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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been a remodeling contractor for 22 years. Licensed, Insured, and have payed into the W/C in two states. I've done so many jobs I can't remember all of them, suffice it to say, Left town 5 years ago to start my business in a warmer climate. I landed my business in Florida at the height of the real estate and construction boom. Balls to the Wall Busy w/business felt like it lasted the whole year round.:thumbup: I thought, "hey, I'm jammin'!" :clap:....errrr...wrong! :furious:Now I'm in triple-digit debt and banks of course won't help, because my credit score has taken up Olympic Diving. So I moved back home to Louisville, KY where the economic situation was more stable as I thought. It seems 22 years of client relationship doesn't hold a lot of water these days when they can't spend their money. Now I find myself unemployed with out the ability to get "unemployment", wondering where I'm going to live, can't qualify for: subsidized housing, food stamps, healthcare for me or my kids. I've applied to at least 20 jobs who refuse to hire me because I don't "have a resume":eek::censored:, beyond 22 years of entrepreneurship in the construction trade. :whistlingNow it's to the point where, construction companies that are working aren't hiring. What will I do??? :-/
 

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Celtic's #1 Fan
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i'd start with a resume....not busting chops, but we get guys calling for work who claim all sorts of experience...but don't have a resume...say things like "I've been doing this for xx years, I don't need a resume"...

my response is good luck...if a guy can't put a resume on paper, how can I have faith that he'll be able to perform the work?

not saying that a resume means they'll be good, but it's become a necessity..

good luck
 

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anyone can have a resume. if your experience is self employed then write that. write down not only experience, but what you have experience doing, specifics. if you're applying for a job that is not construction related, write in the resume how your job experience's can translate into useful skills in another job. i would also include salary requirements, someone might pick your resume up and look at it and think "wow this is excellent" but decide you will want more then they can pay. if you say right in the resume "i want between XX and XX" then that clears up a a lot.

hope this helps.
 

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The resume' suggestion is a good one. Just this past week we hired a carpenter who had been in business on his own for the past 30 years in California. Came back to our area to be with family and intending to start a small firm but found the economy rather uncooperative.

Point is, he brought in a resume with a good description of his background, his previous Ca. contractors license numbers, provided a web site address with a portfolio of his work, and references from people he worked with in Ca. The pictures of his work were a huge factor, but the references hit the nail on the head along with his can-do attitude.

So, in answer to your question, you put together a resume, pictures of your work, customer as well as supplier references, wash your vehicle, pull yourself up by the proverbial bootstraps and go see some contractors.

Hit the small guys, the home improvement companies, and the niche companies like garage doors, security, kitchen refacing, and other specialists. Seems like the specialty contractors who have been around a while are holding their own or picking up steam.

Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some very good suggestions here i.e. submitting my portfolio with a resume.

I am actually in the process of doing a resume.

Thank you to the others who have been encouraging and constructive with their replies thus far.

I can only afford Christmas for my 5 year old girl and my 4 month old girl.

NO I CAN NOT AFFORD INTERNET. THIS IS WI-FI.

AND THANK YOU FOR JUDGING DURING CHRISTMAS WHEN I AM GOING THROUGH THE HARDEST YEAR I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know you are all looking at me as a whiner right now.....THE FACTS ARE I HAVE TO VACATE DURING CHRISTMAS.

All I have that is worth ANYTHING IS:

My truck
My tools
My family
My faith
 

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Some very good suggestions here i.e. submitting my portfolio with a resume.

I am actually in the process of doing a resume.

Thank you to the others who have been encouraging and constructive with their replies thus far.

I can only afford Christmas for my 5 year old girl and my 4 month old girl.

NO I CAN NOT AFFORD INTERNET. THIS IS WI-FI.

AND THANK YOU FOR JUDGING DURING CHRISTMAS WHEN I AM GOING THROUGH THE HARDEST YEAR I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE.
Hang in there!!! It is amazing how one moment can change everything one way or another. It sounds like you are one moment away from something good. The patience and perseverence are hardest to come by when it feels as though you have hit the bottom. Keep a positive attitude and hope for the best. I always figure that I can't force someone to hire me, but I can do everything possible to put myself in a position where they want or need to hire me based on what I bring to the table. Good luck and keep looking up.:thumbsup:
 

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Taking it one more step..

Taking it one more step, I haven't done a resume in 40 years so I'm no expert.

But as a self employed person you may try grouping your experiences by years. For example, if you were most recently a general contractor but at the beginning of your career you did drywall, then you did framing it might look like this:

Sept 2007 to present: Louisville, KY- Self employed general contractor specializing in residential room additions from design to finish.


Apr. 2002-Aug. 2007 Sandy Beach, FL Self employed general contractor specializing in residential room additions from design to finish.

Jan 1996-Mar 2002 Louisville, KY- Self employed contractor specializing in framing of new homes, commerical, and institutional projects for large general contractors. 1998-2001 employed 3 apprentice carpenters.....


Obviously, you get the idea. Take care to get the dates right and eliminate any gaps so it doesn't look like you sat someplace for 90 days without work.

CALL the people you are going to use for references and get permission, give them some background and warm up the relationship.

Again, good luck. You'll find something to get you up and running again.
 

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The Duke
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I know you are all looking at me as a whiner right now.....THE FACTS ARE I HAVE TO VACATE DURING CHRISTMAS.

All I have that is worth ANYTHING IS:

My truck
My tools
My family
My faith
Those are good things to have right there. Be grateful for the things you have. I know this may not sound like much help, but focus on positive things, as little as they may seem and hang in there.
 

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The Grand Wazoo
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If you have Word 2002 it has some resume templates you can use to make it easier to structure a decent looking resume, it is fairly easy even for an idiot like myself.
 

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alot of us are just hangin on by a thread, i find myself doing things i would have walked away from 2 years ago, and in todays world i,d rather do 5 smaller jobs than 1 huge job:whistling

from what i hear from others that land the big jobs they wait 60 to 90 to 120 days and still do not get what they bill for but partial payments!

i know one guy tokk it in the rear for over 200k as the builder he worked for went chapter 11 a year ago:censored: and now he just found out that the courts want all contractors who recieved payment 1year prior to him filing must return money back, so now hes tied up even more:furious:

so look at the bright side, find your place in the market and ride it out like the rest of us:thumbup: things will be back, and those who have survived will only be on top !!

GOOD LUCK
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Taking it one more step, I haven't done a resume in 40 years so I'm no expert.

But as a self employed person you may try grouping your experiences by years. For example, if you were most recently a general contractor but at the beginning of your career you did drywall, then you did framing it might look like this:

Sept 2007 to present: Louisville, KY- Self employed general contractor specializing in residential room additions from design to finish.


Apr. 2002-Aug. 2007 Sandy Beach, FL Self employed general contractor specializing in residential room additions from design to finish.

Jan 1996-Mar 2002 Louisville, KY- Self employed contractor specializing in framing of new homes, commerical, and institutional projects for large general contractors. 1998-2001 employed 3 apprentice carpenters.....


Obviously, you get the idea. Take care to get the dates right and eliminate any gaps so it doesn't look like you sat someplace for 90 days without work.

CALL the people you are going to use for references and get permission, give them some background and warm up the relationship.

Again, good luck. You'll find something to get you up and running again.

Thank You for that suggestion. Seems a sensible way to organize my skills/experience.
 

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American
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I know you are all looking at me as a whiner right now.....THE FACTS ARE I HAVE TO VACATE DURING CHRISTMAS.

All I have that is worth ANYTHING IS:

My truck
My tools
My family
My faith
Your losing your home? Do you have a place to go?
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Freemason, you're dead on with the advice to work up a good resume. :thumbsup:

I would add that especially for those of us who've been self-employed for years, the skills to do a good job of that are more than likely a bit lacking, no matter how literate we may be. We're just not used to that world.

Try working up something fairly presentable, then turn it over to a professional secretary who knows her/his stuff. That person can really make it shine.

I do have a problem with this part:

i would also include salary requirements, someone might pick your resume up and look at it and think "wow this is excellent" but decide you will want more then they can pay. if you say right in the resume "i want between XX and XX" then that clears up a a lot.
I fully understand your reasoning there, but that's just not how it's done in the professional world. The people who can afford to pay better are going to wonder why you're so cheap. And those who can't, may go ahead and hire you at a rate lower than you deserve.

If your resume looks like a good fit, the prospective employer will court you, and make an offer. And that offer may well be thousands more than you were willing to settle for. :thumbsup:
 

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I have to strongly disagree with some of the advice you have received. Do not include salary requirements, and avoid using the expression "self-employed" for as long as possible.

The purpose of a resume is to get an interview, not a job. Prospective employers use resumes to reject candidates, not to hire them.

Your resume should focus on your skills and accomplishments, emphasizing the skills most relevant to the position.

Provide details: how many people you supervised, how much money you budgeted, what you organized, with who you cooperated etc.

Be concise eg: "Calculated foundation loads" not "It was my responsibility to perform foundation load calculations"

You should also submit a job application letter with your resume, sometimes called a cover letter. This is your chance to show that you know something the company, develop your qualification in detail and gives you an opportunity to ask for an interview.

Try to pick up a copy of Business and Administrative Communications by Kitty O. Locker. It has been a standard text for business students for a number of years. University bookstores or the reference section of a university library would probably have a copy. This book has an excellent section on resumes , with examples, full page layouts and lots of comments and suggestions.

Good luck, and stay positive. It is a good sign that people are asking for your resume.

Mark
 

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I know you are all looking at me as a whiner right now.....THE FACTS ARE I HAVE TO VACATE DURING CHRISTMAS.

All I have that is worth ANYTHING IS:

My truck
My tools
My family
My faith
Thank God for those things. I posted a thread here about a week ago called rererevised quotes or something like that and it was about a job I've been trying to get for like 6 months or so. I got the job then the quy calls me because he's not sure again if he wants to do it. Long story short, everybody's scared right now and not many people are spending money.

I would love to look at me getting this kitchen and flooring job like my life is a movie based on getting this job and that's the happy ending but I KNOW I still have to successfully do the job (for cheap, just so I could get it) and I don't have anything to do after this again.

I'm w/ you and I also understand. It's tough because construction (and automotive actually) are all I know and their both rock bottom- but what isn't? Everyone I know is starving and scared about what tomorrow holds. All people at the top do to solve this problem is spend more $$ we don't have to basicly prolong a painfull death instead of solving the problem.

All I can offer (and it's easier said than done) is this:
"do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his spendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Love God and the family He's given you. Do your absolute best to provide for them and I honestly believe you will be taken care of. God is good. Even when the world around us completely sucks! I'll pray for you...
 

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Been a remodeling contractor for 22 years. Licensed, Insured, and have payed into the W/C in two states. I've done so many jobs I can't remember all of them, suffice it to say, Left town 5 years ago to start my business in a warmer climate. I landed my business in Florida at the height of the real estate and construction boom. Balls to the Wall Busy w/business felt like it lasted the whole year round.:thumbup: I thought, "hey, I'm jammin'!" :clap:....errrr...wrong! :furious:Now I'm in triple-digit debt and banks of course won't help, because my credit score has taken up Olympic Diving. So I moved back home to Louisville, KY where the economic situation was more stable as I thought. It seems 22 years of client relationship doesn't hold a lot of water these days when they can't spend their money. Now I find myself unemployed with out the ability to get "unemployment", wondering where I'm going to live, can't qualify for: subsidized housing, food stamps, healthcare for me or my kids. I've applied to at least 20 jobs who refuse to hire me because I don't "have a resume":eek::censored:, beyond 22 years of entrepreneurship in the construction trade. :whistlingNow it's to the point where, construction companies that are working aren't hiring. What will I do??? :-/
You're simply the victim of believing word of mouth is the best advertising there is. Same story different person.

Now what you need to know is there is plenty of work and plenty of jobs available out there. But you need to lower your standards and broaden your horizons. You need to think larger then Florida. Maybe the work is in another state.

So -

#1 you need to broaden your search. You can go to craigslist and go to the different regional versions of it and search for skilled trades wanted.

#2 Lower your standards. Sure you might be worth $30 an hour but there are a lot more jobs available in the $12-$20 range.

#3 Dump the self-employed for 20 years attitude and qualifications. This is how an employer looks at that - guy will work for me only for as long as it takes for something better to come along, then he will be back out there competing against me or just looking to do his own thing.

#4 Stress your skills. Employers are looking for perfect matches. They want to know if you can hang, tape and mud drywall, not that you 'can do it all'. Be as specific as possible about what you know how to do.

#5 Any ad you answer, there will be anywhere from 200-1000 other people you will be competing against. Follow directions to the T. Don't shot gun things out, you must take your time on every job you apply for and apply for it perfectly, employers are looking to cull down the 600 applications they have to go through, they do it by looking for any reason to throw your application away. Something incomplete, something left blank.. into the trash. If the job says you need a perfect driving record and you don't have one, don't bother to apply. Spend your time working as hard as you can on the perfect matches to you and not trying to shot gun to every possible job in hopes of something will happen.

Good luck.

This too will all pass. :thumbsup:

Rent the movie "The Pursuit of Happiness" with Will Smith. It will hep you.
 
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