It is not out of the ordinary for new drivers to work for a few freight companies before finding the right fit. No matter what profession you enter into, being able to sell yourself is a must to get your foot in the door. Companies are looking for a reliable, well-trained driver and the more knowledgeable you are, the more you will be worth in your employer’s eyes. Maybe you have already landed a great job with awesome benefits and pay. That’s fantastic, but never stop growing and developing yourself because you never know what opportunities may present themselves later on. Sometimes getting hired is the hardest part. New drivers who lack experience may struggle to get a company to see potential in them at first. Of course, it is possible! Read on to learn how to successfully market yourself to companies.
Don’t get overlooked by a prospective company because of your schooling. Make sure that you choose a school that is reputable, well-known, and that offers a lot of drive-time. Many institutions also offer assistance with finding a job after the completion of their program. Always take advantage of such an opportunity. It’s likely that their career department will know more about what companies are looking for than you and they may also have connections with companies who go through them to look for new hires.
This is a no-brainer, but you need to work hard and push yourself when you are in school. Not only do you need to learn and retain as much as possible, but you also will want to make a name for yourself. Instructors that notice your strong work ethic may be open to writing you a glowing letter of recommendation when the time comes to put in job applications.
You don’t ever want to allow yourself to stagnate. Instead, think of every learning opportunity as an investment in yourself. Once you obtain your CDL, your education should not cease completely. Instead, be sure that you are staying up-to-date on changing laws and regulations and consider working on additional CDL endorsements. Extra courses will not only make you more qualified, but they will also boost your resume.
Also understand that technology will change over time as well. Don’t be one of those individuals that is hard or frustrating to work with because you have concreted yourself in an old routine. The best employees are the ones that can adapt to new situations, remain calm, and overcome challenges.
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”-Stephen Hawking
Make Quality Connections:
Always strive to be a friendly, professional, and genuine person to everyone that you come into contact with. At the end of the day, you never know what benefits a good connection might bring. The point of networking is to get to know a lot of people who could potentially be useful to you later on.
It is also important that you maintain a good relationship with your past employers. Try to avoid hard feelings if you resign from a company to explore a better opportunity by giving proper notice and being respectful. Never post negative things about a company online and be careful discussing the downfalls of a past company you worked for with your new or potential employer. This may make them think that you have a negative outlook and that you will talk poorly of them if given the chance.
Be a Hard Worker:
As a truck driver, it is necessary that you maintain a squeaky-clean driving record. You don’t want a company to look at your record and think that you will be nothing but a liability to them. On top of that, you need to demonstrate that you have a strong work ethic. Don’t be too picky or quick to complain and be careful telling your boss that you feel overwhelmed or that you can’t do something. Doing so may make them think that you have hit the limit of what you are capable of. If you want to advance with a company, become the person that will get the work done well and in a timely manner.
The first step in marketing yourself is simple. Actually, have confidence and try your best to convince the company that they would benefit from hiring you on.
Writing a Resume:
Below are a few quick tips to consider when polishing up your resume
- Keep it one page in length
- Have your contact information centered at the top of the page
- Include categories such as “Education,” “Work Experience,” “Special Honors/Awards,” “Skills”
- Always list your most recent achievements first under each category
- Allot a sentence or two to explain what each of your included jobs consisted of. Try to emphasize the skills or experiences that would be useful to you in the job that you are currently applying for. Include the start and end date along with the city the company was located in.
- Keep the formatting neat and uniform
- Feel free to include a cover letter. This is typically a one page letter, addressed to the specific company you are applying to, explaining why you want the job along with why you believe that you would be a good candidate. Be sure to include your contact information here as well.
- *Pro tip: Try to incorporate the same language in your resume and cover letter that was used in the job ad you are answering.
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