The aviation industry has been decimated by the coronavirus. When infections spread, airlines were among the first to see their businesses affected. Now, hundreds of thousands of airline workers are threatened by layoffs.
The good news is that working for an airline prepares you for a number of much-needed jobs in the new economy. If you’ve lost your job or simply want to find an alternative to a struggling industry, we can help you figure out your next few steps.
Transferable Skills and Training to Emphasize on Your Resume
Whether you worked in the sales department generating business for the airline or you were the flight attendant who made passengers feel safe and comfortable, you’ve picked up a ton of valuable experience and a solid skill set over the years. These are known as transferable skills.
Transferable skills can fall into one of three categories: hard skills, technical skills and soft skills. By making sure that skills from each group are represented on your resume, you will better your chances of landing a job.
Here are a few of each, as well as common certificates and training, you may have picked up while working for an airline. Below, we’ve provided examples of skills and professional training for a few different job titles in the airline industry:
Hard skills: Foreign language, computer skills
Technical skills: Database and query software (e.g., Microsoft Access), point-of-sale software, spreadsheet software
Soft skills: Empathy, communication, customer service, organization, active listening
Certifications and training: Certified Customer Service Manager (CCSM), Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCEP), Certified Client Service Specialist (CCSS), Certified Client Service Professional (CCSP), HDI Customer Service Representative (HDI-CSR), Customer Service Manager Certification (CSMC), Certified Service Quality Associate (CSQA)
Hard skills: Physical stamina, foreign language, public safety
Technical skills: Microsoft Office Suite
Soft skills: Attentiveness, communication, decision-making, conflict resolution, customer service, teamwork
Certifications and training: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, First Aid certification, training in aircraft emergency procedures, cabin crew training program
Hard skills: Understanding principles and methods of transportation, knowledge of and ability to describe geography, public safety
Technical skills: Flight simulation software, flight-planning software, daily aviation log
Soft skills: Quick reaction time, active listening, social perceptiveness, communication, problem-solving, quick reaction time
Certifications and training: Unrestricted FAA Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate; current FAA first-class medical certificate; FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit (RR); a minimum of 1,500 hours of total flight time, 1,000 hours of fixed wing turbine time and 100 hours of complex flight time within the last 12 months
Please see our Skills Match story for human resources professionals.
Please see our Skills Match story for maintenance professionals.
These Industries Are Hiring People With Your Skills
If you were in customer service, including ticketing agent, information clerk, customer service representative, gate agent:
- Sales associate (for example, at a grocery store, like Giant Eagle)
- Concierge (for example, at a hospital)
- Bank teller (for example, at a financial institution, like Chase)
- Driver (for example, at a delivery company, like UPS)
If you were in other ground staff, including baggage handler, ramp service, custodian, security:
- Security guard (for example, at an essential retail store, like Target)
- Delivery driver (for example, for a delivery app, like Uber Eats)
- Housekeeper (for example, at a local cleaning service)
- Stocker (for example, at a grocery store, like Whole Foods)
- Warehouse associate (for example, at an ecommerce company, like Amazon)
If you were part of the cabin crew, including flight attendant:
- Customer service representative (for example, at an inside sales firm)
- Patient intake specialist (for example, at a hospital)
If you were part of maintenance, including mechanic, technician:
- There are still some jobs available for mechanics and technicians in your sector. Check AviationJobNet, the AOPA and other industry job boards to see the latest.
- Mechanic (for example, for FedEx or UPS)
If you were on the flight crew, including pilot, copilot, flight engineer, analytics specialist, navigator:
- There are still jobs available for pilots, engineers and other highly trained flight crew when you look beyond the major airlines. Check AviationJobNet, the AOPA and other industry job boards to see the latest.
How to Apply for These Roles And What You Will Need
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- Identification, such as a driver’s license or passport
- A current email address and phone number
- A resume
- A brief cover letter
How to Find These Jobs in Your Community
- LiveCareer Jobs
- Climb to 350
- Aviation JobNet
- Aviation Job Search
- Find a Pilot
Do I Need a Resume During the COVID Crisis?
It's true that COVID-19 has caused some businesses to bypass the traditional application requirements. However, not everyone is following suit, and you may not know whether a resume is required until it’s too late. We suggest erring on the side of caution and having a polished document at the ready.
Additionally, a cover letter won’t be required for every position, but you better be prepared to write one just in case. If you find yourself needing to whip something up at the last minute, you could utilize our cover letter builder, which can create a customized cover letter in as little as 15 minutes.
Below, we’ve provided a sample resume for you to review.
Text Resume Example: Ramp Agent Applying for a Warehouse Associate Role
Name: Bryan Holt
Address: Chicago, IL 60607
Summary of Skills: Dependable aviation industry professional with more than three years of ramp agent experience and extensive safety training seeks a role as a warehouse associate. Outstanding communicator with strong organizational skills and focus on efficiency.
- Highly trained in basic safety techniques and aviation regulations
- Experienced marshaling aircraft
- Knowledge of proper cleaning/sanitation processes
- Can lift up to 150 pounds
- Strong organizational skills
- Flexible and can easily adapt to scheduling needs
- Coordinated with ramp agents to verify baggage was placed on correct outgoing flight.
- Positioned and towed aircraft from remote locations of airport to designated areas for operation.
- Communicated closely with ground crew, flight crew, and tow person via headset radio to maintain loading and unloading safety and efficiency.
- Safely operated various types of equipment such as conveyor belts, push-back tractors and tugs.
5/2017 to 8/2018
- Effectively communicated knowledge on menu items and promotions, making customer experience easy and enjoyable.
- Utilized Upserve POS system to place orders and manage bills.
- Collaborated with kitchen staff to enhance delivery systems and better manage customer service issues.
Education & Certifications
Victor Valley High School
First Aid Certification
American Red Cross