So you are qualified and can now drive an HGV commercially, now it’s time to find your first HGV job. KevTee on YouTube has put together this fantastic guide with the best tips on how to find HGV jobs.
Although we have many jobs nationally on our job board at Driver Bank, we are locally based in Northampton, and therefore tend to promote HGV jobs in Northampton. Therefore we have included some information on HGV Jobs Northampton, along with links to various agencies that may be able to help find you HGV work in Northampton.
Global Employment Bureau – https://globalemploymentbureaultd.co.uk/
Optimum Driving Group – https://optimumdrivinggroup.co.uk/
H&G Recruitment – https://h-g-recruitment.com/
Driver Hire – https://www.driverhire.co.uk/office/northampton/
Being a newly qualified driver is a bit of a chicken and egg situation – very often you will find you need the experience in order to be able to apply for certain roles, but you can’t get that experience in the first place. However don’t loose sight of the fact that the UK is experiencing an HGV driver shortage, and positions for newly qualified drivers are much easier to find than they used to be. You will normally expect to earn less whilst you gain your experience, but once you have a couple of years under your belt, you will have much more choice about the
Whether you are applying directly to a company, or to an agency, the important tips are still the same.
Research all of the logistics companies you want to work for online. Don’t forget that many agencies will want you to work full time for them too, so find out about that particular agency before you go to visit them – it can help you stand out from the crowd, and they may be more inclined to give you a chance as a newly qualified driver.
Find out as much information as you can – the main contacts if you can, their addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
2) Put together a CV
Next you will need to put together a CV for yourself. If you haven’t done one before, there are many resources online that can help you with that. Then send out by post your CV with a covering letter.
Companies really appreciate people that are pro-active, and this is very often a good way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Jobsites are useful, but don’t be afraid to apply to companies or agencies that might not be advertising HGV jobs at that particular time. This can put your name forward for future opportunities before they are advertised.
Once you have posted your cv, follow it up with an email, attaching the CV and letter.
If you haven’t heard anything within about 10 days, give the company a call and ask them if they have received your CV and if they have any thoughts. This again emphasises that you are serious about getting an HGV job with them, and plants your name firmly in their mind. Even if they are not interested at that point, they may give you some useful pointers about how you could improve your CV, and the type of HGV jobs that may be better suited to you as a newly qualified HGV driver.
3) Before an interview
a) Do your homework
If you do secure an interview for an HGV job, it is very important to do your homework about the company you will be having your interview at. Make sure you check the place out before the interview, and estimate how long it will take you to get there at the time of your interview so you are not late.
Find out as much as you can about the company including:
- What they do.
- If they are an agency, how many drivers do they have, and which contracts do they work on.
- How many HGV vehicles they have, and what type they are.
- Where they operate, and where their main clients are.
- Who the directors are.
- How many people they employ, and how many of these are HGV drivers.
Not only will good research give you an advantage in the interview if you know a fair bit about the company in advance, but preparation will relax you a lot during the interview.
b) Prepare some questions
It is also a good idea to prepare some questions that you want to ask your interviewer. These might include:
- What types of shift patterns do they operate?
- How long do their drivers typically work for them?
- What is the average age?
- Which vehicles do they operate? Which manufacturers and are they manual / semi automatic / auto?
- Which times of year are busiest for them?
- Do they pay for parking?
- Are there many overnights?
- Does it involve weekends / bank holidays?
c) Prepare your documents
Before the interview, get a folder and put into it all of your past certificates, another copy of your CV and your cover letter. Also get together any other certificates you may have from previous employment such as first aid certificates, fire certificates, manual handling certificates and so on.
4) The Interview
Always be smart and presentable – ideally you should wear a shirt and tie, even if you obviously won’t be wearing this for the job itself. Remember many interviewers subconsciously decide whether you are right for the job within the first 60 seconds of meeting you. FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE REALLY IMPORTANT.
When you first meet the interviewer, introduce yourself confidently with a nice firm handshake (without hurting them !).
During the interview itself, if you asked questions that you do not have the answer to or the experience for, be honest, but always answer positively. So instead of just saying ‘I don’t know’, say ‘Not yet, but it is something I am really keen to learn.’
Your body language is also important, sit up straight, without apearing too rigid, but at the same time don’t be too relaxed i.e. don’t slouch. Don’t cross your arms as this can appear cocky or defensive. Try to show you are interested in anything the interviewer is telling you, with reassuring nods, and smiles.
Make sure you have all your driving cards with you – they may want to DVLA check you on the day, and have a form of identity and proof of right to work in the UK.
5) HGV Driving assessment
You may have to do a driving assessment on the day (although you will usually be pre-warned), so make sure you take a hi-vis with you, and a pair of shoes for driving in (usually steel toe cap boots). You can leave this in the boot of your car, or take them in a suitable bag (NOT a plastic carrier bag).
Before taking the driving assessment, most importantly REMEMBER YOUR WALK AROUND CHECKS. You will be driving so the vehicle is your responsibility, and if you either forget your checks, or the examiner can see you were not very thorough, this is not going to look good for you.
Be prepared and offer to use your own digicard for the assessment, even though strictly speaking you do not have to for unpaid driving.
Treat the assessment as you did for your driving test – remember your mirrors, don’t speed, make your observations. If you need reverse anywhere, particularly into their warehouse or yard, get out and check that everything is clear behind you. If in any doubt, don’t be afraid to ASK questions.
6) At the end of the Interview and after the Interview
Ask any questions you may have outstanding, thank the interviewer for their time, and make sure you ask when you can expect to hear back from them. Often today, companies do not let you know if you have been unsuccessful, so if you have gone past the time they told you, you can give them a call to check. You also then have the opportunity to ask if they would consider you in the future, and get some feedback.
Don’t forget that if they have given the job to someone else, they may not then accept the job, or they may turn out to be completely wrong for the job, in which case they may be looking for someone very quickly afterwards.