Forklift Operator Resume Example | A Comprehensive Guide

Forklift operators are in demand as the construction, manufacturing, distribution, and mining industries continue to thrive. This job allows you to grow in your career and learn valuable skills that you can transfer to other jobs.

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But first, you need a forklift operator resume that gets the recruiter’s attention. Describe your experience and skills masterfully, showing the hiring manager you’re the best person for the job.

If writing a resume is a challenging task for you, we will help you with our detailed guide. You can also check out our resume examples. Here are some of the topics that we’ll cover:

  • A forklift operator resume example to show you the proper structure.
  • How you should add your professional experiences with examples.
  • The three formats you should choose from as you create your resume.
  • The skills that should be on your resume for forklift operator.

Forklift Operator Resume Example

Justin Duncan
Forklift Driver

837-038-118
justinduncan@gmail.com
Cambridge, MA
linkedin.com/in/justinduncan

Professional Summary
Certified Forklift Operator with more than ten years of experience in safely operating and maintaining forklift equipment. Committed to improving team productivity to meet customer service standards and move products across up to three storage locations. Proven ability to secure loads of up to 500 pounds. Physically fit with exceptional work ethic.

Work experience
Aerotek
Forklift Operator
March 2018-July 2020

  • Promoted longevity of power equipment by performing scheduled and required routine maintenance.
  • Secured loaded pallets, skids, and boxes by correctly positioning lifting devices to ensure safe transport.
  • Conducted safety training to help twelve team members coordinate improvements as they operate lifting devices to increase production.

Plastipak Holdings
Forklift Operator Trainee
January 2016-December 2017

  • Moved materials efficiently using material handling equipment and performed minor maintenance to avoid faulty equipment.
  • Logged destination and weight of material to be shipped daily and ensured that all cargo was in the correct shipping containers.
  • Completed tasks correctly and efficiently by following maps and GPS systems as directed by the warehouse supervisor.

Education
High School Diploma
Belmont High School
2017

Skills

  • Automotive logistics and procedures
  • Manufacturing and warehouse procedures
  • Loading and unloading
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Organization skills
  • Time management
  • Inventory management
  • Powered pallet jack

Additional Information
Certification
OSHA Forklift Certification

Salary and Job Prospects for Forklift Operators

According to the U.S Bureau of Statistics, the overall employment of material moving machine operators is projected to grow 7 percent from 2021 to 2031.

The industries with the highest levels of employment in Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators:

  • Warehousing and Storage
  • Employment Services
  • Merchant Wholesalers and Durable Goods(4232, 4233, 4235, 4236, 4237, and 4239 only)
  • Merchant Wholesalers and Non-durable Goods(4244 and 4248 only)
  • Truck Transportation

The average salary for a forklift operator is $39,000. The typical range is between $35,000 and $45,000, depending on your skills, experience, and education level.

How to Make a Forklift Operator Resume from Scratch

Writing a resume for a forklift operator requires skill and tact for you to get your next job. You should follow specific rules to ensure you don’t make costly mistakes that will prevent you from landing a job interview.

Multiple industries require a forklift operator. This means that every resume you send out must be different. Sending one resume for multiple applications without matching it to the hiring manager’s requirements is a quick way to miss out on great job opportunities.

When you’re writing your resume, incorporate keywords and action verbs that optimize your resume. These help ensure that your resume isn’t filtered out by ATS systems, software used by recruiters to remove candidates who don’t have the minimum requirements.

The format and layout of the resume are essential. Here are some more details about them.

Resume Format, Layout, and Structure

The format you choose should showcase your top qualifications first. Here are three formats you can choose from.

  • Reverse-chronological format – This format is perfect for candidates with experience. If you’ve worked as a forklift operator for a couple of years, this is the format you’ll use as you write your resume.
  • Functional resume format – This format is perfect for candidates who recently completed school or career changers who don’t have experience working in the forklift industry. It’s also called the skills-based resume because it focuses on the skills.
  • Combination/hybrid resume – This format is suitable for candidates with the perfect mix of experience and skills. It combines the best features of the two other formats.

The layout and design of the resume should be easy to follow and understand. Check out our resume templates which have professional designs. Also, consider fonts that the recruiter can read quickly, like Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, Georgia, Helvetica, Times New Roman, and Calibri. The font size should be 10-12pt.

The structure of your forklift operator resume should have the following sections:

  • The resume header
  • Professional summary/objective
  • Work experience section
  • Education section
  • Skills section
  • An additional section (Languages, awards/honors, computer skills and certifications, and interests)

The Header & Contact Information

The header is the first section of the resume with your personal details and contact information. This information must be accurate to ensure the hiring manager can reach you. These details include:

  • Your full name
  • Job title
  • Phone number
  • Professional email address
  • Location
  • A link to your LinkedIn profile(optional)

Correct example

CORRECT
Richard Bruno
Forklift Operator

548-097-223
richardbruno@gmail.com
Duluth, MN
linkedin.com/in/richardbruno

Incorrect example

INCORRECT
Richard Bruno
Forklift Operator

548-097-223
richardbruno@gmail.com
3494 Ferrell Street
House number 10
Duluth, MN
Date of birth 08/09/1988
linkedin.com/in/richardbruno

📌Focus on the relevant details when you’re writing the header section. Avoid personal details that the recruiter doesn’t need.

Photo or No Photo?

Refrain from adding a photo to your resume unless the recruiter has asked you for one. It increases the chances of discrimination and unconscious bias, which is why most recruiters advise against it.

Demonstrate Your Experience As a Forklift Operator

The work experience section shows the recruiter the work you’ve done at your previous jobs and how it’s prepared you for the new position. Usually, you need to add up to three previous positions, and under each of them, you’ll list your job duties.

Competition may be stiff, so you want to stand out to get the position. Under each of your previous jobs, you’ll add three to five duties, but don’t stop there.  Use figures and facts to show your results . This gives the recruiter an idea of the value you’ll bring to the company.

The structure of the work experience section should have the following:

  • The name of the workplace
  • Your job title
  • The period you’ve worked at each place

If you’re an entry-level candidate, add your volunteer and internship experiences and show the recruiter how they’ve prepared you for the forklift operator position.

Example for an entry-level forklift operator

ULINE
Forklift Operator
June 2013-May 2015
  • Ensured all loads were secured using position lifting devices to prevent shifting of loads and damage to items during transportation.
  • Effectively communicated with co-workers operating transport vehicles and production equipment using hand signals to direct operators from the floor.
  • Provided equipment troubleshooting, maintained assigned equipment condition to determine issues, and made necessary repairs to keep equipment running.

Example for experienced forklift operators

Silgan
Warehouse Supervisor
August 2018-December 2021
  • In charge of leading a team of 10 members and assigning duties to the people responsible for safely loading inbound and outbound shipments and performing preventive maintenance on radio frequency equipment.
  • Carefully and safely operated warehouse equipment, including forklift, power, and other equipment to unload, transport, and stack materials.
  • Used WMS computer systems and RF handheld scanners to document all information from customer/client calls and onsite service calls and maintain accurate records.

Describe Your Educational Qualifications

Forklift operators may not need formal education, but the education section is essential. You’ll add your high school diploma if you don’t have a college degree.

This section is crucial for candidates without experience. It gives you the chance to give more information on the relevant courses that have prepared you for the new job. The structure of your education section should have the following:

  • The name of the degree/diploma
  • The name of the school
  • The year of graduation

Correct example

High School Diploma
Lexington High School
2016

The Most Sought-After Skills in Forklift Operators

 Every job requires specific skills  that will help you perform your duties diligently. Hiring managers use applicant tracking systems to filter out resumes that don’t have the required skills.

Use the job description to your advantage and include the skills the recruiter is looking for. The right wording is also key when adding the skills to your resume.

Your resume should have a section for hard and soft skills.

Hard skills are teachable skills you learn in school or on the job that help you perform specific duties. Soft skills allow you to interact with colleagues and clients and don’t require learning.

If you recently completed school or are changing careers, you’ll start with this section and add the transferable skills that will be useful in the new job.

Here are some skills that you should have on your forklift driver resume. 

Hard skills

  • Inventory management
  • Tractor repairs
  • Overhead crane operator training
  • Equipment operations
  • Automotive logistics and procedures
  • Product Development
  • Heavy industrial equipment
  • Preventive maintenance

Soft skills

  • Time management
  • Creative problem solving
  • Multitasking skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Teamwork
  • Organization skills
  • Communication skills
  • Attention to detail

Write an Outstanding Professional Summary

The professional summary introduces your resume and highlights your top qualifications. As you’re writing this section, you should also mention your experience and add your top relevant skills. This section encourages the recruiter to continue reading your resume, so it should be engaging and catchy.

Correct example

CORRECT
Hardworking Forklift Operator with eight years of experience working primarily in a manufacturing or warehouse company. Committed to efficiency, enduring quality of work, and performing routine pre- and – post-inspections following standard operating procedures. Highly skilled in comprehensive routine maintenance and machine operation in varied, dynamic environments.
💡The example above highlights the candidate’s experience and the skills that will allow them to perform their duties effectively.

Incorrect example

INCORRECT
Dedicated Forklift Driver with extensive expertise in operating forklifts, efficiently loading and unloading materials, and delivering goods on time.
💡The example above is too vague and fails to give specific qualifications that make the candidate unique.

Professional objective

A professional objective introduces your resume if you’re a recent graduate or career changer and don’t have experience. It highlights your professional goals and expresses your interest in the business. You shouldn’t use a professional objective and summary at the same time.

Correct example

CORRECT
Recent Graduate with a one-year background working in warehousing facilities. Adept and capable employee with experience accurately measuring, recording, and reporting product and shipping information. Highly familiar with operating standard warehouse equipment.
💡The example above describes the candidate’s skills, showing the recruiter what makes them a unique candidate.

Additional Sections for Your Resume

Your resume should always have an additional section to differentiate you from the other applicants. Usually, the recruiter doesn’t have much time to check the resume and may miss some of your qualifications. This section allows you to highlight specific qualifications you don’t want the recruiter to see quickly. Here are some of the qualifications you can add to this section.

Computer skills and Certifications

Basic computer skills are essential for forklift operators to enable them to input data for proper record keeping, communicate via email, and log orders. The recruiter may easily miss this qualification if it’s in the general skills section, so it’s always better to add it here.

If you have any certifications that show that you have some additional training in forklift operations, they should be in this section. These are sometimes a requirement and will give you an edge over the other candidates. Here are some certifications that will elevate your forklift operator resume.

  • OSHA Forklift Certification
  • Forklift Safety and Inspector Certification

Interests

The interests section can work for you, but you need to research the company you want to work for. This ensures that you don’t add any interests that don’t align with the company culture and miss out on an opportunity.

Languages

The languages section is crucial for job seekers as most hiring managers are looking for bilingual candidates. Add your languages in this section and use the official language reference as follows:

  • Germany’s Goethe-Zertifikat (70%) or higher is required.
  • SIELE for Spanish
  • IELTS – English (a minimum score of 6.5 is required)

Tips to Make Your Resume for Forklift Operator Better

  • Use relevant keywords and action verbs from the job description to optimize your resume.
  • Your forklift operator resume should be one page long.
  • Choose the right format for your resume to ensure that your best qualifications are first on your resume.
  • Each job title should be different.
  • Start your resume with a strong summary/objective to get the recruiter’s attention.
  • Always proofread the resume before sending it to the recruiter.

Key Takeaways

  • The header section is the first part of your resume, and the details should be accurate.
  • The resume summary/objective is a short paragraph, but it should be catchy and engaging.
  • Quantify your achievements with figures and facts as you add your job duties.
  • The skills section contains hard and soft skills, which should be in separate sections.
  • Always add your academic background in the education section.
  • The additional section should host your extra qualifications.

Accompany Your Resume with a Cover Letter

A cover letter is a document that gives further details about your qualifications. You can showcase your writing skills and personality to capture the recruiter’s attention. This is also an opportunity to express your interest in the position. Always  complement your resume with a cover letter unless the recruiter asks you not to . Here are our cover letter examples.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which top companies are hiring forklift operators?

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • DHL Supply Chain
  • The Home Depot
  • Manpower
  • Aerotek
  • XPO Logistics
  • Lowe’s Home Improvement
  • IKEA
  • Randstad

Which industries are hiring forklift operators?

  • Manufacturing and Warehousing facilities
  • Construction
  • Food services
  • Dockyards
  • General storage facilities

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