How can you know for sure that you're making a great impression on a hiring manager? When writing your pilot's resume, you'll have to not only follow a specific format. You'll need to stand out among the stack of resumes he or she has already been through. During your pilot's interview, in addition to getting a handle on your nerves, you must choose your words carefully. On both your pilot's resume and in your interview, if you get that far, you'll need to differentiate yourself. One of the best ways to do so is by providing tangible evidence of your talents and skills. As a pilot, you're used to the tangible. What type ratings do you have? How many hours? Are you current in the desired aircraft? But providing tangible evidence of your other talents means getting really good at a skill you might not be as familiar with: storytelling. HR often hears generic statements like these:
- "I'm self-motivated."
- "I have strong communication skills."
- "I'm great at managing my time."
- "I have excellent leadership skills."
- "I work well with others."
Unfortunately, your hiring manager has heard these statements so many times, they typically go in one ear, and out the other. A better approach is to offer specific and unique examples of your accomplishments from past jobs that back up your skills. Instead of telling, on both your resume and your interview, you need to show how you specifically add value. Using specific stories, examples and concrete results helps the interviewer visualize what you could do for their flight department, and their company. They'll want you on their team. Concrete stories trump vague language every time. Great salespeople don't get that way without practice. When you're writing a resume or interviewing for a job, you're selling your unique talents and abilities to a prospective employer. Great salespeople have practiced their spiel over and over. They pull out the pieces of their story that work, and discard the ones that don't. To help prepare for your next job interview, you'll need to practice your story. Here are a few examples of what to say in a job interview that would impress any hiring manager. Use them as inspiration, prepare your own anecdotes, then practice. It’s very hard to craft great anecdotes in the moment, which is why you have to craft them in advance. Write them down, or practice them with a friend.
Focus on results
VAGUE LANGUAGE: “I’m an excellent communicator.” CONCRETE STORY: “In my last role, I initiated weekly standup meetings as a vehicle for improving department-wide communication. I received feedback from my line pilots that our weekly meetings made the flight department a more fun place to work where people felt safe to share their points of view.”
Quantify your achievements
VAGUE LANGUAGE: “I’m a self-starter.” CONCRETE STORY: “In my previous position, I noticed that the department could save a lot on fuel using some relatively simple practices. I sought out the least expensive locations to purchase fuel, encouraged pilots to negotiate ramp fees, and educated the department with a seminar on fuel saving programs (CAA & Contract fuel programs) that I developed myself. I involved all pilots in making fuel-saving decisions about altitudes, routes and power settings. With a continual eye toward minimizing the weighted average cost per gallon, I was able to save the flight department an average of 30% on fuel costs during the 24 months I was employed there.”
Highlight positive feedback you’ve received in the past
VAGUE LANGUAGE: “I’m a team player.” CONCRETE STORY: “Something that has been really consistent throughout my career is the positive feedback I get from my co-workers, vendors, and bosses. In my last peer review, I received top marks from all my peers. I was named Employee of the Month by management and received several letters from clients thanking me for my attention to detail.” You can find more Pilot Job Resume and Interview Tips on our previous blog post, How to Demonstrate Your Value.