A taxi driver transports passengers from one location to another by car and is paid based on the distance and time of the travel. They drive leased cars from the cab company and pick up the passengers who hire them through phone calls, taxi hiring apps, or in person. They charge the passengers according to the fare calculated by the taximeter or the mobile application. If you are an excellent driver with good experience in operating four-wheeler vehicles, there are a lot of opportunities as a taxi driver in the United States. For that, your initial step must be to write a resume encompassing your skills and experience. We will guide you with that in the following sections.
To begin with, let's take a look at the three main formats of resume:
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Job duties of a taxi driver
Driving the car and transporting passengers around the city forms a significant part of the daily duties of a taxi driver. But the role also comprises before-and-after-trip duties like checking the condition of the car, identifying issues, and collecting payment from the passengers. The following list gives a clear idea of the daily tasks of a taxi driver:
Driving different models of cars like sedan, hatchback, SUV, limousines, and minivan leased by the cab company.
Washing the exterior of the car and cleaning the interior with a vacuum making sure it is free from dust and litter.
Examining the condition of tires, brakes, signals, oil, and fuel before the trips.
Picking up the passengers based on scheduled or spontaneous requests from their location.
Loading and unloading the passengers’ luggage and other personal possessions.
Identifying the fastest route based on the traffic conditions using the car’s GPS device or navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze.
Confirming the destination and route plan with the passenger and taking alternative routes as per their request.
Abiding by the traffic rules and safety regulations like wearing seatbelts, driving on the correct lane, and following the traffic signal.
Turning on the taximeter at the start of the journey and turning it off on reaching the destination.
Operating mobile cab booking applications of the cab company if available, for instance, Uber, Gett, and Lyft.
Collecting the fare amount at the end of the trip based on distance traveled and returning accurate change to the passenger.
Aiding passengers with special needs like using a wheelchair to enter and exit the car.
Fixing minor mechanical issues like flat tires, broken lights, and faulty brakes using tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, and jacks and taking the car to a mechanic for replacement of worn-out parts.
Reporting the information on distance covered and number of trips to their supervisors.
Communicating amicably with local or tourist passengers and providing suggestions on the region’s best restaurants, hotels, or sightseeing spots.
Taxi driver median salary
Based on the reports of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the primary fact-finding agency of the U.S. that provides statistical information on labor activity, the median salary of a taxi driver is $25,980 per annum. The compensation will vary according to the performance, customer ratings, and experience of the driver.
Top skills for taxi drivers
To transport the customers safely to their destination and to gain good reviews, a taxi driver must have a variety of skills including exceptional driving, being safety oriented, and good time management and route planning skills. The following characteristics are important to be a taxi driver:
- Flawless driving ability A taxi driver must be fully trained in driving four-wheeled cars of different models such as SUVs, sedans, hatchbacks, limousines, and minivans efficiently and safely. They must have a clean Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) without any previous criminal records or violations of traffic rules. They must stay focused on the road without getting distracted by mobile phones, radio, or passengers’ conversations. Applying defensive driving techniques is also expected of a taxi driver to prevent accidents.
- Technology savvy Expertise in how to get around in their assigned areas with and without using navigation apps like Google Maps, Waze, and MapQuest for route planning is a crucial skill for any taxi driver. Identifying the shortest routes, checking for traffic and adjusting accordingly to save time while getting your customer from point A to point B is an attractive skill for potential employers. Using the right technology can assist in planning routes effectively. Also, the taxi driver must be capable of operating the cab company’s mobile booking application to check for customer requests, scheduled rides, pickup locations, and fare price.
- Adherence to safety regulations A taxi driver must follow the state-specific and general road safety rules such as obeying all traffic signs, wearing seatbelts, and ensuring proper stopping distance to prevent accidents. It is of the utmost importance to ensure the safety of the passengers. Taxi drivers should not work more than 10 consecutive hours as the hours of service regulation stipulates. They must also keep physically and mentally fit to maintain their Department of Transportation’s (DOT) physical exam card current.
- Patience and Punctuality Patience is very crucial for a taxi driver to stay calm while driving and dealing with passengers. They must remain professional and composed while waiting for a customer, dealing with heavy traffic, and in case of accidents. They must be punctual to pick up and drop off the customer in a timely manner and manage delays due to traffic by rerouting if necessary. They must communicate effectively with customers and avoid any disputes with angry passengers.
- Mechanical knowledge If any mechanical failures occur, including flat tires or brake malfunction, the taxi driver must quickly fix or report the issue. Basic knowledge of how to fix minor issues, such as quickly changing a flat tire, can be very advantageous. Also, a common job duty is to inspect the vehicle’s condition before and after each trip to prevent potential mechanical complications.
- Cleanliness and maintenance Taxi drivers must wash the car regularly to avoid having a blurry windshield, dusty interiors, and potential germs. Cleaning and sanitizing are essential to safeguard the health of both the driver and the passengers, especially during the pandemic. Also, the taxi driver must uphold hygiene standards and be presentable to create a good impression on the customer. The driver should ensure to clear any plastic or food waste before the next trip. Maintenance of the car’s mechanical parts such as the engine, battery, coolant levels, and tires must be done routinely.
- Professional interpersonal skills A taxi driver has to deal with many customers each day from different walks of life. Hence, they must be respectful of differences and remain cordial with the customers whether it be by chatting with the passenger, answering their doubts about the route, explaining the reason for any delays, and collecting the fare. They must be honest and return any personal belongings forgotten by the customer by handing it in to the taxi company or directly to the customer. The taxi driver must be accepting of any constructive feedback provided by the customer and the employer.
Taxi drivers education and certifications
DegreeDriving a taxi is purely based on practical knowledge and does not require any specific degree. However, some employers ask for a minimum qualification of a high school diploma or GED.
LicensureTaxi drivers must have a valid driver’s license provided by each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To apply for a driver’s license you must check with your local DMV office. However, the most common requirements are to be above 16 years of age and pass a practical driving test to assess your driving abilities, such as switching lanes, making three-point turns, and stopping at traffic lights.
CertificationsDepending on the license classification of each state, the taxi driver should get a chauffeur/passenger/taxicab endorsement from their state’s DMV. Some states do not require any special endorsements to be able to drive taxis.
However, getting a DOT physical exam card is a common requirement from employers.
Also, you may be required to get certified in defensive driving. Some nonprofit organizations like the National Safety Council and the U.S General Services Administration offer defensive driving certifications to prevent car accidents, while a private training institution that offers courses and certifications is the American Safety Council. Check out the above links to select the one that is best for you. Also, member associations for taxicab drivers such as the National Taxi Workers’ Alliance (NTWA) and Taxicab, Limousine, Paratransit Alliance (TLPA) serve as good sources of support and educational programs for taxi drivers.
Taxi driver resume-writing tips
Composing an outstanding resume is quite significant to impress the recruiters and bag your desired job role in a reputed organization. The following tips will aid you in preparing unique and resourceful content for your resume that can potentially help you in getting shortlisted by the recruiters:
- Use appealing vocabulary. Your resume serves as the channel to showcase your verbal skills. Hence you must choose your words and phrases in such a way that they directly convey the meaning and are not too elaborate. Also, use driving-related keywords to improve the quality of your resume. Make sure to keep the phrases precise and clear.
- Emphasize your adaptability. A taxi driver must handle multifaceted responsibilities and so your resume must signify your adaptable nature. Entrust the recruiters that you can manage multiple operations and adapt to any task.
- Proofread more than once. Get the help of family members or friends to proofread your resume once or twice before submitting it. This is essential to eliminate grammatical errors and inconsistency in the content. Also, it can help you include important points that have been missed before.
- Avoid repetition of skills. Make sure that each skill you mentioned is unique and relevant to the taxi driver job role. Repeating the same skills, works, and accomplishments will lead to a lengthy resume and that is not desirable for the recruiters. The recruiters spend only a few seconds to identify your capability and so it is significant to avoid redundant information
- Highlight your economical efforts. Showcase the cost-effective methods you followed in your previous job to reduce fuel consumption and time delays. This aspect will make your resume stronger as the economical approaches are welcomed by every organization.
- Accentuate positive customer reviews. To gain the trust of your recruiter, you need to highlight the satisfactory customer service you provided in your previous job experience. Mention your performance rating given by the customer and the company and convey your exceptional interpersonal skills.
Can we include references in the resume?
No. If the recruiter is interested in your profile and wants a reference, they will contact you personally. There is no need to mention any references in your resume.
Should we mention the gaps in between job experiences?
If the gaps are significantly longer, it is important to mention that since the company might be suspicious of health issues or criminal records. You can shortly convey the productive works you have done during the gap period. There is no need to mention short-term gaps.
How to compose a good profile summary?
Your profile summary expresses your overall proficiency in the field. So make sure to combine all your major skills along with your previous designation in a single concise paragraph.