Career As a Courier – What you Need to Know

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Oct 16, 2020

Oct 16, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

The skills developed when working as a courier - such as a food delivery driver, for instance – can be a valuable asset in any graduate job. They are a great way to enhance your resume as well as the interview answers.

Students, unfortunately, often fail to make enough of their delivery jobs on their resumes, assuming that the work won’t sound too impressive to prospective employers in spite of couriers providing a vital service to society.

Here are 10 skills that courier work has given you, whether you have been walking, cycling, or driving:

  1. Being Results-Oriented

It is often a requirement included on job descriptions, which simply means being motivated by the achieving of objectives. 

If you devised ways to ‘beat the app’ or even your own record in the time you took to make deliveries safely, you have sufficient evidence regarding how targets were met and how focused you were on getting results. You can make a feature of it on your resume by stating the number of times you beat your company or personal targets.

Your delivery job can be used to answer competency-based interview questions on the setting and achieving of goals as well as strengths-based interview questions like ‘What is it that motivates you?’.

  1. Drive

If a prospective employer has put ‘drive’ as a job requirement, you can be sure they are seeking people that are motivated and have the stamina needed to see a task through to its end, no matter how long it may take or what obstacles they face. The act of taking on the job of a courier for more than several weeks, especially during winter demonstrates your drive. 

Indicate how driven you are when you write up your resume by clearly signposting the dates of your employment, by stating the number of shifts that you took on every week or month as well as writing about meeting and possibly even exceeding set targets.

Your delivery experience can be used for answering interview questions aimed at testing how tenacious you are, such as ‘What’s your response to setbacks when pursuing objectives?’.

  1. Working Under Pressure

Stress management is part of working life for most people and making deliveries to the required destinations, sometimes even in the dark, within a set deadline, and in all weather conditions certainly makes for working under pressure.

When you are invited to graduate interviews and assessment days, take confidence from your experiences. If you were perfectly capable of handling delivery work, you can definitely succeed at interviews.

Your delivery job can be used to provide examples when you answer interview questions such as ‘What are the ways in which you handle stress?’.

  1. Resilience

It is all about having the inner willpower not to allow setbacks to completely throw you off the track. Your resilience will have been developed by disappointments experienced on the job, such as missing out on shifts. You may have also developed strategies for boosting your resilience when out on shift.

You can call upon your resilience when, for instance, you take part in assessment day case studies. It is not unknown for the scenario that was initially presented to you to be changed by new information later on in the exercise.

You might even have examples from your delivery work that can help you answer interview questions such as ‘Describe a situation where something failed to work out as you hoped. What did you learn from it?’.

  1. Customer Service

You might need to make deliveries fast, but you are definitely never rude to the customer, right? This job provides an excellent example of your customer-facing skills that you may have written on graduate job descriptions as ‘a client/service user/customer focus’ or ‘client management skills’.

Emphasize the customer interactions you had on your resume by noting the number of customers that you typically dealt with each shift along with any positive customer feedback that you received.

You can draw on your experience when answering interview questions about customer service as well as meeting client/customer expectations and keep them happy and your reputation intact. These may range from ‘What would you do if your client was not happy with the service received?’ to ‘What does a positive customer experience mean to you?’ to ‘Tell us about an instance when you exceeded a client’s expectations’.

  1. Independent Working

Employers want graduates that can be trusted to work independently. Your time as a courier will mean that you were used to working and making decisions independently. 

You can use the delivery job as evidence of your ability to work independently, in case it is a requirement stated on the job description when you write your cover letter or answer application form questions.

Your time on the courier job can be used to inform or support answers to the strength-based interview questions such as ‘Do you consider yourself as a self-starter?’ and ‘Do you work best alone or when part of a team?’.

  1. Self-Discipline and Self-Motivation

It is impossible to be a good independent worker if you lack these two qualities and being self-disciplined and self-motivated is also part of being driven. By staying online to receive delivery notifications even when it is cold, dark, and raining hard, you would have improved your ability to motivate yourself as well as improving your conscientiousness.

You can use your delivery experience as an example when you answer the interview question ‘How do you motivate yourself when you do a repetitive task?’.

  1. Adaptability

The very nature of having to book shifts, being on a zero-hours contract, and changing routes depending on the delivery schedule means that your job as a courier has more than prepared you to take on a more flexible approach to your work.

If the internship or graduate job that you are applying for involves geographical rotations, rotations around the business, or unpredictable hours, explain in the application and interview how the courier job has equipped you with skills needed to cope with work-related changes.

Assessors at a graduate assessment center will be monitoring your response to new situations and how you assimilate new information. The experience you had with the courier’s unpredictable working environment should make you comfortable with this.

  1. Time Management

The need to have good time management goes hand in hand with being flexible. It applies to finding the fastest route when you make deliveries and balancing your delivery work with both social and study commitments.

When you write about your time management skills either on your application or in the cover letter, don’t forget to explain how you managed to juggle the delivery job alongside the rest of your commitments and still managed to fit everything in.

You can use your job as a courier as part of an answer to an organization-related competency question, such as ‘Tell us about a time when it was a must for you to prioritize many demands on your time’.

  1. Understanding Health and Safety/Risk Assessments

It might technically not be a skill, but adhering to health and safety requirements and carrying out risk assessments are common work duties, particularly in the retail, construction, logistics, hospitality, and education sectors. Making decisions about your safety and the safety of others while on the road have given you insights into conducting risk assessments as well as maintaining health and safety standards. Road safety being a priority – for more information on motorcycle road safety please see this piece from The Law Center about staying safe and staying legal. 

If the position involves risk management or risk assessments, you could mention the courier work in the cover letter or bring it up as a point in response to the interview question ‘Why do you think you will be successful in this job?’ You might say, in response, that your delivery work has given you the mindset for assessing risk and personal safety as well as explain how that ability would transfer to the position that you are applying for.