If you are a driver and you are driving lots of miles, then, at the time that I write this, it sounds like you are an exception. When I am out meeting my TRUCKING clients, they are all moaning and complaining about the lack of freight. Most tell me that we are in a full recession.
So, if you are getting lots of miles and you are being treated well, you should stay with the carrier that you are currently with. If you are looking for a new place to call home, then you are certainly not alone, and the competition is very high.
So how do you make yourself, your résumé and your history stand out from the crowd? How do you make a favourable impression when you are completing an application online?
When you are completing your online application, you are competing with everyone who is looking for a job. Stability in your history is important. If you’ve been with your current carrier for three years or longer, you will stand out from the crowd. If you have been with your current carrier for less than three years, you might consider remaining there. But of course, if you are a junior driver with less than three years of experience, you may not be getting the most in miles. It is quite a quandary. You haven’t been there long enough to be especially treated and your résumé doesn’t look good enough to get a job elsewhere. It’s challenging.
So, let’s get back to the topic. How do you make your application stand out so you can at least get an interview? As I said, the first suggestion is to have a job history that looks stable. Looking stable for several years at each company that you’ve driven for is the first step.
The second step would be to have a clean or almost clean motor vehicle record (driver abstract).
The third item would be to have a clean and recent criminal record search, as well as your FAST card. Why do I recommend having both a clean criminal record and your FAST card? Your FAST card will not expire for five years. So, also having a clean criminal record search, helps to make you stand out from the crowd.
Most companies don’t accept resumes. But a résumé is a useful tool. A good résumé will have all past employers’ names, supervisors, contact people, addresses and phone numbers. All these items are easily transferred to the carrier’s application program.
Do you have copies of certificates from your past training programs? Again, this would help you stand out. Certificates or testing scores are an awesome way to make you look better than the average truck driver.
And nowadays, everyone needs that darn insurance letter! When you are working for a carrier, take a picture of the insurance certificate; it will tell you who the insurance provider is. This way you can reach out on your own if needed and get your experience letter.
What if you were never listed on that insurance policy? I hope your truck driver abstract (in Ontario called a CVOR abstract) will show inspections from your current carrier. This is one way to demonstrate that you are working there. And if you’ve been there for three years or longer, there should be multiple line items on your CVOR to prove that.
It is a very difficult market right now if you are looking for a new place to call home as a truck driver. If you are lucky enough to get a job interview, please look in the mirror. First impressions really count, especially when the competition is so tough. I wish I didn’t have to say it, but make sure you are presentable. Work clothes are fine as long as they are clean, and a smile always helps!
I wish you all good luck. Stay safe.
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.