Unprecedented demand for trades workers in the UK has found carpenters in the most highly sought trade category. Your carpenter CV thus takes on new importance as the most influential building project you’ll ever take on.
As a leading provider of job search resources, Resume.io continues expanding its collection of occupation-specific writing guides, paired with CV examples.
If you’re ready to start crafting a high-calibre carpenter CV, keep reading. Let this writing guide be your blueprint for success as we take you through the construction process step by step. Feel free to adapt the wording from our carpenter CV example for your own use.
Topics we’ll cover:
- What carpenters do and the shape of their future
- How to write a carpenter CV — the universal framework and most suitable format for your situation
- Nailing each made-to-measure CV section: header, summary, work history, education and skills
- CV layout and design choices for a professionally polished look.
What do carpenters do?
It’s no stretch to say that carpentry has existed in some shape or form since the dawn of civilisation. And as long as people need spaces and furnishings suitable for work and everyday life, there will always be a need for carpenters to create some of the most tangible elements in our midst.
According to the National Careers Service, the average starting income for a junior carpenter in the UK is about £17,000 per year, while those with experience can earn around £38,000 annually.
and glassdoor.com — £44,119.
To say that the demand in the UK for carpenters and other skilled trades workers has skyrocketed during the past two years is a gross understatement. This has been driven largely by a stunning home improvement uptrend attributed to Covid and Brexit.
Citing research on the impact of a ‘through-the-roof’ home improvement boom, electricaltimes.co noted that the demand for tradespeople soared by more than 50% between March 2020 and March 2022.
According to a Rated People survey, 62% of UK tradespeople said 2021 was the “busiest year they’ve ever had” and 86% expected to be “very busy” in 2022. Carpenters, painters, tilers, handypeople and builders were the most in-demand trades in 2021.
How to write a carpenter CV
Virtually all CVs, regardless of occupation, should have the same basic framework. These are the essential elements, adding up to no more than a single page of relevant information:
- Employment history
Try to identify keywords that you can replicate verbatim in your CV. This is one of the best safeguards to avoid rejection by the electronic applicant tracking systems ( ATS ) that have become increasingly common to screen online job applications.
Choosing the best CV format for a carpenter
For the majority of job seekers in virtually any field, the most familiar chronological CV format, emphasising work experience, is the best option. It’s geared to those who have worked primarily in employee positions, listed in reverse order from most recent to earliest dates. This is the format that prospective employers generally prefer.
But if you're a self-employed carpenter, new to the workforce, or making a career change, the functional CV format may be suitable. It allows you to emphasise the skills in your toolbox, rather than where you worked.
Carpenters with signature pieces to their credit can appreciate the importance of unique distinguishing features. In the same vein, your CV header is the focal point for identifying information that hiring managers notice first and can retrieve easily when they want to get in touch for an interview— your name, professional title, phone number, and email.
Including a LinkedIn URL in your CV header information is recommended if you have a profile, and perhaps a weblink to your online portfolio of carpentry projects.
Carpenter CV summary example
How will the employer, co-workers and consumers benefit if you are hired in this carpenter role? Off the top, your CV summary — sometimes called the profile or personal statement — should speak to the heart of desired building requirements and what you’re equipped to deliver.
This “why hire me?” appeal should bridge the past and future as a snapshot of your most relevant and relatable qualifications. Imagine a recruiter being jarred to attention at the onset — feeling compelled to read more, while already sensing it would be regrettable not to shortlist you for an interview.
Below is a carpenter CV sample profile.
Experienced carpenter with meticulous attention to detail and extensive experience building custom cabinets, furniture and structures from the ground up. Lay flooring, create rough openings, install building frames and complete finish carpentry. Skilled in creating and reading blueprints, schematics and design drawings. Able to advise clients on material selection and provide accurate estimates of costs and time. Perform refurbishments, repairs and restorations.
Employment history sample
We mentioned earlier that your CV should fit on a single page. Let relevance guide your decisions about what to include or omit from this CV section. Don’t be afraid to leave out any information that may matter less to this employer.
Be mindful of keywords when crafting concisely descriptive bullet points to describe your construction accomplishments. And dynamic action verbs are your friend — not only conveying what you did, but how well you did it.
Below is a carpenter employment history CV sample.
Master Carpenter, Cabinets and More, London
June 2015 - Present
- Measure, build, assemble and install custom kitchen and bath cabinetry based on detailed specifications.
- Prepare time, material and cost estimates for projects ranging in size, complexity and duration.
- Collaborate with other trades people to coordinate projects and completion of required deliverables.
- Communicate with customers to review products before and after installation to ensure full satisfaction.
- Operate manual and power tools following all safety guidelines to prevent injuries to people or damage to material, property or other items.
Journeyman Carpenter, Custom Framing, Inc., London
July 2010 - May 2015
- Honed expertise in planning and completing custom carpentry projects based on detailed blueprints, specifications and drawings.
- Selected appropriate material and completed installation in a timely manner.
- Adhered to safety and quality standards at all job stages.
Carpenter CV education example
The education section of your carpenter CV may be different from that of other job candidates, given the lack of uniform requirements for carpenters to have completed post-secondary studies.
In reverse chronological order, from highest to lowest level, simply list any college degrees you hold, and/or diplomas or certificates from vocational schools. Secondary school information can be omitted if you have a bachelor’s degree or relevant equivalent.
Below is the education section from a carpenter CV.
City & Guilds, Carpentry, Acton College, London
July 2022 - July 2010
CV skills example
Naturally, the CV skills in your carpenter toolbox are as integral to any given job application as your work experience. Lack of CV space will prevent you from listing all your key skills, however, so once again you must be selective in focusing on the hiring priorities.
Check out a carpenter CV sample here.
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Hand and Power Tools
- Carpentry & Joinery
- Cabinet Making
- Building Framing
- Finish Carpentry
- Trim Carpentry
- Hand-made Furniture
- Repairs & Refurbishing
- Blueprints & Drawings
- Time & Materials Estimates
- Project Management
CV layout and design
With a carpenter’s regard for vital finishing touches, you can appreciate the need to ensure your CV document looks professionally polished. Layout and design choices should never be an afterthought, and they should always be guided by reader-friendly considerations.
- Optimal white space is the foundation for a visually clean, crisp, and clutter-free layout. Conform to the default one-inch margins around all outer edges of the page, allow breathing space throughout with adequate line and paragraph spacing.
- Let legibility lead the way when making CV font decisions. Stick with the same font style and size for all body text, and a second compatible style for header text and section titles.
Take a look at Resume.io’s growing collection of ready-made CV templates in four style categories. It’s as simple as picking your favourite to use with our online builder tool.
- Even with critical shortages in the UK’s trade workforce, an exceptional carpenter CV is no less essential to compete for the best jobs.
- Your carpenter CV should be tailored to the hiring situation and project requirements.
- Look for clues in the posted job ad to determine what takes priority in each CV section.
- Using a CV template can help you save time and the hassle of layout and design details.