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Whether you are just finishing trade school or have years of experience here are a few keys to getting hired now.

Just starting out? It’s never too early to get ready for your first paying job in the HVAC, plumbing, electrical trades. You picked a great industry to match your skills, interests and career aspirations. While you’re doing the technical and soft skill coursework consider how you will look to prospective employers on paper and in person.

The competition for experienced techs is intense. To compete contractors are offering a variety of monetary incentives to find the right talent. Personality, work ethic and experience all play a role in hiring decisions.

Contractors have high standards for staff additions. Choosing the wrong person costs contractors time and money. Reducing turnover wins out over growing a staff fast.

Whether you are just finishing trade school or have years of experience here are a few keys to getting hire now:

1. Resumes are required. Get your work experience and dates of employment documented.

2. Resumes are scrutinized. Requirements for clean driving records and clean backgrounds are serious checklist items. Experienced techs whose backgrounds fail these tests do not get hired.

3. Be aware that you may be asked to test before hiring. Predictive and cognitive skills tests, widely used in other industries, are now routinely used to hire for HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other trade jobs.

4. Personality counts. Yes, there are trade jobs that do not require customer interaction. However, employers are learning that positive communication skills and a personality to match makes an employee more adaptable to changing job needs. And that makes you more valuable. Work on your communication and interview abilities.

5. Clean up your social persona. The interview process often includes looking at Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media. Take down any posts that will reflect badly on you and limit your ability to get hired. While you do not need a work history on your Facebook page, it helps to show your current employer and your location.

6. Create profiles on online job boards. Show that you are open to work.

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