Boring Airline Pilot Resumes

Boring Airline Pilot Resumes

Over the years I have had the opportunity to read hundreds of pilot resumes, and one common characteristic is the underselling of professional accomplishments.

Most pilots simply list a job description on their resume which usually starts off with ‘Duties include…’ or even worse, simply state Captain or First Officer with no other descriptive words. This approach fills space but does little to make you stand out from the thousands of other applicants.

Your resume is a sales tool that has to be carefully created to attract interest, interest in you! Take time to focus on what you have done to add value to your current or former company. Use those accomplishments, however seemingly small, to describe your contributions. Click here for a great article that you might find helpful.

References, Recommendations and Referrals…

References, Recommendations and Referrals…

We get lots of questions about these sections for United and Delta.  There are three specific ways that a reference or a recommendation can be made.

General References:
These are found in the blue menu of airline apps but show in the specific addendum sections.  They can be customized by the applicant for each airline, and are what I would call static.  Delta or United might reach out to them to verify you, but likely only after a CJO has been made.

Professional Recommendations:
These are commonly referred to as letters of recommendation.  The applicant initiates them from the addendum section of the application and are airline specific.  Follow the Professional Recommendations link in each airlines addendum, and then enter the email for whom you are wanting to invite to write a letter on your behalf.   Any recommendation that is written in response to the email is now ‘attached’ to your application and can be seen by both you, and the airline.  The data is not editable for typos or content, but it can be deleted by the applicant, not the airline.  If you are not sure of what the form looks like, send one to yourself by putting in your email address.

Internal Recommendation:
Unique to Delta, this is the process by which an existing Delta employee contacts pilot hiring via a specific email address and recommends that Delta score your application.  Delta tells their folks that they will score the app within four weeks from receipt of that internal email.  As far as I know, no communication from Delta back to the employee is offered, the app is simply scored and placed in the queue accordingly.

Helpful Airline Pilot Resume Tips

Helpful Airline Pilot Resume Tips

Airline Pilot Resume Tips

 

As I was surfing the web today I came across an article titled ’10 Resume errors that will land you in the trash’. While it was never my experience that a poor resume would actually wind up in the circular file, certainly there were many that failed to catch my eye.

Airline pilot hiring is different from the corporate world. We know what your foundational skills are; you fly airplanes.  The hard part for you in convincing the reader why you should be considered over thousands of other candidates with the same underlying mechanical abilities.  You will need to sell yourself in this document, and regrettably, most of you will sell yourselves short instead.

When you attach a resume to an application or present it at a job fair the reader will, on average, spend less than 10 seconds actually reading your work. Here are a few tips to make sure that you are making the best impression possible.

  1. Don’t be flashy.  While you certainly want to be noticed, use of non-traditional fonts, paper, or other presentation creativity may not yield the intended result.  There are other ways to make yourself stand apart.
  2. Omit the references.  References should only be provided on request and are usually a part of every airline’s application.  You have limited real estate on your page, leave these out.
  3. Don’t write complete sentences.  Write short meaningful fragments that tell the reader as much as possible with very little reading.  Be sure to keep your narrative style the same throughout your descriptions.
  4. Be specific with the numbers.  Many applicants are ‘rounders’;  8000 total time, 4500 PIC.  The odds of actually having all of your numbers land on even are low, and this shows a lack of attention to detail.
  5. Don’t list your responsibilities.  This is a tough one for the average line pilot.  You will show more value to the reader by listing your accomplishments instead.  No easy task, but well worth the effort.
  6. Don’t include an objective.  In this career field, at this level, we know what you want to do.  Save the space for something that sets you apart.
  7. Spell check and proofread.  You are submitting your best representation on your best day, take the time to ensure you are free of self-induced blemishes.
  8. Don’t list your ‘cool’ email.  iminverted@yahoo.com may look good on a business card at the bar, but it doesn’t reflect well professionally.  Ditch the novelty emails.
  9. Don’t include your picture.  There are very strict laws on hiring, and placing your image on your resume reveals details about your sex, age, and ethnicity.  These details cannot be used in the hiring decision and add no value to you.
  10. Don’t get too personal.  It is OK to let your personality shine by including volunteer or other value-added experiences but leave the details about family and other interests off the page.

We look forward to working with you to make sure your resume is recruiter ready.

OBAP conference in Chicago

OBAP conference in Chicago

Coming Up: OBAP conference in Chicago

 

With the Women in Aviation conference in the rear view mirror, the next major event with significant recruiter attendance is the OBAP conference in Chicago in August. Just going to the conference isn’t going to set you apart from the 10,000 qualified applicants in the system, but making an impression will. As you prepare for the trek to ORD, think about two extra things:

  1. Resume presentation.  Do you look professional on paper?  Does the document reflect the accomplishments and contributions you have been making over your career?  Can you effectively sell all of the items that you have listed?
  2. Application status.  Have you applied? Is the application current and correct?  Do you look professional to the reader?

The opportunity to make a good first impression only comes once with a recruiter.  Let us help you make it a positive and impactful experience.