Is there a shortage of pilots? This is a debatable question right now.
In 2018, the military predicted a shortage, due to retirements and the siphoning off of pilots by commercial airlines. And commercial airlines were indeed siphoning them off. They were expanding, and the need was great.
Then the commercial airline industry was hit by COVID, and its demands for pilots were significantly reduced. This followed an employment need projection of 5.1 % annually – a projection that is no longer valid.
There are lots of pilots existing in “limbo” right now. Many have taken early retirement; others have moved on to pursue other careers, and layoffs have been common among all major carriers. But those carriers are in “limbo” too, understanding that travel bans and consumer concerns have all impacted their industry.
Even corporate pilot needs have fluctuated. More professionals are working from home and conducting business via video conferencing as opposed to taking the company plane for face-to-face meetings.
Is your social media profile professional?
So, as a pilot who wants to stay in your profession, how do you get yourself “out there” and into the “eyes” of potential employers? Certainly, you can post your CV and credentials on all major job boards.
But you may not know that businesses in all industries, including the airlines, have major presences on social media. And when they are looking at potential candidates, they are in the habit of checking their social media profiles. Perhaps it is time for you to develop a more professional presence on these platforms too.
But how do you do this when you have been using social media to share jokes and conversations with your friends and family? And if you have used social media to express strong opinions on controversial subjects, a potential employer may find that offensive.
If you have a social media profile that contains potentially inappropriate posts, it may be time to make it private for just friends and family. Set up a separate professional account that you make public.
You want to build a professional brand. And you do that with activities that just might catch the attention of potential employers.
Here are 5 writing tips for your social media profiles:
1) Don’t write/post anything without having a clear goal
You want to capture the attention of those businesses that hire pilots. They may not be hiring right now, but you want your name and profile in their minds when they are ready to hire. You probably also want to stand above your competition.
2) Developing your LinkedIn profile and more
As a seeker of a position as a pilot, LinkedIn should be your first option. It is the largest professional social platform for both job seekers and companies in all sectors, including the airline industry. If you already have a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to spruce it up. If you don’t have one, get one immediately. As you write that profile, consider this:
- Include your top experience and the most relevant keywords for your career in your header. You can use any number of keyword search tools or check out the headers of other pilots on the platform.
- Write a professional summary that shows a regular progression of career growth – qualification upgrades, for example.
- Find the right balance between sounding professional and yet not “stiff” and too formal. This should be reflected in both your summary and your posted CV. And as a side note: have a professional-looking photo.
- Join groups related to the airline industry. Enter into discussions with relevant comments and do this often. It is the best way to get your name recognised and remembered.
- LinkedIn provides the opportunity for professionals in specific sectors to compose blog posts. If you are a good writer and have expertise in specific areas of piloting and the industry, write and post as many articles as you can. Again, this gets your name “out there” and remembered.
3) Crafting your profile on Facebook
Next to LinkedIn, Facebook is a huge repository of business presence. And all major (and minor) airlines have a presence there. You should as well. The key is to have a Facebook profile that will capture the interest of potential employers in the industry.
- On your profile page, there will be sections for your personal information in the “About” section. Here you can provide an overview of your career, your work and education, and live events. You can gear these to present a summary of your background and experience as a pilot. Be sure to fill that “About” section as completely as possible and use professional industry-specific language.
- Write posts about current news in your industry. This will show that you are keeping up, even though you are not currently employed.
- Re-post humorous content you find related to flying. This is an aspect of your “professional brand” that shows your “human” side.
- You can also post content related to the airline industry – travel destinations, for example, especially if you have piloted there. Add great photos of these places.
4) Instagram and Twitter
These may be less useful, but if you do have a presence on these platforms, keep your professional brand consistent with those on LinkedIn and Facebook. Instagram is primarily a visual platform, while Twitter will limit your word count. Just be certain that whatever you do post on these platforms is appropriate.
5) Post regularly
It is not necessary to post several times a day. But do set up at least a tentative calendar that will remind you to post on a schedule. A potential employer needs to see that you are interested enough in your career industry to actively post and write about it.
In the End…
If you apply for an open position as a pilot, of course, you will submit a cover letter, CV, and any other requested documents. If you have developed solid profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook, be certain to include links to those profiles. This will save the potential employer from a search.
But, more important, that employer will see that you have a professional “brand” and an abiding commitment to your career.
Author Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services. You can check her last review of TutorDoctor.