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!



How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can...

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.

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...

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 don’t have the information recruiters are looking for, it might not get seen in the first instance.      

In December, we ran a survey with over 1,200 aviation jobseekers on our website, to find out if they were looking for a new job in 2020.

  • 84% of professionals told us they were looking for a new job in 2020
  • 72% also told us that they will be looking for a new job in January 2020


Maybe you’ve been looking at other jobs for a couple of weeks now – perhaps months? You may have been stretched too thin at the time to give your CV the attention it deserves. Maybe you’ve applied for a few jobs already, but haven’t heard back?

We talked alot about ways to improve your CV in 2018, so here are a few extra tips for 2020 that you might not have thought could affect employers considering your CV.

20 CV tips for 2020

20 CV tips for 2020

1. Your name, professional title and contact details

Do you start your CV with the title ‘Curriculum Vitae’? Well here’s your first 2020 resolution – remove it from all future CVs. Quite simply, it’s a waste of space when the context in which someone will look at it will be that you are applying for a job anyway.

Instead, have your name, professional title (if applicable) and your contact details right at the top, so they are the first thing a recruiter will see.

2. Be strategic with bold, caps and italics

Make your name and job title stand out amongst other details. They don’t need to be huge, or in different colours, but you may decide to make them slightly bigger, or bold them – making your name stand out makes you more memorable – otherwise it blends in to the rest of your CV. Whichever you choose to do, be consistent e.g. if you’ve made subheadings bold, make them all bold. If you’ve used bullet points in one section, make sure the next section uses them too.

3. Choose an attractive, readable font

Think that because it’s a CV it all has to be in Time New Roman? Wrong. While we’d highly recommend you avoid fonts like Comic Sans, choosing a slightly different font to the norm is another way to make your CV stand out. Just be you’re picking fonts that are easy to read. For example, Verdana, Arial or Helvetica. And yes, you should definitely avoid Curlz MT.

4. Balance your text and white space

Just like adding margins, and creating a tidy layout, balancing your text and white space makes your CV more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Why? Because a document with too much white space looks…empty. Don’t sacrifice all of your white space though – it still needs to look presentable as opposed to looking busy.

5. Identify what format works best

If everyone has the same format for their CV, it probably makes the employer’s role as a recruiter very dull…but low and behold, here is one CV that really stands out from the rest! Why? Because you formatted it differently.

Now, we’re not saying to make a complete U-turn on what the ‘typical’ CV looks like, but there are ways that you can rejig it to look slightly different. This might include:

  • Combination: This format involves putting your skills first. Skills generally tend to be a section recruiters value, as it tells them who you are as an individual in the workplace. If you are applying for a Cabin Crew role which requires excellent communication skills, then presenting this within the skills section is ideal for a recruiter to see.
  • Functional: While our research suggests that recruiters aren’t very fond of this format, if you have gaps in your CV, it could be the best option if you’re a stay-at-home mother returning to the workforce, for example. Some hiring managers see CVs like this as a red flag, so if you do go down this route, you have to make sure you can justify the gaps in your cover letter.
  • Reverse chronological work experience: This makes it easy for employers to see the pattern you’ve followed in your career e.g. did you start as a Co-pilot and work your way up to becoming Captain? Just make sure there are no gaps in your CV if you are using this format.

Another option that we have seen with graduates before, includes putting any work experience first (after contact details) to show that they have practical experience whilst being in education, which is admirable to many employers. The rest follows after this.

6. Consider the employer’s needs

If you think about the hundreds of CVs hiring managers have to power through, it’s natural to assume they won’t look at many of them for longer than 8 seconds – unless they see something they like. This would suggest that you don’t want your CV to be any longer than a page or two (double sided for ease) – so you should always have it in the back of your mind to make your CV as concise as possible.

7. Read the job description…and then read it again

According to, many of us are so geared up to start applying for the job that we may only skim over a job advert – more accurately, 76 seconds. Which is why hiring managers find that 50% of those who applied are unqualified for the job. Read it twice to make sure you are suitable for the role, and give it some thought. Is the location close enough/just right? What are the working hours like? What does it say about company culture? Don’t apply for a job because you are desperate to take the next step or find a new job. Think about whether it’s really a place or a role you could see yourself working in.

8. Link it all in

Today, it’s highly likely you won’t be handing your CV to an employer in person. So adapt your CV for the online world, and include links to professional social media profiles, portfolios or blogs you write for. Depending on your role, personal websites go down a real treat for potential employers – it shows them that you are passionate about something, and therefore willing to put in work to emphasise this. Even bigger props if that blog or website is applicable to the role you are applying for.

9. Match your cover letter to your CV

So your CV mentions that you are a creative thinker, but your cover letter doesn’t mention anything to back this up? An employer might pick up on this and feel something is missing…verification.

If you want to ensure you have a CV and cover letter that compliment each other, why not try writing your cover letter first, so that you can then break down your main points in to referenced bullet points in your work experience?  That way, you’ve covered all areas important to the employer.

10. Be concise

Writing a CV isn’t like writing an essay. If your CV is longer than 1 or two pages, it’s likely you’ve included information that’s not necessary (which could lose the hiring manager’s attention). Rather than writing in full sentences (unless required) bullet point your work experience to give employers a quick snapshot of what you can do. This is the easiest way to cut redundant information out of your CV.

Remember, you don’t need to list every single responsibility you had at your current or previous roles. Simply list the skills and experience that demonstrate what you need to do the job you have applied for. A big tip is to list achievements too – facts and figures will go a long way with any hiring manager.



11. Redundant jargon

Following on from our previous point, nonsensical jargon can go too…

If you work in a jargon heavy role like a B1 licensed Engineer, for example, that doesn’t necessarily mean the person hiring you understands it. Use layman’s terms or simplified equivalents where you can to avoid any confusion about your CV.

12. Use the upper middle area of your CV to wow recruiters

The upper-middle area of the first page of your CV is known as the ‘CV hotspot’. This is where the eye naturally falls so think about including your most important experience or ‘key attributes’ here – whether as a student it’s the work experience you’ve completed, or a s a pilot the amount of flight hours you’ve logged.

13. Use figures to get your point across

Bold statements about your achievements are great – but make sure you can back up what you’ve said. Figures come in really handy for this, for example, “Over 30,000 flight hours”. Any figures that can justify the work you’ve done in your current role, include them. It gives the hiring manager an idea of how effective you could be at the company they represent.

14. Add achievements to your experience section

If you’re currently pioneering the way for tailored CVs, adding specific achievements to your experience section will boost your tailored CV through the roof. If you can illustrate a skill of responsibility with an achievement, it puts you two steps ahead of other candidates with the same skill set.


15. Tailor your CV to the job description

We talk a lot about this at Aviation Job Search. That’s because your CV is your first opportunity to get your foot in the door. If recruiters can’t see the skills, experience or type of character they are looking for in your CV, it’s going straight towards the rejection section.

Need some help? Use our standout CV guide to get yours up to scratch.

16. Use tools and another person to proofread

You might consider yourself to be an excellent or poor proofreader. Whichever it is, we’d recommend you don’t take any chances in doing it yourself. Tools like Grammarly can proof your CV and provide suggestions on what should be changed. Getting a fresh pair of eyes in a friend or family member is also useful – you’d be surprised how much you could miss when you’ve spent so much time trying to perfect your CV.

17. Add a hobbies and interests section

Adding in this section shows employers you are human – that you socialise, and like to play in a team sport (so in their mind, you’re a team player?). Highlighting valuable interests and hobbies that compliment the skills relevant to your career will go down very well.


It goes without saying, lying is not a great start when building a first impression. You must assume that everything on your CV will be further investigated by the hiring manager – and it could prove embarrassing in your interview if they pick up on it. It will cost you one job (maybe more), a career, and potentially a lawsuit, depending on how bad it is.

19. Write a thank you email

This isn’t one that gets mentioned too often, but it’s always great to acknowledge an interview after you’ve attended. Sending a post-interview thank you email is good etiquette – even if you think you aced the interview, saying thank you for even being considered is just polite.

20. Draw attention to any promotions

Any promotions you’ve received are essential to showing how you have progressed in your career. Under each company, section off each job role you have had there, particularly if it’s due to a promotion. For example:

Ready, Set, Go Airline –Cabin Crew member

  • Demonstrated use of emergency and safety equipment; ensured seat belts were fastened during take-off, landing and turbulence
  • Served and sold snacks, beverages and meals; coordinated meals for passengers with dietary requirements

Cabin Crew Member

  • Welcomed passengers during boarding process, checked tickets, helped them find their seats; assisted with stowing carry-on luggage
  • Educated passengers on procedures, maintained safe conditions in cabin, and helped passengers when necessary


Want more CV advice? Why not download our helpful guide below? 

Introducing the No.1 event trend for 2020

Introducing the No.1 event trend for 2020

These days you don’t have to search very far to find a live event that is accessible to stream via a smartphone, tablet or laptop. In January 2017, Donald Trump’s inauguration broke all records, becoming the most live-streamed event in the history of live-streamed...

What to expect at airline roadshows, career fairs or open days

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Kirsty is back and this month, she's talking to us about events in the airline industry. Listen to her quick recording below before you read the blog post:   Pilot roadshows are usually a networking and presentation format rather than a recruitment...

10 reasons you can’t afford to miss the Aviation Job Expo

10 reasons you can’t afford to miss the Aviation Job Expo

1. You’re in good hands The Aviation Job Expo is designed for jobseekers, and delivered by the world’s number one aviation job site, Aviation Job Search - if you’re looking for a change in career, it’s safe to say that we’ll be able to deliver the best opportunities...

Relocating for a cabin crew job – the pros and cons

Relocating for a cabin crew job – the pros and cons

Working as a cabin crew member can present opportunities which would be hard to come by when working in other industries – one of these opportunities being the chance to live in another country.

Whether you’re relocating to the Middle East, Australia, Africa or South East Asia, each move can present its own challenges and rewards. This article outlines the pros and cons of relocating from the UK for a cabin crew job.



What to consider before accepting a cabin crew job abroad

The main thing to think about is how you feel you would cope being so far away from your friends and family members? While you’re settling into your new life, you may feel lonely or homesick, which will be a major test in the first few weeks.

However, with more ways to communicate across continents today, the initial struggle is not as difficult as it may have been a couple of decades ago. Video messaging software can make it very easy to stay in touch with people back home and prevent the feeling of homesickness.

As well as staying in touch online, working for an airline usually means discounted flights, so visits home can be frequent.

It is also wise to have worked in the industry for a number of years before making a big move – you may suddenly realise that a job as a cabin crew member is not for you in the long term – you don’t want to discover that after uprooting your entire life to another continent.

Before moving to a new country and city, you should be prepared for a settling in period. Not knowing where your local supermarket or post office is could be frustrating at first. Finding new hobbies, new friends and ways to entertain yourself will come with time.

You can’t expect an instant transition, so be prepared for new, every day obstacles before you start to feel at home.



What are the pros to working in another country?

The main positive to working abroad is… it’s exciting!

Interesting cultures, new people, a change of scenery, new delicious food to try… what is there not to like?

Growing up and living in the same place can become very monotonous and make you desperate for change. Working as a cabin crew member offers you fantastic opportunities to move to different countries, adding more excitement.

Working abroad makes you more culturally aware and can make you more open to experiencing new things. Living in another country can not only improve your life from a professional perspective (it looks great on your CV!), but it can help your development on a personal level too.

Accepting your dream job abroad can also be financially rewarding, especially if you are moving to places like the Middle East, New Zealand or Canada. We will talk more about the financial benefits in the next section.



What are the financial benefits?

Some countries lack the relevant local talent to fill a role, so will be willing to pay a premium to secure the services of qualified, experienced and enthusiastic individuals.

Companies based in areas such as the Middle East, North America and Australasia generally pay much higher salaries than the United Kingdom, which can be the main incentive for leaving the country. The Middle East can also have a lower cost of living than the UK, which can result in a very comfortable way of life.

According to recent figures by Glassdoor, the average base pay for a cabin crew member in the United Kingdom is £15,000, whereas the average salary for the same job in the United Arab Emirates is over £25,000 and over £35,000 in the United States.



What are the professional benefits?

First of all, being able to include the fact that you will relocate for work on your CV shows commitment to the career. If you’re willing to up and move your life for your cabin crew job, you’re instantly a more attractive candidate to recruiters who need flexible staff. 

Learning a language shows a real commitment and that the person has excellent communication skills, and is willing to adapt to new situations.

As well as showcasing your skills it can also be a great way to boost your professional network. strengthening your global contacts can help you discover new opportunities you may have missed while living in the UK and your international colleagues may be able to put in a good word for you which can only strengthen your position.



What countries rank the highest as places to work?

A recent study made by ranks the following countries as having the best life/ work balance.

  • Denmark
  • Bahrain
  • Norway
  • Czech Republic
  • New Zealand
  • Sweden
  • Costa Rica
  • Netherlands
  • Oman
  • Malta


Scandinavia consistently ranks high in polls judging a nation’s standard of living, helped by high salaries & quality working conditions, while Denmark has the shortest working week in the world. Another bonus for any expat considering a job in Scandinavia is the short and inexpensive flight home.

Middle Eastern countries are always well represented in these sort of polls due to the ever improving infrastructure, strong economy and luxury living. Cabin crew staff can secure much higher wages than they would in the UK, which can be spent on the range of fun activities in the area.

Wherever your career as a cabin crew member takes you, the pros typically outweigh the cons in this exciting and rewarding industry. 

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can...

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can perform this task with your eyes closed, but if you want to create a measure of comfort and ease about yourself in a world that has you visiting lots of different destinations with degrees of change and variety, the one thing you want to rely on is the fact that you can make it all that bit more comfortable for yourself wherever you may be. Packing is not new and we all have our preferences of how we get it done – these are my tips on how to pack with minimum effort and maximum efficiency for your career in the sky.


Plan your packing

Planning your packing supposes you have a plan of what you intend to do at your destination. This is a good starting point. While you don’t have to become a weather expert, keeping an eye on the weather can help prevent mishaps like packing for summer weather, only to land into freezing temperatures. The ground rule is only take what you need and see if anything you do pack can have a dual purpose. The idea is to get maximum use of what goes in the suitcase by using as little space and weight as is possible. You don’t have to become a clothes peg or a fashion icon but putting a bit of thought into what you intend to wear while away can help you match and marry your clothes choices without picking single use items and finding you run out of space. My top insider tip is to always pack your case three quarters full so you always have space for shopping or any other purchases that take your fancy.

In the spirit of the Boys Scout motto of always being prepared, it is a good idea to pack some items of a winter wardrobe, because you never know when a planned trip gets cancelled and crew control has you going to another part of the world with the opposite weather you were expecting.

I’m also a fan of the Guerrilla Warfare principle when travelling. Simply put, when fighting in harsh jungle terrain it was impossible for armies to bring everything they needed with them. They made do with what they could get hold of in the theatre of war…

So how does that apply to you packing?

Pack as best as you can, but realise you don’t have to take everything and the kitchen sink with you – leave stuff at home and buy what you need while away (not only will you be able to pack lighter, but you will also be contributing to the local economy). Often times it can also be an excuse to meet locals while exploring the local area.



Some of the simpler tips include:

Doubling up on certain items you use at home and away. For instance, I take supplements regularly so I always buy them in pairs, one for the bathroom cabinet at home and one for my suitcase. This means I don’t have to keep transferring items from bathroom to suitcase trip to trip, something I’m likely to forget to do when other things vie for my attention.

Choose a hard case or soft case – People often ask which is better. I prefer hard cases if it has to travel in the hold and soft luggage if I’m taking it into the cabin with me. The trick is to pack as few valuables in your hard case as possible and keep allowed valuables with you in cabin under lock and key.


A word of caution

When packing, depending on where in the world you may be it pays to check and make sure you are not “importing”any contraband goods into the country. When I say contraband I mean anything from paracetamol to magazines and much more. Local rules and customs must be respected by passengers and crew. Airlines themselves may have procedural ways of updating the crew on what the latest requirement is, but if not, the Foreign and Commonwealth website will normally have updated information on what is and isn’t allowed.

A true story for those of an excitable nature –  don’t forget to pack for short trips. When I started flying my first night stop trip was a Dusseldorf split-duty (last trip out of London and the first one back early the following morning). We got into Dusseldorf and the crew decided to meet for a quick social gathering in the bar on the bus to the hotel. On getting to the hotel, I got my key, went up to my room to change and meet the crew downstairs. Imagine my disappointment when I opened my night stop bag only to realise in my excitement about my first night stop, I’d forgotten to pack a change of clothes! I didn’t make it to the bar, but the crew found it humorous the following morning.

About Christopher

Christopher Babayode is a former flight attendant of 20 years with British Airways, a specialist in Travel Wellness and healthy jet lag solutions for those who travel often. He is the author of Farewell Jet Lag, Cures from a Flight Attendant (on Amazon UK & US). Chris has been featured in the Sunday Telegraph and is a most -read author on Quora the questions and answers platform.

How to pack for a life on the road

How to pack for a life on the road

Nothing sounds as simple as packing a suitcase for a trip abroad, however when you pack the same case week in week out, it becomes a skill worth learning to make sure you are comfortable and well prepared for whatever your journey brings. Generally speaking, you can...