Corporate Flight Attendants: Build Your Brand

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Corporate aviation is not for everybody, literally. Corporate aviation is a very small segment of the aviation industry with a specific audience and purpose. The competition for work among corporate flight attendants is correspondingly intense. Whether you’re on BizJetJobs.com looking for contract flight attendant work or a full time corporate flight attendant job, you already realize there’s more to it than just checking the want ads. In this arena you need to shift your mindset from “asking for a job” to “selling what you do well.”

Corporate Flight Attendants_

Corporate aviation employers aren’t seeking someone to share their wealth with. They are seeking someone who can proactively solve their problems for them and provide solutions. The only reason you should have your hand out is to shake theirs and explain why you will make their life better. The best tool any prospective employee has, short of creating a true “brand” with a website and unique purpose, is the resume or CV. Some things can make or break your chance of even having that read by a busy executive or recruiter, so let’s try to stack the deck in your favor.

Only One Chance To Make A First Impression

Of course we’ve all heard this, but it sticks around because it is so true. The recruiter has over 500 resumes in his or her Inbox. Imagine sitting down to work every Monday with a few flight attendant jobs to fill and 500 resumes in your Inbox.  Start with this picture in your head and the ups and downs of your corporate flight attendant job search will make more sense.

In this industry, less is more. You want to keep your resume very conservative and professional. A clean, crisp and easy to navigate format that is immediately pleasing to the eye and inviting to the reader will get a good look. It also silently communicates that you keep up with progress and the use of technology. There are many easy-to-use resume templates online – some specifically designed for the corporate flight attendant! Make sure you take advantage of these.

Some resume templates  have a place for a picture and some do not. This is always a spirited conversation in recruiting circles. Some say no picture ever, others insist that you must use one. In my opinion, use your best judgment on what works for you.

My Personal Experience: Firsthand Corporate Flight Attendant Resume Advice

I have a lot of aviation experience on my resume, but at one point in my career noticed my resume was getting limited response. A good friend looked it over and suggested I add my picture. He was quite blunt and advised that if a recruiter has 500 resumes, they might not take the chance on mine because I might be “beyond prime” (wasn’t that a lovely way to put it?) and move on to the next one. I took his advice, and added my professional headshot to my resume. Immediately I received more responses when I submitted my resume. Is this fair or does it make you feel good? That really doesn’t matter, it’s reality and the truth is there are some cases where a picture can help. It can also hurt. Resist the urge to let them know how good you look in your yoga wear. Enough said.

Objectives v. Strengths: What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Old school: You must begin every resume with an introduction explaining your lofty life goals and objectives.

Reality: Recruiters and executives are just too busy to take the time to worry about what might make you feel good.

If you’re still trying to hang on to this idea, do you really think you have something new and compelling to tell them that they have not heard? This is prime real estate on your resume, the very first thing read. It’s not a place to share your dreams for you. Instead, tell them the amazing things you can do for them, and make sure you make it relevant to their corporate culture and mission as a company. You can tie this all together by referring to your experience that will allow you to hit the ground running and contribute from day one. This is the place to hook the reader and make them want to read more because you might be the one!

Need-To-Know

Now we are down into the body of the resume. Hopefully you are using a template so this doesn’t look like an endless list to navigate. If you still have the reader with you, their time and your space is precious. Every line brings you one step closer to a phone call or going into the circular file. Make every line count and tell them something useful for them. Look at every line item you include and ask:

  • Does this impact this employer?
  • Does this impact this job category or position?
  • Should I move this up or down on the list to make the order more logical to read?

How Nice

If you still have space to add some details and keep this to one page (nobody has the time or patience for more), then you can add things at the end that might be useful but wouldn’t stop them from reading your resume if placed towards the top. Include your college degree and any commercial aviation experience. Mention special awards and achievements. Provide links, since resumes are largely sent via email, to websites and professional links.

More Firsthand Resume Experience

This is an area you can and should customize for individual clients easily, since it is at the bottom, without changing the entire format. This is where I include my truly niche information of specializing in caring for pets on aircraft. I used to include my experience with pets on every resume right at the top. I would send that same resume out to everybody without changing it, as if I had printed it up on expensive resume paper and could not change it.

Finally, one day, a chief pilot responded to me and informed me that while I had an extraordinary background, his VVIP client wasn’t a dog and would not need a dogsitter. Ouch! After I got over the sting of that feedback, I took a good long look at how I was “branding” myself and made some changes. This gentleman had no idea that I had flown with heads of state and top tech companies in the San Francisco Bay area. Of course he didn’t, because that’s not what I told him! I told him how I could care for dogs first and he threw my resume out. Be sure to research your audience and then customize your resume so it speaks to that client. It only takes a few minutes, but that can make all the difference in landing a truly great fitting job.

Carol Martin is CEO of airPA, leading a group of flight attendants who serve on corporate jets worldwide. Her company is a comprehensive concierge-style service for executives and families on the go. Martin has been a corporate flight attendant for the past 10 years, maintaining  regular safety training at Flight Safety International, FACTS and MedAire and pursues ongoing etiquette and culinary training at the Corporate School of Etiquette. She is trained and experienced on the most advanced private jets in the industry, including the G650 and BBJ. Martin began her career in aviation as a commercial flight attendant with Delta Airlines where she founded “Wings of Angels,” a charitable foundation that assists passengers with special needs. Upon making the transition to corporate flight attendant in 2006, Carol saw the need to define the standard of care for pet passengers on private jets and developed clear, concise Pet Safety Protocols. In addition to being an avid animal lover, she is an advocate in the fight against canine cancer. To that end, a portion of the profits from airPA are donated to the Animal Cancer Foundation to help battle cancer in pets and humans. This guest author’s views are entirely her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of BizJetJobs.com