Contractor Resume Example & Writing Guide

A strong resume is vital for contractors to win projects and grow their business. This contractor resume example and writing guide breaks down each key section step-by-step. Learn what to include and how to structure your resume to impress clients and land lucrative contracts. Follow these expert tips to build a resume that sets you apart.

A strong resume is essential for contractors to land projects and grow their business. Clients review resumes to assess if a contractor has the right skills and experience for the job.

This article walks through how to create an impressive contractor resume step-by-step. It also includes a contractor resume example to demonstrate the key elements.

An effective contractor resume should summarize relevant work experience, highlight top skills, and showcase successful projects. It must grab the client's attention and clearly communicate the value the contractor brings.

By following the tips in this guide, contractors can build a resume that helps win more contracts. The article breaks down each resume section, explains what to include, and shares strategies to make the resume stand out to clients.

Common Responsibilities Listed on Contractor Resumes

  • Project management and coordination
  • Overseeing construction sites and subcontractors
  • Ensuring adherence to building codes and regulations
  • Preparing cost estimates and project budgets
  • Procurement of materials and equipment
  • Maintaining project schedules and timelines
  • Ensuring quality control and safety standards
  • Communicating with clients and stakeholders
  • Negotiating contracts and agreements
  • Supervising and managing construction teams

How to write a Resume Summary

As a contractor, writing a top-notch summary or objective for your resume can feel like a daunting task. Often underestimated, this area is the resume's first impression, a succinct portrayal capturing the breadth and depth of experience, skills, and value, a professional can bring to a role, all in a few concentrated lines. It's your hook to captivate hiring managers and solicit further interest in your application. Get this right, and your chances of landing an interview are significantly enhanced.

The Nuts and Bolts of a Resume Summary/Objective Section

1. Keep It Brief But Impactful

The ideal length of a summary/objective section is around three to five sentences. This requirement means you have to be economical with words, conveying a holistic view of your professional self in the minimum verbage.

2. Align It With The Job Description

The content of this section goes beyond just stating your career goals. It should be tailored towards the needs of the role for which you're applying. Re-read the job description, highlight key skills or experience required, and ensure your summary clearly demonstrates your suitability.

A tip here is to use similar language as the job post to highlight your relevant skills or experiences. However, remember this not an area for uncritical regurgitation– maintain authenticity.

3. Showcase Your Distinct Skills and Experiences

Highlight your distinct contractor skills and projects in your summary. Mention your qualifications, key projects completed, industries you've worked for, tools and technologies you're skilled in, or any specific contractor attributes relevant to the job.

Note: You might wonder, is it worth mentioning transferrable skills? Absolutely! Transferrable skills offer additional context and give the hiring managers reason to consider you for roles slightly beyond your past experiences.

4. Speak Your Achievements

Instead of a flat declaration of your job responsibilities, shift the emphasis towards your achievements. Quantifiable accomplishments are especially impactful, as they present a tangible expression of your capacities.

5. Town Down the Buzzwords

While industry jargon can sometimes be unavoidable, try to use clear, simple language. Your goal here is to be understood and valued, not to awe with jargon.

Let Authenticity Guide

A resume is an essential tool for communicating professional fitness and aspirations. However, it's just a tool– a delineation, not a definition of yourself. Avoid hyperboles, inaccuracies, and platitudes. Instead, let truth and authenticity guide your resume summary/objective writing. This honesty will foster trustworthiness — one of the most treasured traits in any employee or contractor.

Remember: A well-crafted resume, together with a professional LinkedIn profile, a great cover letter, and robust references, forms an impressive toolkit that can help you capture the right attention and open up fitting career opportunities. After all, even without the flashy words, comprehensive and engaging content can still powerfully articulate your abilities and aspirations.

Strong Summaries

  • Results-driven contractor with over 10 years of experience in managing residential and commercial construction projects. Proven ability to plan, coordinate, and oversee a wide variety of tasks simultaneously, ensuring that work is completed efficiently and effectively, on time and within budget.
  • Professional, licensed contractor with a passion for ensuring completed projects are up to industry safety standards. Focused on building a reputation in the construction industry for excellent service and commitment to sustainability.
  • Friendly, client-first oriented independent contractor with 7+ years of experience in various high-pressure environments. Expert ability to troubleshoot, deliver solutions, and provide high-caliber customer service.
  • Dependable contractor with over 15 years of experience in the construction industry. Have lead over 50 projects from conception to completion, ensuring the highest levels of quality and client satisfaction.

Why these are strong?

A good Professional Summary section of a Contractor's resume should clearly state their years of experience, expertise and commitment to job performance. The examples given above are good as they show the contractors' dedication to their work, ability to manage projects effectively and efficiently, and their commitment to safety, sustainability and customer service. Each example showcases a different strength intrinsic to the profession - managing multiple tasks, ensuring safety, being customer-oriented, and demonstrating dependability.

Weak Summaries

  • I've been doing stuff related to construction for a while now, not really sure how long. Love beer and fishing.
  • Contractor A+ #1, I do the thing and get it done. Don't make mistakes much, but when I do, at least it's not a total disaster, right? LOL
  • I've worked some here and there, don't remember where but it was all good. Pick me for whatever jobs you got, I'll probably be able to do it.
  • Experienced contractor seeking work. Not picky, any job will do. Need money for bills.
  • Done plenty of contract work. Skilled in a lot of stuff but can’t really list it all here, you know how it is. I’m just your guy for the job.

Why these are weak?

The above examples are considered 'bad' for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are all incredibly vague; a professional summary should clearly present relevant skills, experiences and attributes, which these examples don't. Using informal and unprofessional language gives off an unprofessional impression and can discourage potential employers. Furthermore, they all highlight negative aspects such as being in desperate need for a job or being prone to making mistakes. This can raise a red flag about the candidate's ability to perform effectively in a professional environment. Flaunting personal hobbies and preferences which are irrelevant to the job (like a love for beer and fishing) could also be seen as a filler for a lack of professional skills or experiences.

Showcase your Work Experience

Drafting a resume can seem daunting, especially when you're walking the path of a contractor. The multitude of projects, clients, and skills can be overwhelming to distill into one succinct document. But have no faith at all, you're not alone in this journey. The 'Work Experience' section, regarded by many as the backbone of any resume, helps you to summarize your professional journey in a concise way and provide a glimpse into your capabilities as a contractor.

Building the Foundation: Formatting

First impressions matter. Begin by organising your professional experience chronologically, laying them down from the most recent to older projects. This outline lets potential employers see the progression of your career, along with your more current work expertise. Each posting must include the job title, the name of the organization or client, location, and the timeframe you worked there.

Spotlight on Value: Responsibility and Achievements

In this part, clarify what you did in each role by using actionable verbs, and centering the sentences on your achievements instead of just the bare job description. It's not about what you were tasked to do, but rather about what you accomplished or how you improved the process. These concrete results give others an insight into your work ethic, problem-solving abilities, and effectiveness in your roles.

Expert Tip

Quantify your achievements and impact using concrete numbers, metrics, and percentages to demonstrate the value you brought to your previous roles.

Attention to Detail: Tailoring

Like contracts, resumes are not one-size-fits-all. Tailor each resume to the job application at hand by focusing on transferable skills and experiences relevant to the job posting. By highlighting the expertise and experience that aligns most closely with the requirements of the job, one ensures that the potential employer sees them as a compatible candidate right from the start. This simplifies the application process and ensures you're bringing attention to the most relevant parts of your career.

Necessary Additions: Be Specific

As a contractor, your work often spans multiple fields. Remember to not just mention your skills but be specific about how you applied them in practical scenarios. Include any special software, tools, or methodologies you’ve utilised along the way. Again, focus on actionable examples – this will illustrate your familiarity with the skills in context, rather than just on paper.

An important note to remember is to keep this section concise and readable. Longer does not always mean better, and it is essential to command the reader's attention without overwhelming them with information.

Remember, resumes are essentially personal marketing documents. The Work Experience section provides a great opportunity to convince the reader of your capabilities, as well as serving as a testament to your career history and progress. Bear in mind the distinctive purpose of this section – it's your professional narrative, told your way, with the objective to land you a job that matches your skills and interests.

Strong Experiences

  • Managed team of 15 contractors to complete major architectural renovations under budget and ahead of schedule.
  • Awarded 'Contractor of the Year' for excellence in project completion and client satisfaction.
  • Implemented new project management software, improving project timelines by 30%.
  • Coordinated with clients, architects, and engineers to ensure all contractual obligations were fulfilled and expectations exceeded.
  • Increased profit margins by 10% by optimizing material sourcing and labor scheduling.

Why these are strong?

These examples are deemed good because they expressly illustrate achievements or particular skills, experience and responsibilities taken by the contractor in his/her job. Mentioning quantifiable achievements like 'improving project timelines by 30%' or 'increased profit margins by 10%' helps to make the resume more compelling as it shows measurable accomplishments. Awards like 'Contractor of the Year' not only demonstrate recognition in the field but also credibility and reliability. The focus on teamwork, leadership, and communication in these examples is also a good practice, as these are key skills in most contractor roles.

Weak Experiences

  • Worked on stuff
  • Did some things for a company
  • Task performer
  • Handled something
  • Just did my job
  • Involved in a project

Why these are weak?

The above examples of bullet points for a contractor resume aren't effective due to their lack of specificity and detail. They are too vague and give no clear indication of the candidate's skills or the scope of their past work. Descriptions like 'Worked on stuff' and 'Did some things for a company' are ambiguous and provide no useful information. 'Task performer' and 'Handled something' are similarly uninformative as they do not detail the tasks that were performed or handled, leaving the employer guessing what exactly the applicant's roles were. Furthermore, stating 'Just did my job' can imply a lack of ambition or initiative, which may not appeal to prospective employers. A good resume should adequately represent the candidate's experience and abilities, providing clear, concise, and relevant information about tasks, roles, and achievements.

Skills, Keywords & ATS Tips

In a highly dynamic professional environment, contractors often need a mix of different skills to stand out. Having a comprehensive set of both hard and soft skills and understanding keywords, ATS, and matching skills can significantly improve a contractor's resume. Let's delve deeper into this subject matter for a clearer understanding.

The Balance between Hard and Soft Skills

In any contractor resume, having a balanced arrangement of hard and soft skills is essential. Hard skills help you perform specific tasks efficiently. They come from formal education and on-the-job experiences, such as graphic design, programming, writing, or mechanical expertise. On the other hand, soft skills are interpersonal attributes which are often harder to quantify, like teamwork, communication, problem-solving or time management.

While hard skills might show your technical competence and expertise, soft skills showcase your ability to work effectively within a team, communicate with clients and solve issues that may arise. Employers often want a blend of both, and incorporating them on your resume in a balanced and relevant way can help you stand out.

Keywords, ATS, and Matching Skills

Automated Tracking Systems (ATS) are commonly used to screen incoming resumes. They sort through resume content to find matches based on keywords linked to the job description. The ATS can handle high volumes of applications and quickly identify the most suitable resumes.

To pass the ATS, your resume needs to contain relevant keywords that draw from the job description. Those keywords could be specific skills, software, tools, or tasks that the job requires. Once those keywords are present, the ATS will pick up your resume and increase the likelihood of it being reviewed by a human.

Making the Connection

The art of creating a resume that shines through an ATS lies in matching skills. This is where the keywords mentioned in the job description, both for the hard and soft skills, need to get incorporated into your resume. Ensuring your resume reflects these requirements increases your chances of your resume making it to the hiring manager's desk.

In conclusion, a well-crafted resume is a combination of the right hard and soft skills that match the keywords in the job description. It involves representing your capabilities in a demonstratable way while ensuring it can pass through an ATS to reach the decision-makers. After all, a resume is not merely a piece of paper. It's the first step towards your next career opportunity.

Top Hard & Soft Skills for Full Stack Developers

Hard Skills

  • Construction Management
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Cost Estimation
  • Project Scheduling
  • Quality Control
  • Building Codes
  • Safety Regulations
  • Material Procurement
  • Site Management
  • Budget Management
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Risk Management
  • Building Inspections
  • Permitting Process
  • Subcontractor Management
  • Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Problem-Solving
  • Time Management
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Attention to Detail
  • Adaptability
  • Critical Thinking
  • Negotiation
  • Decision Making
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Customer Service
  • Stress Management
  • Organizational Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Top Action Verbs

    Use action verbs to highlight achievements and responsibilities on your resume.

  • Managed
  • Coordinated
  • Scheduled
  • Supervised
  • Implemented
  • Inspected
  • Negotiated
  • Resolved
  • Communicated
  • Collaborated
  • Budgeted
  • Evaluated
  • Facilitated
  • Oversaw
  • Analyzed
  • Planned
  • Developed
  • Monitored
  • Resolved
  • Documented
  • Reviewed
  • Procured
  • Ensured
  • Complied
  • Directed
  • Performed
  • Verified
  • Authorized
  • Completed
  • Maintained
  • Updated
  • Managed
  • Evaluated
  • Controlled
  • Tracked
  • Reported
  • Education

    As a contractor eager to showcase your education and certificates on your resume, begin with a dedicated section termed "Education" or "Certifications". List your credentials in reverse chronological order. Make sure to include the title of your degree or certificate, the institution where you received it, and the date of completion. For certifications, a brief description explaining the relevance might be helpful. Remember, clarity and conciseness are key making sure your impressive qualifications shine through.

    Resume FAQs for Contractors


    What is the ideal resume format for a contractor?


    The most effective resume format for contractors is often the combination or hybrid format. This format highlights your summary of qualifications, skills, and relevant experience, making it easier for potential clients or employers to quickly identify your suitability for the role.


    How long should a contractor's resume be?


    A contractor's resume should typically be one to two pages in length. The goal is to provide a concise yet comprehensive overview of your qualifications, experience, and achievements relevant to the contracting work you're seeking.


    Should a contractor include contract details on their resume?


    Yes, it's generally recommended to include details about your previous contract work, such as the client or company name, project descriptions, dates of employment, and any notable accomplishments or responsibilities. This information helps demonstrate your experience and capabilities as a contractor.


    How can a contractor's resume stand out?


    To make your contractor resume stand out, highlight your specialized skills, certifications, and industry knowledge relevant to the contracting work you're pursuing. Additionally, quantify your achievements and showcase your ability to deliver high-quality work within tight deadlines and budgets.

    Contractor Resume Example

    A contractor is a skilled professional hired by companies for specific, temporary projects. When crafting a resume for contract roles, it's crucial to highlight your relevant expertise and accomplishments. Start by clearly listing your previous contract projects, detailing your responsibilities and quantifying your achievements through metrics. Use keywords from the job description to align your background. Keep the formatting clean and scannable, tailoring each resume to the role's requirements. With a well-constructed, impactful contractor resume, you'll demonstrate your value and increase your chances of securing the next rewarding contract opportunity.

    Diana Reynolds
    (728) 993-7613

    Highly skilled and experienced contractor with a proven track record of delivering exceptional results on construction projects of all sizes. Adept at collaborating with cross-functional teams, ensuring timely completion of projects while maintaining the highest quality standards. Committed to safety, efficiency, and client satisfaction.

    Work Experience
    Lead Contractor
    01/2019 - Present
    Pinnacle Construction Group
    • Managed a team of 25 contractors and subcontractors on multiple large-scale commercial construction projects, ensuring on-time and on-budget delivery.
    • Implemented innovative construction techniques, resulting in a 15% reduction in project timelines and a 20% increase in client satisfaction.
    • Spearheaded the development and implementation of a comprehensive safety program, reducing workplace accidents by 35%.
    • Successfully negotiated contracts with suppliers and subcontractors, achieving cost savings of over $500,000 annually.
    • Collaborated with architects and engineers to optimize building designs, improving functionality and aesthetics while minimizing costs.
    Senior Contractor
    06/2015 - 12/2018
    Cascade Contracting Solutions
    • Oversaw the construction of multiple high-end residential projects, consistently delivering exceptional results and exceeding client expectations.
    • Developed and implemented a streamlined project management system, increasing team productivity by 25% and reducing project delays.
    • Mentored and trained junior contractors, fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development within the team.
    • Actively participated in the bidding process, securing over $10 million in new contracts for the company.
    • Maintained strong relationships with clients, suppliers, and subcontractors, leading to a 90% client retention rate and numerous referrals.
    03/2012 - 05/2015
    Evergreen Builders
    • Contributed to the successful completion of various residential and light commercial construction projects, consistently meeting deadlines and quality standards.
    • Demonstrated a strong work ethic and attention to detail, quickly earning the trust and respect of clients and colleagues.
    • Assisted in the development and implementation of cost-saving measures, resulting in a 10% reduction in project expenses.
    • Collaborated with team members to overcome construction challenges and ensure smooth project execution.
    • Continuously expanded knowledge and skills through participation in training programs and workshops.
  • Project Management
  • Construction Techniques
  • Safety Compliance
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Team Leadership
  • Budget Management
  • Quality Control
  • Risk Assessment
  • Scheduling
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Adaptability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Education
    Bachelor of Science in Construction Management
    09/2008 - 06/2012
    University of Washington, Seattle, WA