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Welp, CFII complete over here. Now the real challenge starts: Finding a job in a place thats worth living in, where I wouldn't be stuck flying 90 hours a year.

 

So, I've come to the conclusion that a road trip is best. Drive to every place in the region, give them a hard copy, and schmooze. But here is the problem:

 

How do you get in contact with these people prior to visiting? Ive emailed a few ("Hello X I will be visiting your area on 12 DEC, I was looking to meet up with you and talk about the school..."), but haven't gotten any significant responses.

 

So it comes down to networking... The "its not what you know, its who you know" conundrum. But outside of my small school, I really don't know anyone.

 

How does a guy try to build up a network when he's at the first floor? Ive got a great network in my old job (its easy when you're working), but nothing in my new career.

Any tips on the road trip? Scheduling, visits, etc?

Have you seen anyone come in for an in-person resume drop off who made a serious gaffe?

 

 

Thanks yall

 

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Lesson number one; don’t train at a flight school with little or no potential of being hired upon graduation…..

 

Lesson number two; if circumstances prevent you from attending a school with hiring potential, refer to lesson number one…..

 

 

 

However, you’re beyond that so let’s move forward…..

 

Look at the job sites and apply to the company’s looking for pilots within your hour range….. If you are unable to move, then I’d wait until you are able to move before I’d “road-trip” it….. You’ll find, being available at a moment’s notice is key to advancement……..

 

Join Helicopter Association International and refer to their Helicopter Annual which will tell you about the operators wherever you plan on visiting, including their phone numbers, email address, address and most importantly, people’s names. And, I’d visit all of the operator’s wherever you travel, not just schools….

 

Personally, at the entry level, I wouldn’t road trip it until I talked to someone over the phone. Cold-visiting does work, but today, with the decline of the oil sector, jobs, even CFI jobs are scarce…..

 

From the information you’ve provided, I wouldn’t restrict your options. That is, living in a crappy area flying 90 hours a year is better than not flying at all…….. Right?

 

Know this; it’s way easier to get a flying job when you already have a flying job……

 

Good luck….

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Doing a road trip to meet in person is an excellent idea; definitely leaves a strong impression when you hand deliver a resume. As for getting in contact with prospective employers prior to passing through their area; I would research who the chief pilot or lead CFI is and then call the business and politely request to speak to them. If you are polite, don't come across as pushy or arrogant and are tactful in your initial introduction the CP should be able to spare a few minutes. Keep in mind that your goal is not to sell yourself over the phone; simply inform them you will be in the area and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet in person.

 

If you can't reach someone in advance, I see nothing wrong w/ showing up without an appointment, during normal operating hours. In this situation it's a bit like fishing; not expecting to catch anything but you might get a bite. Sitting in the waiting room for 3 hours while you patiently wait for an opportunity to talk to the CP says a lot about how much you want the job.

 

Should be obvious, but professionalism is critical. Dress appropriately, be well organized and have your flight bag ready in the car; be prepared to immediately follow up w/ a flight interview. That means showing up w/ the appropriate charts, knowing the frequencies, airspace, weather and notams. In addition to aircraft specs (even if you've never flown the type, you can dig up the POH online or ask around).

 

Also, cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be humble when dealing w/ potential employers. Working with an experienced aviator who is arrogant is frusturating. Dealing w/ a rookie who thinks they knows everything is absolutely infuriating; I have seen quite a few candidates kill their chances because of their egos.

 

Good luck!

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Hi Brady, I saw your post on my road trip thread and I posted the results here http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/topic/19784-is-the-magic-number-2000-now/page-3 because that conversation was relevant at the time. Post 54. Anyway I did not call ahead of time except in the cases when the operator was located behind a TSA security fence. I was extremely humble and did not frame the conversation in terms of looking for a job but trying to meet people in the industry, what they look for when hiring and how I could make myself more desirable to them as a pilot. This wasn't on the flight instructor level but I think it would work there as well.

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What works for one may not work for another and vice-versa.

 

- Couldn't live off $500/mo

 

- Company went out of business 2 weeks before start date

 

- Too old to work 12 hours a day without a break

 

,..yep that's 3 :D

Edited by r22butters
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Was this an instructing position, tours, ag or something else? I'm good with my current job, but I'd like to know which jobs require differnt workloads.

Entry level tours in a 44, but that was probably just the one company, I suspect that others would treat you more humanly,...?

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Butters, no offense, but your advice is basicly what not to do. You've done everything the wrong way, have managed to bumble in to 3 job offers that i know of and still aren't employed.

I've been thinking about this and well...

 

I'm 45 and every job I've had since I was 16, from flipping pizzas, to waiting tables, to checking in golfers, to driving boxes around for Fedex, to driving a semi, was acquired the same way,...simply answering a job ad, then getting an interview.

 

Even those first two flying jobs were offered to me after simply answering a job ad, then getting an interview.

 

Only that third job required a "different" approach. I interviewed with them three different times over three different years (the first two times from simply answering a job ad) then that third interview was obtained through networking on facebook!

 

So persistence and networking got me that job!

 

The only things that didn't work for me were Helisuccess, Heliexpo, cold calling, and just showing up to hand deliver a resume. Now I'm not saying don't do those things, I'm just saying they never worked for me. A road trip is fine, but not everyone who does it finds a job.

 

I may have bumbled into three job offers, but I did it using a tried and true method that has worked for me for almost thirty years now,...but it might not work for you?

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Networking for dummies.

 

1. Who do you know to direct you?

Who do you know who knows somebody to direct you?

Who do you know who knows somebody who knows somebody...

If there are no names in those lists, start working. The list can't be too long.

2. Have you approached your flight school personnel? Instructing wasn't something that I wanted to do forever, but it kept groceries and I met people from around the world. Mostly Americans, but also South Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians, Australians and different phases of the industry. The school I worked was small but did a little of everything, except 135. We (they) interacted with the aviation community at large. Perhaps that's unusual?

 

3. I also took road trips, much more challenging before the information age. Spent lots of time, mileage, grippin' and grinnin'. A history in cold call sales made it easier, but a professional, respectful, eager to learn ability to carry on a meaningful conversation works without sales experience. As a newly minted civilian CFI I knew SQUAT about how the civilian world worked. Returned to CFI-ing where I eventually crossed paths with somebody who knew somebody which led to PHI, but it could have been anywhere on the planet. Being an idiot, I knew people in the Gulf, but never contacted them at that point.

 

4. I think I would approach Helisuccess like a condensed, pre-structured road trip. It might not produce this time, or next time or even the time after that, but you will meet people and learn about the industry. Eventually it will work, the salesman in me says the only sale you don't make is the one you don't work for.

 

5. "r22butters' (forum name should be capitalized?) offers many lessons, for instance keep on keepin' on; not every job is a keeper. But don't let the barsads ever beat you. Quit on your own terms and own that decision.

Edited by Wally
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If you want to know how to find helicopter pilot jobs, listen to people who’ve applied for, and were hired as pro helicopter pilots…. Ultimately, more than just ONE job…

 

Otherwise, it's kinda like seeking financial advice from a homeless person.....

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick update- I took a little vacation with my girlfriend to Portland. I emailed/called 6 operators in the area. 3 got back to me- 1 great phone call, 2 great meetings. No one offered me a job (they werent hiring, and they have a good pool to hire from right now... all reasonable answers), but I got a lot of great insight.

 

Second thing- One of the Chief Pilots I spoke to made a specific point that they do a little social media research on their candidates (to include Facebook and FORUMS). They dont want a guy spouting off negativity/violation stories/badmouthing companies. So new guys- be careful of how you conduct yourself in the small world of aviation. Hopefully that guy reads this some day and notices what a positive, non-trash-talking guy I am...

 

So nothing yet, but I'm just getting started.

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Second thing- One of the Chief Pilots I spoke to made a specific point that they do a little social media research on their candidates (to include Facebook and FORUMS). They dont want a guy spouting off negativity/violation stories/badmouthing companies. So new guys- be careful of how you conduct yourself in the small world of aviation...

 

 

True dat!
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Second thing- One of the Chief Pilots I spoke to made a specific point that they do a little social media research on their candidates (to include Facebook and FORUMS). They dont want a guy spouting off negativity/violation stories/badmouthing companies. So new guys- be careful of how you conduct yourself in the small world of aviation. Hopefully that guy reads this some day and notices what a positive, non-trash-talking guy I am...

 

I'm involved with global recruitment (not aviation related) of a specialized industry and can say this has been common in almost all companies we deal with.

 

I'm constantly amazed at how many potential employees have very unfavorable social media footprints and know for a fact such data does affect an individuals chance of being hired so that's a great bit of advice there.

 

It wont be too long before the majority of employers in any industry you care to pick use the same techniques to filter out their applicants lists.

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It wont be too long before the majority of employers in any industry you care to pick use the same techniques to filter out their applicants lists.

Now I know why most pilots I ask if they're on VR say they've never heard of it!

 

,...should've said I was avbug. :D

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Lesson number one; don’t train at a flight school with little or no potential of being hired upon graduation…..

 

Lesson number two; if circumstances prevent you from attending a school with hiring potential, refer to lesson number one…..

 

 

 

However, you’re beyond that so let’s move forward…..

 

Look at the job sites and apply to the company’s looking for pilots within your hour range….. If you are unable to move, then I’d wait until you are able to move before I’d “road-trip” it….. You’ll find, being available at a moment’s notice is key to advancement……..

 

Join Helicopter Association International and refer to their Helicopter Annual which will tell you about the operators wherever you plan on visiting, including their phone numbers, email address, address and most importantly, people’s names. And, I’d visit all of the operator’s wherever you travel, not just schools….

 

Personally, at the entry level, I wouldn’t road trip it until I talked to someone over the phone. Cold-visiting does work, but today, with the decline of the oil sector, jobs, even CFI jobs are scarce…..

 

From the information you’ve provided, I wouldn’t restrict your options. That is, living in a crappy area flying 90 hours a year is better than not flying at all…….. Right?

 

Know this; it’s way easier to get a flying job when you already have a flying job……

 

Good luck….

Spike- Can you shoot me a link to the rotor annual? I cant seem to find it.

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Spike- Can you shoot me a link to the rotor annual? I cant seem to find it.

 

I believe they will send it to you when you join (at least you used to). They also were distributed at HeliExpo as well. Apparently, there is a smartphone app at: rotor.com/mobile. I've never used it but it's worth a try.....

Edited by Spike
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