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Retired Airline Pilot shares his Job Search Story
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It's always great to hear from seasoned BizJetJobs.com members who have been successful in landing their dream job post-retirement as a corporate pilot. With many of our Members, we have the privilege of being part of the journey with them: from resume review to interview prep to employer research questions along the way, pilots look to us for answers to tough questions during the job search process. One of our Members followed up with us after he landed a job and shared his story as a recently retired airline pilot looking for a corporate pilot job. He had worked many years at an airline job but wasn't ready to hang up his headset just yet. His report from the trenches is encouraging for seasoned pilots: right now, there is a huge demand for pilots, especially those with experience. One reason corporate flight departments are hiring retired pilots is the pilot shortage. Corporate aviation employers want the experience and safety training that airline pilots can bring to their operation. Retiring Pilot Job Search Advice One of the most important things you can do during your corporate pilot job search is plan ahead. You should be starting the job application process six months to even a year or two before you retire from an airline / commercial or cargo / freight pilot job. Corporate flight departments are planning ahead as well, and you may be surprised: many of them need pilots who can fly the larger aircraft that you may be flying right now with the airlines and commercial carriers. The costs are high to train someone, so better to get your resume in front of a prospective corporate aviation employer before your currency expires. Our retiring airline pilot says "hang in there! I was in the job market for two years and was constantly applying for positions I saw come up on BizJetJobs.com. It was one of the very first applications I made, way back in 2012 that I ended up getting called back for. So update your pilot resume, apply and then hang in there." The Interview Process Gone are the days where prospective corporate pilots would be flown in for an in-person interview with the Chief Pilot. Today, most pilot interviews are conducted over the phone, via computer and Skype. "After I received a callback from the corporate flight department that ended up hiring me, the first step was to fill out an online computer interview. There were ten questions that had nothing to do with my ability to fly: this employer was gauging aspects of my personality and psychology to see if I would be a fit with their organizational culture and philosophy." Questions included things like: if we consider you, why should we give you the job? and once you are hired, how will you live up to the hype? Our pilot said he took the full five days allotted to respond, and solicited help from friends and industry experts to ensure he answered to the best of his ability. "There were many open-ended questions, like 'tell us a little about yourself.' Instead of answering with the first thing that came to mind, I went online and researched answers. What do my answers say about my psychology and my personality?" Pilot Phone Etiquette One piece of advice our retired airline pilot had applies to every pilot, during every phase of the job search process. He advised: "make sure you have an excellent cell phone signal, or access to a land line when you know you might be having a long conversation with a potential employer." Breaking up and losing your cell signal is extremely annoying, a waste of time and could cost you the job if it happens from your end. Even over the phone, the retiring pilot who shows positive energy, personality, and the ability to interact well will be the one chosen for the job. Our pilot says "basically, it's like they are saying: we know you know how to fly a plane, but we have very wealthy customers. How will you get along with them?" A Skype Interview? "My second interview was via a computer video conference, like Skype," says our pilot. "I made sure I was dressed properly, with an ironed shirt and tie, and sat in a room in my home with a neutral background. Rather than do the interview in front of a blank wall, I made sure to include some tasteful art within the camera's range. This way, I was able to show a little more of my personality - that I'm a person with interests and hobbies - without saying a word." "During the Skype interview, the computer connection went down on my prospective employer's end. So the Chief Pilot called me back and we had a 2-hour conversation over the phone." "Some of the questions the Chief Pilot asked me during my telephone interview were the same ones covered by the computer questionnaire, so I was prepared for those. But he also asked about my hobbies, volunteer work and personality. I felt with each question he was making judgments about my psychology and interpersonal skills." Persistence Pays Off When you're looking for a job, you're a salesperson and your product is YOU. A good salesperson knows that sales is a numbers game. This is why many salespeople are obsessed with counting: how many leads they have, how many phone calls they made, how many conversations they've had, how many in-person appointments they got and how many deals they closed. A salesperson's income is directly tied to these numbers, and the more productive they are the more successful they will be. Getting a job as a corporate pilot is much the same: it's all about the numbers. So don't just apply to a few jobs, sit back and wait. Contact the corporate flight departments you are interested in working for. Do some research, and learn about companies in your geography of interest that might be hiring. Get on the phone, call some aviation industry colleagues and see what they know. After putting in his time learning the market, making the calls, networking and applying for jobs, our retiring pilot was hired and today has a job he is proud of. If you're retiring from the airlines, let us help you find the best pilot job for you. Call BizJetJobs.com today for assistance finding retired pilot jobs – we’re here to help!

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