New Pilots

Life as a Pilot Blogs

Welcome to the Aviation Industry!

This section of PCC is dedicated to newly-rated pilots with less than 1000 hours.

The links below will help you Position Yourself for Success in Aviation! Learn more about your opportunities, your options, and some hurdles you can overcome. Also, use our NEW-PILOT JOBS section below – for pilots with less than 1000 hours experience.

First Job Info
'Missing' F/O Jobs
Experience Catch-22
Tips & FAQs

GREAT NEWS … your airline dream is within reach!

Regional and International Air Travel is increasing every year. The advent of Regional Jets, Regional Turboprops, Boeing 787's, as well as the success of 'no-frills' Low Cost Carriers is making flying affordable and convenient for more travelers than ever. Also, over the next five to ten years, major airlines will see unprecedented levels growth and pilot retirements.

Opportunities for pilots are better than ever.

For most pilots though… securing the First Flying Job or First Job in Aviation tends to be the biggest challenge. If this is your current predicament, we can only say… Welcome to the Aviation Industry!

It truly takes dedication and perseverance to get started. And just so you are aware, it is common to be turned away for weeks and months while sending out hundreds of applications to Chief Pilots and Operations Managers.

Interestingly, many pilots walk out of their flight schools with high marks and first-time passes thinking they have made it. They clearly have all of the qualifications, know-how, and should be hired immediately. At the same time, many believe the small charter companies should give them instant flying positions to help them achieve their initial 500 or 1000 hours. In other words, to help them move forward to the next job or airline job.

In actuality, owners run legit businesses and take special care when hiring. They look for people they believe will work hard and who will stay on for some time. They also search for people who can add value to their businesses. Owners understand pilots and their motivations. So be careful and show them a lot of respect.

With your initial training and ratings completed - depending on your location - you can increase your options and chances significantly by offering to start on the ground (on the ramp) and/or to do part-time flying and part-time ramp work. This shows the owner that you are serious. Also, if you have any skills outside of aviation, definitely make them known on your Resume/CV and when you meet the Chief Pilot in person. Skills such as Woodworking, Carpentry, Plumbing, Auto-Maintenance, Electronics, IT, and WebDesign can help you to land that elusive First Aviation Job.

For those still in training, you can increase your future opportunities significantly by finding early employment at the airport; on the ramp, as a fueler, in the hangar, as a dispatcher while completing your training. This ground experience is truly relevant and looks excellent on a Pilot-CV/Resume. Even if it lasts for just one season.

For those living in Europe and Asia – where the general aviation sector is quite small and relatively untouchable, we recommend that you focus on your studies – both secondary school and aviation studies. Prepare well and be sure to excel in all exams. Become a true scholar. The reason is simple… when you apply to the local airlines, all of your records will be scoured over by the recruitment team. Exceptional results will give you a much better chance to be considered for Cadetships and Self Sponsored Schemes.

IMPORTANT for all NEW-PILOTS… make an effort to get to know people around you. You likely don't realize it but one or two of the pilots around you will one day help you secure a great flying job. It may be your instructor, your student, or one of your peers. It could also be an established pilot you meet at a BBQ. Aviation is a small community. Getting known at your flight school, at your part-time ground job, and around the airport will increase your pilot career chances ten fold.

PCC offers invaluable services to you… our Airline Pilots of the Future!

Have a look through our extensive website and definitely read through the EXPERIENCE CATCH 22 and TIPS & FAQS sections above.

Position Yourself for Success, Pilot Career Opportunities, and Future Airline Interviews:


Whether you're looking for your first flying job, applying for an airline's Ab-Initio Program, or hoping to move forward into a Multi-Engine Turboprop job, our Professional Pilot Resume/CV Service is second to none and will help you gain a competitive edge over other candidates; PCC Pilot-Resume/CV Design page.


This info-packed section includes questions commonly asked by pilots like yourself. Our answers provide valuable insight to get you closer to your dream. Visit our TIPS & FAQs information.


We continue to update our long-running and always expanding Air Carrier Profiles section. It is a must-see and a must-use for NEW-PILOTS. Access Local Pilot Recruitment Info 24 hours a day – for Small Charter Companies, Helicopter Operators, Seaplane Companies, VIP Corporate Operations, Regional Airlines, and Major Airlines throughout the globe. An incredible resource for NEW-PILOTS; Air Carrier Profiles by PCC

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'Where are all the low-time First Officer jobs?'

'What pilot shortage?'

'All we see are B737 and A320 jobs for rated and experienced pilots!'

'Where are the Caravan jobs?'

'Where are the King Air Medevac First Officer jobs?'

'How about Ramp or Dock Positions?'

Excellent questions. NEW-PILOTS will need to research and understand the nuances of Aviation and specifically their own Local Aviation Industry.


You will rarely find low-time flying jobs listed on Aviation Job Portals.

Why? … Why? ... The reality is these positions are often filled months in advance.

…'if you need a guy on the ramp, my friend John is in town and is an excellent guy, would fit in well here. He just got his Multi and Instrument Rating. I can vouch for him!'.

…'when Jessie heads off to           Airlines, you should take a look at my friend Steve. He is an excellent guy and would be a great F/O for us. I brought him to our Saturday Night game three weeks back. You met him briefly, I have his resume right here.'

In order to help you – we have designed and developed this NEW-PILOTS section; which includes Low-Time Flying Positions for pilots with less than 1000 hours experience.

In addition, we recommend you take a close look and become familiar with the Air Carrier Profiles section; where we keep updated data on Air Carriers in your local area – including addresses, hiring links, fleet information, personnel details etc.

Also, pay close attention to our Aviation News and Air Carrier Updates sections. Here you may learn critical information on a specific carrier's fleet growth and/or changes to their recruitment personnel. Sometimes a well-timed application goes a long way.

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'Sorry we only hire pilots with 800+ hours Total Time.'

'Well how can I get the experience if you will not hire me to fly your aircraft???'


Understanding business is important to your upcoming pilot career. All aircraft operators must insure their business, hangars, offices, personnel and aircraft. Pilot flight hours are included in the finer details here – and business owners always enjoy lower Insurance Costs when employing pilots with experience.

In addition, many Medevac/Air Ambulance Contracts signed between local governments and aircraft operators require the flight crews to have a Minimum Experience Level – usually much higher than the 250 hours you hold at flight school graduation.

FACT – early on in your career with 250 hours – do whatever you can to get some part-time flying. The idea and goal here is to bring your total time to over 500, 750, and 1000 hours. From there, your options and opportunities will open up significantly.

'How and where can we get these flight hours – when we don't have enough experience to get the First Officer job in the first place?'

There are numerous ways to get your flying hours up – some pilots purchase their own small airplane early on and log time that way. Others become Flight Instructors while others become Skydive Pilots on the weekends. Pipeline Patrols, Glider Towing, Aviation Photography, Geophysical Surveys, Traffic Watch, Scenic Tours are all excellent examples of early flying jobs or time building positions.

Do some local research and try to locate these operators at nearby airports. Go and meet with them. Get to know them and when possible, start flying and logging those critical hours.

FACT – Dock Hand, Hangar Assistant, Skydive Pilot, Aerial Survey Pilot, Traffic Watch Pilot and Cargo Agent are all examples of First Aviation Jobs of Senior Staff at PCC. These same pilots now fly in the left seat of B747-8F, B777-300ER, A320-200, Challenger 605, and B737-800NG.

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Click on any of the following questions to view our comments and suggestions. We hope you find the information useful. If you have any further questions, feel free to send us an email.

Click on any of the questions listed below to see our response.

I am a newly rated pilot; do you help pilots who are just starting out?
We help pilots to achieve their career goals. The PCC team's Professional Pilot Services accommodate all levels of experience from the newly rated commercial pilot to highly experienced wide-body Airline Captains. Our business is specialized – we help Pilots move forward in their careers. That's all we do. Our Pilot Resume Design Service, Effective Cover Letter Design, Company Specific Interview Prep, etc. will benefit any individual who is planning a career or advancing as a Professional Pilot.
I'm having trouble landing my first flying job, any suggestions?
We hear this a lot. Securing that first flying job can be a challenge. We believe that attention to detail in your paperwork (Pilot Resume/CV & Cover Letter), a positive attitude, along with regular mailings and road-trips can make a big difference. For example, do your documents effectively market you in our unique industry? Documents designed by generic Resume/CV Firms or those designed 'standard business style' do not effectively market pilots. Also do you contact Chief Pilots prior to your visits with a professional yet brief cover letter? If not, we highly recommend it. A Chief Pilot would rather talk with someone he/she is expecting than one who arrives unannounced.

Another suggestion… target a select number of local companies and try to establish a professional rapport with them. Also a Ramp Position or Fueling Job is an excellent way to get known and solidify a good reputation in the industry. A common mistake of new pilots entering the industry is mailing and emailing out hundreds of documents and companies all over the world and then expecting some companies to call you without ever meeting you in person. You need to go on a local road trip and meet some people – in other words follow up your mailed resumes with a personal visit. Lastly, if you have a job-lead, a connection or a unique opportunity, make the best of it. And if a prospective employer hints that they may be hiring pilots soon, it is worth your while to pay them a personal visit. Then make it known that you are interested, if required, in working in a non-flying capacity until a position becomes available.
I have been recently hired by one airline and have been called for an interview with another, what should I do?
A tough decision, but one that we cannot make for you – definitely a personal decision. Having said that, we encourage our clients to go with the sure thing – the actual job offer. If someone offers you a job that you interviewed for, take the opportunity and make the best of it. If for some reason you are unsuccessful at the second interview, you will still have a good job. So take the initial job and then attend the subsequent interview if you so desire. If you are lucky enough to receive a second job offer, you now have options. By saying "no" to the company that offered you the initial job, and then failing with the second company or being delayed or held in a 'pool', you end up without an airline job and very few options.
No luck yet in my job search, do you think I should get my Instructor Rating?
A Flight Instructor position is an excellent job. Especially later on in your career at Airline Interviews, this experience is looked upon positively. Many current airline pilots started out in flight instructing roles. In fact, Airline Check Pilots (Instructors) are often part of Airline Interview Panels.

We recommend that if you are going to go with the instructor route to get to the airlines, it is beneficial to work at a flight school that provides Multi-Engine IFR Instrument Training. As you log time as a flight instructor, do your best to get into the IFR/IR Training Department, since this is the area of Flight Instructing that will score the most points for you. Airlines hiring Direct Entry First Officers often look for additional experience on top of instructing, such as Two-Crew Multi-Engine Turbine Time. An ideal candidate for these airlines would likely have both Multi-Engine IFR Instructing experience and Two-Crew Multi-Engine Turbine time – flying Night Cargo, Regional Charters, Scenic Flights, Medevacs etc.
Is there really, truly a shortage of pilots?
This is not a scam. This is not a drill. There is a massive Global Pilot Shortage.

The Aviation Industry is currently experiencing significant growth all over the world. Major flag-carrier airlines are expanding with modern long-haul aircraft orders (B787, A350 etc) while introducing and/or expanding their own Regional Low Cost Divisions (B737NG/MAX, A320neo, E190 etc). At the same time major airlines are facing unprecedented levels of attrition due to retirements. Also, Low Cost Carriers (LCC) and Ultra Low Cost Carriers are expanding like never before. And Regional Airlines are growing as they shift back to modern, cost-efficient turboprops (Dash 8-Q400 and ATR72-600). US Airlines are hiring hundreds of pilots from the regionals every month. The US Regionals are offering signing bonuses for pilots who join their ranks. The South East Asian Low Cost Airline Industry has exploded. India's Aviation Industry is setting records every month. Canada's Aviation Industry continues with steady growth. Middle Eastern Airlines continue with their own massive growth. Australia and New Zealand are entering a period of continuous pilot hiring. Chinese Airlines are expanding with record aircraft deliveries and expansion. So much so that their Recruitment Teams travel to Western Countries and try to attract experienced Foreign Captains with Industry Leading Tax-Free Salaries. Africa is the next continent to undergo significant corporate aviation and low cost airline growth. With all of the above combined, today is an incredible time to become a pilot.

See our Pilot Shortage and New Pilots sections for more details and insight.
Why do you recommend using your pilot resume design service?
In-depth aviation recruitment research, advanced Microsoft Word Training, and professional interview experience has enabled the PCC team to create The Ultimate CV/Resume Design for pilots. Our resumes are targeted specifically for Aviation Recruitment Personnel and stand out due to a highly professional look and effective 1-page layout of industry-specific information. We guarantee you will be satisfied with our resume/CV format. See our Pilot-Resume/CV Design page.
What is so wrong with my 2-page (or 3‑page) resume?
Many generic business resume and marketing publications promote their own resume/cv styles. Aviation is a much more unique industry. We recommend that your aviation documents be 1 page in length. No More. Recruitment personnel will not take the time to sift through 3 pages of poorly formatted and ordered information. Anything not listed on the first page will likely be overlooked. Pilots often complain that it is impossible to include all of their information on one page. However, our professional Resume/CV format can accommodate a great deal of information. Contact the PCC team today for a resume overhaul. Or simply go to our Resume/CV Design page.
Why do you recommend Microsoft Word for resumes?
It is very important to design and format your resume in a way that will allow recruitment personnel to easily access your relevant qualifications and experience. The most common word processing software around is MS Word. If an airline receives your resume electronically and cannot open it because it is in a format that is not compatible with their computer system, they probably won't take the time to alert you of it. Avoid the confusion and hassle by using a system that is widely used - MS Word. At PCC we use MS Word to design and edit documents and then convert them to pdf format for ease of printing and maintaining a specific format.

The use of the Internet by airlines to accept applications online is increasing every single day. Companies such as easyJet, Emirates, Alaska Airlines utilize their own Online Application Forms. When accepting Pilot-Resumes/CV's, airlines the world over prefer to see MS Word and/or pdf files.

TIP: When working on your MS Word Pilot Resume/CV Documents, be sure you title them with your name instead of the more common method using words like 'Resume 2016' or 'Pilot CV' etc., etc. The reason is that the Recruitment Personnel often quickly received documents onto their computer's 'Desktop', to be opened and reviewed later. If your resume is titled Resume 2016 or Pilot CV, it may be lost in the mix, and a challenge to search for. Instead a document names 'SMITH-John-A320Pilot.doc' or JONES-Matt-Caravan-Captain.doc would be much more effective. If either of your first or last names is very long, shorten it a little to something like FONZ-A-KingAirFO.doc or ArthurF-CPL.doc for Arthur Fonzarelli.
Should I post my Pilot Documents on the Internet?
The importance of your Pilot-Resume/CV cannot be over emphasized. We recommend always having a few copies on hand. Aviation is a unique, small industry, and it is amazing how many jobs are found away from the airport. You never know when or where you will get an unexpected opportunity. Having your Pilot-Resume/CV docs on hand at all times can help you to move forward in your career. The PCC team can attest to getting further in our careers due to always having our Pilot-Resume/CV on hand.

In this day and age, you should have a current copy of your documents at the ready on your smart phone. This way you can quickly email, air-drop, or even whatsapp them to help with a job-lead. Also be sure to save your Pilot-Resume/CV documents to 'the cloud', 'dropbox', or 'icloud'. This way you can also quickly and efficiently provide your job-leads with a link to your documents.

In regard to posting it on the internet... there are websites that will post or take your resume online for free. Others will charge pilots a monthly or yearly fee – this is your perogative. Normally though, you will need to apply and go and find the open pilot positions yourself. Never depend on the internet and an Online Pilot-Resume/CV to find you work. Instead, get out there and regularly apply with 1 page Paper Resumes, Online Application Forms, Road Trips to different airports, and/or Personal Visits to Air Carriers and Chief Pilots. Try and hook up with senior pilots at barbeques and social outings.
What kind of paper should I use for my Pilot Resume/CV documents?
You only get one chance to make an excellent first impression. We believe it is important to use a high quality bond paper that is conservative in color and business-like. Resume/CV paper is available in the stationary section of a number of stores. Spend the extra couple of dollars to print your information out on this material. Do not use any bright/colorful paper or design paper, such as that with clouds on it. You want to create and maintain an image of professionalism when applying for a position. A bright color with designs does not create that image. Nor does a resume printed out on standard printer paper.
Cover Letters
What kind of paper should I use for my cover letters?
Use the same color, style, and quality of paper for both your cover letters and resumes. See the last question and our suggestions.
Should I include a cover letter with every Pilot-Resume/CV I send out?
Absolutely. Attention to detail, and establishing a professional image come to mind. It is very important to include a professional cover letter with every Pilot-Resume/CV that you send.
Do you have any suggestions regarding cover letters?
Cover letters should be concise and to the point. Most importantly however, cover letters should, whenever possible, be directed to the proper Recruitment Personnel. Generic cover letters should not be used. Try to find out the correct recruitment contact for the airline or charter operator you are applying to – and be sure to use the correct spelling and correct title for this person or persons. This information and the proper spellings is contained within our Air Carrier Profiles. Be sure to use this free yet extensive database. A misdirected or incorrectly spelled title or name may cost you an opportunity.

Cover Letters for Pilots

TIP: Addressing a resume and cover letter to a title or even ‘To whom it may concern’ is a common mistake that applicants make when distributing their documents. They send out a very generic cover letter addressed to a title (Attention: Chief Pilot) as opposed to a specific individual. If you have made this mistake, it may explain why you haven’t received a response. It looks much more professional when you send your Pilot-Resume/CV to the proper person - properly spelling their name and title. The contact information for applying at specific airlines and charter companies is available for free in the Air Carrier Profiles section of our website.

TIP: Pilots always have their address on their resume but hardly ever their email address for some reason. In this day and age, the most important piece of contact information is your smartphone/cell/mobile number followed closely by your email address. Be sure to separate these two from your street address - that way this essential information will be easier to locate.
Interviewing / Applying – The Small Charter Carriers
How often should I apply to these companies?
It is important to apply to these carriers when they are in need of a pilot. If you can get any inside information regarding pilots moving on, or a spring hiring season, maybe a planned expansion, …use it to your advantage. Most importantly, follow your resume into their offices with a personal visit. If someone helps you out by taking you in to personally meet the Chief Pilot, that is fantastic. If not, make a note on your cover letter of 'the day and time you plan to arrive at their hangar, and that you understand they are most likely too busy to see you, however you are hoping to get lucky and that they will be able to spare 5 minutes to talk to you'. When you arrive, hopefully they will be expecting you. When you introduce yourself, they'll know who you are and may have even had a look through your Pilot-Resume/CV ahead of time. For more info on Professional Pilot-Resumes/CV's, please see our Resume/CV Design section.
Should I go back to school and finish my University Degree?
Education is extremely valuable and a University Degree / College Diploma is always an asset. However, considering the current job market and the impending retirements at the top of the industry, it may be more beneficial to secure a job (ramp position, instructing, right seat etc.) as soon as possible! Word hard and establish a professional reputation somewhere and start logging time if and when possible. Remember that the airlines in Europe, Canada, UK, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and most LowFare Airlines in the US do not have a degree requirement. They will however have a minimum requirement with respect to flight hours. With this in mind, the four years you spend getting your degree could have been used to log valuable flying time that would qualify you for an Airline Interview. On the other side of the coin, many American major airlines still have a University Degree requirement.
I have an interview for a ramp position, but really want to fly!
Making the most of this Ramp Opportunity may be the best and perhaps the only chance you'll have to break into the industry. Securing this job with a good attitude will allow you to work hard, gain some experience, and develop a solid, professional reputation. Now your boss can recommend you as a good worker to his pilot friends. He may be an operator himself, and might like to see a person's work ethic prior to letting them fly one of his one million dollar plus machines. Get into the industry. Once you're in, you're in. A non-flying ramp position is an excellent opportunity for pilots entering the industry.

In fact, many our successful Airline Interview Prep clients have had ramp positions listed as their first jobs on their resumes. This actually scores them points for having 'paid their dues' through good, honest work at the start of their careers. An additional benefit is while working the ramp, you often have a unique opportunity to meet many aviation people, which could pay off in the future. Many pilots enter the industry as fuelers at remote airports and airstrips. And over time, tend to meet many Senior Pilots and Chief Pilots for companies they hope to work for. Excellent.
I have interviewed with some of the charter operators and haven't had any success; what do you recommend?
You should consider using our Charter Interview Prep service. Our Professional Instructors will give you the tools you need to be successful in this competitive job market. You will learn how to handle the tough interview questions and how/what to study for the interview. Not only are the charter carriers covered, insight is provided into Airline Recruiting as well.

Small Charter Interview Prep
Applying to the Airlines
Am I even qualified to apply to BA and easyJet, United, Cathay Pacific, etc?
Airline Hiring Requirements are constantly evolving and are often based on pilot supply and hiring demand. With that in mind, it is important to apply to the airlines early on in your career. Applying once you attain your initial Commercial & Multi-Engine Instrument Rating is highly recommended. From there, continue to apply on a somewhat regular basis; either every six months or every 12 months. You will not be called for an interview for some time, but in the meantime you will be establishing a track record with the airline. Once you have the minimum requirements, you will likely get an opportunity due to your perseverance. More importantly, the airlines want to hire pilots who truly want to fly for them. Proving a high desire to fly for that particular company is a key part of the personal interview. What better way to get this across than discussing your lengthy and consistent application history?

Apply today and score points tomorrow – for more information, see our Air Carrier Profiles section.
To whom should I send my Pilot-Resume/CV to at WestJet, Cathay, Qantaslink, AirAsia, etc?
Again, our Air Carrier Profiles section often contains the Chief Pilots, Recruitment Personnel you need. In addition, you will gain more insight on how to apply, their address, phone numbers, emails, online applications, etc.. Look up carriers of interest to you, global airlines, local corporate jet operators, Air Ambulance/Medevac providers, Scenic Tour companies.

Our Search Pilot Jobs and Air Carrier Profiles sections are incredible resources for pilots applying to local and international companies. All of this information is accessible 24 hours a day.
How often should I apply to the airlines?
It is important to establish an application history with the airlines – if and whenever possible. Many of the larger airlines have computerized Application Tracking Systems. With that in mind, it is important to start applying at an early stage and to continue to do so right up until the day you are hired. You should send in an update once every six or twelve months. Or whenever you have a significant change in your qualifications. It is possible, however, to apply too often. We recommend that you not apply more than three times within a twelve-month period.

TIP: Keep an organized file or a binder full of your application history with each airline or company. It will keep you organized and enable you to apply at consistent intervals. It will also provide you a basis for follow up phone calls. E.g., "I sent in my application and resume on November the 5th, just wanted to ensure that you received it."

TIP: If you have a friend that works for an airline or company you are interested in, be sure to have them walk in your Pilot-Resume/CV to the Head of Recruitment or Chief Pilot. This may help get your file or application to the top of the list. Note: Never depend on this method – ensure you mail in your resume as well.
Any suggestions in regard to filling out application forms?
Yes. The first thing we recommend is to photocopy or print out the online application form. Now you can use the copies to complete a practice application form. Once satisfied, fill in the real one - be as neat as possible if filling it out manually. If your application is neat, then not only will they will be able to read it, but they may believe your future paperwork as an employee will be that neat as well. Points scored.

Some international carriers such as Cathay Pacific ask for a passport size photograph. Do not use your extra passport photos from six months ago. In this case – go and iron your best white shirt, look the best you can, perfectly tie your dark tie, and get a great photo done. Dress and look like a Professional Pilot. If you're not happy with the photo, go back and spend another 8 dollars until you're happy.
Should I include a Pilot-Resume/CV when I send in my application form?
We recommend that you always use a brief cover letter when corresponding with the airlines. We also believe that you should always re-send your updated Pilot-Resume/CV alongside your completed application forms. It allows the recruitment personnel the opportunity to both place them together in your file, and also get a more personalized feel for your experience level and qualifications. If you have an excellent 1-Page Pilot-Resume/CV, they will take note of it. See our Resume/CV Design section for more info.
I am concerned that I may be too old to apply at 35? 40? 50?
A common misconception is that the airlines only want to hire young pilots. The corporate belief used to be that the more years an airline could get out of a pilot the better. Things have changed; now airlines around the world want to avoid the massive retirement levels they are experiencing today (all at once) and over the next ten years. How can they do that? By hiring pilots of various ages.
I haven't really applied to the other airlines.
It is extremely important to apply to a number of airlines. If you limit yourself to just one company, you may not get an interview, or even worse, they may elect to not hire you after interviewing with them. The PCC Team recommends applying to and interviewing with more than one airline. If you receive an offer of employment you can always turn it down. The interview experience gained at each and every interview is invaluable. We often have people come to us looking for help after being turned down from their dream airline. These same people often have not applied to any other companies. As a result, they may have a problem explaining to these other airlines why/how they truly want to work there when they've only applied once – and that's if they're fortunate enough to get an interview.

Apply everywhere. Working conditions and contracts across our airline industry have improved a great deal in the last few years. Charter Airlines and LowFare Airlines like easyJet, Ryanair, jetBlue, Air Transat, WestJet, flydubai, Southwest, AirAsia are fantastic places to have a pilot career. Fractional Companies such as NetJets, Flexjet, Vistajet, and Execujet are great carriers as well.
No luck in getting the interview. Any suggestions?
We have heard this question a lot. Start off with an unbiased assessment of your Pilot-Resume/CV. Does it effectively marketing you? Is your Pilot-Resume/CV highly formatted and professional? How about your application history… have you been applying on a consistent basis? Do you meet their minimum qualifications? Is the airline currently recruiting? If you answered 'Yes' to all of these questions you are very likely close to obtaining an interview. It may be worth contacting the PCC Team for some tips and unbiased feedback on your situation.
Interviewing – The Airlines
What should I bring to the interview?
The airline will tell you what they expect you to bring to the interview. If they do not provide this information, it is probably an oversight– call or email them to verify what you need. Standard things include your Pilot Documents (LIC+Medical, Ratings, Currency, Dangerous Goods Training Card, your Logbook, 5 copies of your Pilot-Resume/CV, and any Reference Letters you may have.

TIP: How is your logbook? Is it very neat, professional, up-to-date, and certified? It should be. Many clients of ours have gone back and completely re-done their logbooks prior to their interviews. One note of caution; you must get all of your times certified all over again if you re-do the entire logbook. Remember that a neat and professional logbook will indicate that your paperwork at the airline will be of the same high standard - points scored!

TIP: In the remarks section of each entry in your logbook, ensure there is nothing written that might work against you. For example... the words 'Failed Ride' etc. would not be good. If you've failed some rides and want to write something there, simply use the word 'Training' or something neutral. A lot of pilots simply write in the airports they fly from and to in the remarks area. Others include unique info on that particular flight - ie. 'RVR2600 Take Off', 'NDB Approach RWY16 to Minimums', 'Eng2 FX on T/O, returned to YYZ'. All of these types of things are good to have in your logbook provided you can remember them in detail. The Recruitment Personnel will likely ask you about a few of these items. If these questions are answered professionally and with detail, you will score points.
What kind of research into the airline do I need to do?
It is absolutely critical to know your audience, specifically the airline you are interviewing with. A great deal of research should go into the company prior to the interview. The company website generally provides some valuable information about the airline. Unfortunately almost every candidate will have done the same thing. Therefore it is very important to know a great deal more about the company. The PCC Interview Prep service will provide you with the proper information that will give you the competitive edge in this challenging recruitment market.
Aren't most interviews at the airlines pretty much the same?
No. Although the various airline-recruiting processes appear to be similar, each airline is unique. Each airline has it's own corporate culture and looks for different qualities in pilot candidates. It is extremely important to know the airline and understand what they tend to like or look for. A response to a simple question at one airline may be markedly different than a response at another airline. The PCC Team specializes in preparing you for the airline-specific interview process.
Are there any books you recommend for interviews?
Books can provide valuable information into the interview process and standard interview questions. Unfortunately, we have found that the minute the book is printed, it becomes outdated. That is one of the reasons we designed our website, and our business for that matter. Our information is updated all of the time. Our Interview Prep service is constantly evolving and therefore always up to date with the various hiring processes. Interview questions are constantly changing. Books are therefore unable to meet this demand on a timely basis. We pride ourselves on our ability to stay current with the industry hiring practices.
What is appropriate dress for female pilots at the interview?
In our opinion, female pilots should wear professional, conservative business-like attire. With respect to females with long hair, we believe you should wear you hair up in a bun. Go to a major airport and you will often see female airline pilots with their hair up in this manner. The airlines have strict policies with respect to hair and personal image. When attending an interview, it is important that you meet these requirements. Remember when you are attending the interview, the recruitment personnel are looking at you to see if you fit in with their airline. You certainly would not want to be over looked for your dream job because you did not meet their dress and deportment standard.
What is your opinion on suits for airline and corporate pilot interviews?
While dealing with the airline or corporate flight departments, remember that they are looking closely at you to see if you will fit into their operation. If they are looking at you with this strategy, why not look as if you already work for their company? With this in mind, if their pilot uniform is dark blue, the PCC Team recommends wearing a dark blue suit. Do not, however wear a uniform or pilot shirt with epaulettes. You want to look similar to their pilots, but you also want to display a professional 'business like' image. If the airline does not wear a suit like uniform, you still need to maintain the suit and tie professional image. With the suit, wear a white collared shirt with a conservative yet professional looking tie. If you have problems tying a tie, don't fake it. You are competing against some sharp candidates and need to look your very best. Get someone to tie your tie for you if need be.

TIP: Shoes are a very important part of your suit. Shine your black leather shoes, or if need be, buy some brand new ones. Like they say, shoes say a lot about a person. You should feel as though you look the best you ever have when you go to your interview. New shoes, new suit and tie can often make you feel that way. A small investment to potentially help you land a rewarding airline career.

TIP: Your suit will not look as sharp once you've driven to, and then walked into the building where your interview is to take place. Go to the washroom as soon as you get there and ensure everything looks just right - tighten your tie, tuck in your shirt again, etc.
Do I need a degree to get on at the airlines?
No, not normally. At the current time, no airlines other than the US Majors require a degree as a minimum hiring requirement. At the same time, most HR types will want to look at your education and marks/grades. European carriers tend to have a good look through you're a-Levels. Remember… Education is a valuable asset and holding a degree does give you a small competitive edge on other candidates.
Do you sell Interview Question Packages for the various airlines?
Unfortunately no. We tried this in the past but found the airline recruitment people we're trying to purchase the packages as much as the pilots. Selling our packages to recruitment people, in our opinion, would not be in the best interest of our clients. We believe that knowing the questions ahead of time is only 1/10 of the battle. Answering these questions professionally to score the most points can make or break your career. This is where we get the most positive feedback on our Interview Prep Service – clients who already knew most of the questions, but who we're impressed with our knowledge, insight, and direction in ANSWERING the questions.

TIP: If you have an upcoming interview, talk to as many people as you can who might know what they are currently asking their applicants. Write the questions out and figure out what you might say if they ask you the same thing. If you're unsure of anything, or simply want to do well, think of using our Airline Interview Prep service. Our clients' success record is excellent, and we take pride in being up-to-date with the airlines and their recruitment processes.
Simulator Evaluation
What is the dress code for sim-evals?
The sim-eval is an extremely important stage of some airlines' recruiting process. It is essential that candidates display a high degree of professionalism. This means that a suit and tie must be worn to the sim-eval. In fact, whenever you are completing a part of the recruitment process, the company is evaluating you and watching everything that you do with scrutiny. It can't be emphasized enough that professional attire is a critical part of the process and any clothing that is below standard will undoubtedly diminish your chances.
What do they look for in the sim-eval?
In the sim-eval, the airlines are primarily concerned with your overall flying skills along with your ability to effectively use Crew Resource Management techniques. They are, under no circumstances, looking for the Chuck Yeager types with superior flying skills and inferior crew coordination. In fact, a pilot with moderate 'hands and feet' skills and excellent 'CRM' skills will score higher than an individual with excellent 'hands and feet', but very weak 'CRM' skills. General IFR knowledge is being tested on an operational level. Normally, you will not be asked IFR questions, however you will be required to display knowledge with respect to Airspeed Limitations, Holding and Approach requirements.
Should I rent some Sim Time – is it really worthwhile?
Simulator time is very expensive. However, the pros can far outweigh the cons. Just be careful to ensure that the company/person you use to conduct your sim practice has a good understanding of the aircraft and your upcoming Sim Profile. This will ensure that you come away with a better understanding of the simulator and the approaches/ departures you can expect on your evaluation.

TIP: Remember, some carriers do not use SimEvals to evaluate their applicants – therefore don't rent the Sim unless you are hoping to land a career with a carrier who does.
What do I need to know about the recruitment medical?
Not every airline requires you to go through a company medical. Many carriers seem to be satisfied with a valid Class 1, Category 1, or First Class Medical. In regards to the co. medical exam, remember that on top of the Avistion Medical requirements, they might test your blood for alcohol, drug use, and cholesterol. So be prepared to remove alcohol from your diet for the two weeks prior to the exam. Also do your best to keep your cholesterol in the green arc. It would be a shame to not get hired at the end of a grueling interview process because of too many Big Macs and not enough exercise.

Some carriers like to give you a cognitive test, others a psychological test. It is difficult to study for either one – our suggestion is to never start an exercise in the Cog. Test until you understand what is required. As far as the psychological testing, we recommend that you answer the similar sounding questions in a consistent manner.
I have made it to the medical - is there a dress code for the medical?
The medical is also an extremely important stage of the recruiting process. At all times, when dealing with the airline, candidates must display a high level of professionalism. This means that a suit and tie should be worn to the medical. At all times during the recruitment process, the company is evaluating you and watching everything that you do with scrutiny.
How do they determine the order of the Pole Vaulters at the Olympics?
Like we mentioned earlier, our mandate is to help Pilots move forward in their flying careers. This is our area of expertise and all that we do. In answer to your question, we believe that they draw the names from a hat.

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