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Resumes * you folks looking for jobs


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Hey all,

 

I have been talking to many people over the past few months about CFI positions.

 

At last count i have around 57 resumes in a file from just the past four months. I try to talk with all of the prospective candidates, even tho some have less than 150 hours, and have met some very cool and sincere folks. I have been thinking about posting to try and help some of you that are searching for jobs. I'm sure this has been done before but expect that things have changed somewhat and would like to help if i can.

 

I would love to see one or more of you take this on as a side profession (Kodoz), to mentor people and teach them how to produce terrific resumes and successful interviews... i know it's done in the fixed wing side and done well for good money.

 

Hopefully some of you that are in the same position as i and will also chime in.... I'd love to hear from Mike and/or Lyn as their stuff is golden!!

 

The first thing that i tell everyone is that, now days especially, you have to get in front of the people that you want to work for. PERIOD! I know the thought of spending money that you don't have to fly or drive to a place on the chance that you might get a job is difficult.. but the bottom line is that these folks have lots of resumes on their desk and they have to SEE your face to know who you are. I have a great story about a guy, actually a member of this form, that went to a major operator the year before he had the minimums for hire, he told the Chief Pilot that he would be back for the job when he had the hours.. THEN, when he was ready, moved to the city and told the CP he was there when he needed him. Even tho the CP didn't really didn't have a slot, he hired the guy.. because of his conviction!!!

 

If you can't travel to get in front of the people you want to work for, there are some suggestions i can give you (and hopefully others can add their ideas) that might help you out in your mission.

 

The best resumes that i've seen had really nice cover letters. First, I want to know about the person... not about the pilot. I took a really good friend of mine to meet a recruiter last year, and after his check ride over a beer i asked my recruiter friend (the CP for a major operator) how my buddy flew.. his reply was short but poignant, he said "i don't really care how they fly, most pilots with 1500 hours can fly helicopters just fine, i first care about the person; does he make good decisions, is he happy, can he communicate, will he fit on my team".. I totally agree with him now that i'm in a similar position; it's mostly about the person and how they will work with our team (of course i care about the piloting skills, so don't go there).

 

so, that being said; take the time to write a good cover letter. Tell the operators who you are, why you fly, what you want, how you work, do you have goals, do you have a family, why you want to work for the operator, when will you move on... help them to get to know you!

 

to back up a little, if you don't think you can put together a great resume, get some help... do some research, talk to people that have gotten hired, even hire someone to write it for you... sending out a poor resume is just a waste of time.. there are some people that specialize in this; one of my really good friends went to a lady that preps people in the aviation business for job interviews.. you may scoff, but think about it; you go to dentists for your teeth, auto shops for your cars, roofers for your roof, why wouldn't you hire someone to help you thru the most important time of your career??? (Mike got hired for EMS with less than 2k hours btw)! One of my best pilots took a course during his tenure at a four year school that spent the whole semester teaching the class how to successfully approach job interviews.. he now has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and says that the course was the best part of the whole degree.

 

There are also some really good recruiters out there that place pilots in jobs... get serious..

 

On your resumes:

 

At the least, do a search on line and get some formats. Don't just throw something together in a hurry, believe me they would rather get it a day late than get one that's not put together well (i have never thrown a resume in the trash, but i know some that do if they don't pass the first inspection!).

 

Spell check!! enough said! No, i changed my mind... Check your spelling and grammar and then do it again!!

 

Make sure the lines all match and there are no paragraphs out of wack; the first thing that goes thru my mind is; do they do a preflight in the same way that they put this together??

 

When you put your hours/times/experience down, don't just list the hours in type.. when i look at that i want to know more info.. for instance;

 

"455 hours R44 time"

 

is that time dual, solo, instruction, cross country, at what altitude, at what airport, in what conditions? What type of R44 was it??? Astro, Raven I, Raven II.. all of this is important to the operator.. and yes i can call you and ask, but if the info is there and it matches my needs i am much more inclined to look farther if i see it on first glance.

 

I know some of you are thinking; "a resume should be one or two pages", yeah, ok, so get the info out in a concise format.. but get as much in there as you can.

 

Objective: tell us what your goals are.. make them clear, even if it takes a few sentences.. tell us who you are and what you want. (if an operator doesn't care what you want you may not want to work for them).

 

If you have one hour or .5 hours in a 130 or such, tell us what that is.. when i see this my first thought is that you interviewed for a tour op and didn't get hired... that raises questions much more than gives creditability unless you explain.

 

If you went to the Robbie course, or any other factory course put that down. If you have other skills, like web site development or management, i want to know about it.. this stuff is important.

 

I know some of you are young, but i don't really care about your high school information. That space could be used for other more important issues.

 

References; i know some people say to not to include them with your first copy, but i like seeing them.. especially since this is such a small industry and we all know each other..

 

One or two pages: i would much rather see more pages with more info.. even three with a cover letter..

 

Weight: i know this is taboo, but this is helicopters and i think it's important to list it. It's not a big deal but weighs in a little! (pun), it's especially important at high altitude in the summer.

 

I know this is controversial but it will be more important as time goes on;

You might consider having your own web site, or listing your face book page and/or forum user names.. this could help someone really get to know you quickly.. and if you don't want them to see who you are then you probably wouldn't be considered anyway. In my past profession many people would hire companies to produce DVDs about their experience and the difference they made in the business... my peers would spend thousands of dollars on these digital resumes.. you could do one over a weekend on your own website... for free, if you don't know how to do it call the nearest college and ask for someone that does.. look on Craig's list.. find someone to help you!!!

 

in closing i know that i just touched on some stuff, but it's important, and i think that there is hope for those of you that really want to be a part of this industry... if that's you, then keep your chin up and don't ever, ever give up.

 

i hope this helps..

 

aloha,

 

dp

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This type of advice is golden because it's coming from somebody who is actually looking at resumes. Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts Dennis.

 

I worked with Lyn on the resumes eBook on this site. One of the good things about that book is that Lyn contacted (or put me in contact with) the chief pilots that will also be looking at your resume. Learning how to write a good resume is worth the time, effort, and expense, considering that you have tens of thousands of dollars tied up in your training, and are looking for a return on that.

 

I'll amend what Dennis said about 2 things: weight and the Facebook/Forums/Web Site comment.

 

If you're applying for a CFI position flying an R22, you should include your weight, especially if you're light. Just keep your personal info to weight though.

 

I use LinkedIn for my professional networking. It's not as...prone to exposing some awkward gaff as the other social networking sites. It also helps guide you about what is appropriate (education and work history) and what might not be appropriate (relationship status, religion, political leanings) for your professional image. Like anything else, whatever social networking you use, make sure you use it in a way that helps your cause.

 

Also, this is probably the best bit of advice in Dennis' post, and don't want it to get overlooked:

 

if the info is there and it matches my needs i am much more inclined to look farther if i see it on first glance.

 

If you've done a good job on your resume and cover letter, the info that matches an employer's needs will be right there and will entice them to keep looking at your resume. If they have to search for the info that is relevant to them, they may move on to another resume, or they may make inferences about you (inconsiderate, impulsive, didn't bother to research company, poor communication skills...).

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This is just brilliant! Thanks so much. I like what you said about quality over quantity. Most people will say "1 or 2 pages." Yeah, it's great to be concise, but if you can't convey the "quality" in that limited space, go further!

 

I also like what you wrote about seemingly unrelated skills such as web design. At the very least, it shows that you aren't just a master of one thing (flying), but of several. It shows dedication and drive.

 

I'm revamping my resume this month, and will be taking a lot of this to heart. Thank you! I'm very motivated to do this now.

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I use LinkedIn for my professional networking. It's not as...prone to exposing some awkward gaff as the other social networking sites. It also helps guide you about what is appropriate (education and work history) and what might not be appropriate (relationship status, religion, political leanings) for your professional image. Like anything else, whatever social networking you use, make sure you use it in a way that helps your cause.

 

 

I will second that. LinkedIn is really great, and 100% geared towards professionals. In fact, what do you guys think about creating another thread where we can give each other our LinkedIn URLs?

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You know its kind of wierd, about three and a half years ago I had my one (and only), face-to-face, interview. He said he had chosen me, and one other guy, out of three hundred resumes. Back then, however, my resume was practically empty. It pretty much just had: 400TT, 40hrs. R44, where I trained, and my current (non-flying) job.

 

Since then I have done a few "time building" jobs, flown four additional models (two of which were turbine), and flown through more diverse areas. I think my resume looks pretty good now (I certainly have more worth while experience), especially for a guy who has only around 600TT, and could not be a CFi. And yet of the ten other non-CFi jobs which I have found since then, I have only had like four 'phone' interviews, three of which were from the same company (one a year for the past three).

 

I don't know? It just seems weird. :huh:

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The best resumes that i've seen had really nice cover letters. First, I want to know about the person... not about the pilot. I took a really good friend of mine to meet a recruiter last year, and after his check ride over a beer i asked my recruiter friend (the CP for a major operator) how my buddy flew.. his reply was short but poignant, he said "i don't really care how they fly, most pilots with 1500 hours can fly helicopters just fine, i first care about the person; does he make good decisions, is he happy, can he communicate, will he fit on my team".. I totally agree with him now that i'm in a similar position; it's mostly about the person and how they will work with our team (of course i care about the piloting skills, so don't go there).

dp

 

Nice post DP. I can second this. Both my Gulf and EMS flying job phone interviews had nothing to do with flying. They get hundreds of resumes a week. Once you get through the initial screening, it's all personality. They DO want to see how you react.

 

My current employer even takes some of their interviewies to lunch or dinner to see how they respond to others in a more relaxed setting. One story was amuzing, as a prospective employee was having a great interview and was going to be hired until he blurted out a racial slur at a TV program that was on in the restaurant...he didn't get the job.

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If you have one hour or .5 hours in a 130 or such, tell us what that is..

 

 

OK Dennis here goes. I'll be looking for that Denver CFI job in lets say 10 years...so that will be 2020. I have 1 hour of 333 time....kind of a fun ship to fly (what isnt fun to fly!).

 

I currently have 2.8 hours of fixed wing....on my second F/W lesson I did two ILS approaches with full blinders over both windows to 200AGL and popped out looking at the numbers. Guess I'm a fast learner!

 

Oh yeah, you can check me out on VR under "Goldy"..

 

See you in 2020.

 

(Actually, all great ideas DP)

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OK Dennis here goes. I'll be looking for that Denver CFI job in lets say 10 years...so that will be 2020. I have 1 hour of 333 time....kind of a fun ship to fly (what isnt fun to fly!).

 

I currently have 2.8 hours of fixed wing....on my second F/W lesson I did two ILS approaches with full blinders over both windows to 200AGL and popped out looking at the numbers. Guess I'm a fast learner!

 

Oh yeah, you can check me out on VR under "Goldy"..

 

See you in 2020.

 

(Actually, all great ideas DP)

 

NICE!! btw I already have biz cards printed up for you! :-)

 

Glad you added about the fixed wing, and real IFR, really good point. We want to know about that as well, especially flying in areas where the weather can turn on on you in a minute. And you never know, the RW op you are looking at might own, or be looking to own, a fixed wing ac. We actually do own a DA40 that is leased out to a fixed wing op for now and will undoubtedly work it into our program in the future... we have paid extra attention to the dual trained folks.

 

thanks Goldy,

 

dp

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Thank you for the info-

 

One question, what about non helicopter job experience?

 

To keep my resume short, I've simply just listed the title, company I worked for, and the dates I worked there for my non-helicopter job experience. After reading your post, I think I should add it, even if it does take 3 pages.

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks again!

Dan

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No. Here's a more detailed explanation.

 

 

Ok, great input, what are your thoughts on the cover letter? I personally like as much info as i can get and don't really care how many pages the resume is... but, i am not a recruiter for a large operation and have only gotten a "few" resumes compaired to the big guys..

 

dp

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Ok, great input, what are your thoughts on the cover letter? I personally like as much info as i can get and don't really care how many pages the resume is... but, i am not a recruiter for a large operation and have only gotten a "few" resumes compaired to the big guys..

 

dp

 

Absolutely essential for anything other than a face-to-face application. This is the get-to-know you part of your application (just keep it focused on your professional skills). [Detailed answer here], but it'd be really helpful for you to mention things that you've found compelling in cover letters.

 

(Also, note to anybody sending Dennis a cover letter: he's telling you what he wants, and that supersedes any other advice you get. That's true for any employer--there was a flight school owner here that was adamant about getting a photo with resumes, otherwise he wouldn't bother looking at them. Usually this is a no-no, but knowing that that's what this guy wants is permission to break the rules.)

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RkyMtnHI,

You stated "The first thing that i tell everyone is that, now days especially, you have to get in front of the people that you want to work for. PERIOD! I know the thought of spending money that you don't have to fly or drive to a place on the chance that you might get a job is difficult.. but the bottom line is that these folks have lots of resumes on their desk and they have to SEE your face to know who you are." What about doing this by webcam if you can not make the trip to be there in person? Any ideas or input on this would be great. Thanks,

 

Steve

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RkyMtnHI,

You stated "The first thing that i tell everyone is that, now days especially, you have to get in front of the people that you want to work for. PERIOD! I know the thought of spending money that you don't have to fly or drive to a place on the chance that you might get a job is difficult.. but the bottom line is that these folks have lots of resumes on their desk and they have to SEE your face to know who you are." What about doing this by webcam if you can not make the trip to be there in person? Any ideas or input on this would be great. Thanks,

 

Steve

 

 

Hey Steve,

 

this is a really good idea and i'm glad that you brought it up. i know a guy that did exactly that just a week ago.. he had an interview on SKYPE... what a perfect way for them to get to know you a little and you them..

 

thanks,

 

dp

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Rocky,

 

I have been on both sides of the desk and have a few observations to make. One page resumes work best. Too many times the 2nd page gets lost in the shuffle. In my experience most of the people who do more than one page are either military pilots or guys going for their first job. And in both these cases, most of the items included on their resumes are unimportant.

 

For you military guys, we don't need to know every base/post you were stationed at and every additional duty you held. We all know that you will have gotten stuck as the Asst. Kiss the CO's A$$ Officer and the Asst. Jr. Enlisted Social Disease Control Officer, etc. You don't need to list them. Things like Maintenance Control, Power Plants Officer, Operations Officer, etc do list as they have something to do with flying. Liaison Officer duty or similar duties you may list also as they show other areas of knowledge that an employer may want to tap.

 

As for listing aircraft flown. It just takes up room on the resume. If I don't operate it, I really don't have an interest in knowing about it. Exceptions would be similar types. Like if I operate a EC130 and you have EC135 time. However, I do want to know what type of aircraft you have flown for your previous employers. I want to see what you have flown to earn a living.

 

While we are discussing previous employers, list what city and state they are in. Cause there could be more than one XYZ Helicopters.

 

A good thing to keep in mind is that the bigger the company is, the more likely the first person to see your resume will be the HR secretary. This person may or may not (more likely) know much about aviation. It has been my experience that the secretary will weed out people who do not meet the requirements of the position.

 

So list all your certificates and ratings. List your medical, radio license and passport if you have them. I know that you are thinking, 'we don't need a radio license anymore'. You do if you operate internationally. And several operators do. I know of several pilots who were not even interviewed because they don't say they had one.

 

Break down your flight time. I see all too many resumes that just list total time, PIC and turbine time. I may be hiring for a job that has specific requirements.

 

Don't list personal data. Yes, if you are applying for a R22 job, you might want to list weight. But many companies are currently trashing any resume that has personal data on them due to EEOC concerns. This started about 15 years ago with the airlines, but has been creeping downward since.

 

If this is going to be your first flying job, show at least a couple of jobs you have held. I like many employers like to see some work experience. Simple things like work ethic, showing up on time, following policy and procedures, etc.

 

For a new low time pilot, I would consider listing where you trained. After you have a a flying job or two under your belt, forget about doing it. If you took advanced courses, like the HAI mountain course or the like, it might be worth listing in your resume or cover letter.

 

However, the most important item to consider is the directions given for applying for the job. If they employer says fax it, you fax it. If they want it via E-mail, you e-mail it. It is a

TEST..

 

If you can't follow simple instructions, how can an employer expect you to follow company procedures and policy.

Edited by rick1128
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To All applicants for your consideration. What follows is from a check list that I use in talking with new pilots, either for hire or training. Do with it what you may.

 

Initial Pilot Info

1. History of Training

Formal Ground School

Initial Aircraft

Other Aircraft

Transition Training

Total Hours

Turbine Transition Schooling

SL to Mountains

Marine to High Desert

Wet Cold Weather

Maintenance Training

 

2. Factory Schools

 

3. Recurrent Training

Frequency

Last

135

 

Granted, not all of it applies to every situation/resume detail but it is the items I like to go over with a pilot. It gives me an understanding of what I should expect from them competency wise.

 

On another note, always fly to your certificate level!!!!!!!! This is a minimum performance, you should be better as you become experienced. My mentality is that I should always be able to pass a check ride for the rating I hold. I.E. Private, commercial, CFI, etc. Of course, instruments require currency for proficiency.

 

Mike

Edited by Mikemv
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For a new low time pilot, I would consider listing where you trained. If you took advanced courses, like the HAI mountain course or the like, it might be worth listing in your resume of cover letter.

 

Rick's post has lots of good tips (esp re: military pilots), but wanted to point this out for low-time pilots. Where you trained is essential, and any advanced coursework is going to be what sets you apart from the crowd of every other guy who has a CFII and 200 hours in an R22. I'd like to think that a flight school would be impressed seeing that you took the time and spent the money to go to the HAI courses, and would see the immediate value of having somebody with that training on their staff.

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A couple of comments to add to a lot of very sound advice. I've never recruited a pilot, but I have for various other roles.

 

1. Research. You're sat at the best research tool that mankind's ever produced, so use it. You already know to research your prospective employer, but you should also type your name into Google and see what comes out. Then add some obvious keywords ('helicopter' might be a good start) and do it again. You might be surprised by the results (I didn't realise that my namesake was in a film called "Chopper Chicks in Zombieland" until today), and also by how easily they can be manipulated by, for example, making forum posts under your real name. Just make sure they're the constructive ones.

 

2. Network. Trade shows are good places. If you've people that you'd like to speak to, drop them a note a few days before asking whether they'll be there and, if so, if you could buy them a coffee and have a chat. Keep in touch: every so often, pick someone you've not heard from for a few months and give them a ring or drop them a note; if you see something that you think someone might be interested in, send them a link. Make constructive posts and give advice on forums.

 

3. Be moderate. You might sincerely believe that meat really is murder, God genuinely hates fags and/or that Obama is a muslim Marxist who's going to impose Sharia law, but it's best to keep those things to yourself.

 

Lastly, rules are guidelines. For example, I'd add to the debate on resume length that it should be long enough to contain everything of importance that's relevant to your potential employer and no longer, and that this is more important than whether it fits on one, two or three pages.

 

--Dave

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My current employer even takes some of their interviewies to lunch or dinner to see how they respond to others in a more relaxed setting.

 

BFG, This happens in other fields too. I applied for a mech/tech job East of Dallas back in 93' working on fire trucks. I had been called in to interview and take a knowledge exam. Afterwards I was asked to attend lunch with the owner and a ambulance manufacturer rep. I ended up being hired after lunch.

 

 

One time, I filled a state forest service application out. Their generic form. I never was called in to interview. I found that strange since I lived less than 1 mile from the office. It was a fire fighter/fire truck mechanic position and you had to be comfortable riding in planes and helicopters. I had listed I was in helicopter pilot training. I guess they figured I would move on once my training was complete. Strange thing is one of my former co workers was just hired in almost the same job with no experience out of 75 candidates about a month ago. Go figure.

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Hey all, a question came up yesterday that i'd like your input on.. what about putting your age on the resume? I realize that's one of those taboo things.. but i like knowing.

 

just like i like a good cover letter and as much info as i can get.

 

but then i am not going thru 1500 resumes (i think i'd want the same thing then as well).

 

 

dp

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Hey all, a question came up yesterday that i'd like your input on.. what about putting your age on the resume? I realize that's one of those taboo things.. but i like knowing.

 

just like i like a good cover letter and as much info as i can get.

 

but then i am not going thru 1500 resumes (i think i'd want the same thing then as well).

 

 

dp

 

 

Just to be clear, the applicant can offer it, but the employer can't ask it !

 

I'd rather include a photo and make them guess.

 

Goldy

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Just to be clear, the applicant can offer it, but the employer can't ask it !

 

I'd rather include a photo and make them guess.

 

Goldy

 

The employer will get your age information when you fill out an application or your company insurance paperwork.

 

As for the picture, be aware that many companies will have a policy to throw out resumes with pictures on them due to EEOC concerns.

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  • 5 months later...

Hey all,

 

I have been thinking about this subject for a while, and continue to receive resumes almost daily (a sincere thank you to everyone that has been interested in Heli-Ops). There is something that has given some of the applicants an advantage and i wanted to share it with all of you out there that are looking for a job. We have talked about utube, twitter and facebook in the past, but only about the negatives concerned with posting unprofessional stuff. I just interviewed a great candidate in person that i researched over fb for weeks (that is that i watched her posts, and attached photos, and progression thru her training). She lives almost 4000 miles away but i had spoken with her many times via email and instant chatting. When she arrived at Heli-Ops it was like i already knew her. I am currently looking at another applicant that is in Korea.. There are around 200 photos of this CFII on her fb page, which gives me a better idea of who she is.. i can see photos of the type of helicopters that they are flying, where and in what environments.. i can see what they look like, get an idea of their age and weight (things we are not allowed to ask but that are important). I can see their friends and who they hang out with, what type of activities they participate in (sports? are they active and in good shape), do they party too much, many things that i would never know from a paper resume or an email. In fact, just like people follow us on our Heli-Ops fb page, i have followed people thru their career (like John and many other friends), and have gotten to know them on a different level..

 

If you are fighting for a job as many are now days, you need every advantage that you can get... and this is helping me to SEE the people that are applying in a better light. Of course if you have inappropriate stuff on your pages it won't work.. but you should get rid of that stuff NOW anyway as people are using these sites as tools more than ever. You could easily set your fb page up as a virtual resume, add photos and videos.... I would even put it on your paper resume that you are on fb so they know where to look... you wouldn't believe the amazing contacts i have found this way..

 

jmho,

 

dp

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