Everyone understands that car ownership is neither cheap nor without complications, and therefore, someone not having a dependable vehicle is very relatable.
Making matters worse is the fact that public transit in much of the United States isn’t great. People without a car often must adjust their routines accordingly and use a patchwork of transportation options.
Understandably, many employers want to know if applicants have access to reliable transportation. These companies may ask applicants because they don’t want to hire someone whose regularly misses work due to transportation issues.
If you find yourself in this situation, you should know that not having a car isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Below are a few tips on how you should adjust your job search if you don’t have access to ‘reliable transportation’.
Determine if you could get to work on-time, every time
Just because you don’t own a car doesn’t mean you can’t get to work on-time. If walking, biking or public transportation will allow you to get to there on time, then you do technically have reliable transportation. If you would have to rely on rides from your spouse, parent or a loved one, be sure to work out the details of an arrangement before you apply to jobs.
If public transit isn’t an option and you honestly think it would be difficult to get to rides, don’t apply to the job in question.
Don’t mention it until the interview
While it’s usually better to be upfront about transportation difficulties, it’s not an issue that you ought to bring up in your resume or cover letter. These documents should concentrate on why you would be a great employee in the open position.
Mentioning transportation issues so early in the process likely takes you out of the running. At this point, you ought to be avoiding anything that could potentially be a red flag and building yourself up as the ideal employee.
There’s also no reason you ought to bring it up during the interview, especially if the issue doesn’t come up. If you honestly believe it won’t affect your ability to be a model employee, your transportation situation is your personal business.
If the interviewer openly asks if you have dependable transportation, be transparent and honest about any issues, but don’t spend time going into the finer details. Simply explain what you intend to do about it and why it won’t impact your on-the-job performance.
If your transportation situation means you can only work certain shifts, be sure to mention this. By and large, employers will appreciate your honesty and not hold it against you if you are considered a top candidate.
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