I have sent a bunch of resumes out and still haven’t heard anything!?

istock_000000474575xsmallIs this something that has happened to you?  Are you constantly scrolling through the job postings at Will Fly for Food and feeling like you aren’t getting anywhere?  In this article, I will try to help you identify potential challenges and make progress in this tough process.

First, consider having a professional resume service review your resume for you. It is not uncommon to miss obvious mistakes on our own resume, and these mistakes can actually cost you the opportunity to interview.  Remember, the recruiters and Chief pilots are looking for any reason to start trimming the stack of resumes on their desks.  Don’t let yours be the one that is passed over.  You want yours to be as close to perfect as possible, so that you increase your chance of obtaining an interview.

Second, when you do see a job posting of interest, it is key that you call upon any and all contacts who might be able to help you obtain a meeting.  If you know people at the company call immediately, as more than likely, each opening will attract a large number of responses.  Utilize friends, business associates, relatives and any networks (such as Linkedin.com) to make contact.   This is no time to be passive, be aggressive with both current contacts, and in making new ones.  Take advantage of the fact that Pilots generally like helping other fellow pilots and now is the time to call upon any connections you may have.

Third, don’t be afraid to tell people you are looking.  Connections can come in the most unexpected places.  For example, I know of a situation where a recently furloughed pilot was getting a picture of a plane framed at his local frame shop.  In striking up a conversation with the shop owner, this pilot learned that the shop owner’s Father ran a charter company, and low and behold, he was able to get an interview.  Keep making contacts and keep networking.

Fourth, make sure you create an articulate, succinct cover letter.  Once you create one cover letter template, then it is just a matter of cutting and pasting the names and addresses of the companies.  Take the time to research the address and the names.  Resumes with a properly written and cover letter have a significantly greater chance of being read than a resume without a cover letter or one with a generic “HR Dept” or “Chief Pilot”.

Lastly, you must set reasonable goals.  The competition for jobs is very tight right now. A large candidate pool is competing for a small number of opportunities  The aviation industry is cyclical and we all know we are now in a major down turn.  Keep sending out your resume, but remember to be realistic.  Recently, GE posted an FO position and in one week they had received over 290 applications.  I am not discouraging you from applying, I am just reminding you to manage your own expectations.

Again take the following job search tips to heart and start doing them today:

* Get your resume reviewed.
* Check in with your current network.
* Expand your network by putting the word out that you are looking.
* Write a professional cover letter.
* Set realistic goals.

I hope this helps with your search.  Please keep an eye out for future articles and feel free to send me an email at Andrew@aviationintervewprep.com or call at Aviation Interview Prep Services LLc at 203-904-3313 with questions.  In addition to writing articles for Will Fly For Food, I am also the founder of Aviation Interview Prep Services, LLC.. We provide individual interview prep coaching for pilots. Feel free to check out our website at: www.aviationinterviewprep.com.  My team can help you with resume/cover letter writing, interview preparation, and even SIM preparation. Contact me if we can help!