professional summary, carefully review the job description. If you can clearly demonstrate how your skillset fits into a given entry-level position, you should be a viable candidate for the job. If you’re newer to the job market and can’t find an appropriate position, one of our part- or full-time FABTECH or ThinkBIG internship positions may be a good fit for you.
Regardless of what position you apply for, your professional summary should be a short and simple, 1-2 sentence statement describing your background and what you can offer. Here’s an example: “Customer-focused, meticulously detailed student seeking an entry-level Dealer Technician position. Clear, concise communicator and organized multitasker who works diligently whether collaborating with others or working independently.”
- WHAT ARE YOUR SKILLS AND HOW HAVE THEY BEEN SHAPED BY YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE?
Following your professional summary, you’ll want to provide the hiring manager with an idea of what you are able to do. If you’re a recent graduate, these might be skills you developed
in school, clubs or extracurricular activities. Either way, they’re qualifications — backed up by real-life experience — which demonstrate that you have what it takes to handle the pressures of the job.
Depending on their background, our technicians work with all kinds of Cat technologies, from operating excavators to remote controlling dozers to utilizing simulation applications on laptops. That’s why your skills should reflect the needs of the job — whether you’re qualified to appraise engine diagnostics, execute part modifications, handle customer service or lead team efforts.
Need some help putting your skills into words? Check out Caterpillar’s Finding Your Strengths guide to help you determine how to highlight your competencies.
- WHAT SHOULD THE HIRING MANAGER FOCUS ON?
After providing your skills, you will list your job experience, starting with your most recent. If you just graduated from school, elaborate on any appropriate part-time jobs or volunteer experience. Keep your resume concise, using sentence-long bullet points. Highlight your responsibilities with active verbs that paint a clear picture of what you’ve accomplished. Whether that means using phrases like, “accurately performed diagnostics on heavy machinery,” “overhauled outdated engine and modified additional parts,” or “provided candid analysis and enhanced the customer experience.”
- WHERE DID YOU STUDY?
At the bottom of your resume, list your education history — whether you served in the military or graduated from a college, trade school or high school. Include your highest degree, diploma or certificate earned as well as the location of the institution and your graduation date. This information not only enlightens the hiring manager on your prior training, but it provides you with a networking opportunity in the interview. Maybe the hiring manager knows of your alma mater or has a family member who went there. Any instance where an interviewer can relate to you forms a connection that will have a positive impact on your application.
- WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THIS ROLE?
Overall, when putting together a resume, place yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Imagine what they are looking for in a prospective employee and find ways to best present yourself as their ideal applicant at-a-glance. You can also leverage a cover letter to professionally speak to your abilities. In several short and cordial paragraphs, a cover letter is your chance to elaborate on the summary of qualifications listed in your resume. A strong application utilizes both in proving that you can meet the job’s challenges with a proactive work ethic and a desire to grow within the company.
After years of reviewing applications from the career center, our recruiters recommend that you use your application documents to tell your story, make an impact, be transparent and stand out. Of all the details to focus on, what your resume looks like is secondary to how well it is written. Going overboard with fancy styles could make you stand out for the wrong reasons. Because simpler is better you can construct your resume in any office software if the final result is clean, legible and able to be opened and printed by others. Check out Caterpillar’s sample heavy diesel technician resume to see what a simple resume formatting and layout looks like.
By providing a polished resume, you will be a competitive candidate in today’s job market.
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