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Training for a job as a valet parking attendant is a matter of practicing to be a careful and intelligent driver. Because most valet companies require you to have experience as a valet in order to get a job, you will typically need to figure out ways to train prior to applying for a position. Proper training includes practicing driving and parking a wide variety of cars and trucks with both automatic and manual transmissions.
Know your driving laws. Before you even think about applying for a valet job, you should know your state's driving laws inside and out. Study and memorize the rules, laws and regulations in your state's official driver handbook that is available at your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
Practice driving as many vehicles as you can. It is important that you are comfortable driving the wide assortment of vehicles. These include vehicles with manual transmissions, start-button ignitions and hybrid electric engines. Practice with all sizes of cars and trucks as well from compacts to full-size SUVs. Ask as many friends as you can if you can simply drive their car around the block so you can get a feel for how different vehicles handle.
Find an entry-level valet position. The more upscale the location where valet parking is offered, the more experience you will need. Search your area for restaurants, hotels and parking lots that are targeted toward budget-minded consumers. The valet companies here might be more likely to hire you without any experience. Ask the valets working there if their employer is open to training new employees who have no job history as a valet.
Get experience in a similar position. Valet employers want to know that you have real-world experience behind the wheel. Seek a position as a delivery driver, truck driver, taxi driver or other similar position that might be open to employees without driving experience.
Practice your people skills. Being a good valet who makes good tips is also a matter of how well you interact with different people. Write a list of the things a driver leaving his car with a valet wants to hear. Remember proper social etiquette such as opening the door for a woman first, saying "thank you" and assuring the driver that his vehicle will be safe.
Look for local training programs. Some valet parking companies and hospitality organizations offer valet parking training. Call valet companies to inquire if they offer such a program.
Make sure you have a clean driving record, a basic requirement of any valet parking company. You can get a printout of your record at your local DMV to see if you have any past violations.
- parking image by David Sexton from Fotolia.com