Looking Both Ways
The Professional Drivers Resume and Drivers Application for Employment
The Driver Resume and The Driver's Application for Employment
This post of Looking Both Ways will take a look at reasons why professional truck drivers should consider maintaining a professional resume. Many may think resumes are not necessary to land their next driving job but having a well-constructed resume may make a job transition easier. It can also benefit you in other ways. Keeping a resume digitally will allow you to easily update it as needed. It is wise to keep "supporting" documentation with that resume also. You will notice many similarities between the resume and the driver's employment application.
First and foremost are the rules. Rules for a resume? No, rules applying to the profession of truck driving. Every driver application you complete – for any company – is required by the Federal Regulations to contain certain content. Let's examine the required content.
• Every Employment Application you will be completing for any regulated Motor Carrier (trucking company) will require you to list of the names and addresses of the applicant's employers during the 3 years preceding the date the application is submitted,
o The dates the driver (you) were employed by that employer and
o The reason you left the employ of that employer
Employer used in this context means the company responsible for the safety performance of the driver – the company whose DOT number you operated a vehicle for. In a case where you operated a vehicle for a fleet owner, this would be the carrier to which that fleet owner had his or her trucks leased onto – not the fleet owner.
• For some time now driver applicants have been required to state if their driving position at an employer was subject to the FMCSRs while employed by that previous employer.
• You'll also be required to state on the application if your job was designated as a safety sensitive function which was subject to the DOT alcohol and controlled substances testing requirements as required by 49 CFR part 40. Be careful to understand the question. Some companies may drug and alcohol test their drivers as a "Company Policy" above and beyond of the Federal Regulations. Your responses to past Controlled Substance (Drug) and Alcohol testing will be verified from your previous employers.
Now if you intend to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle or CMV as defined in Part 383, you'll need to provide and list an additional seven(7) years of employment history for a total of ten (10) years of your employment history. To determine if you need to list this additional employment history you'll need to know the definition of a CMV as defined by this Part of the Regulations.
A CMV in Part 383 is defined as:
"A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle is a—
(1) Combination Vehicle (Group A)—having a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater; or
(2) Heavy Straight Vehicle (Group B)—having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater; or
(3) Small Vehicle (Group C) that does not meet Group A or B requirements but that either—
(i) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
(ii) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.
For those drivers applying to operate a commercial motor vehicle as defined by part 383 of this subchapter, a list of the names and addresses of the applicant's employers during the 7-year period preceding the 3 years contained in paragraph (b)(10) of this section for which the applicant was an operator of a commercial motor vehicle, together with the dates of employment and the reasons for leaving such employment. This means listing only regulated driving positions for those 7 years.
To correctly complete the requirements of a complete and legal application the following certification and signature line, must appear at the end of the application form and must be signed by the applicant:
"This certifies that this application was completed by me, and that all entries on it and information in it are true and complete to the best of my knowledge."
(Applicant's signature) (Date)
Most applications will ask you to list your previous employers in chronological order starting with most recent first. Build your resume listing past employers this way. List name, address, phone and fax for each past employer. Listing the MC Number or US DOT number of the company on your resume may be helpful later in identifying the correct carrier. You should also accurately state the reason why you left their company. Be aware that you must account for all "gaps" in your employment history. These gaps may include periods of self-employment, unemployment, disability, or even incarceration. Maintain supporting documentation normally associated with employment gaps such as 1099's, court orders, print outs from the Social Security Administration, or proof of Worker's Compensation benefits. List the gaps on your resume with exact dates. Recording this information on your resume will help you recall information correctly when completing an employment application at a much later date.
Remember when applying for a driving position, you will sign a form which releases your previous employer from any and all liability about anything that say about you. That prospective employer is required by the Regulations to contact your previous employers for verification of employment. You will find that most verify dates of employment, type of equipment operated, areas of operation, and accident history. Controlled substance and alcohol testing history is verified - sometimes under separate documents or forms. Some prospective employers scrutinize any and all available information on you. It is important to keep other supporting documents, such as your PSP report, and keep them updated checking them periodically for accuracy. Prospective employers will run your PSP report and could deny you a position from an inaccurate report.
You may want to include on your resume positions where driving was a secondary function – it could count towards driving experience required by a prospective employer.
There is a lot of information required on a driver's employment application. A resume can help you keep all this information organized. The right way to make your resume is your way. Include all the information that may be required to complete a job application within your resume. This will also include the following information:
• The issuing State, number, and expiration date of each unexpired commercial motor vehicle operator's license or permit that has been issued to you. Be sure to update this information should you move and obtain a license from a different state;
• The nature and extent of your experience in the operation of motor vehicles, including the type of equipment (such as buses, trucks, truck tractors, semitrailers, full trailers, and pole trailers) which you have operated. You may list this by vehicle type, the years of experience in each, and the approximate miles driven in each vehicle type. Be sure to update this information once a year;
• A list of all motor vehicle accidents in which you were involved during the preceding 3 years . Be sure to specify the date and nature of each accident and any fatalities or personal injuries associated with each accident. Some companies request you to list just DOT reportable accidents, other ask for all. DOT Recordable Accidents include an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle that results in (390.5 accident definition (1)): Fatality. An injury requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene. 1 or more vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requiring tow-away from the scene of the accident. Maintaining copies of police (accident) reports is imperative – another possible piece of supporting documentation to keep in the same location as your resume;
• A list of all violations of motor vehicle laws or ordinances (other than violations involving only parking) of which you were convicted or forfeited bond or collateral (paid a fine) in the last 3 years. Basically a list of your moving violations in any vehicle type – include tickets in a personal vehicle and any CMV infractions where you paid a fine. This information is also required in orientation when completing the Certifications of Violations form for your Driver Qualification file. Remember to update your resume each time you receive a ticket;
• A detailed record of the facts and circumstances of any denial, revocation, or suspension of any license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle that has been issued to you, or a statement that no such denial, revocation, or suspension has occurred. Has you had a license suspension or revocation?
You can see that the resume and the driver's application for employment contain virtually the same information. Having a great resume and the supporting documents well organized will allow you accurately and fully complete the next driver's application for employment with confidence. It may also make you the choice candidate for a position where there are many competing applicants. Providing accurate and complete information will also expedite the qualification process at the company where you apply.
Disclaimer: This blog is NOT intended to give legal advice, nor be a substitute for any training required by the Regulations.
Till the next blog, Thank you drivers for all you do! Please be safe!
John Mueller, CDS, COSS