Here at API, we frequently get emails and calls from job seekers asking, “Did you see the latest job posting at XYZ Company?”
Sure, sometimes we know about the latest aviation job postings, and sometimes we don’t. But, in any case, we offer a word of caution to candidates combing the “wanted ads.”
We try to point out that flight departments will, in fact, post a job online because they actually have an open position and are seeking talent to fill it. But others post them because they’re required to.
For example, we recently worked with a company that posted an opening after they’d already determined they would hire an internal candidate. Per their corporate procedure, even though the job was taken, they were following their policy of having the “candidate” engage the normal application and hiring process.
In this example, there indeed had been a job to fill, but in reality, it was already accounted for. Unfortunately, these sorts of external posting practices often create a frenzy in the job marketplace. This can result in discussions on social media forums (and through the grapevine) about positions that are presumably “open.”
Keep in mind that even the briefest of posts to a corporation’s website gets immediately picked up by “web crawlers” and gets posted to multiple aviation job boards—and they never go away.
Perform Due Diligence
Is job posting a help or a hindrance to candidates? Sometimes it’s both. The latter occurs when you start to notice certain companies that post jobs with surprising regularity. Especially for a small flight department, in addition to the previous “corporate policy” issues, it can also be a red flag that there’s retention or compensation problems.
To make the most of these situations, one of the best paths—as always—is that of performing due diligence. There’s really no excuse for not being knowledgeable about a company you’re thinking about applying to, especially if it’s publicly traded. As we’ve reported before, thanks to the web and professional forums like Linkedin, there’s a treasure trove of great information about most companies online. The exception, in business aviation, might be that there’s little material on flight departments run by high-net-worth individuals and families. But even in those cases, you can always engage your network behind the scenes to find out what you need to know.
Explore All the Angles
And talking about external candidates, if you happen to be one, you never know if your resume has been received and read, or even if it’s gone through a human or automated screening filter.
If it were me and I saw an online job posting, I would immediately apply on line, meticulously following the instructions. Then I would back that up by sending a resume and a cover letter to whomever is likely the hiring manager, letting them know that I have applied online, but that I want them to have my information directly. Doing so ensures that your information actually gets into the hands of the aviation department.
Use Your Resources
Did you know that at least 80 percent of the available jobs in the U.S. are not advertised? That is a whopping 4 out of 5 positions! That means your next position will be due to your being highly networked.
Maybe I’m biased, but a big networking resource is to seek out an aviation search firm like API, and become an API Registered Professional. One of the many benefits of working with a recruiter is that, due to their connections, agency professionals often learn about new job opportunities before they’re posted online, if they are at all.
In fact, here at API, we often fill most open positions for our high-end clients exclusively. That means the roles are never advertised, or they’re posted after the candidate has been identified.
Remember, Format is King
If you do follow the traditional path of answering calls for job candidates by submitting your resume, however, you should always keep in mind how important that first step is. In past blogs, we’ve talked in detail about how your resume is your “virtual first handshake” with your potential employers, so you ought to make the absolute best of it.
Properly formatting your resume—dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s—is essential. And there’s a plethora of resume writing and formatting tips available on the web (including this one) that you should consult before you sit down to draft it.
As I mentioned, many of the points I’ve made above are explored in far greater detail in previous API blogs that are readily available in our website’s archives. But, to help you, I’ve linked three helpful topics we’ve published to assist in your job search:
8 Ways to Research a Company Before an Interview
20 Aviation Job Interview Questions to Nail
How Social Media Can Help and Hurt You
With all of the foregoing advice and counsel, the cardinal rule regarding aviation job postings is and always will be to be prepared. There’s never any substitute for educating yourself as thoroughly as possible beforehand. Be sure to take into full account all of the possibilities and that might either open or close a door to your future.
Be cautious out there!