My company is hiring. Not a lot of aviation companies are right now. I'm seeing a lot of resumes. Far too many to honestly evaluate every individual one. I understand better than I used to the value of having a friend walk your resume in. But I recommend you apply through the regular channel as well. Somewhere in my office there is a pile of walked-in resumes that I'm not looking at, because I'm working from home, and back when I accepted them, the choice of pilots was not so great.
Now, faced with an inbox full of resumes, I am almost looking for a reason to throw yours aside. Here, let me help you find a job, and some other chief pilot not have to look at your terrible application. Here are some reasons I have hit the delete key:
- not even close to the published job requirements
You're just annoying when you do this. I sometimes want to hit reply and ask the candidate why he is wasting my time. Don't apply blindly to every job. If there's a job you really want when you have enough time, write that chief pilot a letter when they aren't hiring and tell them that's your ambition, that you don't yet have their requirements, but you're working on it. If they give you advice, thank them, take it, and write back again later to thank them for how the advice worked out. I've got a job that way, lacking the required time.
- misspell the name of the company you're applying to
This one is most amusing when coupled with resume claims about your attention to detail. If you really have attention to detail you'll find out how that company likes its name capitalized, and whether they routinely use the Co. or the Inc. If the name is difficult and you copy paste it into to your cover letter, ensure the font and typeface match, so it doesn't look like a Reader's Digest Sweepstakes mailout from the 1980s.
- don't include your types flown with your jobs on the resume
- list yourself as 'pilot' on two crew aircraft
- make me hunt for your hours flown
If you're hiding them, they're probably insufficient. If you don't put them on at all why are we here?
- include the decimals in your hours
That was adorable when you soloed at 10.3 hours but stops once you're looking for a job.
- fail to follow the instructions given in the job ad
If I hire you. I will be giving you instructions. Consider the application to be a short test of whether you are willing and able to follow instructions.
- phone me, phone my colleagues, or physically visit the office
Someone did the last, repeatedly, during a pandemic.
- omit contact information
- use the same cover letter for all employers
I understand there are employers who don't care about cover letters, but I expect the candidate to do some of the work for me there. Rather than me combing through the resume looking for the bits relevant to me, the competent applicant highlights the aspects of their resume that are most relevant to the job, showing how they match each job requirement. The really savvy applicant matches the tone of the letter to that of the ad, brings in more information that shows they know the company, and persuades me they want this job especially. A cover letter applying for a job that doesn't match mine tells me the applicant doesn't want the job I'm hiring for.
- waste any time applying
Not all employers are going to agree with all of these, so if you hire pilots and like what I hate, feel free to say so in the comments. I started off this post blowing off steam, but there are so many really good candidates out there, I don't want them to blow a chance with a poor first impression.
Good luck out there. I might follow up with some strategies I saw on winning resumes and cover letter, or what made us think yes and no during interviews.