Resources for Transportation Job Seekers
When our clients (employers) call us looking for the perfect candidate to fill a position, our internal database is the first place we search. Having a current resume, as well as other information on file with us, helps us identify you as a potential candidate. If your skill set and experience match the requirements of a position, one of our recruiters may reach out to you.
Please send all resumes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below you will find various helpful resources that you may download and print
- In-Person Interviewing Tips
- Phone Interview Tips
- Video Interviewing Tips
- Interviewing Questions
- Resume Template
- Thank You Letters
- Sample Cover Letters
- Sample Resignation Letter
Simply click on the Title Tabs above and the page will appear here.
IN-PERSON INTERVIEW TIPS
- Professional attire. Avoid loud colors and busy designs. No tennis shoes.
- Jewelry should be limited and subtle.
- AVOID colognes or fragrances completely.
- Arrive no earlier than 15 minutes, but no later than FIVE minutes prior to the interview.
- Turn your cell phone to silent mode.
- Prior to entering the building, chew mint gum or a breath mint – DO NOT CHEW GUM DURING THE INTERVIEW.
- Allow adequate time for traffic, parking, and a last-minute appearance check.
- Treat everyone you meet as if they are a decision maker, including the receptionist.
BRING WITH YOU:
- Printed directions to the interview location (including parking, check-in, etc.).
- A pad of paper & pen (preferably a folio).
- Two  copies of your resume.
- Your prepared questions to ask the interviewers.
DURING THE INTERVIEW:
- Try to maintain a 50/50 balance between talking and listening.
- Be aware of body language; maintain good posture and maintain eye contact with the person(s) in the interview.
- With any open-ended question, reframe to understand what specifically the interviewer would like you to cover. For example, if the question is “tell me about yourself,” your response could be, “I’d love to!” This is a tricky question. You want to be “selling” what the interviewers are “buying.” Spend more time highlighting professional accomplishments rather than personal ones. Be brief. – take a minute or less to answer this question. Since this is a standard question, you should prepare and practice a strong answer to this question.
- With any confusing or multi-angled questions, “reframe” to clarify if you are responding with the type of information they are looking for. For example, if the question is “Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a supervisor,” your clarifying response could be “would you like me to discuss my relationship with my last supervisor?”
- If you are even slightly unsure about a specific question, or need time to formulate and process your response, ask for clarification: “Can you be more specific? I want to make sure I respond accurately to what you’re asking for.”
- Other standard/common questions:
- Why are you considering a change/Why are you looking?
Never speak poorly about your current company, team, or boss. This is an opportunity to sell yourself for a better opportunity!
Never claim reason is correlated to wanting more money or better benefits.
- Why do you want to work here/for us?
Perfect opportunity to show you have done your research; expand on why you want to do this type of work; this is a chance to show how you know the company.
- Why should we hire you?
After reviewing the job description, you should know the short list of critical areas the hiring person is looking for (Use the S.T.A.R. Method to provide a structured response):
- Specific Situation – Your relevant experience and why you are the best for the job.
- Task – What they need to have accomplished through the person they hire.
- Action – How you will accomplish the goals set forth for the position.
- Results – What they can expect when they hire you. Quantify!
- What do you want to make? Can we afford you?
Possible answer: It is a good question; but reassure them you will not be going to an organization based solely on money, and based on what you know about their organization, you are confident they are offering a competitive compensation package compared to similar positions within the area/industry. You want this to be the right fit from all aspects, for you AND for them.
- Unless you are absolutely certain you would NOT like to move forward in the interviewing process, close for next steps.
- An example close: “I like what I have heard today and am very interested in moving forward. I understand you are looking for someone in this role who has (A, B, and C) and as we have discussed, I have (specific experience with A, B, and C). Before I leave, are there any more questions about my background or qualifications that I can answer or clarify for you to better assess my fit within your team?”
- OTHER EXAMPLES:
-Ask how they perceive you fitting into the organization, and if there are any areas that
have not been covered that are important to the hiring decision.
-Let’s say you make me an offer and I accept, what can I do when I start here to help
with the immediate workload?
-Do you have any concerns about my ability to perform in this role? If you do, I would
like the opportunity to address them now.
- Get contact information for each person you meet with.
AFTER THE MEETING:
- Call your recruiter after leaving the interview and provide details on how you perceive the interview went, what you liked, what questions you still have, what questions you perceive they have about you, and your interest in next steps.
- Send an email to EACH PERSON THAT YOU MET, thanking them for their time. Cite specifics from the meeting if possible.
Phone Interview Tips
Create a checklist. Review the job posting and make a list of how your qualifications match the hiring criteria. Have the list available so you can glance at it during the interview.
Have your resume handy. Keep your resume in clear view (either on the top of your desk, or tape it to the wall) so it is at your fingertips when you need to answer questions.
Have the job description handy. Keep it near you for reference and ask any clarification questions you may have.
Be prepared to take notes. Have a pen and paper handy for note taking.
Don’t get interrupted. Turn off call-waiting so your call is not interrupted.
Clear the room. No kids or pets. Turn off the stereo and the TV. Close the door. ELIMINATE ALL NOISE AND DISTRACTIONS.
Use a landline (ancient, but they do still exist). If you have a landline, use that instead of your cell phone. That way, you will eliminate the possibility of poor reception or dropped calls.
Using a Cell Phone. If you are using a cell phone, lay it down flat on a stable surface and ASK: “Can you hear me clearly,” at the beginning of the call.
Do’s and Don’ts During the Phone Interview
- Do use the interviewer’s name.
- Do not smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink.
- Do keep a glass of water handy, though. There is nothing worse than having a tickle in your throat or a cough starting when you are in the middle of an interview.
- Do smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice. It can also be helpful to stand during the interview since this typically gives your voice more energy and enthusiasm.
- Do focus, listen, and enunciate. It is important to focus on the interview and that can sometimes be more difficult on the phone than in-person. Be sure to listen to the question, ask for clarification if you are not sure what the interviewer is asking, and speak slowly, carefully, and clearly when you respond. It is fine to take a few seconds to compose your thoughts before you answer.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer. Try to maintain a 50/50 balance of listening and talking.
- Do take your time. It is perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts.
- Do take notes. It is hard to remember what you discussed after the fact, so take brief notes during the interview.
- Do give short answers. It is important to stay focused on the questions and your responses.
- Do have questions to ask the interviewer ready. Be prepared to respond when the interviewer asks whether you have any questions for him or her.
- Don’t discuss salary during the phone interview if possible. If asked a question about compensation, a best response is: “Considering my experience and qualifications, I’m sure what you’re offering will be competitive and fair.”
- Do remember that your goal is to set up a face-to-face interview. At the end of your conversation, if you are at all interested in the position, CLOSE FOR NEXT STEPS. Ask if an in-person interview will be extended. Explain why you are the best person for the job. Thank the interviewer(s) and ask when you should expect to hear from him/her again.
VIDEO INTERVIEW TIPS
- How you are dressed still matters! Just because you are on video does not mean you should dress less professionally. Dress a notch above what you think the company dress code is. If it is collared shirts and dress slacks, throw a jacket on as well. Wear solid colors (stripes and patterns are too distracting on video). Accessories should be minimal.
- Eliminate all distractions. Close the door, shut-down all pop-ups, inform any others in the household that silence is appreciated. Turn off TV’s and silence all gadgets. It is not “cute” when pets and children interrupt your interview.
- Find a neutral background. Clear any clutter. Messy kitchens, disorganized offices and unmade beds will project a lack of prep and professionalism on your part.
- Sit in a small chair. A low-back, small chair will keep you from slouching and will not dominate you like a large chair. You want the interviewer(s) to focus solely on you and the conversation.
- Master your lighting. So important! Practice in different areas and know exactly how the lighting makes you look. Avoid backlighting. Natural light is usually best, but if it is not possible, use table lamps (two preferably, one on either side of you). If you wear glasses, make sure there is no glare (usually means too much light or you are positioned wrong). If you are losing your hair, do not use an overhead light.
- Prioritize your camera, not the screen. If you need to rig a temporary solution with your laptop or desktop, then do it, just make certain it is steady, does not shake, and shows you from your best angle. There is nothing worse than the dreaded, up-the-nose camera angle. You can use a few books to elevate your device, so it is at eye level. Keep your eyes forward. You should look at the camera, not the interviewer(s), as much as possible during an interview. This takes some practice.
- Test your gear. Download any software necessary well in advance, and practice using it (with a friend or family member; get their feedback on your lighting as well). Test your audio and video during the practice and remember that your speaker controls are usually not the same as your microphone controls. Volume is important! People can usually forgive distorted video, but bad audio will tank your call. If you must incorporate earbuds, it is acceptable. The day of the interview test all gear again.
- Confirm the time zone. Double-check the time zone of the interview. Many organizations allow remote work and therefore participants may be in different zones. Also remember it is better to be a few minutes early than being even one minute late.
- Documents and note taking. Your resume, the job description, questions to ask the interviewer(s) and other cheat sheets should be printed out and near by in case you must refer to them. Also, keep a pad of paper and pen close by in case you need to make any notes.
- Get in the proper mood & frame of mind. Energy and enthusiasm are both important to interviewers. Get proper sleep the night before and be sure you eat prior to the interview; it is hard to focus on an empty stomach. And get in the mood to talk and engage!
Questions to Ask During an Interview
- How do you measure success in this position?
- What are some common denominators that exist with the more successful employees of this company?
- What are the biggest challenges one will face in this role?
- What are the two most important problems that need to be addressed/corrected in the first six months by the person in this position?
- What are the key responsibilities for this position, and which are most important?
- What advancement can a person expect, in this company and the industry at large, after doing this job well?
- What is the schedule of the position (days/hours)? Is overtime or on-call “expected?”
- How will I be evaluated, and how often?
- What is your approach to flexible and/or remote working?
- How would you describe the culture of the company?
What are the next steps in the interview process?
City, State Zip
An executive with diversified management experience in accounting, finance, Information systems, operations, and customer service. Motivated, analytical, and creative in the utilization of management concepts. Adept at managing a variety of tasks and heavy schedules. Communicates well at all levels and effective in creating a team that achieves timely results.
MBA, Finance, DePaul University, Delta Mu Delta, National Honor Society 2000
BS, Accounting, University of Illinois – Chicago, Phi Eta Sigma, National Honor Society 1998
NAME OF COMPANY, City, State 2005-Present
A subsidiary of ________________., one of the largest lessors of railroad tank and freight cars with $1 billion in assets, $300 million In revenue, and over $50 million in net income.
Director, Special Projects 2015-Present
After an organizational restructuring resulted in the elimination of my former position, at the request of the President, provided support to the company on a special assignment basis while investigating alternative management opportunities.
- Participated as a key member of a three-person task force to develop transportation opportunities in the European marketplace.
- Conceptualized the redesign of the company’s key database/system, and planned and Introduced its Implementation.
Vice President, Fleet & Property Services 2013-2015
Reported to the President with responsibility for fleet operations, customer service, materials management, sale of car management services, real estate, and environmental compliance. Managed a fleet of 53,000 railcars and a staff of 45-50.
- Assessed organizational needs and restructured job responsibilities to improve the department’s effectiveness.
- Consolidated two departments and within six months achieved a 20 percent payroll deduction, a decrease in the monthly processing cycle by four days, and vastly Improved control procedures.
- Established a profitable reclamation business In two years with a sales volume of $2.5 million.
- Maximized the value of an inactive manufacturing facility through the development of a fully occupied and profitable Industrial park.
- Reduced material variances to less than 1 percent through effective Inventory controls.
- Increased sales by developing new car management services and expanding customer base.
- Dramatically Improved customer service by hiring, training, and developing service-oriented personnel and by implementing operational Improvements.
- Collaborated with marketing and developed and implemented new customer service offerings.
Management Development Program 2011-2013
Participated In a new, highly selective job rotation program to prepare for future management promotions.
- Working with senior management, wrote the company’s annual strategic plan.
- Received high marks for performance in a variety of staff and line positions.
- Developed recommendations to Increase productivity in each assigned area.
Manager, Railcar Services 2009-2011
Reported to the Vice President, Fleet Services and managed a staff of 19 concerned with customer service and the related management of railcars in repair facilities.
- Directed the merger of two departments responsible for customer service and monitoring the railcar repair process. The new organization achieved a 25 percent reduction in salaried payroll and a 15 percent reduction in repair time.
- Improved liaison with sales and operations to better respond to customers’ needs and to become more customer-focused.
- Implemented automated systems to monitor and improve repair services.
Manager. Operations Analysis 2007-2009
Reported to the Senior Vice President, Operations with the responsibility for the collection and analysis of data and the development of recommendations to enhance operating efficiencies and capabilities.
- Designed and installed a comprehensive operating plan.
- Developed and implemented a computerized system to better control and report costs.
- Conducted analysis and made recommendations that resulted in consolidating two departments.
Assistant Controller 2005-2007
Responsible to the Controller for all financial reporting, planning, and accounting operations.
- Performed financial reporting and analysis In a newly established department.
- Provided enhancements to the budgeting process and quarterly forecast revisions.
- Implemented an automated general ledger system.
- NAME OF COMPANY, City, State 2000-2005
A $1 billion company that provides capital equipment and related services in the railcar leasing, financial services, terminals, Great Lakes shipping and distribution businesses.
Senior Accountant, Special Projects 2003-2005
Performed a review and analysis of special projects required by top management.
- Contributed to the development of the automated general ledger system.
- Conducted financial analysis and determined sales price for disposition of a subsidiary.
Supervisor, Financial Reporting 2000-2003
Supervised a staff of four in the preparation of financial statements to provide management with critical decision-making information.
- Redesigned the financial reporting package for top management.
- Performed monthly consolidations and related financial reporting.
SAMPLE THANK YOU LETTER
It was a pleasure to meet with you yesterday. I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about _________ and becoming a contributing part of your team.
After meeting in person, I am even more convinced that my previous experience with __________ will prove extremely valuable in helping your team meet your business goals and objectives in this competitive market.
I am very interested in the ___________ position. Thank you for your time and interest. I look forward to hearing from you about the next step and being part of this great organization.
A simple but very important introduction of who you are and what you bring to the table.
SAMPLE COVER LETTER
Dear Hiring Manager,
I am excited to be applying for the _______ position at ________. This position would help set me on the right path to achieve my career goals. In this new role, I am willing to work diligently to meet the needs of the company and to become a productive part of the team as quickly as possible. My previous experience makes me an ideal candidate for this position, and I hope to be given an opportunity to show the team firsthand what an asset I can be.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I am looking forward to learning more about the _______ position and about _______. I look forward to hearing back from you.
[1234 Street Address]
[City, State, Zip]
[1234 Street Address]
[City, State, Zip]
Dear [Supervisor’s Name],
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my position as [Position Name] at [Company Name], effective from two weeks from today’s date, [Current Date].
I appreciate the opportunities for growth and development you have provided during my tenure. Thank you for your guidance and support.
Please let me know how I can be of help during the transition period. I wish you and the company the very best going forward.
We support equal opportunity and objectivity in our evaluations of qualified candidates. We will not discriminate on the basis of person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), physical disability or genetic information.