PRE-HIRE LETTERS, The What, Why and How

12/17/11 by Tanya Bons

Pre-hire letters – have you heard the term?  What are they, why do you want one and how do you get them?

THE WHAT

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to potential students; they are often generic but solid.

Companies offer these letters to students to verify placement.  The trucking companies are saying, in writing, that the potential student is welcome to attend an orientation, at the company’s expense, when he/she has a CDL in hand.  The orientation is a pre-requisite to employment.

The pre-hire letter is not an employment contract; it is an invitation to the party.  The trucking companies know that if they send invitations, pre-hires, they increase the attendance at the party and they might even snatch some of the popular kids.  But like invites to all the best parties, not everyone gets one.  Trucking companies don’t want to fill the room with a bunch of party poopers; they want truck drivers.

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people that meet the companies’ requirements.  If the company doesn’t accept employees with two-year old felonies a student with a two-year old felony will not be given a pre-hire letter.  The trucking companies won’t waste their time and money filling a room with a bunch of people they can’t hire.

The companies are not guaranteeing you a job; there are many things that effect employment.  If you show up at the orientation drunk, fail a DOT physical, or you didn’t get your CDL that job “guarantee” is gone and you will be asked to leave the party. 

THE WHY

So we now know that a pre-hire isn’t a contract or a guarantee to employment, why do you want one?

Well, you don’t want one; you want many.  Pre-hire letters are, as previously mentioned, invites to the party.  If you want your name on the guest list you have to get the invite.  The more invites, the better your chance to end up at the perfect party. 

You may be the perfect age, in perfect health, with a perfect driving record and a perfect background history; you may be the popular one but even in a perfect world you still need a plan B.  Flashy websites, sexy trucks, friendly recruiters and wads of cash can pull you in but when you arrive perfection might not be; perfect.  Always have a plan B for insurance; hopefully you won’t need it. 

Of course, the more party invites you receive the bigger your decision becomes but it is always better to have a choice.

Pre-hire letters are a confirmation that the industry you want, wants you.  There is nothing worse than spending time and money on training and then finding yourself at home, unemployed, in front of the TV. Gather your invites and wait for the party to start.

THE HOW

The most important thing to remember about pre-hire letters is that honesty is the food that fuels them, without honesty pre-hire letters are useless.

A pre-hire letter is based on the information you give to the trucking company via an application.  You can complete applications online, at job fairs, at truck driving schools, at unemployment offices and even at the trucking companies. 

You do not need to have a CDL in hand when you start applying to the companies.  Many trucking companies hire graduates and pre-hire students and potential students. Before you take the time to fill out the application make sure the company hires new drivers; check their requirements and disqualifications.

Again, the most important thing to do is to be honest.  If you’re unsure of information, do your research and get it right.  Lacking verification can leave you lacking a job.

Confirm employment history dates.  An educated guess at your employment can show up as dishonesty and dishonesty shreds applications. 

Don’t omit things because they’re over ten years old; trucking companies will find it when they do your background check and that pre-hire will become post-never.

Make sure to answer every question and complete every page.  If you’re confused by an application ask an admission coordinator at a truck driving school or even a company recruiter, they’re there to help out.

If you fill out an application by hand make sure to use a pen, press hard enough and print as clear as possible.  Remember these trucking companies get hundreds and thousands of applications and if yours is difficult to read they won’t waste their time, you’ll be on the top of the “no” pile.

Take time to check your spelling or have someone look it over for you.  You won’t have points taken off for spelling but this application is a reflection of you and you must make a good impression. 

This is a one-time/six month shot.  If you complete the application and are denied it could be another six months before the company bothers to review any additional applications submitted by you; make sure you do it right the first time. 

Completing applications online is the preferred method for everyone.  Companies usually receive the application quicker, school administrators don’t have to fax it and you’ll find many advantages.  Spell checking is usually enabled on the applications, no required information will be absent and there’s no difficulty reading your writing. 

You can complete online applications via truck driving schools, libraries and the unemployment office if you don’t have access at home. 

So, start applying today and I’ll see you at the party.

Drive safe,
Tanya Bons

http://www.spiritcdl.com