Making a Resume for Labour Positions

People sometimes come into our Job Search Resource Centre and ask for help making a resume for ‘any job’ or for a ‘general labour’ job. These days, one single resume just won’t do. What you include and what is emphasized on your resume depends on which job you’re applying for.

A general labour resume will look different if you’re applying for work in a manufacturing or warehouse environment compared to a construction environment. Explore the differences between the kinds of general labour positions.  It is different to be a general labourer in construction, than it is to work on an assembly line in a food processing plant.  The skills and knowledge are quite different for each.

A Working Centre Employment Counsellor can work with you to target your resume and plan a targeted job search necessary in today’s labour market.

A Note on Temporary Agencies

One of the major shifts that has taken place in manufacturing and general labour is the move to temporary agencies as the main avenue for hiring. Temporary Agencies prescreen for employers, and receive payment from the employer for this service.  These jobs can be short term, or can lengthen for periods up to 3 months.  Often these jobs do not last past the three month trial period.  Sometimes employees are hired on full time by the employer at the 3 month point.  The shift to temporary agencies has also been coupled with a shift to lower pay in manufacturing and general labour work.

The move to temporary and casual labour means a significant portion of the workforce does not obtain secure employment. Many employers use temporary agencies to do some of their hiring and others are on retainer to conduct all hiring. For someone looking for their start in manufacturing and general labour, or for those needing to find work as soon as possible, temporary agencies may be a useful component of the job search.

One other note about temporary agencies: we have worked with many job-seekers who register with an agency and then don’t hear back from them. Our experience has taught us that it’s important to be vigilant in advocating for yourself with temporary agencies. Make sure you check in with the agency at least once a week to remind them that you are still looking for work, and show them that you are willing and eager to do well in the job.

We have been compiling a list of temporary agencies in the Kitchener/Waterloo area; click on the link to view it.

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