Your wizardry under the hood of a car speaks volumes about your skills as an auto technician. But without a resume that reflects your competence, you may not even get the chance to prove yourself against the competition.
"You've got to take what you have and sell it," says John Brubaker, owner of Professional Resume Plus in Connecticut, adding that "you have to sell your skills, strong work ethic and adaptability" when applying to work for an auto shop. Use the following tips on polishing your resume before you start your job search.
Your Five Basic Auto Resume Parts
"All technical skills can be taught -- it's the mind-set that is important to have," says Helmut Panke, chairman of BMW AG, noting that his company looks for those who are career-oriented and show a willingness to go beyond a job's basic requirements.
A one-page resume with a few basic sections should help you showcase your career mind-set and thus compete for a better job, according to Brubaker. Construct your resume with the following components:
- A Succinct Career Overview: Under a heading such as, "Accomplished, Experienced Auto Technician," offer a one or two-sentence career overview. What are your goals in working in this field? Do you want to work for a small shop or franchise, or is brand more important to you? When building your resume on Monster, enter this information in the Career Objective field.
- A Thorough, Recent Work History: To get your foot in the door, you need to chronicle your work history on your resume. "Where have you worked, how long have you worked there and what was your reason for leaving?" These are the questions Ronald Jones -- whose auto repair facility has been family-owned and operated for 58 years -- would like answered on an applicant's resume.
Jones, echoing comments by other shop owners, says he wants the listed experience to be relevant. "What somebody did in 1982 has no bearing on the problems we face today in the shop," he says. List your most up-to-date, relevant experience first. If you have any relevant experience that isn't evergreen, list it below your most recent experience.
Moreover, "if you have experience, dramatize that by showing the number of hours [you have done a job]," Brubaker says. Rather than saying you have diagnosed and repaired cars for three years, for instance, note that you have done this work for 6,000 hours.
- A Summary of Related Technical Skills and Abilities: List the skills you think are most demanded by the shop you're applying to work for.
- A List of Your Key Strengths: These should include references to work habits, such as attention to detail and people skills. You can put this in the Additional Information section on your Monster Resume.
- A List of the Training Programs You've Completed: "Training and certification are really important," says Jones. Be sure to include such applicable education on your resume. On your Monster Resume, you can put this in the Education field.