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Now What? Aviation Job Search Insights.

Nothing is forever. Things change. That’s just a fact of life. Unfortunately, events and outcomes can alter the need for employees, or need for the same number of employees, as previously required to do the job. Mergers and acquisitions bring in new owners, or create redundancy in flight department personnel and aviation assets. Business directions and resource allocations are dramatically altered. Aircraft get sold. Or alternative methods to access the benefits of business aviation become the new order. Whatever the situation, the result is that people who were once in place now no longer have a place.

Prudent business practices, not to mention personal consideration, dictate assisting valued former employees in order that they can efficiently transition to their next productive roles. Outplacement is frequently provided, but just as often there is no professional assistance available. Without such support, regardless of how skilled or dedicated a pilot or maintenance technician or dispatcher may have been in his or her particular discipline, the majority of people are relatively inexperienced at conducting job searches to obtain their next positions.

Your new job is to get your next job. Don’t make the mistake of waiting to start searching for the next professional opportunity. Immediately prepare a high quality resume that shows your previous titles, briefly describes each past position, and, most importantly, outlines at least two metrics (measurable achievements or accomplishments) that display the value you produced for your employer(s) – and which you bring to your next boss. Then start the process. Time off is time lost when you are searching for work.

The average resume and cover letter usually receive about 20 to 30 seconds of attention. If you can’t effectively tell your story that quickly, the chances of interesting someone enough to speak with you become greatly diminished. The cover letter, while needing to support the resume, also must specifically focus the prospective hiring manager’s attention on the background, experience and value that you bring to the table. Less is always more. Keep both the letter and resume as brief and specific as possible, yet sufficiently comprehensive to communicate your full capability.

The 75 – 25 Rule. Three-fourths of all employment opportunities are never widely advertised. Yet three-fourths of all job seekers focus on the twenty-five percent of the jobs that are posted in one medium or another. Pursuing only this approach yields very low potential for success. That leaves job search networking as, by far, the best possible way to finding your next job more quickly. The added benefit is that there are many less competitors since fewer people are aware of the opportunity.

On a good day, searching for a new job is repetitive, boring, and just plain hard work. The emotional toll is heavy, and the financial burden can be devastating as the search process lengthens. But it is also an opportunity to learn more about yourself, meet others with whom you otherwise would never have come into contact, expand your personal and professional network, and truly grow.