Train Operating Company application forms vary. However, the types of questions that you will be asked to respond to are relatively similar in nature. In this blog we have provided you with train driver recruitment tips and advice on how to increase your chances of progressing through this important stage. Yes, it is true that only a small percentage of people make it through this initial stage of the selection process, but this doesn’t mean you have little or no chance of succeeding. Follow the guidance that we have provided you, and your chances will greatly increase.
Train Driver Recruitment Tips
The Covering Letter
Sending a covering letter shows the TOC that you are serious about joining their particular organisation. The manner in which you formulate your covering letter is very important. If you simply create a generic covering letter and then send it to lots of different companies, the TOC will see right through it. When constructing your letter (see example provided) make it presentable, logical and relevant to the TOC you are applying to join. We also advise that you personally write the letter, as this will demonstrate to the TOC that you have put more time and effort into your application.
Remember to state what job you are applying for and remember that letters that are seeking ‘any job’ are more likely to be rejected. Within your letter, state the reasons why you want to join this particular TOC and demonstrate that you know a little bit about their company. Once again this will add some weight to your application. Draw attention to one or two points expanded on in your CV or application form to explain why you think you are well suited to the job with this company. Before sending off your application, try to find out the name of the person who will be on the receiving end of the letter. This can be achieved by contacting the TOC Recruitment Office either by e-mail or telephone. If the letter is addressed to them personally, then again, this will show how serious you are.
Finally, as with all letters, you need to check for correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. You may wish to get a friend to help you read through the letter and check for any errors. Take a look at the following sample covering letter. This will give you some top train driver recruitment tips, and ideas on how to construct your own letter based on your own individual circumstances.
Sample Covering Letter
Mr Richard McMunn,
31, Fictitious Street,
Ficton FCT 1AW
RE: Trainee Train Driver position reference 126/TTD
Please find enclosed my completed application form and CV pertaining to the above position. I am applying for this post because I see Ficshire Rail as an exciting and forward-thinking company and I would very much like to work for you. In particular, the position of Trainee Train Driver is one that I have been working towards for many months now. In my quest to become a Train Driver I have researched your company thoroughly and have been impressed with the ‘Meet The Managers’ section on your website.
This shows that the company is serious about its customer relations and I believe that I have the professionalism and high standards that are required to work with your company and can also meet the expectations you require of all employees.
I am a highly ambitious, safety conscious and reliable team player who can be trusted to carry out pressurised tasks. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my application and CV and if you need any more information from me then please let me know so that I can forward it on to you as soon as possible.
Preparing To Complete The Application Form
Top train driver recruitment tip: Most of the sections on the application form are relatively straightforward to complete! However, there are a number of very important sections that will need your utmost attention if you are to succeed. First of all, read the following tips and advice that relate to the completion of your application form:
Read Everything First
This applies to both the application form, the accompanying literature (if any) and the TOC website. You will need to understand a little bit about the company first before you can successfully complete the application form. You should also study the job description, person specification and the accompanying recruitment guidance notes.
Correct Ink Colour
Unless you are submitting an online application make sure you read any requirements that relate to ink colour or capital letters etc. The TOC Recruitment Office will receive hundreds of applications for every job advertised and the initial sift will look at minor errors such as these. If you cannot follow simple instructions such as the correct ink colour then there is not much chance you’ll be able to operate a train safely. Read everything carefully and follow all of the instructions.
Complete a Rough Draft First
The first time around you are more than likely to make some mistakes. We advise that you photocopy the application form first (unless you are completing an on-line version) and complete a rough draft first. This will give you the opportunity to practice. Then, once you have finished your application, take a copy of it so that you can refer to it before you attend the interview. The interview panel will most certainly refer to your application form during the Manager interview.
Later this week we’ll be posting a blog on train driver application questions and answers, so stay posted!