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Forklift operator resume examples show you how to organize and format your resume when your most relevant experience is in the past.
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If you’re applying for forklift operator jobs specifically, or manufacturing jobs in general, you’ll find the key things that employers in this field typically look for when reviewing resumes. You can take ideas from sample resumes and formulate them so that they are written in your own words and reflect your unique experience and skills.
Forklift Operator Resume (tips & Resume Example)
If you’re applying for any type of job, and your most relevant experience is in the past, learn how to get the most important information to the top of your resume where employers will see it immediately.
The sample you see further down the page details the skills and experience of a job seeker who has six years of work experience as a forklift operator. He lost his job in manufacturing, and took a job as a retail sales associate at a building supply store. He wants to find work again as a forklift operator.
His example shows once again how he can emphasize his experience as a forklift operator even though he is now working in a different type of work.
If your most relevant experience for a particular type of job is in the past, when you’re writing your program, your biggest challenge will be making sure employers see that relevant experience first when they’re reviewing your resume.
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You need to find ways to present yourself as an ideal candidate for jobs you’ve held in the past and minimize your current jobs if they’re not relevant.
Five strategies you can use to write an effective resume when your most relevant experience is in the past:
The resume format allows you to include a list of your most marketable skills and accomplishments at the top of your resume before detailing your work history. This skills summary provides an excellent opportunity to list your most impressive skills and relevant experience at the top of your resume, where employers will see them, even if you acquired those skills and experience some time ago.
Another common resume format, the chronological resume, makes your work history stand out. You need to show the employer your relevant work experience, but if that experience is in the past, a combination will again serve your needs better as it allows you to highlight your skills first.
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Sometimes combining your work history into two sections will help you move your most relevant experience to the top of your resume. This strategy can be quite complicated, however. You should use your best judgment to decide if it is the right strategy to use for your unique situation.
If your most relevant experience is in the past, but not too far in the past, this strategy can work.
You can group your work history into two sections — related experience and additional experience — to get your most relevant experience to the top of your resume.
Notice, in the work history printed above, the most relevant job seeker experience has been moved to the top of the resume in the section labeled Relevant Experience. Remember, this job seeker is targeting forklift operator jobs, so that’s the experience to highlight on the resume.
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The job seeker’s current but less relevant job has been moved to the bottom of the resume under the Additional Experience heading.
This arrangement allows the most relevant jobs to stand out while still showing that job seekers are working. Employers will immediately see that a job seeker has a lot of relevant work experience and will also know that they are employed, which can make an individual a more attractive candidate in the minds of some employers.
If your most relevant experience goes too far in the past, this strategy can backfire and should be avoided.
Imagine the same scenario described above. It’s still 2021, and you’re looking for a job as a forklift operator. But you were fired from your last job working as a forklift operator in 2019. You have been working as a retail sales associate since 2020.
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If you move a forklift operator job to the top of your resume, the first date an employer will see is two years ago. Scanning your resume quickly, employers may not notice your current job listed further down the resume. If, at first glance, you appear to have a large gap in your work history, employers will wonder what you did during that time.
In this case, you need to prioritize your current job, so that you don’t create the perception that you have a big gap in your work history.
Using the Related Experience and Additional Experience headings to reorganize your work history can be useful in the right situations, but you need to be careful with this strategy.
If in doubt, don’t get carried away. Simply list your work history in reverse chronological order. Include lots of details about relevant jobs and less detail about less relevant jobs.
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Describe, in detail, any past employment relevant to the job you are targeting. Don’t just describe what you do in your job. Write about achievements that show why you are good at your job.
4. Give less information about your current (or most recent) work if it is not relevant to the job you are looking for.
If your current job doesn’t require skills that are highly relevant to your target job, there’s no need to describe them in detail. Just list your job title, company name and location, and your employment dates.
You can add a point or two about the work if you like. Describing any responsibilities in your current job that demonstrate the skills you use to do the job you’re aiming for can be very helpful. However, if your past job is more relevant, and you have described it in detail, and your current job is not closely related to the job you are applying for, then there is no need to include any details about that job on your resume.
Forklift Operator Resume Example + Helpful Tips
5. Format your resume to reduce dates if your most relevant experience is more than six months in the past.
In general, if your work experience is more than six months in the past, the gap can start to raise questions in the employer’s mind. The specific time frame when job vacancies become an issue varies depending on the industry and labor market conditions in your area, but six months is a good general guideline.
If you have gaps in your work history that exceed six months, you should use some simple strategies to minimize the appearance of dates on your resume.
When listing your work history, your job title and company information should be on the left side of the page. Your employment date should be on the right. Because we read from left to right, any entry on the left side of the page will be more immediately noticeable than the entry on the right side of the page. This strategy is the easiest way to reduce dates on your resume.
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For most job seekers, including only the years you worked for each employer and leaving out the months is beneficial. Entering months in your employment dates often reveals employment gaps.
For example, imagine you work from December 2019 to January 2021 in a certain job. If you are looking for a job in August 2021, you will have a six-month gap in employment. If instead, you list your employment dates as 2019 – 2021, you avoid disclosing the gap.
If you’re specifically looking for ideas on what to include on a forklift operator resume, you’ll find a few things on the sample resume below.
You can find more information about the skills employers are looking for when hiring forklift operators on the job description page of the Material Handler Job Handbook. The Job Review Handbook can help remind you of the skills you’ve developed and the tasks you’ve performed at work. You can then write about those skills and tasks in your own words and in a way that reflects your own experiences.
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If you’re looking for ways to format your resume if your most relevant work experience is in the past…
You will find the strategies described above used in the following resume examples. I’ve also posted an analysis of this resume, so you can understand the specific decisions made in its creation.
The numbered comments that follow correspond to the numbered sections of the forklift operator resume sample shown above and provide a more detailed explanation of the choices made when writing and formatting this resume.
This job seeker currently works as a retail sales associate, but has several years of experience working as a forklift operator and is targeting that job with this resume. He listed his experience as a forklift driver and stated that his license was current. Employers can start seeing you as a suitable candidate immediately
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