For corporate flight attendants new to the industry, and who just finished “corporate specific” egress training, you can get your passengers and yourself out of an anticipated or unanticipated emergency situation and safely off of the aircraft. BUT, can you get a job? Do you know the dynamics of marketing yourself as a corporate flight attendant in Business Aviation? This is certainly not the airlines where you go for an interview, get hired, “THEY” pay for your training, and you start flying the line. It is 99.9% of the time up to you to secure either contract work or a full time flying job as a corporate flight attendant.
You just invested in emergency training, but do you understand how to market yourself, the vast detailed actual job responsibilities of a corporate flight attendant and the vast intricacies of global catering?
It is my opinion after doing this work in many capacities for the last 31 years that what really makes an excellent corporate flight attendant – whether flying full time or contract – is to always “think outside the box” and consistently reinvent yourself. It is all about “flexibility” in every way.
ALWAYS DEMONSTRATE FLEXIBILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, CREDIBILITY & RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL TIMES.
THE SIX AVIATION S’S:
Marketing yourself as a corporate flight attendant is simply an opportunity to make others aware of the goods and services that you are offering and can supply in a professional and educated manner. In this case, it is Corporate Flight Attendant Services whether you are looking for a full time flying position or choose to fly on a contractual basis. Being “marketable” is being fit for sale.
One must realize that this is a very competitive marketplace. I always tell people that the more “expensive” your resume/CV is – meaning the amount of relevant industry training you have had, invested in, or someone has invested in on your behalf – the more marketable you are in this very competitive industry.
IT REQUIRES A CONSTANT SALE. YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION IN THE INTERVIEW PROCESS & YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR LAST TRIP!
You must always be aware of and remain cognizant of all changes in this industry from the new aircraft coming into the market, new FAA regulations, mergers, trends, aircraft technology and training updates. Keeping on top of this is your job now, as a corporate flight attendant. Things are constantly changing and it is very important that you remain on the leading edge of these changes. Read all of the aviation industry specific journals and trade magazines. Read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the B Section of USA Today.
Corporate aviation is a business-driven industry, and you need to know what is going on in big business and how it will affect the companies that you are flying for. This translates into having as much “current” business and aviation information as possible. This will create industry respect and reflect a professionalism that will set you apart from other candidates seeking employment for the same position that you are when interviewing.
***UNDERSTAND & KNOW OUR INDUSTRY ACRONYMS! THERE ARE ALWAYS NEW ONES***
Join business aviation organizations that will allow you to learn so you might contribute this knowledge and participate in this very elite community. Listing these organizations on your resume will add to your professionalism and will reflect an industry respect:
You can install these news apps on your cell to keep abreast of the business world of which you are part of.
I tell my students, you are not “just” a flight attendant. You are a global representative of the company with whom you are flying, and you are looked at differently on private aircraft.
You need to know what’s going on with the company that you are flying for and the business climate that affects the company you are flying for. What if you are flying contract for a company that just merged with another company that does NOT use flight attendants? Their culture might be to use Flight Technicians or have no one in the back – which we most unfortunately see much too often. You just lost X amount of days of contract flying from the company that closed its’ doors or sold an aircraft, or you were “banished” because of something outside of your control, and if you weren’t staying abreast of industry news, chances are it caught you by surprise.
This is another important point. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. You need to constantly be out there marketing yourself to get on as many contract flight attendant lists as possible. Do not become complacent and fly contract for just 1-2 flight departments. If you lose one account, you should always have others to fall back on. You are a business woman/man and you need to treat your contract flying like a business and run it as such. You are your own accountant, crew scheduler, and detailed record keeper on every company that you fly for.
REMEMBER, NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT WHILE FLYING ON A CONTRACTUAL BASIS OR FULL TIME ….. YOU ARE A PAID GUEST ON SOMEONE’S AIRCRAFT!
The following tools are those needed to effectively market yourself.
- Corporate aviation-specific Emergency and First Aid Training
- Any applicable training for business aviation, i.e. FoodSafety/Culinary Training/ServSafe/Language Classes, etc. (Click here for a great resource for finding relevant corporate flight attendant trainings and certifications in your area.)
- An excellent cover letter & resume tailored to THAT company. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, do your research! Download the BizJetJobs.com Corporate Flight Attendant Resume Sample.
- Corporate aviation-specific business cards for networking (include your name and business name, order from a company like Vistaprint.com or Zazzle.com and you can get a deal or even free business cards)
- Cell Phone with International Access
- FAX – you can easily set up efax.com so that faxes come to your email Inbox.
- Computer / Laptop / iPad / Android
- Personalized Stationary, Business Invoices, Expense Forms
- A Bank Account and a Business Credit Card
- A Background Check (Most Flight Departments WILL do this on their own, learn more here: backgroundresults.com Telephone – 954.424.9028, natacompliance.com)
- A PROFESSIONAL E-MAIL ADDRESS
- Passport (List all current Visas on your resume/CV)
All of these things define professionalism, availability and show that you can do this work efficiently. In order to market yourself most efficiently, you should determine the location of the airports within close proximity to where you live. Look at a 2-3-hour driving radius. This is inclusive of commercial airports and general aviation facilities/airports. There are FBO’s with “managed” aircraft, and there are flight departments that are “leasing” hangar space in an FBO, and there are stand alone private corporate flight department hangars at both types of airports.
It is all about sleuthing and not taking rejection personally. You may not be the right “fit” for Brand X flight department but the perfect “fit” for the flight department across the airfield! Maintain a positive attitude and always remain professional.
Download my Corporate Flight Attendant Cover Letter Example here. Use your copy to fill out, customize, and help land that interview!
Susan C. Friedenberg is President & CEO of Corporate Flight Attendant Training & Global Consulting. She has been a corporate flight attendant for the last 29 years flying both as a contract flight attendant with a coast to coast clientele list and as a full time flight attendant for Coca Cola Company, DuPont Aviation and American Standard Companies. Susan teaches her corporate flight attendant training course in Long Beach, CA and Philadelphia, PA; conducts In-House training classes for clients in the US and globally, consults within the business aviation industry and also does contract flying. She is committed to raising the standards within business aviation where it pertains to the third crew member, and has been published in numerous business aviation trade journals. Contact her by phone at 215.625.4811.