Important painter CV skills (with tips and definitions)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 11 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When you're applying to work as a painter, including all of the right information helps to get the role. This is because you have a better chance of conveying your capabilities as clearly as possible and placing yourself ideally for the role. Refining your skill set allows you to list more skills on your CV and increases your odds of impressing a hiring manager. In this article, we discuss the most important painter CV skills, why employers pay attention to these skills and steps you can take to maximise your employment potential with your CV.

What are painter CV skills?

Painter CV skills are the specific skills you include in your CV if you have an interest in taking on a role as a painter. These are skills that specifically improve the quality of the work of a painter. Employers seek candidates who hold these skills, as having them implies a better standard of work for the company as a result of hiring that candidate. Most of these skills relate directly to working as a painter, although some skills relate to non-painting ability, namely, soft skills.

Soft skills refer to those that determine the way you work and your character in the workplace, whereas hard skills refer to teachable abilities and skill sets people use in their work. For example, communication is a soft skill, whereas completing a specific painting technique is a hard skill. Employers look for a combination of the two. This benefits companies, as hiring those with good soft skills means a stronger level of character in the company, whereas a high level of hard skills limits the amount of training necessary for new members of staff.

Related: 21 well-paying blue-collar jobs to pursue (with salaries)

Examples of painter skills

When writing a painter CV, knowing the skills an employer looks for is advantageous. This means you can fulfil all the requirements of a painter job description and can potentially attract the attention of a hiring manager, increasing your chance of securing a job. See some examples of painter skills below, in addition to helpful steps for improving your portfolio of skills:

Attention to detail

Attention to detail refers to the extent to which a painter examines their work, looking for flaws and imperfections in the finish of the paint and improving the smallest details of the work. This is important for a painter, as large projects have a lot of small details and features the viewer pays attention to. Having a high level of attention to detail means the overall quality of the piece is as strong as possible and you satisfy your customers with a high standard of work.

Improving attention to detail takes a significant amount of time and practice because attention to detail is a soft skill, rather than something people train in specifically. One of the ways a painter improves their attention to detail is by taking regular breaks and avoiding multitasking. This means they approach their work with a refreshed mind and a singular focus on the task at hand, paying closer attention to the details and removing any distractions.

Manual dexterity

Painters consistently rely on dexterity and fine motor skills while working on smaller details of a piece. This includes any parts of walls that are behind obstacles and the corners of pieces of work requiring small adjustments. A painter completes much of their work with equipment such as a roller, but in the instances where a painter uses a brush instead, a focus on dexterity and smaller, perfect movements is a crucial part of completing the role in the best way possible.

Improving dexterity is a similar process to improving any physical skills, requiring specific exercises over an extended period of time. For example, one of the exercises painters complete when improving dexterity is closing both hands into tight fists and rotating them for a minute before opening their fingers as wide as possible. This covers the entire range of movement of the hand and repeating the process means your control over the muscles and ligaments in your hand improves over time.

Related: How to improve your attention to detail

Hand-eye coordination

While hand-eye coordination seems similar to dexterity, there are subtle differences that relate specifically to the work a painter completes. Dexterity refers to control over the hand during work, where hand-eye coordination specifically relates to how a painter's movements correspond to the way they see the world around them. Good hand-eye coordination limits the chance of accidents in the workplace and ensures a higher standard of work on a consistent basis.

A useful exercise can help improve hand-eye coordination. Place your hands on a flat surface with your palms facing upwards. Complete an 'O' shape with your index finger and thumb, keeping the rest of your fingers down. Repeat this process for all of your fingers and keep repeating, speeding up as you go. Furthermore, completing drawing and fine painting exercises improves your hand-eye coordination, with small details training your ability to complete finer movements in line with your eyesight. Test your hand-eye coordination by completing fine movements.

Maths skills

Maths is a skill that people rarely associate with painters in spite of it being a significant aspect of improving the quality of your work. For example, having strong maths skills helps with establishing the necessary materials for completing work, with a better understanding of surface areas and the paint necessary for covering them. Better maths skills mean a painter works more efficiently on their projects, saving money by using the right amount of paint for their specific needs. This skill is something employers value as the employee improves profit margins for the company.

Improving maths skills takes a level of practice and study. The maths skills a painter uses in their role entail more simple skills, with a reliance on GCSE-level skills as the most complex concepts. Completing online courses in mathematical ideas, such as shape, size and volume, is vital for anyone working efficiently as a painter. Refining these skills with consistent study and revision before implementing maths into painting work wherever possible is a good method of keeping mathematical concepts and processes in mind in the workplace.

Working at heights

The ability to work at heights is prominent in the commercial painting industry, with members of staff painting walls several floors up in commercial and industrial properties. Employers benefit from members of staff with a greater level of versatility, so making it clear that you have experience of working at heights to a high standard is an important feature. Working in as many environments as possible makes you a useful asset, so include this feature in your CV.

When developing this skill, start by working at lower heights and increase your distance from the ground over time. This means there's less of a chance of panicking at heights above your previous limits. Consider hobbies such as climbing or high-ropes as a means of getting used to spending time at altitude.

Painter skills in the workplace

Some of the ways that painter skills are present in the workplace include:

  • Attention to detail: when completing quality control checks at the end of the work

  • Manual dexterity: when working in a tight or restrictive space

  • Hand-eye coordination: when working on the finer details of painting a wall or mural

  • Maths skills: when establishing how much paint to order

  • Working at heights: when painting the outside surfaces of high floors on a building

Tips for including painter skills on your CV

Learn some key tips for including skills in your CV:

Be concise

The majority of applicants keep their CVs to a maximum of two sides of an A4 paper, with brevity an important part of an application. This is because recruitment managers read through many different applications on a daily basis. Keeping your application short means you can make an impact more quickly than your rival candidates. Having such an impact benefits your application and makes revising your application a faster process.

Related: Why is a CV important? Everything you need to know

Be comprehensive

When listing your skills, focus on including as many relevant skills as possible. This includes some skills not present in this list, such as customer service. A CV is your first opportunity to introduce yourself to a company, so a bullet point list of all of your relevant skills presents a picture of you as a strong candidate.

Focus on keywords

When reading through job descriptions, look for common keywords. If the majority of job descriptions have keywords such as 'attention to detail', companies look for CVs that feature the skills. Include as many keywords as possible in your CV, integrating them naturally into the text.

Related: How to become a professional painter (plus career options)

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