The ability to get around is an important part of everyday life, and many companies want to know if you can be relied upon to come in on time, both for your scheduled shift and for on-call situations.
If you don’t have access to a personal vehicle for transportation, you may feel like ‘reliable transportation’ could be an issue for you, should it come up. However, you shouldn’t feel disqualified by the situation.
Should you bring it up?
Certainly, you don’t need to raise the issue in your cover letter; the cover letter is to discuss how you’d be a great fit for the job. Mentioning any issues, like not having access to a car, raises a red flag when you’re supposed to be talking yourself up. Raising the transportation issue also brings up something that may not be an issue at that stage in the process.
Also, there’s no need to bring up it during the interview if the interviewer doesn’t bring it up themselves.
Essentially, you should take the position that your transportation is your personal business unless you’re directly asked about it.
When you’re asked about it
If you are directly asked about having reliable transportation, make it seem as much of a non-issue as you can without being dishonest. Most companies don’t want to hear the details of your transportation situation or a lengthy explanation. If your interviewer does ask, they want to hear either “I have reliable transportation” or “I currently don’t have reliable transportation.”
While the latter is bad news, they’d rather hear it during the hiring process than find out you lied after they’ve hired you.
If you need to rely on public transportation and can only work shifts that match a bus or rail schedule, mention it, especially if you think you may be responsible for coming in when the trains or buses aren’t running. In many situations, this won’t disqualify you from a job, and it leads to a better relationship with your potential/future employer than bringing it up after the interview or after you have been hired.
Most importantly, if you have a good shot at getting the job on a schedule you can manage, given your transportation options, it’s not anyone’s business how you get to work each day. Public transportation and walking are just as reliable as cars, if not more so.
At Career Concepts, we help coach many people through the various details of the job seeking and interviewing processes. If you are currently concern about transportation or a similar issue, please contact our team today to arrange for a consultation and see what job opportunities we have in store.