Driving Skills: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

If you are interested in becoming a truck, bus or delivery driver, there are certain skills you should have to successfully complete the job. Many of these skills involve obeying traffic laws, interacting with others and navigating correctly to your destination. To prove to your employers that you have these skills, you must highlight them properly in your resume, cover letter and interview.

In this article, we highlight the best driving skills for your resume, how you can improve your driving skills and how to properly apply them in the workplace.

What are driving skills?

Driving skills are abilities a person may have when they are working in a position that involves driving vehicles. Some drivers may operate larger vehicles like trucks or buses. Those who hold driving skills often hold positions as truck drivers, delivery drivers or bus drivers for the city or schools. Driving skills can include strong knowledge of traffic laws, maintenance knowledge and problem-solving skills. Many drivers obtain these skills from education, on-the-job training or they may naturally develop them.

Examples of driving skills for a resume

When searching for a position as a driver, you can showcase your skills throughout various sections of your resume. Below are examples of common driving skills many hiring managers may search for when looking for candidates.

  • Strong driving record

  • Navigation

  • Customer service

  • Basic maintenance knowledge

  • Physical fitness and strength

  • Efficiency and time-management

  • Problem-solving

  • Detail-oriented

  • Concentration

  • Knowledge of safety regulations and traffic laws

Strong driving record

Since you will be regularly driving a vehicle during a large portion of your shift, you should have a strong driving record with little to no legal traffic citations. Drivers are expected to obey every traffic law while they are working to get themselves, the items they're transporting and their passengers safely to the desired destination. Your hiring manager may request access to your driving record when considering you for employment, so a strong record can make your application stand out from others.

Navigation

Being a driver requires stopping at multiple destinations to unload passengers or items. To ensure you're delivering everyone and everything on time, you should have strong navigation skills that keep you from getting lost on your route. This can help you stay on track with your deliveries and it informs the hiring manager that you can easily adapt to locating new or unfamiliar areas using a natural sense of direction or reading a map.

Customer service

Drivers may often work with others during their shifts. Truck and delivery drivers typically collaborate with other businesses or customers as they unload items and deliver them. Bus drivers may interact with community members or schoolchildren, depending on the position. Because of this, strong customer service skills are needed to provide a positive experience to people riding the bus or receiving their products.

You can show strong customer service skills by remaining positive and enthusiastic when working with others and by answering any questions a customer or passenger may have.

Basic maintenance knowledge

Trucks, buses or other delivery vehicles may break down or have issues functioning properly during a driver's shift. It may be beneficial for you to have at least a basic maintenance knowledge to fix any simple mechanical problems that may occur unexpectedly. Since this may happen often, hiring managers may look for drivers who can repair their vehicle if it's experiencing minor or basic issues. This allows the vehicle to be fixed quicker and keeps you from falling behind on your schedule.

Physical fitness and strength

Being a driver, especially a delivery driver, can require many hours of moving in and out of your truck or car to load and unload items every day. Many drivers may be expected to have effective physical fitness and strength to exit their car and lift items for multiple hours. All drivers, including bus drivers, should have basic physical fitness skills to drive a vehicle throughout most of their shifts.

Efficiency and time-management

Driving requires stopping to drop off multiple items or people at a specific location each day. You will often have a strict schedule to follow to ensure that each package or passenger arrives at its destination in a timely manner. This is why many hiring managers will expect their drivers to be efficient and possess strong time-management skills to make sure they are staying on their schedule and are completing their tasks on time. 

Problem-solving

Since drivers usually work independently, they are often responsible for resolving any problems that may occur on the job. If a road is closed or their vehicle has a flat tire, you must decide how to solve the issue quickly and logically. Many employers may search for drivers who can work independently and can adjust to certain situations by solving problems and thinking critically.

Detail-oriented

Drivers, especially delivery drivers, should be detail-oriented to ensure they deliver the correct packages to the intended customers. You should pay attention to the number of items customers order as well as what types of items they order to ensure they are receiving the correct purchase. 

Concentration

A driver needs to have a strong concentration when delivering packages or transporting passengers. You should be attentive and alert in case unexpected hazards are found on the road or to avoid any other cars from crashing into the vehicle. Your eyes should be on the road at all times and ready for any obstacles. This can be done by keeping yourself away from any distractions while driving.

Knowledge of safety regulations and traffic laws

Drivers are responsible for not only themselves but other passengers or items in their vehicles. Because of this, you must be updated on all laws and safety regulations. Hiring managers will be impressed with applicants who show a dedication to knowing all traffic laws and demonstrating their commitment to upholding these laws.

How to improve your driving skills

Many employees may naturally have some skills needed to be a successful driver. Other skills can be developed through training, practice and education. Follow the steps below to learn how to improve your driving skills:

1. Earn your CDL

To drive larger, commercial vehicles like trucks or buses, many employers will require drivers to earn their Commercial Driver's License (CDL). You can receive this by attending driver's training and testing your knowledge. Once you earn this license, you can add it to your resume and practice your driving in larger vehicles.

2. Shadow a more experienced driver

You can gain more practice as a driver if you shadow a driver with many years of experience. Shadowing them can allow you to learn different techniques or tips to help enhance your skills. They may also allow you to drive while they sit alongside you to coach and provide you advice to improve your driving abilities.

3. Take more driving courses

There are many courses available both online and in-person that allow you to learn more about proper driving techniques as well as safety courses that keep you more aware of regulations and ways to stay safe while driving. These courses may impress hiring managers if they see them listed on your resume as it tells them that you're committed to learning more about being a better driver.

4. Receive additional certifications

A great way to enhance your driving skills is by receiving various driving certifications. These can provide you with the education and knowledge needed to improve your skillset and driving abilities. Hiring managers will be impressed seeing that you worked to receive certifications like a Driver Finishing Certification, a National Safety Council Certification and driving endorsements.

Using driving skills in the workplace

Using these driving skills every day at work can allow you to become a strong driver that employers can depend on. Below are ways to effectively demonstrate your driving skills in the workplace:

Pay close attention to rules and safety regulations

Employers often value drivers who can follow safety rules more than any other skill. When you drive your vehicle, you are responsible for every item and person you are driving. To ensure everyone's safety, you should review both the legal rules and the rules of the company you choose to work for and be sure to uphold them.

Be patient and generous with customers

Working with customers will be a key part of your position as a driver. You should try to keep a positive attitude throughout your entire interaction with customers and employees by smiling and listening to any challenges or concerns that may arise.

Create an efficient route to take daily

Employers depend on their drivers to deliver a certain amount of packages during the day. They also depend on bus drivers to stay on a schedule when picking up and dropping off passengers. This is why you should follow a daily routine and plan a route that helps you arrive at destinations on time if your company doesn't provide you with a route already.

Know when to stop and rest

Drivers all have different schedules depending on where they decide to work. Some may be responsible for driving to their destination at night or early in the morning. To stay alert and aware of conditions on the road, you should stop and rest when your body is feeling exhausted. Many truck drivers will stop at rest areas, truck stops or motels if they are too tired to continue.

How to highlight your driving skills

To showcase these driving skills you've gained or improved upon, you can include them in many sections throughout your resume and cover letter. When interviewing with potential employers, you can mention your driving skills as you discuss previous work experience and your qualifications. Follow the examples below to properly highlight your driving skills to hiring managers.

Driving skills for resume

Your resume should feature your driving skills in various sections. Your objective should clearly and briefly state the experience you have as a driver and what skills you either applied to your previous position or intend to bring to the new position. You can mention more of your driving skills in the work experience portion of your resume as you list your previous duties and responsibilities. Highlight the skills you used to complete your daily tasks and the results you provided your company, if possible.

You can include a separate "skills" section to list any remaining skills you have that help enhance your performance as a successful bus driver.

Driving skills for cover letter

Before writing your cover letter, search for skills in the job posting. Highlight these skills not only in your resume, but also in your cover letter too. You can mention in your cover letter how you applied these skills in your position and how you plan to use them toward the position you're applying for. You can include a brief story or two mentioning how you used these skills to help hiring managers gain more insight into how you regularly apply these skills.

Driving skills for the job interview

During your interview, you should highlight your driving skills when answering a majority of the questions. For example, if your interviewer asks a common interview question like, "Tell us when you overcame a workplace challenge." You can mention how you used your problem-solving skills to solve a workplace challenge. Casually mentioning your skills and how you can bring them to the position will help hiring managers understand the value you can bring to their company.

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