How to put together an effective truck driver resume:
This page will serve as a guide to help you put together a concise, detailed truck driver resume that will help you bypass other truck driving professionals that are applying for the same positions you are. In the past, truck driving was often considered a profession that was reserved for the less educated men and women in society – and there was a time when salaries for these positions were less than desirable. Things have changed now, with road regulations tightening up and responsibilities for truck driving positions increasing. Today, experienced truck drivers earn a very good income, with jobs paying more than 100,000K (money.cnn.com).
The term “truck driver” is a very broad one with positions such as: dump truck driver, school bus driver, flatbed truck driver, refrigeration truck driver, shunt truck driver – and many others including different class divisions for weight, number of axles on the truck, and hazardous materials transport. Before you start to put your resume together, take a few minutes to carefully read the job advertisement, so you know exactly what you’ll be transporting, what class of license(s) you will need and how you’ll be compensated (I.e., per mile, per job, per crossing, etc.)
Where you should start…
The previous paragraph mentioned the importance of reading the job posting carefully, to make sure you know what important details to include on your resume, and to make sure the job is right for you. Next you want to decide whether your truck driver resume is going to focus on your experience or credentials: Most jobs in the transportation industry require that you have some level of experience. There are however, some positions that allow for entry-level applicants who have the applicable licenses for the job.
If you’re applying for your first truck driving job, put the focus of your resume on your qualifications and any “soft skills” you have. Soft skills are abilities you have picked up through the course of your life that weren’t necessarily from truck driving – but still apply to the industry such as: computer skills, people skills, math skills, writing skills, mechanical skills, etc. The best format to use would be a Functional format, which includes the following sections: Personal Info, Objective, Qualifications/Licenses, Related Experience, and References.
Experienced truck drivers will want to make the focus of their truck driver resume about their level of experience in the field, by writing in a chronological resume format. Chronological resumes typically have the following sections: Personal Information, Career Summary, Work Experience (or Truck Driving Experience), and a References section.
Functional Truck Driver Resume (for the less experienced)
As mentioned earlier: The industry has so many positions, with so many requirements, it would be impossible to guide you step-by-step through resumes for specific positions.
Following you will find a common guide for building a functional resume, and what information is important for each section:
Your Street Address
Phone – Email
This section should be brief and to the point. Tell the company all of the licenses you hold (that are relevant to the position) and what job you’re applying for, and touch on any experience you think is worth mentioning. Don’t go into great detail and overstate your intentions for the position. Who gets hired often comes down to your licenses, ability to cross borders, and experience (which you’re lacking in this case.)
E.g., “Class A licensed truck driver, applying for your cross-border position delivering warehouse goods. Experience with long and short shunt drives in manufacturing environments, as well as 6 months of railway drops and pickups.”
Use a bullet list of your licenses and any other qualifications you have: E.g., fast pass, dangerous goods, heavy equipment operator, forklift license, etc. The more information you can put in this section of the truck driver resume, the better your chances of getting the job. In the absence of experience; the licenses and tickets you hold make you a more valuable candidate, than someone who just graduated from a truck driving school, who only has the basics that are needed to start driving.
You can include several jobs in this section, provided you can relate the skills you gained in each position to the job you’re currently applying for. Include experiences where you gained the “soft skills” that were mentioned earlier on this page: organizational skills, multi-tasking, computers, filling out paperwork, shunt truck driving, WHMIS, first aid, customs documentation, etc.
Chronological Truck Driver Resume (for experienced applicants)
See the example above under “Functional Truck Driver Resume.”
A career summary that’s written for a truck driver resume will include an objective statement followed by a bullet-style list of qualifications and/or licenses you currently hold to drive a truck (I.e., double axle, single axle, dump truck, bus, forklift, hazardous and dangerous goods, and other relevant equipment licenses.)
Include as many positions you can in this section, as it will make up the bulk of the resume. Try to include your three most current positions, while only using earlier ones if you feel they’ll improve your chances at getting the job. Your resume shouldn’t exceed two pages, so keep that in mind for the overall picture – if you have room, then dazzle the recruiter with details!
Thanks for reading and good luck with your job search!