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Five Top Tips For Building a Career in the Construction Industry

Oct 9th 2017 9:10am

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Be reliable, research the type of role you want and seek relevant experience to get ahead, advises expert panel. Below is a short but vital list of the ways in which you can begin building a strong and stable career in the Construction industry as advised by experts within the field.

1. Research what area of property and construction is right for you

From skilled trades (such as bricklayers, painters and engineers) to 3D software modellers and project managers – there are a variety of not only engaging but profitable careers within the construction industry.

"Have an open mind as there is a vast range of jobs available. Think about what you will enjoy doing first – there is a good chance you can pursue that with a career in construction," says built environment journalist and associate editor at Construction News, Damon Schünmann.

The property market is also active at the moment, so job prospects are good. "My clients tell me skilled trades in particular are scarce so demand for jobs is high," says Nigel Millington, director of Phil Jones Associates.

2. Build up your Skills by Volunteering and Training

A lot of property and construction practices welcome work experience students, so there is scope to build your skills,

"We strongly encourage our students to work or volunteer in practice alongside their studies. It's amazing what you pick up in an office or studio environment if you are willing to push yourself," says Nicki Schiessel Harvey, senior lecturer in business and professional skills at Birmingham City University.

Go to as many events as possible, join online forums on LinkedIn and talk to people in the industry to make potential contacts. "You stand a better chance of getting a foot in the door if you offer to buy someone a coffee and ask them about their job, rather than diving straight in with a request for experience," adds Schiessel Harvey.

Training yourself and building up your CV is vital particularily in a construction environment, at Minstrell we offer a range of Training courses that can immediatly raise your experience and give you a huge advantage when applying for jobs.

3. Research what companies you want to apply to

Whether you want to work for a small team or would rather be part of a large company, it's important to find out what you want, says founder and managing director of Property Personnel, Anthony Hesse. "And if you are invited to interview, make sure you do your research into the company and the person you are meeting."

Kostas Papacharalampos, surveyor and professional mentor for London's City University, agrees: "Research what you want, what your desired employers want, and ask for help from your university's career services, personal contacts and recruiters."

Social media can be another a tool for finding work. "It is also worth considering targeting employers you would like to work for in your chosen field and then using social media to engage with them," says Hesse.

4. Being successful in construction relies on having a good reputation

If you work in construction, you need to build up a reliable reputation. "Deliver when you say you will deliver – and if you know a deadline is not achievable raise the issue there and then. A professional who sticks by their word becomes a successful professional," advises Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors' internal accounts team manager, Richard Maclean.

5. An ability to work with different professions is vital in this industry

Careers in construction often require you to work in multidisciplinary teams. For example, it's essential a development surveyor is an excellent communicator who can work with large teams. "It's usually a long process to get planning to enable the construction of the development, so patience and an ability to work with or manage a team is critical." says Papacharalampos.

So for entry-level job hunters, it's important to show proven communication skills alongside your work experience to show you could work well in multi-disciplinary groups. For more information on the skills types that are in demand read our blog about it here.

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