The Role of Attitude in the Hiring Process

My wife is in the food and beverage industry and there is a hiring mantra in that business that says ‘hire for attitude, train for skill.’ This doesn’t work perfectly in aviation, but it does have striking comparisons.

All pilots have a skill set that, for the most part, is fairly similar.  PIC, SIC and total time all have different numerical values for each of us, but we all have numbers in those boxes.  Attitude is a completely different animal and is not translated well on paper by most pilots. We traditionally sell ourselves short with regards to job-related performance and recognition of characteristics that make us unique.  Attitude is everything to an employer and airlines are no exception.  Simply ‘performing the duties of Captain/First Officer for airline XYZ’ says absolutely nothing to the reader of your resume about what you do that makes you different.

In my last few posts, I have focused on what NOT to do or say, so I thought I would start off the new year with some things that you SHOULD be saying on your resume. It can be summarized in two words.  Action Verbs.  Here is a link to another great article that has a wonderful list of action verbs.

Very few of you will get an opportunity to meet with an airline this year. Those of you who do will want to leave the airline with a fantastically written document that encourages a closer look at you.  For those who won’t have the opportunity for face time, your only avenues to make an impression are your resume and application.  When you are writing descriptions of what you have done or are currently doing, don’t be afraid to use action verbs to help describe your positions, accomplishments, and accolades.  These words will generate interest in your work and will most certainly set you apart from other applicants who are simply ‘working for an airline’.

2016 is projected to continue to be a very competitive year for pilot hiring, and recruiters and managers want to know what it is about you that makes you different from the other applicants on file. Take the time to make an impactful statement about who you are, what you do, and most importantly how you will add value to your next airline.