Create Your 4-Wheel Drive Résumé

Early realization that it is time to update that 4WD résumé!
Photo – by Art Marquis

The new year is a time for new resolutions (lose weight, exercise more, tidy up the garage, and so forth). Those are good, but there’s one item that also deserves a new look: your résumé. Specifically, to what extent do you mention your four wheeling experience?

Even if you have no plans to change jobs, now is a good time to revisit your résumé. You’re under no pressure, so you can give it careful consideration. Plus, as we say in four wheeling, it’s always better to be prepared. With economic conditions as they are, you may be looking for work sooner than expected.

If nothing else, updating your résumé gets you thinking more about the value of your 4WD skills. Even if you don’t present your résumé to your boss, you can mention your skills and experience. Doing so could help you advance in your firm.

Numerous positions make use of 4WD experience. Outdoors work is a natural. Occupations include geologists, environmentalists, land survey guys and forest rangers. First responders are another group. They go off-road on occasion, but also drive in treacherous terrain caused by storms and other disasters.

Are you nearing retirement? Perhaps you enjoyed a career in the military and now would like some kind of job that involves four wheeling. That could be in construction; the oil and gas industries; consulting for those types of industries; and training and teaching.

I presume your résumé already has relevant scientific or management information. Listing your 4WD experience can put you ahead of others with similar backgrounds. Include some or all of the following categories in a sequence that emphasizes your strengths:

4WD education: Schools, clinics/classes, certificates earned, driver license endorsements (for example class A)

Relevant work history: Of course the who, what, when but identify how you made a contribution in terms of results and value to your employer/client

Technical skills: Proficiency with winching, recovery/towing, map reading, vehicle repair/build (be specific: “Removed a 249 t-case from a Jeep Grand Cherokee and replaced it with a 242 t-case”), trails you’ve driven (include trail ratings).

Racing: Identify participation and successes racing. The skills and knowledge needed to be successful may be of value to prospective clients and employers.

Management skills: As a trail leader (where and when), trips you organized and the planning that was involved, as an instructor, classes developed & lead

Related qualifications/certifications: Ham radio operator, first aid / first responder certification, articles published

Professional Affiliations: Association/club membership(s), awards earned

Miscellaneous: Relevant vehicles you’ve owned, driven, or are more than causally acquainted

This section could get lengthy, and may push your résumé to two pages. That’s OK, as long as the information is relevant. Remember to focus on the position you’re applying for (or have now). Four wheeling experience is just icing on the cake.

Preparation is important for all activities. At a minimum, updating your résumé will force you to consider more thoroughly what you’ve accomplished as a four wheeler and the value that experience has for you. You might also identify additional training you can use. Dust off your résumé, and dive in.

[BTW – if 4-wheeling is just a passion for you, creating your 4WD resume is fun and might just tie into your bucket list.]

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