Demand for truck drivers is anticipated to be greater than for other occupations, but working as a long haul truck driver is a lifestyle choice as well as a professional choice. Truck drivers may be away from home for weeks at a time, and a lot of this time can be spent alone. However, there are federal regulations that limit the amount of time a driver may spend on the road, and some companies use two drivers on long runs to minimize downtime. If you are seeking a job as a truck driver, it is important to create a resume that clearly states your skills and accomplishments to portray you as the best candidate for the job.
Job Description of a Truck Driver
Tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers move goods from location to location over routes that sometimes span several states. The trucks operate with a capacity of 26,000 pounds per gross vehicle weight, referred to as the GVW. The truck driver is responsible for driving long distances while obeying all traffic laws and keeping a log of their activities. Drivers inspect their trailers before and after the trip and report any serious mechanical problems. They also report any unusual incidents to the dispatcher. Modern conveniences like satellite tracking help drivers who plot out their own delivery route. The driver is responsible for arriving at the delivery location on time.
Occupational Outlook and Salary
The job picture for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is excellent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the economy grows, the demand for goods increases and the need for truck drivers is expected to increase 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, higher than for other occupations. The median wage for truck drivers was $37,770 in 2010.
Becoming a Truck Driver
Tractor-trailer and heavy truck drivers must have their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Requirements for this license vary by state, but aspiring truck drivers typically have to pass a written knowledge test and a driving test. Most have a high school diploma and two years of related work experience. Truck drivers who haul hazardous materials require a special endorsement and a background check. Random drug tests for drugs and alcohol are required while a truck driver is on duty. Drivers may attend professional driving schools learn how to handle large trucks. These classes typically discuss regulations that govern interstate truck driving. Many drivers start out by driving motor buses or delivery trucks, since companies require two years of driving experience. Successful truck drivers have good visual acuity and hearing, are in good physical health and have above average eye-hand coordination.
Preparing an Effective Resume for a Truck Driver
Whether you are sending along your resume by email or mailing it, remember the old saying “neatness counts” make sure it has a professional look. That means, for most people, fitting it onto a letter-sized 8.5 inch page and using a businesslike font like Times New Roman or Arial in a 10 -12 point font size and black ink. Leave a 1-inch margin all around the page, top, bottom and sides. Consistency is important. Be sure to use italics and bolding for comparable elements, and list company names, location, your position and your responsibilities in a consistent way. If you list the company name in italics first, all companies should be listed that way. Use bulleted lists and phrases instead of sentences.
Formatting the Resume
If you are experienced with an uninterrupted job history, you can consider a chronological resume which lists the companies you worked for and the positions you held in reverse chronological order. Recent graduates, people changing careers and those who have been out of the workforce for one reason or another can consider a functional resume which includes a Skills section to highlight experience and abilities. These skills may have been acquired on the job, as a volunteer or as part of an internship. The functional resume may not go into where the skills were acquired.
Emphasize Your Accomplishments
Resumes are changing, along with everything else. Employers no longer want to see only a long list of your previous jobs. They are more interested in what skills you can bring to the job at hand. Instead of listing a career objective, which can be limiting, write a brief Career Summary or Profile under your letterhead with your name, address, email and phone number. In two or three brief sentences, tell the story of your accomplishments to date. You can then list your skills in bullet format under the heading Skills Summary. Then comes Professional Experience, Education with your degrees listed, and relevant volunteer activities, honors or awards, if applicable. Feel free to emphasize any portion of the resume to make it suit your particular credentials.
Electronic Resume Selection
The sad truth is that even after all of your hard work, your resume may not even be seen. Nowadays, a computer system called an Applicant Tracking System or ATS may do the selecting. So how to you make sure that yours is one of the resumes chosen for consideration? Experts say you should read the job description carefully and use the same job title and list the skills they want with the skills you have, using the same words. Do not use fancy font, borders or logos.
Sample Resume for a Truck Driver
1234 Sunny Drive, Anywhere, NY 123456 444.444-4444 email@example.com LinkedIn URL
(career summary or profile)
Efficient truck driver with sound ethics and experience with different sizes and types of trucks. Proven track record of on-time deliveries. Capable of driving long distances for extended periods of time.
(list as many as you can)
- Skilled at operating required equipment in a safe and responsible manner
- Knowledgeable of relevant legislation, policies and procedures
- Adept at driving trucks with over 4 ton capacity
- Demonstrated sound work ethics
- Ability to maintain equipment
- Skilled at securing cargo for transport
- Regularly report observed safety hazards
(list in reverse chronological order)
Truck Driver, XYZ Corporation, Bayshore, New York, 2013-present
(list in reverse chronological order)
XYZ Driving School, New Hyde Park, New York, 2004