When applying for jobs, truckers often neglect one crucial thing: their resume. A killer resume is essential for every job – no matter the industry.
The right resume can help you get a job quickly. The wrong resume can prevent you from landing the job your dreams.
Just like any other industry, there are a few essential things that truckers need to include in their resumes.
1. The Type of CDL License You Have
A CDL (commercial driver’s license) is essential for any truck driver to have. If you’ve yet to earn yours, you’ll need to complete a training program before you can legally start working as a trucker.
Since 1991, all truckers are required to have a CDL to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
There are a few types CDL licenses. These include:
- Class A Truck: A Class A license will give you the ability to drive any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more if the GVWR of the towed vehicle is at least 10,000 pounds.
- Class B Truck: A Class B license will give you the ability to drive a single truck with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more if the GVWR of the towed vehicle is at least 10,000 pounds.
- Class C Truck: A Class C license will give you the right to drive any commercial vehicle that does not meet the Class A or Class B definitions, but is designed to transport more than 16 passengers or marked for hazardous material.
In most cases, trucking companies will be looking for drivers with a Class A CDL.
In addition, you’ll also want to list any endorsements you might have, such as:
- T: Semi Trailer Double
- H: Hazardous Materials
- N: Tank Truck
These endorsements make you more valuable as a driver and in some cases, allows you to take advantage of higher pay rates. Truckers with the “H” endorsement can haul hazardous materials, and get paid very well to do so. But this endorsement requires serious training.
Always include any endorsements you have and don’t forget to list the type of CDL license you have.
2. Your Safety Record as a Trucker
As a trucker, safety should be your top priority. Candidates with impeccable safety records are more likely to get the job. Why? Because safe drivers ensure that the freight reaches its destination in one piece and on time. Drivers who are unsafe become a liability, causing unsurmountable damages to the trucking company.
Have you successfully delivered all of your loads without any safety issues or accidents? Be sure to list this on your resume. Employers will see this an asset. Truckers with excellent safety records may get the job over more experienced candidates. That’s how important safety is.
And if you’ve never had an injury on the job, be sure to include that too. Employers value safe drivers who aren’t easily hurt on the job. This keeps things running efficiently and prevents worker’s compensation complications.
3. Your Ability to Pass a Fitness Exam
While you won’t be expected to run a mile as a trucker, you will be expected to be in good physical condition. Trucking is hard work – no matter how you look at it. Drivers who are in poor physical condition also become a liability. They’re far more likely to fall ill or become injured on the job.
Be sure to include your ability to pass a physical fitness exam on your resume. Employers want to know that you’re physically capable of handling the job. While no real heavy lifting is required, in most cases, things like lifting a tarp (which can weigh as much as 80lbs) can be physically taxing. And most employers will require you to load/unload or at least help with the process.
Keep in mind that big trucking companies will likely have their own DOT physical that they’ll want you to pass.
A strength test will probably be included to gauge your “staying power”. More companies are requiring drivers to pass physical tests to minimize injures on the job.
Of course, you should also include your experience in your resume. The more experience you have, the better your chances of getting hired.
Be sure to include these resume essentials in your Career Objective just above your resume. This will ensure that your resume catches the eye of the hiring manager. Be specific when listing this information. For example, “zero accidents” is better than saying “impeccable safety record”.
Employers want to know specifics, so be clear, succinct and specific.