Janitors, custodians, and building maintenance workers all do some maintenance work. So, if you’re applying for a job that entails maintenance, you might have previous experience that will work well for you even though you’ve never been employed as a “maintenance worker” before.
We are going to show you how you can use previous experience to create a compelling resume for a maintenance job of any sort.
Resume objective for maintenance
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for general maintenance and repair workers is about average.
In 2019 there were estimated to be 1,516,400 jobs in the sector, and this number is projected to grow by 4% to 2029.
While general maintenance and repair workers are employed in various industries, to fix and maintain machines, buildings, and mechanical equipment, the BLS states that nearly half a million maintenance jobs are in the building and real estate industries.
Real estate and rental and leasing were also the largest employers of general maintenance and repair workers in 2019. Also, when you search for maintenance jobs, you will find that most come up in the cleaning and janitor category.
So we are going to focus on the building industry in this discussion about a maintenance resume.
Because maintenance jobs are so varied, even in the sector we are focusing on, you need to take the job requirements into account when you write your resume.
A resume objective will be near the top of the document and it should be a very short summary of your abilities with a focus on the value you can add to the position.
Experienced maintenance worker with extensive knowledge of the tools and equipment needed in large buildings. Physically agile and energetic. Good communication and interpersonal skills. Highly efficient and willing.
Resume skills for maintenance
Whatever maintenance work you are going to do, you need the skills required for the job you are aiming to get. There are some general skills that maintenance workers will need, but the job you apply for is likely to specify skills.
The reality is that maintenance workers make up a huge pool of employees, and many companies (especially the larger ones) use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to sort good from bad applicants.
According to the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business, 90% of Fortune 500 companies filter job applicants and resumes through some sort of ATS.
You might have the perfect skills and abilities, but unless you apply using the keywords they have chosen and keyed into their applicant search, you’ll be fired before you are hired.
Various ATS applications are different, but they are all designed to distinguish between applicants who meet their expectations and requirements and those who don’t. And not just for Fortune 500 companies!
What you need to do is read the job post very carefully and pick out all their specifications including qualifications and work experience. Also, look for keywords like action verbs or adjectives that are quite literally key to the job.
Experience | Communication | Teamwork | HVAC, plumbing, electrics | Physical stamina | Carpentry | Power tools & equipment | Hand tools | Varied general maintenance | Time management
Maintenance work experience
The work experience maintenance workers get is as varied as their skills. Before you even start writing your resume, you need to be sure that you have sufficient skills, ability, and at least some experience to convince the recruiter that you are the person they need.
We scoured numerous job posts looking for maintenance worker positions and found that some, but not all, specified the kind of experience they expected applicants to have.
Mostly, the experience requirements were listed as part of the job description.
So, if the job description states that you need to know how to keep areas clean and safe, they generally want to see that this is what you have achieved in previous jobs.
Even if a job post doesn’t call for experience, nine times out of ten the person with experience is going to have the edge on those who don’t have experience. Volunteer experience is generally a major plus.
If you haven’t previously been employed in a job with maintenance in the title, just list the jobs that you have had that required you to undertake maintenance jobs.
You might find that a custodian or janitor job might have more appeal and better pay than one that is labeled maintenance.
Sample Work Experience
ABM Industries, CA
Maintenance Attendant, 2019 – 2020
Focused on maintenance work in a large building attending to issues that included everything from light mechanical maintenance and cleaning spills to emptying trash and changing light bulbs.
- Reported major maintenance problems to the more senior maintenance staff and helped solve issues on more than 50 occasions.
- Practiced regular housekeeping and kept all areas safe and clean.
- Maintained an inventory of supplies for housekeeping.
- Worked closely with the head janitor.
US Department of the Interior’s Saguaro National Park, AZ
Maintenance Worker, 2016 – 2018
Responsible for performing minor building repairs and alterations as well as tasks like painting and minor plumbing repairs. Performed work assignments that involved the exterior of buildings and the grounds.
- Operated a wide range of tools and equipment including heavy trucks, cutting torches, power saws, and lawnmowers.
- Completed a hands-on course in carpentry to improve my skills.
- Worked according to specifications including complicated blueprints.
- Maintained shelters, water systems, pumps, and equipment.
Sapp Bros Inc, CO
Maintenance/Custodial Worker, 2015 – 2016
Worked as part of the janitorial/maintenance team in the Housekeeping Department of the company’s travel center. Was trained on-the-job to perform five-star guest cleaning service at all times.
- Worked in the team that kept the facility in top-notch condition 24/7, 365 days a year.
- Maintenance of all facilities to reduce the likelihood of repairs.
- Varied experience that involved working in the travel center as well as the restaurant and service center.
- Completed an online course on building maintenance.
The BLS has useful information about how to become a general maintenance and repair worker. Typically, no formal education is required although many jobs do call for a high school or equivalent diploma.
But, according to the BLS, many of general maintenance and repair workers do learn basic skills in technical education classes, in the high school shop, postsecondary trade or vocational schools, or community colleges (see also Courses below).
Having a high school diploma with a maintenance-related pathway, like carpentry or plumbing, can also be key to getting maintenance jobs.
In addition to education, training is vital. But mostly, maintenance workers learn on-the-job by watching more experienced, skilled maintenance crew. Often they work with carpenters, plumbers, or electricians, helping them with construction or repair work.
They start by doing the simplest tasks like fixing leaky faucets or replacing light bulbs and then move on to more difficult work.
Often general maintenance and repair workers cross-check blueprints to find problem areas. Whatever work they do, they need to keep accurate records of work done. This will be used for billing and as a reference if problems recur.
Bladen Community College
High School Diploma with Carpentry, 2019
When we sampled maintenance-related job posts we paid particular attention to education and training needs. We realized that while certain skills were important, there wasn’t commonly a call for formal qualifications of any kind.
There are so many different courses available that can help maintenance workers improve their skills, abilities, and experience. These include basic construction-related skills that involve plumbing, heating and air-con systems, electricity, painting, roofing, bricklaying, and drywalling skills.
Courses also cover blueprint reading, maths, and computer literacy.
According to Study.com, carpentry, electricity, and blueprint-reading courses are particularly popular for those seeking maintenance-related jobs. Other areas of interest include masonry, grounds maintenance, horticulture, and environmental control systems.
Some more advanced building maintenance courses include a bit of each of these topics.
- Basic plumbing
- Drywall systems
- Grounds maintenance
Maintenance workers don’t generally need any form of license or certification to operate unless they work in certain very specific industries. For example, workers who are licensed to do electrical or plumbing work are more likely to get better-paid jobs and higher positions.
Building maintenance workers who choose to work in the property industries, for example for real estate agents who need houses for sale fixed or maintained, will be better off if they explore the accreditation options offered by The National Association of Residential Property Managers.
There is also a basic certification program, the Building Systems Maintenance Certificate (SMC), that maintenance workers can apply to join.
The Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI) International offers the SMC program that covers air handling, water treatment, and plumbing systems, energy management and controls, and either boilers, heating systems, and applied mathematics or refrigeration systems and accessories.
Certification is given to those who achieve at least 70% in each exam.
There are also cleaning certifications that janitors and custodians often opt for. For instance, the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) has a Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) that offers basic level certification as a Certified Custodial Technician (CCT).
Complete maintenance resume sample
We sampled scores of maintenance job posts to find an example to use to show you how to craft a professional resume. We chose a position for a Janitorial Maintenance person who is expected to do cleaning and maintenance work.
This is a key position in the company’s maintenance team that is responsible for cleaning, repairing, and generally maintaining the inside and outside of the company’s building.
Specific maintenance areas highlighted in the advert include restrooms, kitchen and dish areas, everything to do with heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), and the back dock area.
No education or qualifications are specified but the company would prefer someone with previous maintenance experience at a hotel or restaurant.
They are looking for someone friendly and cooperative who will work productively with other team members.
Maintenance specialist with janitorial and custodial experience. Four years working in resort and casino environments. Motivated, self-disciplined, and courteous. Building systems maintenance and custodial technicians’ certifications.
Friendly & Courteous | Accountable | Service excellence | Teamwork | Good communication | Varied general maintenance & custodial experience | Carpentry & cleaning expertise
The Lodge Casino
Maintenance Tech I/II, 2019 – 2020
Maintained and repaired equipment in and around the casino property excluding gaming equipment. Performed preventive maintenance on equipment. Work involved electrics, painting and sheetrock, carpentry, plumbing, HVAC, and general mechanics.
- Commended for regularly anticipating guests’ needs before they asked for service.
- Nicknamed the Smiling Maintenance Man!
- Answered radio calls for assistance and performed regular preventive maintenance procedures on equipment to minimize repair spend.
- Assisted with the operation of the aquarium.
St. Luke’s Medical Center, CO
Maintenance Mechanic, 2017 – 2019
Provided maintenance support to the hospital by responding to calls for assistance from patient floors and other departments. Responsible for repairs to the building structure and maintenance and repair of equipment.
- Identified maintenance needs before breakdown and reduced the spend on expensive repairs by 27%.
- Performed general maintenance and repairs as well as specialized tasks relating to electrical, plumbing, and medical equipment and security systems.
- Assembled, constructed, and installed a wide variety of cabinets, shelves, desks, countertops and so on.
- Awarded St. Luke’s Ambassador of the Year in 2018.
Four Seasons Aspen, CO
Maintenance Crew Member, 2015 – 2016
Responsible for semi-skilled labor-intensive jobs in the grounds and buildings of the resort. These included service, maintenance, construction, and installation tasks.
- Operated a range of equipment used for landscaping and horticultural maintenance including mowers, edgers, weed-eaters, blowers, chippers, chainsaws, and skid-steer loaders.
- Maintained records of materials used, vendor supplies, and malfunctioning equipment, as well as solutions found.
- Completed a part-time carpentry course in 2015.
- Commended frequently for my strong customer service ethic and willingness to work hard.
Canon City High School
High School Diploma, 2012 – 2014
- Skilled Trades, Security, and Industry
- Carpentry (2015)
- Cleaning Chemicals
- Grounds Maintenance
There are many different maintenance-related jobs including general maintenance and repair work that takes place in and around buildings. This is a relatively fast-growing industry and so there are many jobs to choose from.
To get the job you want, you need to have a well-presented resume that showcases your skills and abilities.
- When you apply for a maintenance job make sure that the skills you offer are in keeping with what is required for the position.
- Many companies use ATS to sift out the best applicants for jobs. The software relies on keywords, so try to use keywords the company has used in its job posting. You might also find relevant keywords from the company’s website, in its Vision and Mission for example.
- Maintenance workers are often trained on-the-job, but having experience and having improved your skills through courses can make a big difference to your chances of getting a job, especially since there is so much variety in the many maintenance positions on offer.
Tips from Experts
“The main differences between a maintenance worker, a maintenance technician, and a maintenance engineer are their titles and their day-to-day tasks. You’ll see people with all three job titles across industries – from hotels and hospitality, to manufacturing. The three roles have overlapping skill sets and responsibilities, but they may specialize in different areas or the types of tasks they are most often performing.” – Ryan Chan, CEO and founder of UpKeep Maintenance Management
“A career or job objective should be brief, and indicate the type of employment or specific job title of the position you are seeking. A generic objective statement may be worse than none at all. Employers want to know that you are focused and are applying for the type of position they are offering. An objective statement that says you want a position that offers growth and advancement and the opportunity to expand on your education and training tells an employer that you are looking for what they can do for you, not what you can do for them.” – Lyn Hood, Student Employment Coordinator, Cabrillo College, CA
It is never a good idea to use the same resume for more than one job application. You can start with a basic format, but tweak the details to suit the requirements of the job you are applying for.
Use what you have learned in this article and make it work for you. Rather spend time at this stage than lose the chance to get that all-important interview.