Thinking the economic devastation wrought by Covid would be similar to 9/11 and the Great Recession, Aviation Personnel International President Sheryl Barden was ready but was surprised at what happened.
During CFBAA’s Speaker Series on Tuesday, she noted the uptick in traffic to get people to where they wanted to hunker down. “Flight departments became key to economic recovery with the rise in business aviation use,” she told attendees.
“What made this different was how companies were holding tight to their people as activity increased with new aircraft buyers or those who immediately put their aircraft under management creating significantly increased demand in that sector. Those that were NetJets customers or who normally just chartered aircraft, moved to owning. One of the management companies told me his hiring tripled from what was originally planned for 2020 with all the new aircraft under management. In addition, demand for charter and such models as Wheels Up has skyrocketed.”
Barden recommended employees update their resumes at least once a year and noted it has a free annual assessment tool on its website to help employees navigate this task. The tool helps people remember the accomplishments for the year and how it made them better employees or how they contributed to the bottom line.
“You must own your career past, present and future,” she said, noting few have updated resumes. “But you need to have your own statement of where you are today and how you got there. What did I accomplish this year, what has happened in my life? All that helps you build your story. We have people who haven’t touched their resume in 25 years, and it is difficult to rebuild what you have accomplished. You need to show your expertise and your past experience.”
Resumes are only one source of information tapped by employers who also review social media sites for clues as to whether someone would be a good fit. LinkedIn profiles should illustrate someone’s commitment to making themselves more valuable such as working on the IS-BAO certification team or taking professional development courses. Barden cited Matt Olafsen’s LI profile as a great example of how it should be done.
“This is about you and your future,” she said, “and how you can develop skills you do not have now in your downtimes whether it is a RON or a layoff. There are many free online learning and training courses whether through NBAA or Embry Riddle Aeronautical University or LinkedIn courses. One of the major issues now is about diversity and inclusion so take some training which allows you to speak to that to a prospective employer. Employers want to know if you are taking the initiative to better yourself, demonstrating leadership to get more skills. We need leaders so leadership education is important.
“Ask yourself: How can I round out my personal portfolio by proactively taking training that builds skill sets and awareness,” she continued. “You have a choice. You can live by default or by design.”
The remedy for algorithms that may reject resumes, is networking which should start as students. Barden recommending using NBAA resources such as the Young Professionals Program.
“Find the hiring manager. If you are in scheduling, find the scheduler and find out who is doing the hiring. If you have no experience build it by volunteering and applying for internships, scholarships, apprenticeships. There are a lot of resources for people with no experience such as just being a part of CFBAA. Ask for informational interviews to find out what industry is looking for and how you can build your portfolio. Look for job shadowing, network to find a mentor or sponsor which are all key pieces to getting your foot in the industry. That begins that rolling snowball of becoming part of the industry.”
On LinkedIn you need to network because having contacts is not enough. You have to have relationships, find mentors and advisors who can help you navigate not only what you need in your education but your career, Barden advised, noting API offers The Ultimate Guide to Linked in for Aviation Professionals.
“The closer you get to flight department and the people who have hiring expertise, the better you are,” she said. “See who your contacts are following and who is in their network.”
Check out CFBAA’s past speakers here.