In my previous blog, we discussed many of the do’s and don’ts in creating, formatting and updating your resume. The next step is what can you do to “stand out” from the competition in an endless stack of resumes?
The first thing you need to do is consider yourself as an individual company in need of branding and an identity in order to successfully accomplish sales and marketing. Basically, you require a professional theme.
Meaning: The design of your resume, business cards, portfolio or dossier should all match in theme and design as these are your self-marketing tools representing you as a professional.
When you think of the job description for a corporate flight attendant, I’m sure endless descriptive words come to mind as we have no ‘cookie cutter’ job. Ask yourself, “What words best describe me as a corporate flight attendant and capture my personality, skillset and talents?” Retain and reference the top three that best compliment you and try using them in the design and format of your resume tools (as well as when describing yourself in an interview). Using the words you selected will display confidence. In resume theme, they can range from your favorite color or design style; creating your own tag-line or quote. You are your one and only company representative. Own it.
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Do not be afraid of using color and modern designs for your resume. The world is so much more than the classic black and white. I have designed dozens of resumes, and I can assure that the modern resumes with color stand out from the rest of the pack. It’s a highly saturated and often competitive market so make that important first impression right out of the gate. A unique and impressive modern design will set your flight attendant resume apart from the rest in the boring black and white pile. If you are unsure of what I am talking about, simply do an image web search of “modern resumes,” and you’ll see many amazing examples and every single one of them uses color!
The Cover Letter
Are cover letters required?
Not any more (unless requested).
Do recruiters actually read them? Most likely no. So, why do I recommend having a cover letter?
It’s true that cover letters are no longer required in the modern business world. That being said, I believe they are still a very valuable tool in the business aviation world as an exception to the rule. Why? Because, resumes are designed as your professional representation – with no personality. Our beloved industry is heavily driven by personality, attitude and “the fit.” Cover letters can complement your resume and allow you to inject your personality and feature various items showcasing your reasoning of why you are “the fit.” In turn, an effective cover letter will entice the recipient to proceed with the next step of reading the resume with enthusiasm … and lead to an interview.
Although recruiters tend to not read them, statistics show the majority of hiring managers do! In this modern world of electronic media, resumes are submitted 95% of the time via email or website upload. Cover letters do not have to be sent as an attachment (which is easily overlooked), but instead can be the body of your email.
Cover Letter Basics
Avoid the mistake of being too verbose in your cover letter. Stay direct and to the point. Capture the reader, not bore them with babble so that they are more likely to read it in its entirely.
- Starting with a proper Salutation: “Dear/Hello Mr., Mrs. or Ms.,”
Always address the recipient by their last name. This shows respect and professional etiquette. Do your research instead of using the dreaded: “To Whom It May Concern.” I get this salutation all the time— even though they are sending it directly to me! If you don’t know (which can happen via recruiters) you have no other option. However, whenever possible, please avoid this generic address.
Body of the Cover Letter
Write a short and to the point reason of why you are applying. Take the initiative to research the company, type of operation and type of aircraft. Use this in your opening paragraph. If you can make confident statements of why you are “the fit”— do it. Sell it! The middle content can feature a short list of bullet point items showcasing your skills and talents (not already featured on your resume). The closing paragraph should be assertive displaying your confidence of why you are the one to be selected by avoiding words like; should, could, hopefully, etc. Let them know you are the perfect person for the job and you are looking forward to discussing this in greater detail in person upon your interview. Show zero doubt in your abilities, and display absolute confidence you are “the fit.”
Proper salutation and address using last name
Bullet points showcasing skillsets and talents
Closing assertive paragraph
Many people underestimate the power of a business card. Having business cards that match your resume theme are a great marketing and promotion tool as well as displaying your attention to detail. This is your absolute best networking tool in the professional industry whenever attending conventions, conferences, forums and other various meet and greet opportunities. The days of carrying printed resumes are long gone. Business cards are your best and most effective tool to use today. You also have a little more professional etiquette freedom with your business cards than you do with your resume. Your business card is the perfect place to display your professional head shot. Less is always more when it comes to business cards by only featuring your name, title, email and mobile phone, region, training, and perhaps aircraft experience, is all you need listed.
Before Submitting Your Resume
Just because you are first out of the gate to submit your resume to a potential client or job posting does not mean you win the race.
Over the years I have conducted several recruitments for contract or full-time placement of business aviation professionals. I can assure you that rushed submissions and/or those applicants who do not read the specific requirements make recruiter’s jobs of shortening the contender list so much easier.
Therefore, I ask again … what’s the rush? Coming in first place only counts in the interview and not how quickly you submit your resume. I can assure you, the person who submits last, has the same opportunity as the first, as long as it’s submitted within the requested deadline. There are no bonus points awarded to the first submitter. In fact, your early submissions are most likely given more stern eyes while reviewing.
Most recruiters and hiring managers are not as forgiving when there are multiple qualified candidates. In my experience— for every single corporate flight attendant job post— dozens are applying. Dozens!
- FACT: Recruiters and managers, on average, scan a resume for no more than six seconds before they determine if they are proceeding or not. Six seconds. Not much time to impress. Therefore, make it count!
‘Attention to detail’ is one of the skillsets of a successful corporate flight attendant. This is a highly competitive industry and oversaturated in some markets. Therefore, you cannot afford to sabotage your own first impression with terrible business savvy. Spelling errors should be a thing of the past as there are too many tools available to clearly avoid such mistakes.
- Electronic resumes should only be in one format – PDF.
- Not Word, Text Edit, Pages (Mac), JPEG. PDF only!
Rushed, Haphazard, Hectic, Frenzied, Careless, Sloppy, Disorganized. These are NOT characteristics that come to mind when looking for a professional corporate flight attendant. If your email, cover letter or resume represent any of these negative action words— I can guarantee the recipient stopped reading and filed it in the trash bin. You closed that door of opportunity yourself well before you even had a chance!
Whether you are electronically submitting your resume package or walking into the interview, if you make it to that point, you should be the complete opposite— calm, conscientious, detailed, and organized. Being eager for a potential job is commendable. Completely missing the mark because you acted too quickly is… well, unfortunate. Unfortunate for YOU! The only person who benefits from these errors is your competition.
Whenever responding to a job post or recruitment, follow these simple rules.
- Digest it, pace yourself and review it thoroughly in detail.
- Format your response so it’s customized to the target.
- Proof read it.
- Spell check it. If needed, ask someone to edit it.
These rules could be used in any aspect of your business savvy. Followed by asking yourself:
“Am I fulfilling all of the requirements and requests for this company or recruiter?” “Do I really meet the requirements and if not, am I jeopardizing future opportunities by apply for something I’m not qualified for?” “Do my remarks make me appear desperate?”
I have actually notified many applicants of their errors so that they can correct them and avoid making the same mistakes again. Of the few who respond, the majority indicated they knew it was rushed but wanted to submit sooner than later and admitted to throwing something together and sending it. I got the impression they felt justified in their reasoning. Unfortunately, this is a critical error I see too often. Is this how you are also going to represent yourself when flying my high-profile client?
by SCOTT ARNOLD, trainDAVINCI
*This blog post was first published on FlightAttendantLife.com