We'll do the heavy lifting on your resume to make sure it shines for your next interview!
Forklift Operators use machinery to transport various objects. They can work on construction sites or in mines, moving dirt and materials. Or they can work in warehouses, transporting goods from cargo containers and moving them around within the building.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that Forklift Operating jobs are growing at 2%. This is slower than average -- but don’t fret! We'll clean up your resume so that you’ll be well on your way to your next position.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
In this article, we’ll discuss
Forklift Operator, Smithson Warehouses
Heavy Machine Operator, Caterpillar Construction
The first step to drafting your resume is deciding which resume format to use. This depends on your career experience and skillset.
You have 3 main options for your resume:
Tip: only include jobs relevant to the position to which you’re applying, so leave out any former jobs that don’t fit. For example, include your prior work as a Warehouse Worker, Delivery Driver, Maintenance Worker, Mechanic, or if you worked in Construction since these have considerable overlap with your job as a Forklift Operator.
Tip: Read our advice on How to Explain Employment Gaps on a Resume.
Tip: When in doubt, choose the Reverse-Chronological resume format. For more details, check out our guide on How to Write Your Resume in Reverse-Chronological Order.
For a Forklift Operator, hiring managers want to glance at your resume and get a sense of the following:
The best format for a Forklift Operator is either the Reverse-Chronological resume format or the Functional Resume format. The former shows the trajectory of your career -- how you’ve grown professionally and expanded your work experience and knowledge base. The latter, the Functional Resume format, shows employers your skills and abilities.
Did you know that employers spend about 6 seconds on each resume?
While this is certainly an optional section, your resume summary is one of the best ways to succeed in that short glance.
But first --- what is a resume summary?
A resume summary is one or two sentences at the top of your paper that summarizes your entire resume. It’s the punch line that gets the resume reviewer wanting to know more.
For a Forklift Operator career, include the following points in your summary
Here is an example of a bad resume summary:
Experienced Forklift Operator with a knack for efficiency and speed.
This is a bad resume summary because it is incredibly vague. What does “experienced” mean? And how are you efficient or fast? This also gives no indication of who you are as a person -- there is nothing that sets you apart from the crowd.
Here is an example of a good resume summary:
Responsible and efficient Forklift Operator with 4+ years working in construction and warehouses. Increased productivity by 10% by optimizing loads, and decreased transportation time by 1 hour on average. Adept at maintaining safe and secure equipment. Additional experience with Bar Pullers and Loaders.
This is a good resume summary because it gives a sense of who you are -- responsible and efficient. But it also backs up this claim by detailing how you’re efficient, that you’ve improved productivity and cut down on time.
The next step to drafting your resume is to list your work experience. This includes the name of your position (See: The Right Way to List Job Titles on a Resume), the name of the location at which you worked, and the length of time in which you worked.
Your work experience should include the following:
Be sure to use strong action verbs in each of your bullet points. Here are a few to get you started:
Tip: Don’t start every bullet point with the same verb -- that will get old real quick! Instead, mix it up a bit. If you do use the same verb often (e.g., “Performed”) don’t put those bullet points next to each other.
Furthermore, write your resume experience in a way that anyone in your industry will understand. Don't use company-specific language.
For example, let’s say you worked at a place that called the forklift “the scooper.” Not everyone is going to know what this means, so it’s best to stick with the common name, otherwise a hiring manager may not know what you’re talking about, and if the manager is confused, they’re more likely to throw out your resume and move onto the next.
You should also quantify your resume whenever possible. This means adding a number -- such as a dollar amount or percentage -- to your accomplishments. Quantifying your resume gives the hiring manager a more concrete idea of your workplace performance. For example, say that you “trained 4 employees,” “improved operational efficiency by 20%,” or “saved the business $30,000.”
Tip: One way to quantify your resume is by listing your accomplishments and awards. These can be from your workplace (e.g., “Employee of the Month”) or from your industry.
For more information on how to format your work experience, check out our guide on How to Describe Work Experience.
Don’t have any work experience? We have a guide for Writing a Resume with No Work Experience!
Skills show the hiring manager what you can do for the company -- without taking up too much space in the “work experience” part of your resume.
There are two types of skills -- soft and hard. “Soft” skills are those that are not quantifiable and are more indicative of your personality. Examples include leadership, problem-solving, and communication. In contrast, “hard” skills are those that are learned through formal education. Examples include computer technology, programming and foreign languages, and certifications.
Relevant Soft Skills
Relevant Hard Skills
Tip: When completing this section on your resume, review the employers’ job requirements. Try to incorporate some of the language they use. For example, if the job description states they need someone who has “exceptional communication skills, good organizational skills, and the ability to work independently and within a team,” then be sure to include some of these keywords. List “Communication” and “Organization” under the skills section.
If you want a more complete list of skills, read our guide on 100+ Key Skills for a Resume in 2021 with Examples for any Job.
Forklift Operators require a high school diploma or GED equivalent. However, if you’re looking to move up in the ranks to Construction Manager, then you may need a college degree.
When writing your education section, be sure to include:
Still uncertain on what to include in this section? Review our guide on How to List Education on Your Resume in 2021.
Certifications show employers that you’re expanding on your skills and diversifying your experiences. Not only are you more knowledgeable, but you’re also more employable.
Forklift Operators do require certifications in order to use the heavy equipment. Your certification also needs to remain up to date. This requires taking an OSHA-approved course either in person or online. In person training can be done at a vocational school or a local company. Most certifications entail classroom work, a written test and hands-on training and evaluation.
Certification programs include:
For more information on certifications, check out our guide on How to Include Certifications on Your Resume the Right Way.
Now it’s time for the fun part -- picking the aesthetics of your resume!
Here at EasyResume, we offer several different templates.
Your resume template should reflect the job to which you’re applying. For a Forklift Operator, try our Professional, Modern or Traditional formats.
If you want to create your own template, read how with our Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Resume Template in Microsoft Word.
We’ve done it! Almost.
Now it’s time to get down to business -- actually creating the resume.
Here’s what you need to do:
Start from our resume example to save time.
Good luck on the interview that is sure to come!