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Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 05-03-2012 02:43 PM 1879 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13345 posts in 3670 days

05-03-2012 02:43 PM

I am looking for tips to land a full time job in construction. I have a degree in building construction from a local techincal college, but I am having a tough time landing a job with a carpenter or a cabinet shop. Most tell you they are not doing much to hire. The only way I am surving is I cut a little lawns and I am staying at home.

38 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17382 posts in 3003 days

#1 posted 05-03-2012 02:47 PM

Keep knocking on the doors CJ eventually one will open for you. Make sure you have a resume handy. I find that in construction a well written resume will give you a leg up on the competition. I wish ya luck my man.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3670 days

#2 posted 05-03-2012 02:53 PM

I had wrote a good resume that got me a job interview, but I lost it because my computer had got a virus.

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3752 days

#3 posted 05-03-2012 03:04 PM

Persistence, CJ, persistence!!! Keep at them. If they say no the first 3 times, go back the forth time OR MORE.

If you want a job with a specific company don’t give up! Keep your name and face in front of them. Keep checking back every week. Don’t wait for them to call you- you call them!

About that resumé, if you still have a paper copy, take it to a friend or to Staples/Office Depot/Office Max and have them scan it into a digital format and burn it onto a disk or flash drive.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View chrisstef's profile


17382 posts in 3003 days

#4 posted 05-03-2012 03:33 PM

Considering that they cannot see how you work at an interview that piece of paper has to be the key to letting them know. Id be more than happy to send you some kind of template for a good solid resume, just let me know.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2358 days

#5 posted 05-03-2012 03:48 PM

The construction business in many areas is so bad that even highly experienced carpenters are out of work. If you’re in one of those areas, the odds of landing a job with no experience is nil. That says you should consider another line of work or even moving somewhere that has building activity.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2511 days

#6 posted 05-03-2012 03:59 PM

I live in an area where construction is still fairly active, (SE Tennessee around Chattanooga), and still, there are many unemployed in your field. I work days for a mechanical contractor, and we actually took on two good carpenters as day laborers because they know their way around a lot of the jobs we do in older buildings.

When I recently stopped in at a local hardwood supplier, she had 1” prime oak planked, planed for $2.00 a board ft. Cabinet grade quality. Had AAA flame maple lying next to it for $5.00. When I asked her why so cheap, she said the cabinet guys are in the tank and it just lays on the pallets. I watched them making specialty pallets out of oak I would make tables out of, as she said, “to stay in business”. It was sickening…
Not trying to burst your bubble, but until the used housing market gets sold off, not much going on, and with the unemployment where it is, including all the under-employed, not many people even doing repairs or additions.
At least not in my area…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3670 days

#7 posted 05-03-2012 03:59 PM

I went to school to become a carpenter so I thought that was work experienced.

View DS's profile


2917 posts in 2417 days

#8 posted 05-03-2012 04:01 PM

If you know what job you want and are qualified for it, keep at it. .

Persistence… and when that doesn’t work, try persistence.

Identify the companies that will best value your services and keep on them. Offer to work for free for a trial period if need be. If an employer can see your value to his company, they will want you as an employee.

People get all out of shape about 10% un-employment, but, that still means 90% employment. People ARE working. You just have to show you are above the 10th percentile—that’s not very hard.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View WoodSpanker's profile


519 posts in 3389 days

#9 posted 05-03-2012 04:01 PM

The key IS persistence, as many others have said already. The economy is still a wee bit under the weather, but I hear tell construction should be picking up relatively soon-ish. WHo knows though. Keep trying, it is the only way to make things happen! :)

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3670 days

#10 posted 05-03-2012 04:02 PM

I know housing is bad, but I still need a job. My woodworking is on hold because I cant afford it.

View cabmaker's profile


1730 posts in 2806 days

#11 posted 05-03-2012 09:04 PM

Surprise CJ ! I commend you for going to school after that certificate and all but Im sure your seeing that the certificate program is for the school, not you . In other words, it will carry little or no weight with a potential employer in the construction trades. Best bet is to sub some demo, decking or what ever you can get. Youve got to get some hands on under your belt. There are loads of extremely experianced hands out there that would work for whatever they could get right now. Even doing some jobsite cleanup at a reasonable price would get you in the loop. Its a tough journey but enjoy it ! JB

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#12 posted 05-03-2012 09:24 PM

Hey Charles
I’ve been a contractor for 25 years and I get calls all the time for folks looking for work and many of them with tons of experience saying they will take any work even clean up at minimum wage.Like many folk work is very slow for me. All I can say is the same as the others keep on trying ,it helps if you call or stop the same folks over and over because in my position I get so many calls from people wanting work I forget who calls even when I take their number. So when you touch base with some one tell them your name be friendly an don’t spend to much of the persons time just remind them of your name and that you called last week and that you will call next week again. You might also check in with all the temp agencies and do the same thing with them. My father said that when your unemployed you job was looking for a job. Good luck and keep on trucking.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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13345 posts in 3670 days

#13 posted 05-03-2012 09:33 PM

Thanks for the tips guys!

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 3749 days

#14 posted 05-03-2012 10:30 PM

CJ, the best thing for you to do is get a business license and the minimum insurance required as a contractor. Get a Class “C” license to start out with. Alot of states do not require testing for a Class “C”. They may require a 1-2 day course.

1. Get some business cards and hand them out to every REO/real estate agent that you can find.
2. Post your cards at home owner associations, malls, coffee shops, etc. etc. etc.
3. Have your friends network for you as well. (word of mouth)
4. Strike up conversations with small contractors at Lowes and HD. ( electrical, plumbin, hvac guys).
5. I handed off many jobs to other contractors, and they took good care of me in return.
6. Learn other trades like drywall, roofing, minor plumbing, flooring.

Be deadly honest about your limitations. Branch out with other skills as you develope them.

It might be scary at first, but trust me… will never look for another job. Right now is actually a great time to be a small contractor depending on your area. Alot of folks are staying put and remodeling thier homes instead buying up. Real estate/REO is booming with repo’s that need work for resale. If you need any more info, send me a PM and I’ll give you my cell#.

Getting laid off 3 years ago was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am almost totally independent right now, other than a little field service work I do for a local real estate broker. My current license is still a Class “C” and thats fine. I dont want the 100K jobs. I will have my real estate license in a few months as well.

View DS's profile


2917 posts in 2417 days

#15 posted 05-03-2012 10:37 PM

I was going to suggest going out on your own, but wasn’t sure, since it is not for everyone.

About three years ago, I was “involuntarily self-employed” myself for about 11 months until I finally found a company hiring for my position. During that time, I was able to beat the bushes and drum up enough small jobs in my area that I successfully replaced 100% of my income.

Some of those clients still come to me for thier projects and it is a good suplimentary income.
Keep at it. Keep busy. You’ll do great things!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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