I was amazed as I attended another job fair in our local area. Working and talking with vendors it was apparent that many drivers in the room were as we say, “Kicking tires” as they walked around looking at tables asking if they had jobs available. It is very easy to find a job in trucking right now, but I would guess many drivers in the room came out with no more than what they entered with. They may have got a free meal, picked up some swag from the tables, and entered their names for a draw, but I would be surprised how many actually got a job. Oh sure they will get a follow up call from a recruiter and may even go to an interview but they are wasting a lot of time and effort because they didn’t do their homework ahead of time. Someone came up and said, “Job for me?” as their opening line. I don’t know what you do and do you have a truck because I am standing at an owner operator only booth. That is not being prepared!
There are three stages to every job search and if you are serious about finding a job it is important to do the work to ensure those stages are complete.
Before the Show
Most shows post their vendors on their website so that you can see who will be attending. Spend some time ahead of the show to learn about the companies at the fair. There is no sense applying to a carrier that is all owner operator if you don’t own a truck. If you are a brand new driver there is no sense applying to a carrier that requires two years of experience. Learn who will be there so you can target those carriers at the show. Do your homework!
At the Show
First impressions count! You don’t have to dress in a suit but looking presentable is critical. Almost everyone I saw was dressed in track pants and hoodies. If I was hiring based on image alone there were not too many people of interest in the room. Dress like you are someone that is really interested in getting a job and don’t waste the recruiters time.
Be prepared with your resume and other documents if applicable. If you are already working why are you there, what are you hoping to find? If you are not working what is going to be the job for you? You should know why you are at the job fair and what you hope to get out of it.
After the Show
Following up in a timely manner is imperative to getting the job you want. Within 72 hours of the show you should follow up with the carriers of interest and book your next step, whether that be interview, road test, or other requirement. If you want to show interest in a job don’t wait for the recruiter to phone you.
A lot of people were walking around at the show asking very basic questions, not knowing what they want, and not looking interested in trying to find a job. If you were interested you would have found one already. If you didn’t have a chance to be at the event then you can still find a job. Have a look at the carriers with the TTSAO who do hire new drivers and have an interest in your success. You can find that list here, good luck!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a veteran in the transportation industry with over 40 years in the industry in a variety of roles from driver to fleet supervisor and more. Today he is a media specialist in the industry producing a number of programs for the trucking industry such as his trucking podcast The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com or his radio station Lead Pedal Radio at www.leadpedalradio.com
Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only