Need to update or rewrite your Plant Operator resume but don’t want to pay a resume writer? Use this guide and template.
Let’s start with being honest. This is the last thing you want to do, right?
It wasn’t so long ago that you scored your next job with a good word in the right ear and a handshake.
Mateship is still important to find out about jobs, but applications now involve resumes – and you need to have bloody good one, not something you threw together just to ‘get it done.’
You know you are good at your job, your supervisor knows you are good at your job, but now you have to get it down on paper and convince everyone else.
This guide will help you do exactly that.
I’m going to walk you through each section of your resume with what to include – and what to leave out.
I can’t say you are going to enjoy doing this, but I can tell you that once you are done, you’ll have a resume that will really help sell you into your next big project.
Let’s get started by briefly covering a few common mistakes I see all the time when I review people’s resumes.
Common mistakes to avoid on a plant operator resume
Take care that you aren’t making these mistakes with your resume.
Some ATS are more sensitive than others but these are the sort of things that they find hard to read and understand:
Pretty headers and footers
Curly serif fonts
Special icons for bullets
I realise that you may not be keen to give up your template that looks great but remember this.
That fancy style that you love so much might be precisely the reason why you aren’t hearing back from your applications.
What you should be using is a plain, reverse chronological style format that ATS can easily read.
Plus, recruiters prefer this too because they can find what they are looking for quickly rather than having to search loads of boxes and columns in weird places.
The content of you resume should shine, not the pretty fonts and diagrams.
They are looking for a plant operator, not a graphic designer!
So now we have covered what not to do, let’s concentrate on what you should be doing. Here is a step by step guide for each section.
1 - Contact details
Don’t use a huge font for your name and address or even worse, put it on a separate page by itself. You want the recruiter or ATS to get straight into your profile.
Make sure that you put your full contact details on your resume. By that I mean your postal address, your email, and the best number to contact you on.
If you are cutting and pasting this from an earlier resume, make sure it is up to date. It might sound silly, but I actually know someone who put their old mobile on and missed out on a contract because of it.
And when it comes to humour, just don’t. Get rid of funny voicemail messages and emails like firstname.lastname@example.org They might laugh – but then they might not, and then move on to someone else.
2 - Profile
This should go just underneath your contact details and provide that snapshot we talked about earlier.
Take care not to use generic stock phrases and clichés like ‘great team working skills’ and instead be specific with something like ‘worked in a high performing team of 15 in a multi-million-dollar project that completed on time and in budget with zero safety incidents in a challenging brown field environment.’
Your profile needs to mention plant, projects, employers, safety, flexibility round shifts, FIFO /DIDO and your RII’s or other relevant tickets.
Let’s look at this in practice.Have a look at these two different profiles. Which do you think has more to offer?
This is the same person. The first was his original profile and the second was the one we wrote for him. Same person, same skills but very different results.
After searching for work unsuccessfully for just over a year, within three weeks of using his new resume he was hired.
Now it’s your turn.
Here is a formula you can use as a base to write yours.
Remember to tailor it to the position you are applying for by carefully reading the job description, noting keywords and skills they require, and matching them in your profile so you ‘speak the same language.’
By doing this you lock in your suitability in the head of the reader right from the beginning whilst also satisfying ATS systems.
3 - Work history
This is the layout you should use for each of your jobs
Always start with your role title, then the company, and then a descriptor of that company or the project you are or were working on.
Add the dates, months and years, on the right hand side.
Let’s look a little closer at each.
The descriptor is very important because it adds more substance to your resume, provides the opportunity for including more keywords, and lets the recruiter know the specific environment you worked in.
For example, a role in a tier 2 is very different from a role in a tier 1.
Regarding listing your duties, we have already covered the need to list plant and models.
You should then be aiming for 6-8 bullet points explaining the work you carried out.
If you are stuck, just think of each aspect and expand from it.
Here are a few examples.
Think about what you are or were working on. Is it batters, dams, bunds, production haulage, stockpiles, bulk earthworks, trenches etc. That could be more than one bullet point.
Then maintenance, what about pre-starts, plant shutdown, logging hours, greasing oil etc. This information shows people that you think and look after your machines.
Then Safety, following all Company and Clients OHS procedures: JSAs, JHAs, and Start Cards.
Mention active involvement in toolbox and prestart meetings.
Other additional duties could be labouring, housekeeping, and supporting colleagues to show you are a team player.
Brainstorm down everything you can think of and then edit it into those 6-8 bullet points.
Don’t forget to add your achievements too.
You might think this is difficult but what about LTI free periods? Being part of a team that completed something ahead of time or under budget? You were part of that achievement.
Other things could be 100% attendance, successfully upskilling or working in particularly challenging environment
Don’t skimp on information on a job if it was just a short project. Give it the same attention because you will then score more keywords.
But also, don’t give your life story.
Repeat this pattern for the last 5-6 jobs or a period of 10 years, whichever comes sooner, and then place your other jobs as lineage like this.
4 - Tickets & qualifications
Now it’s time to add a list of all relevant tickets and, where possible, you should add the RII Codes as well.
Don’t be tempted to put these in boxes though. Yes, it’s true that boxes look better but if ATS can’t access this information due to the design, then you are not going to get shortlisted.
Don’t forget to add in other information that will help your application such as these.
5 - Referees
Never put ‘references available upon request’ because a recruiter wants them there, ready to go when they are onboarding a volume of people for a new project.
They might have time to chase you for them but then again – they might just move on to someone who has already included them.
Harsh yes, but true all the same. Volume is volume, and time is money.
Take care who you choose as referees and brief them about what you are applying for, so they are ready for a call or email.
You want people that really know you and understand the value you can bring to a project.
If you sense any reluctance, move on to another person that is more positive.
Make sure you forward your new resume to them too.
Just because they worked alongside you doesn’t mean they know about all your skills and achievements.
Ideally you should provide four so that a recruiter has a good range to choose from and take care to include their full contact details.
It’s always good to say where they were your supervisor as they, like you, have probably moved to a different project.
Yes, this will take a bit of effort on your part, but it will be so worth it.
Look at your current resume now. Can you see issues with it?
Then think about everyone else who has the same or worse.
Get ahead of your competition by working on your resume now.
If you need a little extra help, try this free course that helps you get your resume past ATS and includes a resume template to work from.
Free course & template
Learn how to get your resume past Applicant tracking systems