Report Card: Preparing to Enter the Service Repair Industry -

Report Card: Preparing to Enter the Service Repair Industry

If you are about to graduate from an automotive training program, you will be entering a field in which employers are always searching for smart, honest, hardworking technicians who are willing to learn and be a part of a team. Even if you have one or two more years left before you graduate, its not to early to begin preparing to enter the job marketplace. Its never too early to begin working on a resume and contemplating on what you want to include in it.

Joining a Team
What are shop owners and managers looking for in potential entry-level technicians? They are looking for candidates with strong communication skills and who are willing to learn. Technology on todays vehicles is always changing and technicians have to be willing to accept new challenges.

I am looking for someone who is curious, willing to work, able to recognize that two years of schooling is only a beginning, a foundation, and that they arent quite soup yet, said one shop owner. I want them to think of it as a profession and not just someplace to hang out for awhile. I want to know what they have learned and how well they think they have learned it.

Its also very important for any new graduate entering the workplace to be honest with potential employers. A shop owner is going to want you to tell them about ALL the training you have had and about the shop equipment you were trained to use.

According to one shop owner, I want an entry-level tech to let me know about all the different kinds of equipment they are, or think they are familiar with, then differentiate between equipment he or she has been exposed to and equipment they are proficient with. There is, as you know, a big difference. It also would help to know if they have used the equipment supervised, unsupervised, etc.

Being honest cant be stressed enough. The shop owner went on to say, The truth is like a crystal goblet once shattered, it can never be restored. Period. End of story.

Everything we do here is based upon trust and respect. One of the critical components of both is honesty. Once youve lied to me, how am I supposed to know when its OK to believe you? If I cant believe you, how can I place you in a position of responsibility with a customers vehicle where trust and honest are critical? At our shop, if you lie, you leave. I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to dishonesty.

The Resume
The purpose of a resume is to sell yourself to a potential employer. You want to emphasize your strengths, qualifications and training. The information you provide should be presented in an easy-to-read format, be organized and provide contact information. Your resume is very important because it is what the employer will be using to decide whether or not you should be brought in for an interview.

The most common way to layout information in your resume is in chronological order. This format is very straightforward and traces your education and any work experience you may have in the automotive field. When listing any work experience you may have, list your most recent job first and work backwards.

As someone who is just entering the automotive field, your work experiences may be limited. If so, focus instead on you training and any awards or certificates you may have received while in school.

When constructing your resume, there is no need for unnecessary graphics or to include your picture or list personal information. Keep it professional and showcase your qualifications, experiences and training that are directly related to the job you wish to obtain.

Interested in viewing samples technical and automotive related resumes? Click on the following web links for resume examples.

Writing a Cover Letter
When submitting a resume to a potential employer, it should be accompanied by a cover letter. Use the cover letter to introduce yourself and to let the potential employer know which position you are interested in and why you would be a good fit for the company. The cover letter is your first opportunity to impress a possible employer and distinguish yourself from other applicants. Be personable in the cover letter and highlight a few of your strengths that are further detailed in the resume. The cover letter should only be a few paragraphs in length, as you want it to be easy to read. Remember, the managers or owners of most repair shops are very busy and may not take the time to read a long cover letter.

Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation can be included with a resume. These letters could be from teachers or instructors, or from past employers. Perhaps you worked part time at a repair shop while your were going to school or participated in an internship program while in school. Submitting these letters along with your resume will save a potential employer from having to call work references that you have on your resume. This will save the employer time, while providing record of your past accomplishments and abilities.

Writing Thank You and Follow-Up Letters
After you have had your interview with a perspective employer, be sure to immediately send a thank you letter to the person who interviewed you. A thank you letter shows the interviewer that you appreciate the time they were able to spend with you and that you are still interested in the job for which you interviewed. Writing a thank you note also shows the employer that you are thorough and professional both of which are important skills to have when working in a repair shop. In addition, it is one more item that will help you stand out from the other applicants.

While a follow-up letter may sound like it would be similar to thank you letter, it is not. A follow-up letter would be sent to the potential employer after you submitted your cover letter and resume, but prior to your interview. A follow-up letter can be sent if you have not heard from the employer within one or two weeks after you have submitted your resume. The follow-up letter should be shorter than the cover letter and should let the employer know that you are still interested in interviewing for a job at that repair shop. Be sure to include your contact information in case your resume had been lost or misplaced.

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