I just watched Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas the other night. I’ll be headed there this weekend for the HeliSuccess Career Seminar, but I’m not expecting anything like Thompson’s trip. Good movie, watch it for free on Fancast.
I’ve been to the Vegas seminar before, and I’m not going this time under the expectation of getting a job offer. In fact, for the low-time pilot, you’ll be surrounded by dozens of other guys in the same situation, and last year there was only one employer there that would consider anybody with <1000 hours PIC time. It’s still worthwhile going to–you’ll see the industry in ways your flight school never will let you see.
The other benefit is–and this is a generalization–that most helicopter pilots haven’t ever applied for jobs with cover letters and resumes. I’ve seen guys with years of time in the work force (helicopters or not) send out awful resumes. With hundreds (or thousands???) of others competing with you, a bad resume is quickly going to kill your chances of getting an interview. So for the career pilot, this seminar gives you a chance to refine or reflect on your job hunting and interviewing skills. Likewise, the seminar will take the trial-and-error out of your first job search if you’re just out of school or the military.
Right, so the reason I’m going this time: I’ll be doing a resume review for anybody who wants it. Back a year ago, I downloaded the resume eBook from JustHelicopters and…well, I was a bit disappointed. It focused on the mid-career and military pilot, and neglected the guy who’s in the most need of help: the CFI with <1000 hours and/or a brief job history. After talking it over with Lyn, I interviewed a few flight school owners and hiring managers from companies that hire 1000-hour pilots and updated the book with the advice they gave me. That project evolved into revising the whole eBook. It’s a freebie when you register for the conference, or you can get it for $15 here (and I don’t make anything off the eBook sales). So if you’re at the seminar, bring a couple of copies of your resume by and I’ll tell you what I think about it!
For those of you who aren’t going to be there, I’m adding a new page to the site. Under the Career tab, you can post (and respond to) questions about resumes, job searches, interviewing, and anything else about finding a job as a helicopter pilot. You’ll have to register, create a page with your question, and then save it. It’s not a big deal, and having it set up that way will allow others to answer questions I can’t (or set me straight when I’m wrong). Look for it being up and running later this week. For those of you who check back, I’ll also drop a few blog posts about the seminar when I have time.