Acing the Application: 5 Tips for Success When You’re Applying for a Driver Job

Mar 6, 2024

At CVTA, we’re committed to helping students start rewarding careers as truck drivers. But applying for a job as a truck driver can be a daunting process, especially when it comes to filling out the detailed application. Carriers can get thousands of applications a week from potential drivers, and getting your application right can make a big difference in how likely you are to get a job offer.

Our carrier members have put together five important tips to help students put their best foot forward when applying for driving jobs.

Be truthful.

It’s vital to provide complete and truthful answers to every question on your application. However, in some states, ban-the-box laws mean that potential employers cannot ask about arrests or convictions on initial job applications, so if your application does not ask about them, you are not required to provide this information. But be sure to provide honest answers to any questions the application does ask about your work history, driving record, and other aspects of your professional life and qualifications.

List all past and present employment.

List every job you’ve held during the time span the application asks about, with as much detail as possible. Include the full name of every company you’ve worked for—not an abbreviation. And be sure to name the company you were employed by, not any companies you were subcontracted to. Try to find each company’s phone number and address. At a minimum, be sure to list the city and state where the company is located.

List all accidents, citations, suspensions, and incidents—even ones that are non-reportable or linked to old licenses.

Applicants sometimes mistakenly believe that they only need to list accidents and citations that will show up on the motor vehicle report for the license they currently hold, which can lead to problems in the application process. It’s better to provide a comprehensive list of each accident and citation in the last five years, no matter how minor it was or what license you held at the time. Carriers want to have a complete picture of your driving history to make a clear decision about whether you’re a good fit for their company.

Include supporting documentation as needed.

If you’ve worked for a company that has gone out of business, or if you’ve had periods of self-employment or unemployment, it’s helpful to provide documentation such as W2s and 1099s to help the carrier verify your employment history. This helps the company you’re applying to understand any gaps in your work history quickly and easily.

Double-check every detail.

Sometimes small mistakes can result in big delays in processing an application. A typo in a phone number can make it difficult to verify employment, or forgetting to list a minor accident can slow down a background check. If the name on your Social Security card does not match the name on your CDL, that could also cause a delay, too. Before you submit your application, take a minute to confirm all the information you’re providing to make sure it’s accurate. This will make it much easier for carriers to process your applications and decide whether to offer you a job as a driver.

A complete, accurate application is the first step toward getting the truck driving job you want. After all the time you’ve spent getting your CDL, make sure you take the final important steps toward your success by making sure your application is the best it can be.