Next: Tips on Finding Work
How Should I Craft My Résumé?
By Matthew C.
a résumé can be one of the most daunting parts of any job search. Quite
frankly, it is one of the most important elements in helping you finding work.
A good résumé can ease doors open while a poorly written one will certainly
shut these very same doors. In aviation, there are certain things that must be
included in a résumé to help you get noticed: getting noticed is, of course,
the first step in securing an interview which may lead to employment.
There is no "one-size fits all" résumé that will guarantee success. In my many
years of reviewing pilot and, later, flight attendant résumés I have seen
submitted anything from multipage treatises to two paragraph summations. As a
private flight attendant, your résumé should fall somewhere in between: a one
page copy is the preferred length in this industry.
The top part of your résumé must include the following:
Your complete address: house or apartment number, street, city, state, zip and
country if applying internationally.
Your home phone number.
Your cell phone or secondary number such as a fax machine.
Your email address.
This information should be centered for easy reading and your copy should be
on white or off white paper. No fancy fonts, no loud colors, nothing to make
it stand out. Why? More than likely it will be trashed if it is not visually
appealing. Trust me: in business aviation, which is generally a very
conservative field, the flamboyant self promoter is often ignored.
What follows next is open to debate. Some human resources people insist that
you need an Objective on your résumé while others do not. If you do include an
Objective, please write a strong and positive statement of your career and job
objective, concentrating on your strengths and how you can add value to a
potential employer. When creating your objective, use clear and concise
language. One of the advantages of including an Objective is that it tends to
set the tone for the entire page. Leaving one out is sometimes preferable if
you are applying for different positions. Always state in the Objective what
you can contribute to the company and not what you want to get out of the
After you write your Objective, you should follow up with your work history.
Please, if you have been working for many years, you might want to consider
limiting your information to the last ten years. A résumé is not your job
history, rather it is a summation of who you are and what you bring to the
table. Save the nitty gritty details for the application form. This is
particularly important if you are over 40: do not kid yourself by thinking
that age discrimination does not occur. You want to get the interview and then
work on getting the job during the interview. In some situations you will not
even get the interview if someone finds out that you are 49. Is this legal?
Usually, no. Is it provable? You probably will never find out.
After including your work history, you will need to list your training. If you
completed FACTS, Alteon, FlightSafety, etc. then spell it out. Include
training locations, dates, and a brief synopsis of the training. For example,
"emergency egress training, emergency medical procedures, food safety and
culinary arts, wine service, etc." Do not write several paragraphs but do
include some information about what was accomplished during your training.
Taking other types of training related to the field can and should be
mentioned as well including: food service, wine courses, language training,
etc. The training section could easily be titled "Education" and include
college degrees and other post high school training as well.
References: Please do not include references on your résumé! If you
feel the need to mention references, please conclude your résumé with
something like this: References furnished upon request. That's it. Nothing
fancy. If you do mention that references will be included at a later time
please make sure that you have at least three, be prepared to present them
upon request, and make sure your references know that you are using them as
Hobbies: Hmmm.... I am not sure why some people feel the need to
include details on how they spend their free time. Perhaps they are trying to
tell the person reading the résumé that they are a well rounded person. In my
opinion, save those details for your interview.
Other personal information: In most states giving out one's marital
status, age, height and weight is illegal. If you are applying for work
overseas the company or agency may want this information in addition to a full
length picture of yourself and a headshot. I have heard objections from some
about this particular practice. Remember: the U.S. Bill of Rights stops at our
borders. If you want to work internationally, you must respect local laws and
customs. Your opinion will probably not shape what they want; if you do not
like it then do not apply.
College and universities are key institutions where many get their first try
at crafting a résumé. I like what the University at Buffalo School of
Management has to say about writing a résumé:
Do try to fit your résumé on one page
Do leave an appropriate amount of margin space (1/2 – 1 inch is good, no less
than Ľ inch)
Do use positive action verbs to highlight your skills
Do use the present tense for current activities and the past tense for
Do place important items in the most prominent areas of your résumé
Do proofread your résumé for spelling, punctuation, grammatical, and
Do make sure your résumé is neatly typed and letter perfect
Do be honest and accurate in the facts you give on your résumé
Do be Positive!
Do not write RÉSUMÉ on top of the page
Do not use "I," "Me," or any abbreviations!
Do not date the résumé, attach advertisements, or list salary requirements
Do not leave out volunteer or other experiences where you have demonstrated
Do not give any false information
Do not include reasons for changing jobs
Have others proofread your copy and do not be offended by their suggestions or
comments. Consider all comments and suggestions for change; if you are rigid
about your résumé you may be too rigid for this industry. Remember, there is
no "one-size fits all" résumé; your copy, however, should accurately reflect
what you are all about and what you can do for the company.
Matt Keegan is the manager of the
Corporate Flight Attendant Community, an
important resource center for business flight attendants, their supporters,
and the people who aspire to become one. Please visit
Corporate F/A Dispatch
for additional business aviation information.