Pilot Career Development

KitDarby.com Pilot Career Development Assistance

Imagine yourself setting forth on a journey – A journey for which you’ve prepared for years. You’ve gathered your supplies and are just about to begin, but one thing is missing—direction. You have a map but are having trouble charting your course.

Sure, you may reach your final destination; however, the journey may take much longer than necessary—that is, of course, if you are fortunate enough to find your way. The journey is your job search, and your final destination is major airline employment.

Our Career Counseling can straighten and shorten your path to your dream job. Our Career Counseling and publications are designed to answer the questions you will encounter during your job search and gives you direction on where to go and what to do in this complicated and often frustrating process. We cannot, however, land you the job of your dreams if you do not do your part—this includes charting your course and navigating your way to success. You will need to be both patient and persistent.

INTERVIEW PREP SECTION – 6-part Prep Package

  • Questions – Questions eBook for Airline Pilot Interviews. Aeronautical knowledge test prep.
  • Résumé review – yes you still need a good resume, for most airline applications/screening processes, job fairs, your recommendations, and the pilots you meet along the way.
  • Cover letter review – Every time you mail or email your résumé you should include a cover letter that states your objective, emphasizes how you meet or exceed minimum qualifications, tells the airline why you would be a good fit, and ask for the interview. Let us ensure you hit the mark with a powerful cover letter to highlight your résumé.
  • Application Review – Key to getting the interview and the job. Avoid the costly mistakes that can hurt your score and delay or even prevent you from being interviewed. Fix it now!
  • Unlimited career counseling – through your interview date. If you have a question, just give us a call or email.
  • Interview Prep – Video, Zoom, or Phone whatever you can manage. Each will increase your odds of a job offer, ensure you are relaxed and do your best, ensure you know how to handle any issues in your past.

Optional – Job Fair Prep & Mini-Prep

The elements of our products and services are designed to work together to help you plot your path and ensure success.

Each is packed with valuable information to help you make critical decisions throughout each phase of your job search program. But to benefit from this system, you must understand what each element has to offer and how to use it. In addition to the items listed above, you have access to our staff of trained airline pilot counselors who are available to answer your questions as you work your way through the process (M-F, 9-6 PM by appointment). The counselors are there to supplement our other products and services, however, they are not a substitute using the tools provided within our system. We encourage you to read through these materials and become familiar with their content. You will frequently refer back to these manuals as you progress from the initial application to interviewing to reaching your goal.

Perhaps one of the most important parts of any job search is to know who is hiring – paid services like FAPA.aero or free services like the Aero Crew News newsletter cover approximately 200 airlines and includes the status of airline hiring, aircraft orders, marketing trends, and other pertinent pilot hiring information. One of the first steps to charting a plan of action is to determine which airlines you want to apply. These information services and newsletters can help you accomplish this. Check the hiring status at the airlines—all of them. Once you’ve determined which ones are hiring, verify that you meet the airline’s minimum qualifications by checking their website or FAPA.aero.

Meeting minimum qualifications is the first pass/fail test used by airlines. You must meet the minimums to move ahead in the process. We advise pilots to apply if they were close to meeting the minimums but only for smaller Regional/National airlines. This does not work for the major airlines. Some of the major airlines have application windows so pay attention. You may be wasting your time and money, not to mention the airline’s time if you do not meet the minimums. Some airlines accept applications on a continuous basis and all score the application initially on minimum qualifications. If you do not meet the minimums, the application is discarded. Jet and non-jet regional carriers may be the exceptions. They will often work with you if you are getting close to meeting their minimums.

Since these carriers experience significant attrition, especially when the majors are hiring, minimum requirements change according to the supply of applicants. Therefore, if you were close to meeting their minimums, let’s say within 100-200 hours, you would want to apply.

After you have determined which airlines you are qualified for, you should check the airline’s competitive qualifications to give you an idea of what you are up against.

At the Majors, the military average is 2,000 to 3,000 hours with fighter pilots getting an opportunity to interview in the 1,500 to 2,000 range. For pilots with a civilian background, the average is about 3,000 – 5,000 hours. We expect these broad averages to come down in the future as the backlog of pilots from the recession in 2008 is consumed.

Section two of the Airline Pilot Career Guide provides detailed information on how to further structure your job search. In general, this guide should be used throughout your job search program to help you evaluate the market, refine your strategy, master the interview, and get the job. So no matter where you are in the job search, the Pilot Career Guide will provide valuable insights along the way.

Once you have determined who is hiring, who will hire you based on your qualifications and experience, and who you want to work for, you should identify the proper way to apply to these airlines. Your list should include a minimum of five airlines.

Most airlines want you to complete their on-line application. Some continually accept applications and others have regular or annual application windows.

Required documents, are those documents airlines request for hiring consideration such as driving records, college transcripts, birth certificate, copies of licenses, ratings, medical, and so forth.

Now that you are ready to apply, you will need to construct a professional résumé and cover letter.

Yes, you still need a good résumé and a cover letter to use at job fairs, for your recommendations, most airline interviews, some airline application systems, and the pilots you meet along the way. Once again, KitDarby.com can help. Refer to Section two of the Airline Pilot Career Guide* for guidance on writing an effective résumé and cover letter. Once your work is complete, KitDarby.com can critique your résumé for a small fee. We will evaluate your résumé for content, format, appearance, and effectiveness, and make recommendations accordingly. We also publish a do-it-yourself Pilot Résumé Kit. This kit will take you step-by-step through the construction of your résumé and cover letter, and provide numerous samples for you to follow both military and civilian. Our services will help you avoid mistakes, make an impressive presentation and, most importantly, receive the maximum score for your qualification and experience levels. This score may determine if you get an interview. Want more assistance? Use our résumé and cover letter service and leave the writing to us! Just send us a copy of your airline apps and old resume if available and we will do the rest. Worksheets are also available.

Most airlines say that up to 90% of applicants who actually get an interview have some recommendations. An ideal recommendation is one from someone who can actually attest to your flying skills and has known you for a period of time.

Once you have started applying to the various airlines you need to set up a tracking system to help you keep track of your activity and to stay organized for each airline to which you’ve applied.

Set up some sort of file system to keep all of your actions and future deadlines close a hand. File copies of all initial and ongoing applications or any other correspondence you have with the airlines.

Keep track of when you requested an application, when you complete it, when your received correspondence from the airline, when you last updated your application, and when the next update is due. Keeping such a time log helps you to maintain realistic goals and accurate records. A simple Excel spreadsheet, an electronic calendar, or even a piece of paper can serve this purpose.

It may seem like you just updated your application when in actuality it was a year ago. Staying organized is essential. We recommend that you “touch” your application once a month and if it goes untouched for as little as six months it may be considered inactive by the airlines! This could have you qualified but not called.

It is also a good idea to keep online articles and other sources as reference materials in your files.

When you are preparing for interviews, review those articles, which will be helpful in increasing your knowledge about that airline.

You also need to learn the do’s and don’ts of the interview process—from what to wear to what to say as well as different interviewing techniques.

KitDarby.com also recommends a book exclusively on pilot interviewing.

All three books – Questions, Questions: A Technical and Human Resources Interview Guide by Kit Darby looks at the interview process.

If you are scheduled for an interview, you should make an appointment for one of the following: a Telephone or Zoom Video interview prep.

These preps are with KitDarby.com’s trained pilot counselors. All prep sessions are tailored to the airline with which you are interviewing or generic practice is available for smaller airlines or in advance of an interview being scheduled. Our counselors will give you an overview of the interview process, insight as to what the interviewer’s duties are, what your responsibilities are as a candidate, detailed information about each airline and possible questions that will be asked during the interview. What the counselors won’t give you is a series of “canned” answers to interview questions. Our goal is to help you get the job. If there is one thing airlines don’t want, it’s a candidate with rehearsed third party answers.

Airline recruiters want to know who you are, what your leadership qualities are, how you interact with others, if you follow procedures, and how you solve problems. To that end, you must develop and use your own stories to build trust and confirm your competence.

Think of KitDarby.com counselors as coaches.

Good coaches give you insight into how a game is played and teach you the skills needed to play a game and win. However, coaches are only as good as their players. If coaches have athletes who do not listen or work diligently and give up easily, then the chance of winning is slim. On the other hand, if the athletes follow the advice of their coaches, work hard and persevere, a win is inevitable.

According to member feedback, our interview preps are an invaluable resource in the interview process and, as a matter of fact, can triple your chances for success.

But what if you only have general questions concerning your career progression or job search program? Again, our counselors are available at 877 334-2939 toll-free or the Internet to answer a variety of questions that may arise for a 30-minutes fee which is prorated after the first 30-minutes.

You should attend Airline Pilot Job Fairs and Career Seminars.

Currently held four to five times a year across the United States, Airline Forums at these meetings give you access to the most current hiring plans directly from airline recruiters. The Job Fair gives you the opportunity to personally meet recruiters, distribute your résumé, ask questions, schedule an interview, or even interview on-site.

Attending these job fairs can give you a competitive edge.

The most important of these job fairs are the larger ones that attract the most airlines including the Major airlines. The best-attended are Women in Aviation International (WAI) and the Organization of Black Airline Professional (OBAP), PAPA Profesionsional Asian Pilots Association, and RTAG, (Rotary To Airline Group)

You should join at least one, if not all of these organizations (regardless of your ethnic background or gender) and attend their annual meetings. There are points in many airline scoring systems for both joining these organizations and attending their meetings. Be sure to list these organizations under professional organization on your on-line applications.

Remember that looking for a full-time job is a full-time job and that your job search does not stop with an interview. Our system provides you with the direction and insight needed to land the job of your dreams, but, of course, that cannot and does not happen without your determination and perseverance. We can’t interview for you, however, we can certainly prepare you for the interview and give you the edge you need to be competitive in the fierce world of airline employment.

Being persistent, consistent, and diligent are musts for reaching your goal. So, pick up that map, chart or straighten your course, and let your journey begin to reach your goal faster! Remember seniority is everything in the airline business – the pilot that gets the job first wins!

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