New places, new sights, the feel of being on the road with the wind in your hair—it’s no surprise that a career in driving is becoming increasingly popular! If you’re someone who loves being on the road and driving (a lot!) on the job, you may have considered a career that involves becoming a truck, bus or delivery driver.
However, the competition in these fields is no less than any other “conventional” field of employment. In a fiercely competitive labor market, it’s important to put your best foot forward—having a resume that accurately showcases your skills may just be this, or definitely a step in the right direction, if nothing else. Needless to say, how well your resume showcases your skills depends on how well you write it.
If resume writing hasn’t always been your strong point, don’t worry! This article will have you covered, telling you how exactly your driving skills should go on to your resume.
What Skills Qualify as Driving Skills?
Basically, any ability that a person may possess around vehicles qualifies as driving skill. The following are a few examples of driving skills:
- Navigational Skills: While this doesn’t mean being able to memorize all the routes that lead in and out of your many destinations, it does mean that you should be able to get your bearings right, so that you aren’t delayed in delivering your passengers or goods. With multiple destinations to reach, hiring managers/employers look for those who have a good sense of direction naturally and can adapt to new and unfamiliar locations. Reading a map is a helpful skill, too, but prioritized lower than the other aforementioned skills.
- A Strong Driving Record: Having a strong driving record not only impresses your potential employer and the law but is also a necessity! A strong record, with no legal traffic citations (or very few), will instill faith in your employer about your capabilities and more importantly, your law-abiding nature, since the safety of the goods and passengers you’re carrying is in your hands. A flawless (or nearly flawless!) driving record can give your resume an edge over others.
- Knowledge: Drivers are expected to be knowledgeable about a range of things, from basic maintenance to traffic laws, rules and regulations. Though rare, breakdowns during a shift are a very real possibility and can crop up quite unexpectedly. Drivers must be equipped enough to repair at least the very basic problems. Knowledge of the law is important for the safety of the driver, the goods and passengers.
- Time Management: Drivers should be able to manage their time well so that they don’t fall behind on their schedules. Timely deliveries and picking up or dropping are extremely important. Sometimes, unexpected emergencies may also crop up—drivers need to be able to account for these in their schedules and still finish their assigned tasks as much as possible.
Apart from these, skills such as good concentration levels to keep track of your schedule and the road, attention to detail, good customer service, physical strength and fitness to efficiently handle a heavy vehicle when necessary and problem-solving skills for all those moments when you have to think on your feet, also look great on your resume.
Putting Driving Skills on Your Resume
As mentioned earlier, there’s a way to put your driving skills on a resume, so that they stand out and accurately convey your capabilities to your potential employer or the hiring manager, whether you’re considering a career in driving or otherwise.
Where you put the information will dictate whether your skills are seen or just glossed over! If you’re applying for a career in driving, put your skills first in the resume. If you’d just like to mention your driving efficiency as a skill in a resume for a job outside this field, mention the skills at the end of your resume, under ‘Skills and Abilities’.
Though we’ve already covered driving skills and those should figure on your resume, you should also mention what type of certified driver’s license you have, your years of driving experience and your record. Your license class will dictate what kind of vehicle you’re allowed to drive.
Make the information straightforward and ensure you’re familiar with all license categories that let you drive a particular vehicle.
What You Shouldn’t State
The following are best avoided on a resume:
- Too much information! Employers don’t want to have to go through a book on your every little achievement; only put in what’s necessary.
- Be careful about including sensitive information, such as your license, credit card and Social Security Numbers—you never know when your identity could be stolen.
Highlighting Your Skills
You can highlight your skills by reiterating them in certain sections throughout the resume, such as qualifications and previous work experience. Your objective should also clearly state your experience and your aim, without being too long and descriptive—it should be short, crisp and to the point.
Talk about scenarios where you’ve employed your driving skills and future scenarios where you will employ them/what you will bring to the table in the new job. The former can be covered in the section where you talk about your previous work experience and your roles and responsibilities there. You can also highlight the skills that you used in your daily tasks in the section that talks about your strengths. If required, add a separate section on “skills”, so that you can list any remaining skills that could enhance your performance.
Additionally, your cover letter will help you to a great extent, too. A good tip is to look at the job description that’s circulated/published and pick up specific skills mentioned in these, that the employer is looking for. If there isn’t space or a section in your resume where you can talk about the application of your skills in your previous job, include this in your cover letter—your best bet is to talk of them in both your cover letter and your resume, though.
Additionally, mention how you can and will use your skills in your new position. You can also include a small anecdote or two that illustrate how you used your skills in certain circumstances, as these will help hiring managers understand better how you applied your skills regularly.
Should your resume get shortlisted and you get called in for a job interview, don’t shy away from talking about your driving skills but don’t go overboard with volunteering information. Weave your experience and skills into your answer and relate them to your answers. Casually mention your skills and how you used them, so that it is clear what value you can bring to the company.
Resume writing is a skill, but if you don’t have the time to invest in learning how to do this in depth, I hope this article helped. It’s not all as tough as it’s made out to be—it’s just about putting the right stuff in the right place.
Remember, you don’t need to mention any sensitive information on your resume, such as your driver’s license numbers or SSN or credit card numbers. Should your potential employer require these details from you, he/she/they should contact you separately for it. Follow the same with references; don’t state the names of the referees, unless asked specifically for them.
If you’d like to jazz up your resume with more driving skills, you’ll need to jazz up your driving skills in real life—there’s only so much you can do without outright lies! You can improve your driving skills through practice, training and education. Other options include earning your Commercial Driver’s License, which lets you drive trucks and buses, or interning under and shadowing more experienced drivers, as this lets you pick up new skills, tips and techniques.
If you have the time, effort, resources and motivation, you can always enroll for more driving courses—there are plenty available online and offline. Enrolling for safety courses is also a great idea—these enhance your value in the job market and impress hiring managers by conveying the idea that you’re committed to a holistic vision of your career and job. You could also earn additional certificates.
At the end of the day, a driving-oriented career is a great choice—plenty of people are in the field and absolutely love the dynamism and freshness the job brings to the table. A job that lets you stay on the road allows you to meet new people and explore new places, but also remain aware that the job has its fair share of challenges too. It can be physically and mentally demanding, with strict schedules to adhere to, long hours of staying in the same position and driving and sometimes, indefinite work hours.
However, if you’ve got your heart set on becoming a driver/trucker or just want to know how to make your driving skills look good on a resume, follow the above tips and you’ll be golden!