Tips on Getting Your First Automotive Job

by on January 11th, 2015
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You have completed your automotive studies and now you want to get that first job in the automotive industry. After interviewing hundreds of technicians and speaking with fellow coworkers, shop owners, service managers, shop managers, and HR folks I have some TIPs for you. I am not going to cover the usual TIPs for interviewing. There are many articles about this. Just some TIPS That I believe will make a difference.


Create an experience portfolio along with you resume. Most students I worked with had no automotive related jobs during their attendance of school. So carefully documenting all your school activities in this portfolio will give the potential employer some idea of your character and automotive experience. Make sure there are no spelling and grammar errors. Clean up your social space to reflect a productive and determined individual who wants to succeed in the automotive industry. Talking about parting all the time will be viewed poorly by potential employers.


Make sure you have a copy of your transcript to show the potential employer your performance at school. Include your attendance record. Perfect attendance or near perfect attendance will show the potential employer good work ethic. Include any awards you received during your school years. Any certificates and certifications you achieved while in school. One of the biggest misunderstandings out there is ASE certification among students. If you pass ASE in any area you will be issued a letter stating you passed and ASE is waiting for the two year job verification. That letter should be in your portfolio. Most schools qualify for one year of automotive experience. You only need one year of field experience to get your certificate and patches.


Ask instructors to pen a letter of recommendation for you. Have them detail thinks like, works well with others, follows instruction, knows when to ask for help, always willing to clean up and assist others. These are important observations by an instructor. Most employers will assign you to a “mentor” or shop leader to get all your direction from. This will demonstrate you can work with supervision and others well.


Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and get a copy of your drivers’ licenses. Include this in your portfolio. This will show the employer that you have been a responsible driver and will pass this part of the back ground check. Most companies do to the high cost of insurance will not hire people who have poor driving records.


Have a picture and list of all the tools you have to perform automotive work. If this list is short have a plan to purchase tools once you are employed. Discuss with the potential employer how you have budgeted for tool purchases. This shows great organization skills and money management. It also demonstrates a commitment to being a professional in the industry and a long term commitment. This would also demonstrate your commitment to show up for work every day. If you make monetary commitments to pay, you are more likely to show up for work to pay those bills.


Always dress for success! Be well groomed! Remember once hired you represent that business. Customers base most of their opinions on what they see and experience at a business. This includes what employees look like and how they are dressed.

Hope these 5 TIPs help you prepare for that first automotive job. Good luck and welcome to the profession.

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