If you see a job for a driver but you don’t have any experience, you might think that’s no problem.
After all, doesn’t everybody know how to drive? How hard can it be?
You can get a driving job with no experience, but you’ll need to leave that attitude behind!
There are a number of aspects of being a professional driver that are not the same as just driving your car to work, school, for errands or on vacation.
Understanding this will help you think about the qualities you should emphasize when you are trying to persuade someone to hire you even though you don’t have any experience.
Convincing your future employers of this fact starts with the cover letter, which is the first document they see when they receive your application.
This is your chance to make a great first impression and encourage them to review the rest of your application and call you in for an interview.
Types of driving jobs
There are a lot of different kinds of driving jobs, and the skills and qualities that you will need for each one will differ.
Let’s go over some of the main ones so that you can match your cover letter to the specific type of driver position you are applying for.
We won’t cover driving for rideshare companies or other gig-type jobs since those are usually a matter of simply uploading the required information.
You generally don’t have to apply for those jobs in the traditional sense although they can be a way for you to get some experience if you want it.
What skills and qualities do you need to work as a driver?
There are some skills and qualities that every driver should have, so you should emphasize these in your cover letter no matter what kind of job you are applying for.
The ability to work independently, punctuality, being safety-conscious and being detail-oriented are good qualities for all drivers to have.
You should also have a good sense of direction and a good knowledge of traffic laws. While this might seem obvious, not everyone has these skills!
It can help if you have some knowledge of vehicle maintenance although this is more important in some types of driving jobs than others.
Many driving jobs involve a fair amount of paperwork, and you will also need to be good at following both verbal and written instructions.
So, think back on times when you may have used these skills in other situations, and include that in your cover letter.
There are a few different types of truck drivers. If you’re driving a large truck on long hauls, you’ll need to be particularly good at working on your own and dealing with challenges independently.
Others may drive smaller vehicles within a state or particular region. These might involve long days but no overnight trips or shorter trips.
You will probably need the ability to lift packages up to a certain weight. You also need to have good customer service skills since you may be interacting with some of the people you are delivering packages to.
Driver of passengers
This category includes bus drivers, drivers of shuttles and vans, chauffeurs and taxi drivers.
For these positions, as with the courier position, you need to be good at working with the public and have good customer service skills.
If you are driving individuals, you’ll need to try to be alert to cues as to whether they want a chatty driver or prefer not to converse at all.
Be aware that some people treat drivers in a similar way to bartenders, meaning that you may get to hear all manner of details about people’s personal lives. Sometimes, you might feel like you are more of a therapist than a driver!
If you are working as a private driver for a single individual or family, it may be important that you are discreet and respect their privacy, especially if they are famous or just prominent in the local community.
Emphasizing your verbal communication and “people skills” in your cover letter can be important for these types of positions.
If you’re applying for a job as a school bus driver, you’ll need to be good with kids.
If you are driving a bus, a van or a shuttle, you may have to deal with and deescalate situations in which riders are upset, so if you have any experience doing this in other contexts, you’ll want to mention it.
While you can get a driving job with no actual employment experience as a truck driver, some jobs will require certain types of licenses.
The requirements vary from state to state, but it is a legal requirement to have these types of licenses for certain jobs.
Some trucking companies will train you so that you can take the CDL test and get the licensing that you need. If you want to drive a large truck, the other option is going to truck driving school.
For truck driving jobs, it can be challenging to find a company that will take you on if you have not either been trained by another company while getting a CDL or gone to truck driving school to train and get a CDL.
This can be one impediment to getting a truck driving job with technically no experience although if you have gone through a training program at a truck driving school, this will be sufficient for many companies even if you have never had a job.
This lack of formal training may be less of an issue with other types of driving jobs.
However, whether or not the job ad mentions the type of license needed, you should mention what kind you have in the cover letter.
How do you write a cover letter for a driving job with no experience?
There are certain elements that every cover letter should have.
Your letter overall should be shorter than a page long.
First, be sure to include your contact information!
If you are writing an email, you should put this information at the end, after your signature.
If you are writing a letter that you will mail, you should put this information in the heading.
Next, try to address someone at the company by name, such as “Ms. Smith.” If you do not have a name or you are not sure who to address the letter to, these forms of address are all acceptable:
Dear Sir (if you know it’s a sir)
Dear Madam (if you know it’s a madam)
Dear Sir or Madam (if you don’t know if it’s a sir or madam)
To Whom it May Concern
In your introduction, you should say what job you are applying for and where you saw the ad.
Say why you are applying for the job with them.
Be sure that when you write about why they should hire you, your focus is on the way you will be an asset to the company as opposed to explaining why the job would be personally good for you or your career.
In the body of your letter, you should highlight the skills and qualities that you have that would make you a good driver.
Keep in mind that despite not having experience, you have almost certainly developed transferable skills that you can use in your job as a driver.
Be sure to mention having any licenses that the job requires.
In your closing, ask for an interview.
Sample cover letter for a truck driving job with no experience
Be sure to read over ads for truck drivers carefully before you send this cover letter so that you don’t waste your time.
First, look for companies specifying that they hire drivers with no experience.
Then, check to see whether you are required to have your CDL and what type.
Some may say that if you already have your CDL but no experience, they have a training program. Others may welcome you without a CDL as long as you attend their truck driving school and get the CDL and experience that you need.
Also pay attention to whether or not you will be trained for free or paid during the training process.
With all of this in mind, note that the letter below is from someone who has obtained a CDL from a truck driving school but who has not worked as a commercial driver.
Dear Mr. Douglas:
I am writing in response to your company’s ad for truck drivers on your website. I am applying because of your company’s excellent record as one of the top long-haul trucking companies in the industry. I feel that with my own dedication to excellence and my work ethic, I would make an excellent addition to your team.
I have just obtained my Class A License from the ABC Driving School, where I became proficient in understanding the laws and regulations of truck driving and familiar with a number of different types of vehicles. I have strong route mapping and navigational skills, and I prioritize both safety and efficiency.
My previous experience as a customer service representative means that I work well under pressure, have strong communication skills and can follow written and verbal directions. I am punctual and detail-oriented, and I am good at following through with paperwork.
I am eager to start on my new career as a truck driver, and I look forward to hearing from you and discussing the position with you in person. Thank you for your time.
123 Anything Street
Your Town, PA 12345
Sample cover letter for a courier driving job with no experience
Some courier companies require their drivers to have a CDL while others do not, and the letter below is an example of the latter.
33 Prosperity Street
Anytown, CA 12345
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am responding to your advertisement posted on the Kelly Community College job board for a courier driver. I am responsible and safety-conscious with a perfect driving record, and I think I would be an excellent candidate for this position.
My background working at Hank’s Hamburgers means that I am good at remaining courteous in high-stress situations. As an Anytown native, I know every street and can navigate anywhere in the area using the shortest possible route. I am punctual and polite, and I can easily meet the 75-pound lifting requirement.
I know that your company prides itself on on-time delivery, and I can help you uphold that promise. I work well without direct supervision, and you can depend on me to get your customers their packages quickly and efficiently.
I look forward to a face-to-face interview so that we can discuss the position further. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.
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