I am looking to get into a hard manual labor field. I have no relevant professional experience, but I do have a moderate amount of non-paid experience — I know how to hammer, screw, lift, carry. I am exceptionally strong, and would most likely outwork my competition.

I enjoy hard manual labor, and am not really interested in a computer-based job. However, most of my resume just lists off my university education and a series of software engineering jobs, which does not present an image of someone who would be good at hard manual labor.

Most of my resume is actively working against me. A significant portion of the resume should focus on my physical fitness. How should I do that? Should I measure my maximum weightlifting ability and give them a number?

  • 3
    This is completely outside my area of expertise, but this seems like something you'd put in your cover letter, along with your motivation for moving away from a desk job. Are you sending out cover letters? Are people even asking for your resume in manual labor jobs? I've heard that manual labor is one area where it's still common to walk-in to apply.
    – Lilienthal
    Sep 3, 2017 at 17:30
  • @Lilienthal You probably know more than me. But, I was thinking cover letters would be overkill. The one place I am looking at now, has a webpage asking you to submit a resume, but also often has a sign out front, so I imagine they get a significant amount of in person applications. I was thinking of sending a resume in, and then going in person. For other jobs, I just know the owner in person or through a friend, and would probably just inquire unofficially.
    – Jonathon
    Sep 3, 2017 at 18:02
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    Well the issue with making such a drastic career switch is that you have to explain it and a resume won't let you do that. Comments on an online submission or the email that you're sending your resume in with can be your cover letter, it doesn't have to be a separate thing. But I'm afraid I don't really know much more than you when it comes to hiring for these types of jobs.
    – Lilienthal
    Sep 3, 2017 at 21:06

2 Answers 2


Include in cover letter, 'fit and healthy, with no medical issues', and list sports that you participate in if any.

Actually for manual labour positions quite often you don't need much of a resume at all. Best if you walk in and apply though.

Most manual labouring jobs have less interest in how much weight you can lift, but how much you can lift for 8 hours a day every day.

  • 1
    I add a +1 for the walk in, so they can see by themselves to get more confidence about your physical conditions.
    – Walfrat
    Sep 4, 2017 at 8:33

It's a good idea.

Put down how much you can bench press, how much you can lift, how many push ups you can do, how far you can marathon, etc.

It's no different than putting your WPM for a secretary job typing all day.

Employers want something they can easily quantify.

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