Applying for Work is STRESSFUL

Man, I remember those days of having to apply for a job. It was so stressful! I would gather up my documents and plan what to wear, and then gather my mind and thoughts. You know the routine.

I know that it may be a little easier today with the demand for drivers. As a Commercial Driver, you pretty much have your pick of the jobs. It has been that way for years. Still, I have to believe that it is a stressful situation. After all, there is a reason that you are looking for work. You are either dissatisfied with the company that you are currently with or you are unemployed. It doesn’t matter as you want a new job. You are not putting yourself through the stress of job hunting just for the fun of it. And every time you change employers, it likely costs you money. So you must have a good reason to switch.

So how can you make the job hunt less stressful? It all comes down to being prepared. There are a few things that nearly every employer is going to ask you for. You can go to their office and complete an application or in many cases you don’t have to go to the companies’ office, you can apply online. Either way, you still have to answer pretty much the same questions. So what do you need to be ready with?

Let’s start with your employment history. Most companies will ask you for your last 3 years of employment. You will need the name, address, phone number and contact person for each company in the last three years. You will also have to provide the employment dates, month and year. On the application form they will ask why you are leaving (or left) the company. So the 3 year history is for all drivers, newly licensed and very experienced. If you are an experienced Commercial Driver, you should be prepared to supply the same information for the last 10 years. The company is not trying to be difficult. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR’s) specify that the company needs the 10 year history from all applicants. So let’s be ready. Gather it ahead of time. After all, you want this job and if it is one of the really good employers, there may be competition for the placement. Show them that you are organized and ready for the challenge.

What else do you need to apply for the job? Well, sticking with the application form, you will need a list of tickets or traffic violations for the past 3 years. And you will also need a list of any crashes for the last 3 years and the details of those. Be prepared to answer questions about the crash/crashes. The new employer will want to know.

Don’t try to hide a crash or a ticket. In Canada, most of the tickets that you get find their way to your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). If you got a ticket in the States it will show up on your PSP Report. Even violations show up on the PSP reports. So be prepared to tell the company if it was a ticket or a violation. Again, they will want to know.

If you are not aware of what a PSP report is, it is very similar to Ontario’s CVOR. It shows USA crashes for 5 years, tickets and violations during the last 3 years. It only costs $10.00 so most employers are now getting PSP reports before you start with the company.

Of course you will also need your MVR. If you are form Ontario, add the CVOR to the list and if you are in Alberta, add the Commercial Driver Abstract to the list. For most employers, the MVR’s time frame needs to be within the last 30 days. You will also need your Criminal Record Search; usually current to within 90 days is acceptable. Many companies are also looking for your FAST card.
So you can reduce the stress in applying for a new position if you prepare and arm yourself with the correct information. It makes it easy to complete the application. It makes you look organized and well prepared. It helps take the stress out of the situation.
Happy Hunting and Stay Safe!

Chris Harris
Top Dawg, Safety Dawg Inc.
@safety_dawg (twitter)

About Chris Harris, Safety Dawg

Chris has been involved in trucking most of his adult life. He drove truck for and worked in various office/management positions for a major truck company. His last position of 5 years in the safety department where he was responsible for the recruiting of Owner Operators and their compliance. He joined a trucking insurance company in 2001 and has been in the insurance side of things until making Safety Dawg a full-time endeavour.