Do you have any tips on how to break into the airline industry as a pilot? I've got all
the necessary certificates, and the required hours have been achieved. My resume is in
place and applications have been sent. With so many pilots looking for those few jobs, do
you have any advice on how to be noticed and not be annoying? The airline companies say
not to contact them after the resume and application are sent. Help! It costs $100.00 per
application. How can this industry be cracked.for employment?
Insider Advice from
The writer doesn't indicate exactly how many hours and what ratings he has. A lot of
pilots have all the ratings but their time is just too low for the majors (United,
American, Delta, etc). These airlines generally are looking for at least 3,500
hours to even qualify for an interview (and of those invited for an interview, about one
in five is hired).
Assuming he has this kind of flying time, there is no
magic way to get the airline to offer an interview. United (for sure), and I believe the
other majors, score the application by computer, and the interview offers are mailed based
on the score. It doesn't matter who you know: if you don't have the Scantron score you
won't get the interview.
Make sure the application is prepared properly (very important) as a sloppy or
inaccurate application will disqualify you immediately. It's worth the money (unless you
have a lot of confidence in your ability to prepare it yourself) to get professional
assistance with the application preparation. There are several options here; see
publications like AIR, Inc and FAPA for the names of specific firms that can help you.
[Headhunter's Note: if you don't know these publications, it's time to meet your local
reference librarian. Get thee to the library.]
If the writer has around 1,500 hrs, he is probably
looking for a job at a commuter airline, which is the best way to get the turbine and crew
time the majors are looking for. The commuters are more chancy on who gets invited to
interview, and with the smaller ones (Great Lakes, Mesa) it pays off to make a pest of
yourself and stop in to the commuter's main operations office to see if you can get in to
see the Chief Pilot.
The larger commuters (American Eagle, SkyWest) operate
more like the majors. Again, AIR, Inc and FAPA are good sources for info on which
commuters are hiring. There is an airline-oriented web site called AEPS (Airline
Employment Placement Service) that is quite reasonably priced, also. You might also check
the Aviation Employment site. [Headhunter's Note: these sites have stopped responding so
we've removed the links. Suggestion: try a search engine.]
There are also several books on the market that help
guide the pilot through the whole process -- available at FBO's and mail order ads in
flying magazines. Hope this helps.
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