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As with many industries, securing a trucking job requires time-consuming training. Fortunately, trucking companies have a system to indicate to prospective drivers that they meet the hiring requirements: the pre-hire letter. Although a pre-hire letter is not a guarantee of employment, it is in the prospective trucker's best interests to secure as many of these as possible.
A pre-hire letter is a guarantee from a trucking company that a student, or a prospective student, appears to be a legitimate candidate for hiring based on the company's minimum requirements. Further, it invites the potential applicant to attend an orientation, paid for by the company, for further consideration once he or she has completed truck driving school.
Again, a pre-hire letter does not guarantee actual employment. However, the reverse is true: Applicants who cannot secure pre-hire letters will almost certainly not secure truck driving jobs. What a pre-hire letter does guarantee, assuming the student successfully completes school, is an opportunity to attend orientation, which in turn is an opportunity to get a job. In the interest of getting into the industry as quickly as possible, prospective truckers should apply for as many of these letters as possible.
Getting a pre-hire letter requires an application, much like any other job. Because employment is not guaranteed, honesty is absolutely the best policy when it comes to applying. Dishonesty on an application may help secure a pre-hire letter, but those lies will come out during the more intense scrutiny of the orientation process. Trucking companies do not want to see any sort of dishonesty from potential pre-hires.
Being honest on an application is about more than not deliberately lying, though. It is very important to verify every detail and avoid guessing. Estimating dates of employment, for example, could be viewed as dishonest when the trucking company contacts the employer for specific details. It is also very important to answer every question, fill out every field and include all pertinent information, even if it is more than ten years old. Again, the company is going to carry out a full background check, and they have no incentive to pre-hire someone who is dishonest.
In addition to being honest, it is important to fill out the application in a manner that trucking companies like. This generally means applying online, the preferred method for everyone involved. It is also important to carefully proofread the application to fix any spelling or grammatical errors. Most companies will only accept an application once every six months, so making the most of every application is essential.
Since a pre-hire letter does not guarantee employment, it is important to apply for as many of them as possible. Most applicants have one particular company that strikes them as ideal at first, but websites and recruiters can provide incomplete or even misleading information. One of the advantages of the truck driving industry is that applicants can attend an orientation before committing to a job, giving them a firsthand look at how the company does business and how the company treats its workers. Going to as many orientations as possible helps a prospective driver select the best job.
Even though they do not guarantee employment, pre-hire letters are an essential step for securing truck driving jobs. Anyone who wants to get into the industry should apply early and get as many as possible.