Work / Employment letters

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Work / Employment letters

Postby bramble43 » Saturday 2 June 2012, 14:24

As a major reason being here is to help new to the industry peoples I thought since letters and emails are the first sign of a car crash courier hitting the industry we could do our bit to help in this first line of attack for many.

Now, I get lots of letters and emails, several weekly and the largest percentage are deleted or binned within the first few lines.
That is of course if the contact goes as far as a few lines.

One example from a few days ago

"Hi
I'm interested in working as a long distance courier, please contact if you have any jobs"

This isn't going to get you any work

What also may be a crime on my part is the ones that come from courier guide templates, mention being a 'specialist courier' 'carrying wills, laptops etc' and 'in my car' will guarantee an instant deletion.

If you are looking for courier work you need to know that most will be looking for owner drivers, this is a driver with their own vehicle, this should be a van or motorcycle suitable for the job, correctly insured for the job and the person you are contacting needs to know this.

There are plenty of out of work couriers, they are not going to chase you for the info you don't bother to tell them, the job will go to someone who has already bothered to tell them.

Things that go into letters that don't need to be there are things like your points and how long you've held a licence. It is your van, your licence and you pay the insurance. A company hiring you doesn't need to know you've got 2 fixed penalties for speeding, it just isn't our problem.

If you feel you must write then at least, name, age, area you come from and are willing to work in, contact details, type of vehicle and age, types and cover of insurances, any experience of courier work, any specialities and licences like ADR or airside and be polite but to the point, you may want to call after a few days to 'follow up' but again, be polite and take any refusal or otherwise professionally.
The industry is saturated with people, the ads saying the industry is crying out for drivers is the biggest load of bull going so you will get many, many kick backs before getting one that even begins to show any interest.

Checking a company web site for jobs before sending a mail or calling is a good start, my site says there are no jobs and not to call but feel free to write, more contact can be helpful at the right time but there are no full time, even part time situations available and someone calling means they've seen the site but not looked properly or ignored the 'please do not phone'

You may want to create a better email address for the purpose of emailing for work, 2fast4umate@hotmail.com might be fine for for normal use but a bit off putting to get for a potential business contact to see.

I'm sure others will have some better advice here but that's me for a start
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby Mike George » Saturday 2 June 2012, 14:40

Great post Nick, duly tweeted :wink:

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Work / Employment letters

Postby MK BIKER » Saturday 2 June 2012, 14:50

I think the length of licence held may apply to bike work as I wouldn't even consider someone who had recently passed their test as I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing I've sent them into London.
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby bramble43 » Saturday 2 June 2012, 15:15

That would usually show up in the experience and bike type.

I've had people with a CBT certificate and a CG125 ask for work. It puts them off when you tell them the average job will mean a 200 mile round trip
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby ray valentine » Saturday 2 June 2012, 15:37

I had a guy contact me, he had a fridge van and needed work, so i said come round for a chat as he was local. he came in his car, i asked where is the van?
and he said why, did you want to see it?
Yes, if my customers are going to put their food in it.
i never heard from him again.
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby bramble43 » Saturday 2 June 2012, 18:14

It has been rightly pointed out to me that asking for age could be discriminatory. :rolleyes:

Is it an actual issue as it would be choosing not to give work to a self employed person based on age?

Whatever, It is unfortunately true but if someone who is 17 wants to work for me on a motorbike delivering packages to London it isn't going to happen.
Whatever path I chose could be the wrong one. If that person ends up under a bus I could well be in trouble for sending them on their way.

Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby SadJack » Saturday 2 June 2012, 19:04

bramble43 wrote:Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't


Is it as bad as that? I have never employed anyone but in my previous job I sat on a couple of interview boards.

It was drummed into us by the good old human remains dept that as long as decisions were documented and reasoned and of course lawful there would be no problem.

So if the job you advertise requires certain experience that a 17 year cannot evidence surley there is no problem.

HR were a mine of info for refusing applications and paper sifting applicants. One favourite was to make an instruction that the application form should be completed in block capitols and in black ink. Any received that were not were just put in the bin - can't follow simple instructions!
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby RLT » Saturday 2 June 2012, 19:12

HR were a mine of info for refusing applications and paper sifting applicants. One favourite was to make an instruction that the application form should be completed in block capitols and in black ink. Any received that were not were just put in the bin - can't follow simple instructions!


Nothing wrong with that!



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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby RLT » Saturday 2 June 2012, 19:16

Letters or emails with poor spelling or dare I say it 'text speak' are also immediately binned or deleted.

First impressions are important it is amazing how many are NOT taught the very basics at school or Uni


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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby EnsonExpress » Sunday 3 June 2012, 00:25

It was my good fortune to be an office manager in days before all this opportunity stuff arrived. I required handwritten applications and the first things I noticed were spelling and punctuation. At interview, appearance and speaking voice were relevant. Failings in any of those criteria were in the bin - I never employed any Goths, Mods, Rockers or dialect mumblers. Mind you, in those days I actually DID reply to every application without fail.

I once employed a woman with 6 children, telling her I had some concerns about her potential to take time off for the family. And I did eventually sack her after 3 months, because she was having time off for 8 in the family (6 children, husband and self) - that wasn't fair on the other employees.

But experience is not necessarily the be all and end all. The best clerical worker I ever employed was a young woman whose experience was as a die stamp operator in a factory!

But I was a good employer and cared a great deal about my staff. They always got the better deal from me, on the grounds that if I kept them sweet, they'd look after me on the very rare occasions when I needed it.

Funny, isn't it - I've recently done a couple of jobs for a new (to me) courier company, whose boss actually thanks me and addresses me as "sir" in texts. It's not TNT, CitySprint, DHL or Royal Mail etc in case you're wondering. :lol:
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby Mike George » Sunday 3 June 2012, 07:45

I think you have to remember (as the OP said) you are not employing people, you are subcontracting work to another business.

I have been away from the sharp end of courier work for a few years but I've seen a lot of newbies come and go, and I've heard the reasons why some of them don't get work. It's not because of how old they are, or how fast or slow they drive (except in one extreme case), or how many points they've got, or whether they "love" driving.

Some of the reasons why some people do or don't get repeat subby work are:

1. attitude towards other couriers and customers - how polite, professional and confident they are, understanding they represent the company they are subbing for

2. basic communication skills - keeping in touch when necessary (but not too much), calling in GOB/POD, sending PODs and invoices, ability to say more than "ug" when they answer the phone

3. reliability and resourcefulness - keeping promises, dealing with problems that crop up

4. the image they present - being reasonably smart and clean, having a vehicle that is reasonably clean and tidy

It might seem hard to get these things across in a letter, but it isn't. If you are writing a letter to a courier company or another OD, write it yourself (not from a template); double check the spelling and grammar; be reasonably polite and formal; use smart business stationery, neatly folded in a clean envelope.

Keep the letter brief but use proper English sentences. As well as your vehicle and insurance details (not policy numbers) and your general availability include anything that's relevant and will demonstrate how professional and reliable you are. You could include a picture of your vehicle (not one you found on Google images).

Follow up the letter with a phone call a week later.

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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby bramble43 » Sunday 3 June 2012, 08:16

That is spot on Mike.

It is wholly wrong of me and I'm sure I could pinpoint others who would do it but a badly worded, wrongly spelt letter on toilet roll paper with a coffee stain and roughly folded makes me think idiot from the first instance :redface:

This isn't the most difficult job in the world but someone who thinks it's ok to send out something like that to someone who could be in a position to offer them work isn't likely to then put on the professional image we should all show to our customers and to go the extra mile in making sure they are kept happy.

It costs nothing to be polite and helpful to customers but it costs customers to be unhelpful, rude and unprofessional
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby SadJack » Sunday 3 June 2012, 15:58

bramble43 wrote:It costs nothing to be polite


Reminds me of an old saying "Manners maketh man"

Not sure if that's right at all times but when a first impression counts it's spot on.
I wish I could think of a good signature

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Work / Employment letters

Postby AlunL » Sunday 3 June 2012, 19:36

SadJack wrote:
bramble43 wrote:It costs nothing to be polite


Reminds me of an old saying "Manners maketh man"

Not sure if that's right at all times but when a first impression counts it's spot on.


And that includes the 'hello' section. Newbies should introduce themselves properly if they want to make a good first impression on the rest of us...
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby RLT » Sunday 3 June 2012, 20:36

Your right Alun.


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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby ray valentine » Monday 4 June 2012, 12:16

SadJack wrote:
bramble43 wrote:It costs nothing to be polite


Reminds me of an old saying "Manners maketh man"

Not sure if that's right at all times but when a first impression counts it's spot on.



When i was an agency driver every day could be a first day. I would turn up and tell them i was their driver, and i could see in their expression they were thinking "what on earth have they sent me this time"
But at the end of the day the job was done and they would soon be asking for me by name.
First impressions are important, but can be misleading.
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby SadJack » Monday 4 June 2012, 13:20

ray valentine wrote:First impressions are important, but can be misleading.


I once went to a house and the door was answered by a young lady in her dressing gown. She was shall we say rather rotund. She apologised for being in her dressing gown saying she had just come out of hospital. I replied "Sorry to hear that, hope nothing is wrong with the baby" She said "Oh I am not pregnant"

I wonder who made the best first impression there :redface: !
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby AndyTSL » Wednesday 6 June 2012, 20:36

I would like to thank the guys for commenting on this thread it is informative and straight to the point.
As a future 'Newbie' there are so many things to setting up, this subject would be one which would have tripped me up when I eventually begin the task of filling my van or not depending on how well I set out my letter, though after this thread it will be one of my priorities..
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby MK BIKER » Friday 15 June 2012, 23:33

Got this.....

Looking for work or on a motorcycle courier van courier. Workout motorcycle Suzuki V-Strom. I live in Townsville, Milton Keynes I have a TomTom Navigation Rider2. Please contact us on Tel XXXXXXXXXX or e-meil XXXXXXXX@googlemail.com. Has never worked as curier, I have only experience to deliver pizza. I learn quickly and adapt to new conditions. I would like to gain new experiences by taking work in the courier.

Many Thanks Bob
(Names & details have been edited to protect from the shame :redface: )


....and yes it really did start like this without even a hello :no:
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby Bob Johnson » Saturday 16 June 2012, 14:37

MK BIKER wrote:Got this.....

Looking for work or on a motorcycle courier van courier. Workout motorcycle Suzuki V-Strom. I live in Townsville, Milton Keynes I have a TomTom Navigation Rider2. Please contact us on Tel XXXXXXXXXX or e-meil XXXXXXXX@googlemail.com. Has never worked as curier, I have only experience to deliver pizza. I learn quickly and adapt to new conditions. I would like to gain new experiences by taking work in the courier.

Many Thanks Bob
(Names & details have been edited to protect from the shame :redface: )


....and yes it really did start like this without even a hello :no:


I'll try harder next time
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby bramble43 » Wednesday 15 August 2012, 13:24

Todays best one

Hi, I was a driver for 10 years , and now after 10 years off , I want to start owner driving again.
Thank you


Great, just what I was looking for.
I'll give him a job straight away :no:
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Re: Work / Employment letters

Postby legrysexpressltd » Wednesday 15 August 2012, 14:21

File under what on earth are you saying youngun? I do sometimes wonder if you've found my ecstasy stash I think


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