You really do only get one chance to make a good first impression. For a business, the appearance and cleanliness of the building and facility influence a customer's first impression. Managers sometimes overlook the importance of the janitors and custodians who keep a building looking its best. Describing a janitor's work on a resume helps underscore the importance of the position.
One of a janitor's basic duties is to maintain a facility's clean, orderly appearance. This is the core functionality of a custodial service. On a resume, an applicant should explain how his work contributes to the company's reputation. For example, a janitor might write on his resume that he "assists an organization in making a good first impression on customers and visitors by maintaining the facilities in a clean, orderly manner."
A competent custodian uses the right tools for each job. An example of this skill on a resume could be written to describe how the custodian "understands the functionality and applicability of a wide range of cleaning tools and products, and uses them effectively and efficiently." If an applicant has acquired special expertise with a certain tool, she should include that skill on her resume. For example, a resume might include a statement that the applicant "operates specialized floor-buffing machinery to protect floors and maintain a shiny appearance."
Many custodians have trained other workers or shown a new employee "the ropes." Training others is a skill that many employers value, and a janitor who has trained other janitors should include this skill on his resume. Being a trainer requires both communication and analytical skills. One way to describe the ability to train others is to state that the applicant "assumed responsibility for training new workers in the policies and procedures necessary to fulfill the employer's requirements."
Janitorial work involves the use of potentially dangerous chemicals and machinery, and a qualified custodian must understand the implications of misusing them. Mixing chlorine bleach with ammonia, for example, can have deadly consequences when someone inhales the fumes that result from the mixture. A custodian communicates her safety skills to a prospective employer by writing in her resume that she "maintains a safe workplace by becoming familiar with material safety-data sheets for commonly used products and following industry standards for their use."