GOOSE Recruitment speak with Pilots every day and some of which are Pilots that are in the early stages of their career. A couple of the most common questions we get asked by low hour Pilots are:
“What can I do to get a job as a Pilot?”
“How am I going to move my career forward?”
Watch this interview with CEO & Founder of GOOSE Recruitment, Mark Charman who gives advice on what low hour Pilots can do to help them progress in their career as a Pilot:
Securing your first Pilot job or moving forward in your career will not be achieved by doing just one thing. A combination of tried and tested elements will contribute to you securing that first Pilot job. Here are our top tips to help you progress in your career as a Pilot and get your dream Pilot job:
1. Remain selective about who you apply to work for
It is not a good idea to take a scattergun approach when applying for Pilot jobs. Even if you meet the selection criteria for many roles on the market, be selective about what Pilot jobs you apply for. We like to think of this as the L’Oreal effect ‘Because I’m worth it’. You really are worth applying for only the top Pilot jobs that will suit your life and career goals best.
It is also worth noting that some airlines will only take applications from individuals every 6 months, so if you are on the cusp of meeting the requirements, we would advise that you wait until you have met the requirements, just in case your application is rejected. You don’t want to have to wait a further 6 months to apply again when you have managed to meet the requirements.
2. Make sure you have a great CV
There is a lot of competition for low hour Pilot jobs and you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Standing out in a really good way is crucial and your CV will be one of the first things a potential employer will receive from you, so you will want to make a great impression. We have covered everything you need to know in our guide ‘Pilots – How to make your CV stand out from the crowd’ for our top tips on CV writing.
3. Tailor your applications
As previously mentioned, we do not advise any Pilot to apply for every Pilot job on the market. You will need to spend time on each application tailoring it to the airline and role. You shouldn’t just have a generic application, CV or covering letter. Tailor each of these elements to every individual position you are applying for. There is nothing worse than an airline receiving an application with the wrong airline or position on it. Not tailoring your experience, your skills or education to each application will do you no favours in the application process.
4. Do your research
Showing airlines that you have gone the extra mile in the application process can be achieved by doing more research. Applying for fewer jobs, but spending more time on each application, thoroughly researching the airline and building a great base knowledge of them will put you in a great position for a future interview.
Ensure you know the basic HR information before you go any further in the application process. Find out the hours you will be working, the healthcare package, bonuses etc. before you get to the interview stage. These are not the type of questions you want to be asking in an interview.
5. Be fully prepared for interviews
Great preparation before an interview goes a long way to feeling confident and in control and able to deal with the unexpected. Ensure you have practised your answers to commonly asked questions at the interview.
Remember, it is also quite common to be asked to Group Interviews, so ensure you have read our advice on 'How Pilots can successfully fly through Group Interviews'.
Always ask for a glass of water, it’s a good ice breaker, will help you slow down your speech and also nerves can give you a dry mouth and an unwanted frog in your throat so again – be prepared.
6. Ask great questions in your interview
As someone applying for Pilot Jobs, when you are invited to interview, you will expect to be asked questions by your interviewer. Yes, you will be asked questions, but in reality, the airline or recruiter will expect you to ask them questions too.
If you go to interview and fail to ask any questions, your questions are really poor, or maybe you only have a couple of questions, this won’t represent you very well. In our experience, airlines expect to be asked some really good questions during the interview process. So, what sort of questions should candidates ask?
There are two groups of questions:
Credibility building questions
The interview is not really the place to be asking basic HR questions. As previously mentioned, you should have done this earlier in the application process. You really don’t want to be asking ‘how many days holiday will I be getting?’, ‘what will my healthcare benefits be?’, ‘what will the hours be?’. The interview is not the place to be asking those questions. If you are working with a recruiter or even applying directly to an airline, you really should have been able to ascertain those answers prior to the interview.
The interview is all about selling yourself. So you need to ask some really good credibility building questions.
Credibility building questions are questions that demonstrate that:
You have done your research on the airline and the opportunity
You know your stuff
So what sort of questions might you ask that demonstrate that you have done your research and that you know your stuff?
As an example, you might want to make reference to a particular aircraft that the airline is flying. “I see that you fly x aircraft” you may then make some particular reference to that aircraft that demonstrates your knowledge and experience. You might also make reference to the range of that aircraft or the technical challenges or benefits associated with it. The point is, you are demonstrating that you have researched the aircraft that they fly as well as more research on the actual aircraft. You are building your own credibility – you are building the credibility of your knowledge and your own research.