Mechanics, Stop Sabotaging Your Job Search

Crashed car

Looking for a job sucks, there is no easy way to say it, no one actually wants to do it but if you are going to do it, do it right. Below are some of the biggest mistakes that I see mechanics making when it comes to their job search. I am sure I am going to get response from some that say “I did all those things and still got the job” well good for you but these fall under the category of “Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it.”

1. Resumes

Do you actually need a resume? No, not really you can get a job without a resume, but you are really limiting your options. A resume is like a passport, it opens you up to options everywhere. Most bigger companies run hiring through HR and HR is not going to hire anyone without a resume so if you have the opinion that “I’ve been wrenching for 20 years, I don’t need a piece of paper to tell people I know what I’m doing” you are limiting yourself to working at smaller shops or for companies that already know who you are.

This is not necessarily a bad thing but in my opinion, you should never limit your options and not having a resume limits your options. Resumes do not have to be fancy, for some quick tips on resume writing see our post Resume Writing Tips For Mechanics.

2. Interview Mistakes

Biggest mistakes for an interview are not dressing appropriately (you don’t need a suit but dress like you actually want the job i.e. avoid cut off shorts) and not being prepared. For more in-depth, interview tips check out our post How To Ace Your Next Interview.

3. Over Exaggerating

Honesty really is the best principle, I have seen so many mechanics shoot themselves in the foot by over exaggerating their skills or their pay requirements.

Skills – If you have never done something before or are not good at something, be honest about it. If they ask you to rank yourself on a 1-10 scale on hydraulics and you give yourself a 10 but can’t answer basic follow up questions then you have lost all credibility. Also, if you say you are an engine expert and your references acknowledge that your engine experience is limited you are going to look like a liar. If you happen to get the job by lying your way in, it will become super obvious within the first week that you are not who you said you were and the job will come to an end. The goal is not to just get your foot in the door, the goal is a long term fit. Be honest in the interview so they know who they are getting.

Pay Requirements – If they ask you in an interview how much you are looking for, do not over exaggerate. This is not an episode of Pawn Stars, you are not negotiating right now. They are asking if you fit in with their budgets. If you are currently earning $25/hr and are looking for an increase to $27/hr say that. If you say that you are currently earning $40/hr and looking for an increase, they are likely to move on to the next candidate. Shops have budgets and while there is a little wiggle room there is not usually a ton of movement. I have received many calls from hiring managers after an interview saying that they loved the candidate but couldn’t afford him so they moved on to someone else that they didn’t like as much.

4. Unprofessionalism

I totally get it, you are mechanics, not lawyers, you do not have to act all stuffy but a certain level of professionalism goes a long way. This means no cursing during the process, do not bad talk your former employers and please when you are looking for a job search change your voicemail to something simple, if you use a hilarious joke Voicemail message you can throw off potential employers. It probably sounds like I am exaggerating here but just last week I had a candidate that a hiring manager called to schedule an interview, he got his voicemail which was an unprofessional message and the manager said he chose not to leave him a message and felt based on that message that he wouldn’t be a fit for them. This is a bit extreme and I think this hiring manager was a little out of line but it was for a field role and I can understand where he was coming from.

5. Scheduling

If you are scheduling an interview make sure you can actually make it. If you get off work at 3:30 and on a good day with no traffic the interview is 30 minutes away from you do not schedule the interview for 4:00. Plan for worst-case scenario.

If you are a field tech who often gets called out of town, let your dispatcher/manager know that you have an appointment at 4:00 that you can’t miss and you can not take any out of town jobs that afternoon. If you have to cancel an interview or reschedule an interview it is not the end of the world but it will not reflect positively, it makes it seem like the job is not that important to you. That being said if something comes up please do call in to let people know, if you no-show an interview there is not much that can be done, a reschedule is much easier.

6. Communication

If you are applying for jobs remember to check your voicemails and e-mails often. If you get a message call back quickly. Keep an eye on messages after an interview etc. If you get a message about a job and do not respond for 2 weeks there is a good chance that job is no longer available.

Hopefully, these tips help in your job search. If you need help finding the perfect fit or have any questions give us a call at 1-833-762-5787 or shoot an e-mail to

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