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You’ve passed your CDL training, collected your hard-earned commercial driver’s license, and now you’re ready to embark on an exciting career in trucking. As a fresh out of school driver landing your first job may seem challenging, but it’s easily achievable with the right guidance. Here are key strategies to help you land your first job as a truck driver.
Build a Professional Resume
Your resume is often your first impression, so make it count. Include your CDL certification, any endorsements you’ve achieved, and your driving record. If you’ve done any relevant coursework or vocational training, make sure to mention that as well. Do not forget to include soft skills, such as dependability, time management, and a strong commitment to safety.
Learn more about endorsements and how to get them here.
Tap into Your School’s Resources
Most reputable trucking schools offer job placement assistance. Take full advantage of this valuable resource. Schools often have connections with local and national trucking companies looking for new drivers. Even if your school doesn’t have a formal placement program, your instructors or fellow students may have leads.
Attend Job Fairs and Networking Events
Industry-specific job fairs can be a goldmine for new truck drivers. Many trucking companies attend these fairs looking for fresh talent. Similarly, networking events can be beneficial for making industry contacts. Make sure you come prepared with copies of your resume and be ready to impress potential employers with your professional appearance and attitude.
Check ATAs events here.
Leverage Online Job Boards and Social Media
Online job boards like Indeed, Trucker Street, ZipRecruiter and others can be helpful in your job search. You can reach out to an employment agency such as Employal and ask them to assist you in directly finding your first job. Another great site specifically dedicated to trucking jobs is TruckingTruth. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, highlighting your new CDL certification and your readiness to hit the road. Social media groups dedicated to trucking can also be excellent resources for job postings and advice from more experienced drivers.
Apply to Large Trucking Companies
Many large trucking companies offer programs specifically designed for new drivers. These programs provide additional training and a guaranteed job upon completion. While these jobs often require a commitment to work for the company for a set period, they can provide invaluable experience and a solid start to your career.
Be Open to Various Opportunities
While you might have an ideal job in mind, be open to various opportunities that come your way. This could include different types of hauls, routes, or schedules. Early in your career, the focus should be on gaining as much experience as possible.
Prepare for Interviews
Once you start getting calls for interviews, it’s crucial to be prepared. Research the company and the role thoroughly. Be ready to answer common interview questions and explain why you would be a good fit for the position.
After an interview, a professional follow-up can set you apart from other candidates. Send a thank you email or note expressing your interest in the job and appreciation for the interview opportunity.
Finally, keep in mind that finding a job takes time and perseverance. Each application and interview is a step closer to starting your career. Keep applying, keep networking, and most importantly, stay positive.
The road may seem long, but your trucking journey has just begun!