Figuring out how to find work as a corporate pilot can be tricky. At BizJetJobs, we talk to job-seeking corporate, charter, and contract pilots every day. We also have daily conversations with employers looking for the right fit. Over time, we've noticed several misconceptions that even the most experienced corporate pilots believe, and spread. These common myths about the pilot job search process can derail even a Top Gun. In this article, we debunk five of the biggest myths about finding a corporate pilot job.
Myth 1: My type ratings and experience alone will get me a job
If you’ve been flying for a while, you might think you can rely on your experience to get your next job. Although the right type ratings and experience can get you in the door for a job interview, it’s not the only factor that hiring managers look at when deciding who they want to hire. Over and over again, we hear "we hire for attitude and train for aptitude," from top pilot employers. Having the right experience or type ratings doesn’t demonstrate you’re good at what you do, it just demonstrates you’ve been doing it for a long time. Impressing a hiring manager by explaining how your skills and talent are relevant, and can benefit their company specifically is top-of-mind of for hiring managers.
Myth 2: I didn't hear back because the employer isn't interested
Submitted a job application, only to hear crickets? Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Keep applying for jobs. But don't despair. HR is often receiving hundreds of resumes for the same position. Also, think about it. Companies on a big hiring binge are often understaffed. They get swamped, and things take time. If you don’t hear back, don’t take it personally. It has nothing to do with you. But do follow up with the hiring manager or HR, and continue applying to other jobs online. When you're looking for a job, you're in sales mode and your product is yourself. Sales is about quality of the product, but it's also about quantity of contacts you make. Put simply, given the state of aviation these days, you have to hustle.
Myth 3: They posted the job online, so all I need to do is hit "Submit"
It’s true: your resume will often be uploaded into a company’s Applicant Tracking System or ATS, which means it’s searchable to internal recruiters for every job posting at that company going forward. But you always look better as an applicant if you take the time to tailor both your application and resume to each position. Be sure to answer every single requirement in the job posting in your resume and cover letter. If using an ATS, the employer will screen resumes for words related to the job in question. If you look closely at the job posting, these terms will be there. So, if your resume doesn't reflect the language used in the job posting and the company is using an ATS, there’s a chance it didn’t pass this initial test. It many never make it to HR or into the hiring manager's or Chief Pilot's hands. Just as you want your future employer to show they care by calling you back, show them you care and have done your research. Make both resume and cover letter relevant to the position and the people at the company you're applying to, and you'll have a much better shot every time.
Myth 4: There's a hiring slow down right now
It's true. Everything from recruitment cycles to seasonality to a global pandemic can affect hiring. But at BizJetJobs we've found that the gears rarely, if ever, grind to a halt. If you’re serious about finding a new pilot job, you should always be looking and applying to job postings. Have a dream position? You never know when the opening could pop up. A pilot could quit unexpectedly. The company might need to fill the role immediately, regardless of time of year. Searching for jobs when others are not also gives you an edge on your competition. A lot of people stop looking for jobs during summer and over the winter holidays. Even though there may be fewer openings, there are also fewer people applying for these jobs.
Myth 5: I'm too old, inexperienced, ___ (fill in the blank)
Whether you’re unemployed, in a job you hate, or dealing with stagnation, it can be easy to believe any number of adjectives about yourself. A negative attitude about yourself will crush your job search more than anything else, every time. To overcome self-doubt, step back and think broadly about your experience and interests. Focus on your skills, then look for ways to use them right now. Take some volunteer work, or try flying contract for a while. Both can be valuable networking tools that could land you the next job of your dreams. Are you an employer with thoughts, questions, or comments about hiring a good corporate pilot? Are you a pilot wanting to know more about the corporate pilot hiring process? If you're not a BizJetJobs.com Member yet, it's time to join! Click here to start your search. Or, reach out to us directly at (402) 253-7809(9am-5pm M-F EST) with questions. We're here to help!