If you love travelling and technology, aviation might just be the career for you. Depending on your level of education and hands-on experience you could work at an airport, on the runway, or within an actual plane, helping thousands of passengers a year get where they’re going comfortably and safely.
You should keep in mind that this isn’t an easy career to enter, however. There is loads of competition, and every time a group of Air Force professionals retire you’ll be competing with them for the best jobs.
Aviation careers involve good pay, exciting travel and the chance to meet all sorts of people, but you’ve got to land that position first.
Here are 5 of the top aviation career preparation tips.
First of all, make sure your resume will stand out from the pack. The recession made things quite difficult for job seekers and potential employers, and now that things have improved a bit there’s a massive backlog of applicants for even the most basic, entry-level position.
How do you get an interview under these conditions? By making sure your resume jumps off the pile, when the hiring manager has literally hundreds of them to review. Try to gain experience that sets you apart, and take the time to adjust your resume for every single application.
Although that will be the first step, don’t forget about the smart phone follow up. You’ve got to become a person to these hiring managers, not just another numbered applicant. That comes from connecting on a human level, and that can only really be done in conversation.
Check in with each company and their process after they’ve had your resume for a week. And make sure you do your homework in advance each time. Understand the business model and values each corporation embraces, and make sure your phone manner is a fit.
When you do get invited in for an interview, buckle down and do some more research. The internet provides a ton of resources to help you prepare to make the best first impression possible. Study up on every company.
Look for blogs and forums populated by aviation professionals. They’ll often share tips and tricks for interviewing with various companies. You might be able to uncover the type of questions that are frequently asked, as well as the sort of people that seem to get employment.
The day of the interview, have a set of bullet points committed to memory. They could ask you any number of questions, and some you’ll be more prepared for than others. But you’ve got to nail the important ones.
Make sure anything personal you may be asked, like why you want to work in aviation in the first place, won’t ever trip you up. If you are confident about your general answers, you should be able to weather the more specific questions with grace.
Finally, don’t forget about those in your current network who can help you prepare for this career. If you went to aviation school, stay in touch with your favorite teachers and the best students in the class. You never know when someone could end up in a position of authority, which might lead to an interview or even a job offer.
You can also lean on the experience gained by those who have preceded you in the field. Continue learning, and ask for support in the form or recommendations when it feels right. The professional world is as much about who you know as what you know, and the right conversation with a trusted friend or associate can take you quite far.