While what you know as a pilot is important. When looking for a new job, who you know can be equally important. That’s what networking is all about. Networking is when you interact with others to develop your professional contacts. Your network is comprised of your face-to-face relationships. Your social media friends. Your virtual connections. Actually, any person you communicate with can immediately become part of your network. When done correctly, networking can be very rewarding.
Here are ways you can get the most out of networking:
Establishing online rapport - Although you will most likely be asked to apply for the position via a job posting online, making personal contact with the recruitment team online or by phone can give you a leg up because it allows you to build rapport with the recruitment team and it shows your willingness to join their airline.
Searching for recruitment contacts - Check job postings for the contact person’s name and contact details. Search for the person on your preferred Professional Networking Sites and send a connection request.
No contact person listed - If there is no email or phone number, try to find a generic HR/recruitment email address for the airline and send an email introducing yourself. Or, send a short message on a Professional Networking Site to an appropriate person.
Professional Networking Sites searching - Searching for contacts on a Professional Networking Site is simple. Just search for the company then click on the “People” tab and enter in the job title. For example, HR or Recruitment.
Calling - Call the contact and introduce yourself. Briefly explain your experience and ask questions about the position such as the job requirements or assessment dates. · Keep in mind that your initial call or message is your first impression on your potential new employer, so remember to be polite.
When searching for your first job, you should attend events such as pilot expos, roadshows and airline open days. These are perfect environments to speak with the recruitment team within airlines and agencies.
Here are tips on how to maximize your face-to-face networking opportunities:
Be prepared – Dress in business casual attire, have a short summary speech prepared about yourself and your experience and bring a copy of your CV. Be sure to have a business card with your contact information, type rating and even add your flight times. And ask for the rep’s business card too.
Engage with airline representatives - Approach the recruitment representative in a friendly manner and introduce yourself. Ask how their day is going, quickly explain your experience, and then proceed to ask about opportunities at the airline.
Have a clear plan – When attending an event, list the companies you want to speak with, set some targets beforehand and put them in order of preference.
Breakaway from friends – If attending with friends, you should branch off and allow yourself the opportunity to approach the various contacts alone. A little one-to-one time will allow you to create more opportunities for yourself.
Actively listen – It’s important to actively listen so you can pick up any advice or contacts offered by the airline representative.
Networking works. How you do it is up to you. Do it well and it can take your career to whole new places.
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