Now that you've decided to leap into one of the most prestigious careers in the world, it’s time to get onto the first rung of the career ladder. But what does it take to craft an epic CV that will make airline companies leap to hire you?
Thousands of potential pilots and aerospace engineers graduate every year. To soar above the crowd, you need a CV that best narrates who you are and highlights your value to your employer. Let's look at how to craft the kind of CV that will help you connect with your dream airline or aircraft manufacturer.
We are living in a world in which any scrap of information is only a Google search away. Take a look at the websites of your new potential employer, search for news that has made headlines, and if possible, google your interviewer. If you find anything in your experience that might particularly interest them, add it to your cover letter.
Remember that flying and engineering vocations require a lot of careful calculation and problem-solving skills, so researching your employer beforehand is a simple task in comparison.
If you're applying for several different jobs with different companies, it's best practice to create several different CVs, each one tailored towards a different company.
It may seem like common sense, but you'll be surprised how many applicants rush into sending CVs without due diligence. As a side note, make sure to read the job spec clearly and tailor your CV to match the tone and language used within. Your interviewer will be using their employee requirements as a hiring guide, and you must tick all the boxes.
According to CV experts at PurpleCV, you shouldn't try to sell yourself too much, as it can come off as arrogant. However, when writing a CV for the Aviation industry, you need to find the right balance.
The hotspot of any CV is the top and middle area of the first page. You should set your strengths and critical skills at the head of the CV so that they are the first things a potential interviewer will see. Make sure that these attributes are proven with examples like academic/qualification achievements and work experience, and use robust evidence to back up your claims. It’s important to be honest about your achievements when applying for Aviation positions, as these involve high-security roles with a wealth of background checks.
The Aviation industry can be tough to get into, as the required qualifications are difficult to achieve and must be continuously updated. Many skills are mandatory; a small mistake on the job can have drastic consequences for carriers, passengers and communities.
Include all certificates (such as EWIS, Safety, Human Factors), type ratings and licenses (such as A330, B757) in the qualifications section. Be sure to mention hours flown on the specific type, jet-hours and second in command time.
Every pilot, engineer and technician in the making has a unique selling point (USP). Incorporating your unique skill/knowledge in your CV will make you stand out immediately from other applicants.
Your USP should be something that you're incredibly good at. Maybe you're the kind of person who won't rest until you've found the solution to a problem, or your empathy and communication skills give you the ability to manage and work well with others.
Carefully tailor your USP to the company you are aiming to join. If you can, relate these USPs to a problem or issue your potential employer is facing, and speak about this in your job interview.
If you have additional skills and any language fluency, these will add extra backing to your CV and further cement a positive image of you in the mind of your hiring manager.
Don’t burden your hiring manager with convoluted words, jargon and clichés. Your potential employer has so many CVs to choose from when recruiting in a very competitive industry. Let your CV be clear, simple and to the point, and avoid repetition whenever possible.
Use a basic, user-friendly font like Arial or Calibri, to increase readability. Since many employers peruse CVs digitally, don't be afraid to add links to your professional profiles like LinkedIn, blogs and publications that you have contributed to.
A cover letter is a vital document to compliment your CV. This letter must explain the value you would add to the particular job you are applying for.
Synchronize your cover letter and CV and make these work for each other. Keep the facts and details consistent – a contradiction will make you appear dishonest or clumsy at best, and could harm your chances (especially for a job where thousands of potential lives are on the line, every single day).
A good cover letter is polite, positive and enthusiastic. Thank your potential employer for taking the time to read your application and make things personal. Has flying a plane been a childhood dream of yours? Were you inspired by a great teacher to become an engineer? The cover letter is the place to tell your story in greater detail.
When you’ve finished your CV, ask a trustworthy person to read it through for errors and typos, and also use an online proofreading tool. Before final submission, review it again and ensure that everything matches the job requirements of the vacancy. A little attention to detail can go a long way in landing your dream career.
Want to know more about working in Aerospace & Aviation? VHR interviews a Fighter Jet Pilot.
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