Applying for Driving Jobs Online? Beware These Warning Signs!

With all those truck driving jobs websites out there — or those that claim to send your “one” application to “100s of jobs” or only the “best” trucking companies — it can be kind of confusing to know who to trust to help you get a job.

Truck at twilight with headlights on.That’s what we are going to address on this page: giving you tips on what to look for so you know who to trust.

From a money saving standpoint, we want to help protect you from being the victim of identity theft.

When you send your sensitive personal information to a site that is not trustworthy — or people who don’t disclose who they are and what they’re going to do with your information — it could potentially be like putting the gift of your financial future in the hands of a thief!

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Take a look at this guy.

Man in suit and tie.He’s in a suit and tie.

What is that look in his eyes?

If you’re looking for a job in today’s tight economy, you might want to believe that if he runs a website through which you can submit one application for truck driving jobs, he wants to help you.

Can’t the same situation apply to a supposedly professional looking website?

Of course it can, especially if it is loaded with the names and banners and logos of lots of trucking companies.

But there’s something about this guy that the photo above doesn’t show you…

Man in suit and tie with a gun.This guy is ready to take everything you give him — and more! (See the weapon?)

Unfortunately, in our day, some criminals don’t need to brandish a weapon in order to do their crimes because we provide them with all the tools they need — at the touch of the submit button on your keyboard.

Truck Driver Recruiting Websites

In December 2010, we were contacted by a driver recruiting website and asked to set up a link exchange.

We were flattered that our website ranked highly enough in the opinion of the person who contacted us to have been asked for a link.

Key on computer keyboard reads 'cyber crime'.As is the case with all link exchange requests we receive, we carefully evaluate the website to find out if it would be a valuable resource for you, our reader.

An evaluation of this particular website revealed the following information:

  • The driver application required the applicant to supply his/her Date of Birth. This would appear to be reasonable since federal law covers these areas:
    • §383.153: commercial driver’s license document shall contain date of birth;
    • §391.11: general qualification of drivers states that drivers of commercial motor vehicles must be at least 21 years old.
  • The application for truck driving jobs also included fields for the applicant’s
    • Social Security Number and
    • Commercial Drivers License number!

While these fields were not required to be filled in, in order for the application to be accepted, we were concerned that drivers might feel that they had to submit this information in order for their application to be processed or stand a better chance of being accepted by some companies.

Although the site listed a number of trucking companies, we saw no indication as to

  • how the list was gathered,
  • what it meant for a company to have “sponsored” status,
  • what the difference was between “sponsored” versus non-sponsored trucking companies, or
  • whether or not applicants are pressured to take a job with a specific company in order for a commission to be paid.

Full Disclosure?

Of greatest concern on this website we were evaluating was that we could find no link on the site detailing

  • who is behind the site,
  • what their credentials are or
  • what happens with a driver’s personal information once submitted.

(Even though we aren’t recruiters and don’t offer lists of truck driving jobs, we do tell you who we are and list our disclaimer.)

A woman receives bad news over the computer.In fact, on this particular driver recruiting site, there was no credible third party verification.

What if a trusting and completely unsuspecting driver entered all of the information asked for on the site and realized that he/she ended up helping someone take advantage of him/her?

It would be like trying to regather feathers blown from a bag on the top of a hill on a windy day — almost impossible.

In a post that Mike made to The Trucker’s Report message board on December 4, 2010, he pointed out some of the problems with another truck driving jobs websites that “collects applications for companies in need of truck drivers”:

“Simply fill out an online application and your resume will be forwarded to the top trucking companies looking for drivers.”

The questions he raised (edited for clarity) were:

  • Who are the companies for which the application is collected?
  • How does the applicant know his/her information won’t get sent to some third-party recruiting or no-name company?
  • Why does the application page require applicants to submit their CDL number on a non-secure server?
  • How long has the business/website been in business?
  • Where is the business’s contact information, complete with an actual address (city, state and zip code) and phone number?
  • In what way do they communicate with applicants: email, phone, other?
  • In what time frame should applicants expect contact?
  • Who works there and what are their credentials?
  • Where are the testimonials from drivers who were well placed in truck driving jobs through their site and now recommend them?
Yellow semi truck with refrigerated van.

Our advice (our warning) about applying for truck driving jobs online is as follows:

  • Pursue submitting your application through the websites of trusted trucking companies directly, even if you see an opening for their firm in a different location.
  • Never give your personal information to anyone who does not fully disclose his/her/their identity.
  • Your personal information should only be given after you have contacted them first.
  • Legitimate third-party recruiters should only be paid AFTER a driver is hired — and by the trucking company, not the driver.
  • Make sure that the website through which you are submiting your information has a secure site (URL contains “https” instead of just “http”).

truck drivers money saving tip iconMoney saving tip: Beware of where you submit your name, date of birth, Social Security Number, Commercial Driver’s License number, address, email address, home or cell phone number, etc.

Like it or not, this is your identity and once an unscrupulous person gets it, there is no telling to what lengths he/she will go to take advantage of you, your good name, your good credit, and whatever else they can take.

The U.S. Federal Government has set up the website as a resource to help you fight identity theft. You may wish to read more there.

If you think you can’t be affected by identity theft, you may wish to review these statistics for a sobering eye-opener.

While it is not impossible for those whose identities have been stolen to get the situation straightened out, it is much more difficult for those who spend time away from home, like commercial truck drivers.

In this age of instant gratification when we can get Internet search results almost in the twinkling of an eye, we are used to getting fast service.

However, we must always bear in mind that behind every form on every website, there is someone waiting to harvest information. Folks might be lurking in the shadows just waiting to prey upon you because of your “need” for a driving job.

Outsmart those who seek to take advantage of you.

You wouldn’t dream of leaving a shipper with your trailer doors unlocked and parking in a unsecured location overnight, just waiting for someone to hijack your load.

So, don’t let someone hijack your identity by leaving the door of your life wide open to those who don’t meet the qualifications you are now smart enough to identify.

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Caveat emptor is Latin for “Let the buyer beware.”

Or in this case, let the CDL-holder filling out an online truck driver application for truck driving jobs beware.

Return from Applying for Driving Jobs Online? Beware These Warning Signs! to our Truck Driving Jobs page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page.