22nd June 2020

HGV Driver Jobs: Where to find them, how to apply and what makes a great truck driver CV?

Whether you are an experienced HGV driver or just starting your truck driving career, finding a well‐paid and reliable job can sometimes be stressful. But don't worry, we have created a comprehensive guide on HGV driver jobs, including where to find them, how to apply and what makes a great truck driver CV.

Is truck driving a good career?

The transport and haulage industries are very important to society and HGV drivers are essential to the UK economy. 98% of all food and agricultural products in Great Britain are transported by road freight. 98% of all consumer products and machinery in Great Britain are also transported by road freight. Without truck drivers, it would be a lot more difficult to obtain everything we eat, drink and wear.

If you are a fan of working independently and not having somebody look over your shoulder, then HGV driving is a career for you. Plus, there is a national driver shortage. In 2019, it was reported that the transport industry needed an additional 59,000 drivers to keep goods moving across the UK.

How much do good HGV drivers earn?

The average truck driver salary in the UK is £30,055 and although the industry is not for everybody, driver careers can be very rewarding. If you enjoy a change of scenery and travelling to new places, HGV driving is the perfect job. There aren't many professions where you get to see a different part of the country or continent every day.

How to become an HGV driver

If you're not already qualified and you like the sound of a truck driving job, you will need the correct HGV licence before you can start looking for work. To become an HGV driver, the government states that you need to:

  • Have a full car licence
  • Be over 18
  • Get a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

Depending on where you are in your HGV career or what size vehicle you intend to drive, you will need the relevant HGV licence. Here is a quick breakdown of the different licences and their weights:

  • C1 ‐ '7.5 tonne' or 'class 3'
    The smallest type of vehicle used in haulage, weighing between 3,500 ‐ 7,500kg.
  • C1+E ‐ '7.5 tonne + trailer'
    Allows drivers to operate vehicles weighing between 3,500 ‐ 7,500kg and a trailer that weighs more than 750kg.
  • C ‐ 'Class 2' or 'rigid'
    Class 2 licences are required for vehicles over 7.5 tonnes with rigid body bases.
  • C+E ‐ 'Class 1' or 'artic'
    If you have a C+E licence, you can drive any HGV and a trailer, up to a combined weight of 44 tonnes. These vehicles are used for long haul routes and demand the higher salaries.

Where to find truck driving jobs?

Searching for work can be a minefield and many drivers are left wondering, how I find a truck driving job? There are a few avenues to explore, depending where you are in your lorry driving career:

HGV apprenticeship

Starting an HGV apprenticeship is a great way to kickstart your career. Companies will help drivers get their licences and give them the key skills they need to succeed as a truck driver. As an apprentice HGV driver, you can expect to learn road safety practices, vehicle safety, transport planning and more ‐ plus there will be a job waiting for you at the end.

Recruitment agencies

A well‐trodden path for many HGV drivers, but recruitment agencies are a reliable source of jobs to the haulage industry. Their job is to place drivers in HGV roles and it can save drivers a lot of time in finding their next position. Agencies offer temporary and permanent contracts ‐ perfect for anybody looking for the next steps in their lorry driving career.

Online

A great place to start finding HGV jobs is online. Enter 'HGV class 2 jobs near me,' or another search that is suitable to you into Google and see how many results appear. With a simple search from your phone, computer or tablet, you will find an array of jobs in your area. It's likely you will find a number of agencies amongst the results, who can help to place you in your next driving position.

Internal

Looking elsewhere isn't always the answer. If you are a trainee HGV driver looking to take the next step, or you are looking to climb the career ladder, your current business might already have the position you're after. Haulage companies want to keep hold of their staff and even if they are not advertising a specific position, it is definitely a discussion worth having.

How to apply for HGV jobs?

Now that you know where to find haulage positions, now it's time to find out how to apply for HGV jobs. Getting a job after passing an HGV licence can be overwhelming, but knowing the right way to apply will help to get you in the seat and on the road. There are a number of ways to apply for truck driver jobs, but we advise on taking the following steps before you apply:

  • Check your social media profiles ‐ Employers will almost certainly screen your social media pages and if they find something they don't like it could prevent you getting the job. Make sure they will see what you want them to see.
  • Research the business ‐ Finding out a bit about the company will stand you in good stead and help you to market yourself. You might also decide that this isn't a business you would like to work for.
  • Try to find the recruitment manager ‐ By finding the individual who is directly responsible for recruitment, you can personalise your application and make sure it is seen by the right person.

Once you've completed these steps, it's time to apply. If you are applying for multiple positions, it's likely that you will face an array of application methods. These could be online, via email, on the phone or in a recruitment agency. Try and sell yourself as the HGV driver they are looking for on the first attempt, but if you don't hear back, don't be afraid to politely and professionally follow up and look for an answer.

Even the greatest of candidates have experienced setbacks so don't be disheartened, but use this opportunity to ask for feedback. This information could be the icing on the cake for your next application.

What makes a great truck driver CV?

To make your application stand out from the crowd, it's important to have a great truck driver CV. You need to sell yourself and highlight why your unique skillset and experience are different to the rest. Even with the driver shortage, it's essential to prove your worth ‐ so that you get the job, salary and benefits you deserve.

Provide clear headings, legible fonts and make use of white space. Make the readers job as easy as possible. Formatting sensibly is one of the easiest ways of doing this. Stick to the point by keeping the information concise and relevant. Convince the reader that you're the right person for the job.

When you write your CV, think about what employers look for in an HGV driver and try to thread in the applicable skills into your profile and experiences. Offer measurable achievements. Here are a few things to include:

  • Contact information ‐ Start with your name, address and contact details
  • Personal profile ‐ A short and sweet statement, describing who you are. Tailor this to the specific job you are applying to and highlight specific qualities that are relevant to the role
  • Experience ‐ List previous roles in reverse‐chronological order ‐ shortcut to the most recent, and the details of each job ‐ Job title, employer name, dates of employment and a summary of the role
  • HGV qualifications ‐ State your qualifications and explain how long you have held them for
  • Key skills ‐ it is definitely worth mentioning these in the personal profile and experience sections to reinforce your ability. Remember, what skills does an HGV driver need?
  • Hobbies and interests ‐ Employers often like to know what people are like outside of work and this can help to show your personality and how you would fit into the workforce


  • Josh Cousens | SNAP.

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