Hittin’ the Road: Applying for Your First Truck Driving Job
Applying for your First Truck Driving Job? This is the Guide for you
You’ve made it this far in your job search—you have a CDL in your home state, you feel confident that you can get behind the wheel of a commercial truck and actually drive it, and you’re ready to start earning money. But how do you get that first truck driving job?
As you search for “CDL jobs no experience” and “no experience driving jobs” over and over, you might start to feel like you need experience to get experience. Use these tips to secure that first job and begin your career.
Get Relevant Endorsements
This might be more relevant to you if you’re still in truck driving school, but even if you’ve already earned your CDL, it’s never too late to add an endorsement to your license!
Endorsements build your skills and let you take on more responsibilities behind the wheel. Truckers that can do more help their employers save money, and who doesn’t want that?
Find out what employers in your area are looking for—many want drivers with hazardous materials endorsements and tanker endorsements—and start working toward adding that endorsement to your license. It’s one more qualification you can add to your truck driver job application.
Use Your School’s Resources
Truck driving schools are great at lining up recent graduate truck driving jobs. Most schools have long-standing connections with local employers, especially when the truck driver shortage is so severe! Some trucking companies hire student drivers while they’re still earning their CDL.
If you make it through trucking school without a job, put your school’s resources to work. A lot of schools have career advisors. Talk to one at your program to find out about companies that are hiring and companies that have postings for no experience CDL jobs.
Search Job Listings with Qualifiers
No doubt about it—the job search can be frustrating. There are things you can do to minimize your stress and save some time in the process.
Just searching for “trucking jobs” may not help you find positions that you can actually apply for. The more postings you look at that require one/five/ten years of experience, the more hopeless you’ll feel. Instead, cut down your search results right away. In your search terms, add “no experience,” “recent graduates,” “new drivers,” or “student drivers.”
You’ll pull up trucking jobs with no experience requirements, so you can spend your valuable time finding postings that are relevant to you.
Get Strong References
The trucking community is huge and it is very strong. Take advantage of that! If you get great references from course instructors, you can make a big impression with potential employers during your search for recent graduate truck driving jobs. Scoring high on tests and working hard during your behind-the-wheel training can help you build connections with your instructors and establish your reputation. References can go a long way when you’re applying for CDL jobs with no experience.
Look Into OTR Jobs
Lots of drivers want the cushy 9-to-5 jobs that let them sleep in their own bed every night, which means that the competition for these jobs can be fierce. What’s harder for companies is finding drivers who are willing to spend one to three weeks on the road at a shot. In your search for trucking jobs for recent graduates, don’t overlook OTR positions. If you’re ready to put in the hours and start building up your CV, an OTR position is a great way to go. After getting experience and getting some seniority with a company, you may be able to move up to regional, local, or dedicated routes.
Truck driving jobs for recent grads are out there—you just have to know where to look. Don’t get too hung up on finding the perfect job. Nothing has to be permanent, and even staying with a company for a year or so can help you move up in the industry. Check out listings for trucking jobs with no experience requirements and start applying today.