How salesy should your aviation CV be?

How salesy should your aviation CV be?

Knowing how hard to sell yourself in your CV is an age old challenge. Matt Craven, Personal Branding Expert and Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors tackles this subject from an aviation sector perspective and offers some interesting insights.




I call this ‘knowing where to set the dial’ – your average job seeker tends to set the dial too low, largely because it’s uncomfortable to sell yourself. It creates a feeling of self-consciousness that doesn’t sit well with many people.

I used to train people in customer service and I would often say that if you don’t feel slightly uncomfortable with how nice you are being, you are probably not being nice enough! 

The same could be said of writing a CV; if you don’t feel slightly uncomfortable with what you are writing, you are probably not selling yourself hard enough.




I’m not advocating being braggadocious or using unsubstantiated superlatives, but if your CV doesn’t communicate that you are good at your job then how will anyone know? 

I’ll often mention during coaching sessions that there’s no osmotic force, no telepathy, no higher-being telling the world how great you are! If your CV (and maybe LinkedIn profile) don’t communicate your professional worth, then no one will ever know.




The trick to it is to back everything up with examples; that way, you feel more comfortable with your assertions and avoid ‘imposter syndrome’. 

A good CV will have plenty of achievements in the career history, which focus on the outcomes you have driven for your previous employers – these outcomes should be backed up with tangible (opposed to anecdotal) evidence of success.



Case Studies

A liberal smattering of mini case studies also works well for many roles within the aviation sector (but not all). We recommend having three on page one written in the STAR formula (Situation, Task, Actions and Result). The idea is to elevate your three biggest and most relevant achievements onto page one, giving them enough context to stand alone by writing them in case study format.


Obviously, there are many more tricks to creating a great aviation sector CV, so Aviation Job Search are running a one-hour Advanced CV Writing workshop on Thursday 13th February at 7.15pm – we’ll talk more about case studies, personal branding and selling yourself in this session.

You can register for free below.

20 top CV tips for 2020

20 top CV tips for 2020

Writing a CV that stands out from the crowd is a challenge. Employers won't spend too long looking through your CV - in fact, if they receive a high volume of applications, the most they'll do is skim read to find the keywords they are looking for. Therefore if you...

UK government considers cutting air passenger duty to save Flybe

UK government considers cutting air passenger duty to save Flybe

The BBC reported today that the government will consider cutting air passenger duty on domestic flights as part of a plan to save regional airline Flybe, after it was suggested by Sky News that the airline is in crunch talks for emergency funding.


The government will also reportedly consider measures including short-term funding for the airline.


The airline’s future is hanging in the balance once again after avoiding insolvency last year. To save it, the government could cut air passenger duty across the whole swathe of the UK airline industry, because of rules which make it difficult to give the carrier special treatment.


The claim has been condemned by environmental groups, who said this move would be “reckless” given the work already in place to prevent climate change.


The change would allow Flybe to defer its tax bill, design a rescue plan, and secure more than 2,000 jobs. 


EY is on standby to handle any potential liquidation, Sky said. 


Prime minister Boris Johnson told the BBC today, there is “no doubt” about the importance of Flybe.


This comes after Sky News reported that Flybe, which has already been saved from collapse once, has been struggling to secure fresh finance. The possible deal over air passenger duty could see Flybe defer a payment of £106m for three years.


The UK government has been urged by the pilot’s union, Balpa, to do “whatever it takes” to ensure the survival of Flybe.


Brian Strutton, Balpa’s general secretary, said: “If Flybe didn’t exist, it would have to be invented. The importance of that regional connectivity cannot be overstated.”


He said cities such as Exeter, Southampton, Birmingham and Cardiff relied on Flybe for air links and economic prosperity, while Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man would also suffer if the routes suddenly disappeared.


“The government must recognise that the UK cannot afford to lose yet another airline, and the markets that Flybe serves cannot afford to lose their air connections which help businesses thrive. So we urge the government to take every possible action to keep Flybe flying.”


Based in Exeter, Flybe carries about eight million passengers a year from airports including Southampton, Cardiff and Aberdeen, to the UK and Europe.

Its network of routes includes more than half of UK domestic flights outside London.


If the business collapses, a staggering 2,000 airline jobs will be at risk.


The shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said: “Flybe is a hugely important airline for UK domestic aviation and its financial predicament is a real concern.”


The airline could become the third significant airline collapse in the UK in less than two and a half years, following the failure of Monarch Airlines in October 2017 and Thomas Cook in September 2019.


Flybe boss Mark Anderson told staff on the 13th January that he and the management team remained “focused” on turning the airline around:


“We continue to operate as normal … I do appreciate that the headlines are disturbing but I want you to know that we are determined to do everything we can to make this work.


“What I now ask from all of us is that we all remain focused on our responsibilities and continue to work and support each other as a team to deliver what we know we can do.”


Image: Flybe media

Let your job search fly with our 2020 job hunting tips

Let your job search fly with our 2020 job hunting tips

Lots of people look to make changes in the new year – be healthier, try new hobbies, meet new people and possibly even land a new job. Maybe this is the first job you’ve looked for in some time – you might be out of practice when it comes to the hunt, or might struggle to fit applying for jobs into your busy schedule. This article is here to help you get started and provide you the tools you need to secure a new role.

The aviation industry is an extremely competitive sector and can demand candidates who are highly technical with a wide skill set. As a result, it is important to showcase your skills throughout your application to make recruiters aware of your abilities and qualifications.

Here are our top ten tips to find the best roles and get yourself an interview.


Identify your key skills

Instead of searching for job titles, you might find it more beneficial to search for jobs based on certain skills. A job title only tells part of the story, and you may overlook certain vacancies even though their required skill set is very similar to yours, resulting in a missed opportunity.

Spend some time identifying your main skills and look for jobs based on these qualities. You may find that you uncover roles that you have previously overlooked based on the job title, potentially leading you on a different and more interesting career path.

Job titles are constantly changing, so it is wise not to put too much focus on traditional titles as this could limit your options.


Utilise social media

LinkedIn is often seen as the modern day CV and is usually the first port of call for recruiters when assessing candidates ahead of offering them an interview. As such, it is important to create a strong and up-to-date profile. Pilots for example, should ensure their profile is fully updated with their latest qualifications, certifications and training, while cabin crew members may want to include additional skills like languages and hospitality related training.

The endorsed skills section is a good way to showcase your talents, but stick to desirable skills. Recruiters probably don’t care that an engineer can use Microsoft Word. Focus on adding skills that are key to a person in your profession, make sure the most impressive skills are at the top and delete any that you deem to be meaningless.

Make sure your profile reads well and isn’t littered with jargon, you want it to be short and punchy, just like a cover letter in order to provide a summary of your skills and experience. It can also be extremely helpful to ask colleagues and managers to provide a testimonial in the recommendations section.

Job hunters should adjust their privacy settings on Twitter & Facebook, recruiters are sure to look at your social media history, so you don’t want an embarrassing tweet from a few years ago to affect your chances. Restricting the visibility of your profile is much easier than trawling through years of posts to check if there is anything that might be taken the wrong way by a potential employer.


Online networking

Staying on the subject of LinkedIn and social media, it is worth reiterating the power of networking.

Although it may seem a little cheeky, messaging a current employee of a company you want to work for is a good way to gain insight into how the company works and what they are looking for in an individual. Avoid attempting to add people you don’t know, instead send individuals a polite message, asking if they could answer a few questions.

Joining discussion groups can also be a clever way to get yourself known by the decision makers at big airlines and aviation firms. Follow companies you are interested in working for and comment on posts but be careful not to spam the page and reply to everything, there is such a thing as being too keen. Also, ensure you also keep your posts strictly professional.


Be selective

Avoid applying for every vacancy you see that may be of some interest – some jobs loosely related to your skill set may not be a good long term option, which would ultimately be a waste of your time. Narrow your search to just focus on the best jobs related to your skills and career goals, a skilled aviation professional can afford to be fussy.

It is important to do some research for every job you apply for, use websites such as to read anonymous employee reviews about airlines to get an understanding what the working conditions are like and what potential career progression there is. You may know of someone working for the company, so look through your LinkedIn connections and drop them a message to get their perspective on things.

Shortlisting the best available vacancies will allow you to put more time and effort into the application, as opposed to applying for a dozen jobs with more generic applications.


Ensure each application is different

Tailor your CV so it is specific to each job. Even though you are only applying for jobs within the aviation industry, you do not want to submit a generic application which applies to general parts of the job. Each role will have different requirements, so you should make sure your CV and cover letter are applicable and will help you stand out.

It is easy to make errors when sending out a template cover letter to numerous jobs, such as getting the job title wrong, or even leaving in the wrong company name. You can pretty much guarantee that you will not be offered an interview if you are making these sort of careless errors, as it shows a lack of enthusiasm and attention to detail.

Creating a unique CV and cover letter can give applicants a real edge as an experienced hiring manager can easily spot a standard application that has been used for numerous vacancies.


Create an interesting cover letter

It is important to not just repeat what is available in your CV when creating a cover letter, instead you should provide additional background information and try to sell yourself to the company. The cover letter should focus on answering questions such as; ‘why you want to work for the airline’, ‘why you are perfect for the role’ and ‘what career path you have taken so far’.

It is also helpful to give the employer something to respond to, something along the lines of ‘ I am looking forward to hearing from you to discuss the opportunity’, this shows that you are keen and available.

Even if the job post does not specifically mention a cover letter, it makes sense to send one anyway as it can only strengthen your application.


Have someone proofread your application

It sounds very simple but the best way to avoid any costly mistakes in your application is to have a friend or family member read it before you send it to the employer. Don’t be overly reliant on the word processor’s spell check, check it yourself and if possible have a second pair of eyes take a look too. Ideally this person would be someone who works in the aviation industry and can offer suggestions; this can be especially useful if the individual has worked at the airline you are applying for.


Don’t be afraid to spread your wings

It would be great if you could find your dream job in your hometown but considering the competitive nature of the aviation industry, it is wise to broaden your search to a commutable area in order to increase your chances of finding a suitable role.

Pilots, cabin crew and some engineers/ technicians will be required to work and spend time in countries across the world, so can afford to be flexible when it comes to their UK base as it is possible that they may spend a lot of time away from it.

There are also fantastic opportunities in the sector overseas, particularly in places like the Middle East, Australia and North America. Read more about the pros and cons of working abroad here. 


Stay in touch with your references

Building relationships is important when trying to progress your career so don’t forget your previous bosses and colleagues. If you plan on using someone as a reference then try and keep in touch as much as possible. It could be as simple as the occasional social media comment, or a quick message to ask how things are going.

Managers at firms with a high staff turnover may have to give a lot of references, so these will sometimes be short and sweet, leaving no real impression. A person is more likely to give a glowing reference to a person they are still in contact with.

Keep Learning

In an ever-changing sector, it is vital to stay on top of new qualifications and technology changes, particularly in technical jobs. For example, a technician or engineer should have the latest health and safety certificates and be aware of current practices, while pilots should have the latest licences.

An individual will be a more attractive proposition to a recruiter if they show a willingness to learn and improve their skills. Candidates who have out of date qualifications or haven’t completed any new training in the last few years, may appear less enthusiastic about their profession so it is important to stay aware of any industry changes.

Step eight…pre-employment checks for your cabin crew job

Step eight…pre-employment checks for your cabin crew job

Following on from our article from last month, we look this month at the final checks the airline will want to perform before firmly offering you the position.

After the excitement of the Cabin Crew Assessment Day  and interview it can be frustrating to have to wait that little bit longer for these checks to be done!.

How much involvement you’ll have in organising these checks will depend on the airline you’ve applied to – some will do all of the organisation for you and simply tell you when and where to turn up, while others will ask that you make the appointments and request the appropriate paperwork yourself.


Why are these checks in place?

In any job where you will be in a position of responsibility and dealing with members of the public, it’s normal for employers to carry out background checks, to make sure you are who you say you are, and that the information you’ve given on your application and throughout the application form is accurate.

Checks like these are especially important for Cabin Crew from a safety perspective – not only are you working in an environment where safety consciousness and following procedure is critical, but you will also have access to areas of the airport that are off-limits to the public.


Checking your references

You’ll have been asked to provide at least two references (usually these are from your most recent previous employment) who the airline will contact to verify the details you provided on your CV and application.

You’ll probably be used to this procedure as checking references is common for any kind of employment application!

Again the method of contact will differ from airline to airline, with some recruitment teams contacting referees directly by phone, and others asking them to complete a straightforward form or written statement based on their experience of working with you.


Criminal record checks

As we’ve mentioned, safety is paramount for airlines when it comes to employing new crew, so the airline will carry out a criminal record check to ascertain whether you have any unspent convictions, or have had any convictions in the past that could affect your suitability for the position.

Having a prior conviction can have an affect on the likelihood of you getting the job, especially if it’s related to your behaviour or ethics.

It’s important that you’re honest from the start of your application however. If you’re found to have been trying to hide something your application usually will be instantly dismissed, even at this stage.

Be aware that you may have to pay the fee for this check yourself, depending on which airline you’ve applied to. The airline will let you know their preferred company for carrying out the checks if this is the case.


Financial checks

Not all airlines carry these checks out, and candidates often find it confusing when they do. It can cause concern simply because people don’t understand why they’re in place.

Don’t worry – the airline isn’t delving in to your credit rating, or how much money you have in your bank. The checks are there as a further identity check, and to ascertain whether you’ve ever had financial difficulties that have had resulted in legal action like bankruptcy or CCJs/court action.


Medical checks

The medical checks are there to check that you’re fit to fly. You may have already had to fill out a medical questionnaire before you get to this stage.

The checks are straightforward, and you can expect them to include:

  • Height and weight
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Hearing check
  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Immunisations e.g. tetanus, tuberculosis, yellow fever etc.
  • ECG to test your heart rate and its general condition 
  • Eyesight Tests
  • Dental Checks


If you have any pre-existing conditions or are taking any ongoing medication you MUST declare this.

You will also have to answer questions based on your lifestyle such as how much you exercise, whether you smoke or drink alcohol, and your diet. The medical examiner might also ask you about your family history of illnesses or health problems.

Again, be aware that some airlines may ask you to pay for and arrange the medical yourself.


Next steps

Following the successful completion of these checks you’ll be given a date for beginning your pre-employment training – this is the stage where things all begin to feel real for most candidates.

Next time we’ll look at the training in Step 8 – pre-employment training, where you’ll gain insight as to what it involves and how best to approach it, so that you pass with flying colours!



See the latest cabin crew jobs from Aviation Job Search

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How much can you earn working in the aviation industry?

How much can you earn working in the aviation industry?

Air Traffic Controllers are still amongst the highest paid employees in the UK the latest salary review has shown, taking home an average yearly salary of £94,31 (full-time); an increase from 2018’s average salary of £85,714.

This is well above the UK average salary of £36,611 (all roles across the UK based on full-time work) and puts Air Traffic Controllers in the Top 5 best paid jobs in the United Kingdom.

The second highest paying role within aviation is Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers, taking home an annual average full-time salary of £78,570. While this is slightly lower than the figure recorded in 2018, that does not necessarily mean that wages are decreasing, simply that the sample size for the study was smaller, a theory supported by the fact that aviation salaries, and UK salaries as a whole, have risen an average of 3.6% year on year.

One of the reasons that salaries for these roles might be slightly higher than other roles in aviation, such as air transport operatives (who earn an average full-time salary of £25,969 per year) and Air Travel Assistants (who earn £22,260) is the level of education required for them. Typically, an air traffic controller, pilot or flight engineer requires an aviation degree (and different countries have different accreditation regulations). However, you do not necessarily need a degree to begin a career in the aviation industry, related courses in aviation or parallel courses in engineering are often widely recognised and helpful, dependent on your field of interest. 

Those working in aircraft maintenance saw their pay stay roughly the same from 2018 to 2019, with full-time salaries going from an average of £38,660 to £38,233.


What’s the gender pay gap in the aviation industry?

Given that the Office of National Statistics did not release the male/female full-time wage split for the majority of aviation roles, it’s difficult to say where the field as a whole sits in terms of the gender pay gap.

However, what this year’s figures showed was that for air travel assistants, the pay gap has narrowed considerably. In 2018, the gender pay gap between male and female travel assistants was 16%, which was more than double the national average. 

This year, wages seem to be much closer between men and women, with women earning an average of 10% less than men (£10.45 per hour full-time compared to £11.73 per hour). This means that women take home an average annual salary of £22,269 versus a male employee’s £24,997. 

Women make up 60% of the workforce in air travel assistant roles, and men 40% when it comes to full-time work as air travel assistants, and 67% of the workforce when it comes to part-time. With part-time work the salary gap is slightly higher, with women taking home £9.87 per hour vs. £12.37.

What’s important to recognise however is that this figure is an average across all roles, and does not necessarily account for working hour difference or overtime pay, so it is not a measure of the difference in pay between men and women doing the same job.

In general however, the gender pay gap looks as though it is moving in the right direction, and for employees under the age of 40 working full-time the gap is close to zero. 

You can see the full breakdown of full-time for the aviation industry below:



Take a look at how the above compared to 2018 here.