General Laborer Resume Sample & Writing Guide

Are you looking for a new job as a General Laborer? Why don’t you take a look at our General Laborer resume sample detailing every aspect to consider when crafting your own unique resume document?

General Laborers are perceived as strong, dexterous individuals doing physical, back-breaking work. However, you need more than muscle power and endurance to be shortlisted for a job, and the competition is tough out there.

Using our General Laborer resume guidelines may assist you in presenting an application that stands out from the rest and of course, landing the job in the end.

General Laborer Resume Sample

(Free sample downloads are at the bottom of this page)

General Laborer Resume Writing Guide

Resume Sections

1. Contact Information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Address
  • Mobile Number
  • Email Address
  • Drivers license

2. Resume Summary:
View this as the 30-second elevator pitch to your application, which will prompt recruiters to continue reading the meatier part of your resume. Stick to one paragraph and no more than three sentences (seen examples below)

3. Qualifications Summary:
General Laborers can find jobs with or without formal qualifications. The more qualifications you have, the better your chances of securing the job and also increase your pay grade.

4. Relevant General Labor Experience:
This is a tricky section because General Laborers are employed in almost every industry imaginable. Just remember that the skills that you learn in one job can often be applied to another job in a completely different industry. Present your employment history from front to back and also give details about apprenticeship or in-service training if applicable. Remember to use brief but informative descriptions about your duties under each role you have had.

5. Skills Summary/Key Skills:
The skills section is the area that would set you apart from the rest. General Laborers require technical, physical, and soft skills. Make sure to sprinkle the required job skills stated in the job description throughout your resume summary, and accomplishment, reinforcing them yet again in your skills section. This approach will add more validity to your application.

6. Licenses/Certifications/Relevant Coursework/Training:
General Laborers can go from unskilled to semi-skilled to skilled by supplementing work experience with training programs, accreditations, and licenses. Any post-school education (safety, maintenance, occupational compliance) will significantly boost your chances of being shortlisted for a job.

What to Highlight in a General Laborer Resume

Regardless of your experience as a General Laborer, recruiters, and employers are looking for certain things in your resume that would point to other you are a fit for the role at hand.

Firstly, you need to mention if you are a skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled General Laborer.

  • Skilled Laborers have specialized training or a taught/trained technical capability backed by accreditation or a special license. This could be anything from a tradesman (electrician, plumber) to perhaps a Red Seal (health and safety).
  • You may also be classified as a Semi-Skilled Laborer if you have completed post-school training, on-the-job training or courses relevant to your work experience. For example, you could have completed an Adult Education program to improve your English, completed a short course in building and construction maintenance, or completed a commercial truck driving license.
  • You would fall into the Unskilled Laborer category if you don’t have a high school diploma and have worked in jobs as a Grocery Clerk, Fast Food Worker, Seasonal Picker or Parking Lot Attendant.

The second aspect to highlight is the industry you are working in. General Laborers can work in agriculture (permanently or seasonally) where they assist ranchers and farmers in maintaining crops, and livestock, or doing general maintenance on machinery. General laborers are also found in the logistics and warehousing industry where they are responsible for moving objects, packages and pallets of freight and stock inside storage facilities for manufacturing, consumer goods, or pharmaceutical companies.

Similarly, a general laborer could also be tasked with operating, maintaining, or cleaning equipment and machinery in these industries. Pickers and packers are also identified as general laborers, and the individuals work in retail and wholesale sectors. Material-moving machine operators are falling under the General Worker classification, and they would use machinery to transport various objects around work sites in construction, mining, harbors, or airports.

Now you need to specify the purpose of your job. Think of what you do and describe that in one sentence. For example:

  • Mix concrete, shotcrete, grouting & gutter
  • Conduct small-scale demolition with concrete cutting and pavement breaking, Sweep streets and walkways
  • Install piping for sewers and storm drains
  • Dig trenches and tunnels
  • Paint signs on roads and pavements
  • Drill and blast underground tunnels
  • Loading and offloading physical goods, materials, and products from trucks

Next is a section dedicated to your physical abilities, for example, your dexterity to life more than 50 pounds, your nimbleness to climb into small spaces or your endurance to stand on your feet for long hours. Exemplary hand-eye coordination is imperative in manual labor work (you may lose an eye or a hand after all) and so is multi-limb coordination to climb ladders or descend via a rope into a utility hole. For most hard labor dobs excellent vision and depth perception are a must-have to firstly perform your job well, and secondly for your own safety and the safety of those around you.

Numerical and reading adeptness is next on the list. Understanding drawings, schematics, and ability to interpret blueprints and other work-related documents are vital to General Laborer roles in mining or construction, for instance. Mathematics and geometry comprehension and mechanical knowledge are also required in various skilled laborer jobs.

Finally, pay attention to ‘’the tools of the trade”.  General Laborers should also have experience in using mechanical tools, operating machines, repairing, and maintaining equipment. (Examples include: claw hammers, lifting hooks, power hoists, pallet jacks, slings, cranes, saws, winches, hoses, wrapping machinery, banding machines)

Make sure to include the following details:

  • The locations you are willing to work in, some General Laborer work is seasonal and may take you out of state, like packing fish in Alaska or helping with the harvesting in Louisiana.
  • If you are a skilled laborer, you may have obtained certain licensing to allow you to perform more specialized duties such as Hazmat cleaning operations.
  • Special machinery you can work with like forklifts, load-bearers, conveyor belts, industrial vacuums, washing bay equipment or large-scale fans and dryers.
  • General workers should also include the work settings they are comfortable with within their resumes, for instance, working underground in a mine or doing underwater maintenance duties for a shipping company, even being stationed at sea for long periods such as an oil rig or aircraft carrier.
  • Also, include your safety experience and if you are familiar with the most recent ISO standards as well as any other regulatory compliance requirements for fields such as FDA (Medical/Healthcare) or GMP for manufacturing and processing plants.
  • You need to state your willingness to work shifts. Most workers have 8-hour shifts, although longer shifts like 12 hours, weekend and overtime are also typical to a General Laborer’s job.
  • General Laborers are also responsible for transporting refuse and recyclable materials, and for this, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is needed.

General Laborer Career Summary & Examples

Hiring Managers and Recruiters are drowning in resumes most of the time. Make their lives easier by presenting them with a well-constructed resume document. To do that you need to write a stellar career summary that hits the proverbial nail on the head by being concise, packed with relevant information, and instantly eye-catching.

Every General Laborer job has its own sets of terminology and buzzwords. Use these as SEO for your resume to highlight technical ability, soft skills, years of working experience, and qualifications. The more your resume resonates with the job description of keywords, the better fit you will seem. A career summary should consist of 3-6 lines that take no more than 20 seconds to read through.

Three Examples:

Career Summary 1

Experienced and tenacious General Laborer with five years of working experience as a crew member for the metropolitan refuge department. Holds a perfect attendance record and the physical capacity to lift and load commercial refuse bins exceeding 25 pounds. Physically in mint condition and used to working long hours in adverse environmental conditions clearing debris and removing garbage sidewalks, pavements, and public walkways. 

Career Summary 2

An energetic youngster with 8 months of experience as a General Laborer in the construction sector. Physically fit with oodles of endurance to perform site duties such as drilling and sawing/cutting construction materials as per the specifications of the bill of work document. Involved in prestigious building projects including the new waterfront gated estate where building works were finalized two months ahead of schedule. Mathematically orientated to interpret drawings, schematics, and blueprints backed up by a diploma in AutoCad Rivet.

Career Summary 3

General Laborer with green fingers and a passion for gardening, landscaping and cultivating lush vegetation for upscale country clubs. Over a decade of experience in pruning. Mowing, mulching, fertilizing and watering large-scale gardens exceeding 228 acres to perfection.

General Laborer Job Descriptions, Responsibilities and Duty Examples

An employer would expect to see the following proven foundational duties and skillsets within an applicant’s resume, depending on the type of role they fulfill as a General Laborer. We have provided a few examples below to help you formulate your own list of job duties.

Example Job Descriptions:

A General Laborer in Agriculture may:
  • Responsible for general farm duties
  • Plant, spray, and irrigate crops
  • Fix gates and locks regularly
  • Clean stables and groom and feed the horses twice daily
  • Assist in rolling hay loops and hoisting them onto trucks
  • Prepare medicinal compounds provided by the vet and pour them into three-hole plungers to vaccinate cattle
A General Laborer in Landscaping may:
  • Maintain laws with edgers and power powers
  • Plant seeds for foliage, plants, grass, ground cover and scrubs during the Fall
  • Prune trees, flowering plants, and shrubs during the months of spring
  • Mow and edge lawns, using power mowers and edgers
  • Decorate gardens and terraces with stones, pot plants, and garden accessories
A General Laborer in Furniture Removal may:
  • Wrap furniture and carry them to loading trucks
  • Use 4-wheelers and dollies to maneuver furniture around
  • Clean carpets, walls, and windows after furniture is taken to the loading bay
  • Label and tag all furniture products according to the removal itinerary list
A General Laborer in a Production Plant may:
  • Loading and unloading product pallets from supplier trucks
  • Unpack pallets and carry boxes to specified storage areas
  • Use forklift equipment to maneuver large pallets around the facility
  • Clean and maintain plant machinery used in the production process
  • Keep a register of all maintenance activities
A General Laborer in Demolition may:
  • Prepare the excavation site for drilling and blasting activities
  • Secure safety and detour signs in designated areas to warn the public of upcoming demolition
  • Conduct appropriate safety checks before and after each blasting process
A General Laborer in Road Maintenance may:
  • Lay concrete and perform backhoe activities
  • Fill potholes with appropriate materials
  • Cordon off areas around sinkholes with reflective tape
  • Operate high powered drilling and compacting equipment
  • Assist with digging, leveling and paneling duties

Highlight Your Accomplishments

Under your accomplishment section, you may be tempted to copy and paste one or two of your everyday tasks just to fill up the section. Believe it or not, If you contemplate for a moment and think about what sets you apart, what you are most proud of, or what you accomplished in your previous roles, the accomplishments will start dropping fast and furiously onto the resume page.

The trick to writing compelling accomplishment statements is to quantify each statement with a number, timeframe, percentage ore score. By quantifying your achievements in this way, you are effectively providing concrete proof of your capabilities as a General Laborer.

When writing your resume, you should be answering questions such as, “How much?” or “How many?”. For instance:

  • How many products do you package daily?
  • How many safety incidents were in the last 12 months?
  • What was the average time per product from offloading raw materials to unloading onto distribution trucks?
  • What is the ground size of the site you have worked on?
  • What is the load weight of the pallets you hoist onto delivery vehicles?
  • How many potholes have you filled in a day?
  • How many building sites do you work at in a month?

Examples of General Laborer accomplishment statements:

  • Fix a 1000 yards of farm fences every month
  • Clean 2000 square feet of tile flooring per day
  • Held a perfect attendance record on all projects for the last six months
  • Created a preventative maintenance roster for heavy machinery which reduced shutdowns by 48% during the quarter
  • Implemented a mini recycle storage unit for the refuse removal truck which made sorting of plastics, glass and paper materials 50% less time consuming

General Laborer Education Section Example

General Laborers can secure jobs without having completed any formal education. However, the more post-school qualifications you have, the better your chances of securing higher-paid jobs. In short, indicate What, Where, and When regarding your qualifications, certifications or courses or workshops completed. The name of your qualification, institution, and date of completion is more than sufficient.

Completed Secondary and Post School Education must be listed as follows:

Start with the commencement date and completion date for diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor's degrees. For courses, you can just list the date of completion. Next comes the full name of the qualification, then the full name of the institution, and then the City or abbreviated State name. List your high school diploma details similarly, but only include this when you have less than five years of working experience.

Here are some examples of a General Laborer Resume in terms of education:

2018 Public Certificate in Basic Construction & Maintenance, Houston Community College, Houston, TX
Course Curriculum:
Measuring and estimating building materials
Job site management techniques
Coordinating the construction process
Quality and safety standards in the construction industry

2012-2013 HVAC Certificate, Altierus College, Washington DC

2011 – Trades Diploma in Carpentry, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA

2010 – Waste and Refuse Disposal Course, Graduate, Penn Foster College, Ridgefield, NJ

2009 – Hazardous Materials Transportation Training, KMI Learning Institute, Columbus, Ohio

2008 – Forklift Driver Certification, Forklift Training USA, Clinton, MI

2012 High School Diploma, Geneva High School, Ackley, IA

What to Write in a General Laborer Resume Skills Section

Prospective employers may have different requirements listed in the job advertisement, therefore your skills section may need to be customized for each role that you apply for. (This entails extra work on your part, but well worth the effort in the end). Instead of listing your key skills and attributes in bulleted format spanning over two pages, rather present them in a skills matrix. For this, insert a three by ten table and dedicate a column to physical traits, one to technical skills and one to personality attributes, also called soft skills.

Physical SkillsTechnical Skills Soft Skills
Manual DexterityNumericalPunctual
20/20 VisionReadingTrustworthy
Hand/Eye CoordinationForklift OperationCommunication
Multi-Limb CoordinationPower ToolsDetail Orientated
EnduranceMechanical RepairsTeam Player
Ability to life 70 poundsCalibration TechniquesEnergetic
Nimble & AgileSafety RegulationsSelf-Managed
Depth PerceptionBlueprints & SchematicsDetermined
Peripheral VisionScaffolding Set UpCommitted
Excellent HealthMine VehiclesProblem Solving

Qualifications/Certifications associated with General Laborers

OSHA Certification
High School Diploma
HVAC CertificateFlaggerCargo Warehouse Operations Course
CPRSupply Chain Management (SCM) Certificate Elevating work platform licenseCDL Class A
Hazardous Materials Transportation Training (HAZMAT)CPUT – Certificate In StoremanshipCertified Forklift Driver

Action Verbs for your General Laborer Resume

ControllingProblem SolvingImproving

Industries using General Laborers:

  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Oil, Gas & Exploration
  • Medical Device
  • Agriculture & Farming
  • Life Sciences
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Consumer Goods
  • Aviation
  • Aerospace
  • Shipping, Ports & Harbors
  • Metals & Steel Production
  • Plastics
  • Packaging & Distribution
  • Agriculture
  • Electronic Components
  • Power Plants
  • Specialty Chemicals
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Federal Government
  • Educational Institutions
  • Food & Beverage
  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • Waste Removal & Disposal

Professional Information on General Laborers

Sectors: Various
Career TypeUnskilled, Semi-Skilled, Skilled
Person type:  Laborer, Worker, Picker, Handler, Sorter, Mover, Cleaner, Packer, Sweeper
Education levelsFrom no formal education to post-school qualifications
Salary indication$27,456 and $37,651 per annum / $13 – $18 per hour
Labor market: 12% growth from 2016 – 2016 (BLS)
Organizations: Plants, Factories, Production Facilities, Manufacturing Operations, Drop Shipping Facilities, Retail, Wholesale, Mining, Cargo, Shipping, Utilities, Construction, Commercial, Corporate, Agriculture

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