Does your aviation CV pass the 30-second test?

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30 second CV test

When you look at your aviation job CV, what do you see?  Do you see four sides of A4, when you know it would be more effective as 2?  Or do you see 4 pages of A4 crammed into 2 sides so there’s virtually no white space left?  What about the text – does it scream out “I’m a great candidate for your airline job” or is it a wishy-washy summary that you’ve put together reluctantly and under pressure because you knew you needed to?  At a very basic level does your pitch for a move in your aviation career look the part?  Is it screaming class and sophistication or is it a mish-mash of pretty much every font you’ve managed to track down on Word? 

If any of these CV observations make you feel in the slightest uncomfortable, today’s the day to think again.

Like most things in life, your pitch for an aviation management job, mechanic job, aircraft engineer job or pilot job gets only one chance to make a first impression.  Jobs in aviation are in huge demand and if you let yourself down by not making sure that your CV passes the 30-second test, then you’re putting yourself at a huge disadvantage before you even get off the blocks. 

Making sure your CV makes an impact, even at a cursory glance is the absolute minimum you should be aiming for.  It’s tough if you’re doing it alone, but it can be done.  In this article, we’ll share some simple guidelines that you can apply to your CV to make sure it passes the 30-second test.  And what’s more, it shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to get your aviation CV firing on all cylinders.

The overall look

In 2016, we’re accustomed to seeing attractive images all around us.  No matter whether you look at product packaging, TV commercials or billboards, you’ll see powerful messages that are well laid out and look good.  Because of all these professional images, we learn to expect things to look good, and your aviation CV is no exception.  As soon as someone picks up your CV or opens it up as a document on their computer, they should be inspired to hold on to it, to dig deeper and to find out more. 

When it comes to fonts, if you’re not accustomed to document creation the temptation is to splash colour and different fonts all over your CV, just because you can!  If this sounds like you, then think again.  If you don’t want to get professional help to make your aviation CV look the part, then at least take the time to browse advice online about how to create your CV.  Keep it simple and easy to read and you won’t go wrong.

The layout

One of the best ways of making someone want to read your CV is to make the layout easy on the eye and appealing.  Plenty of white space around your text makes the whole document more accessible and less scary.  Clear titles enable the reader to navigate their way around the document quickly and efficiently.  If your aviation CV is to pass the 30-second test, it’s essential that busy people feel drawn into it and can get to the part that interests them most simply, and without searching.

The feel

It’s relatively rare today to be asked to put your aviation CV in the post, but if you do this is another great way to help it pass the 30-second test.  If you do have to print and post your CV, before you do so, give it some thought.  It would be tempting just to press print and let it come out of the printer on a standard 80 or 100g white sheet, but think again.  While a nice textured paper in an off white, light grey or even a pale blue or pale pink mightn’t be appropriate for every one or for every role, classy creativity really can work wonders when it lands on your aviation recruiters desk if used wisely.

Above the fold

‘Above the fold’ is a writer’s term used for what the reader sees first.  Adopted from the newspaper industry, what you see above the fold will often determine whether or not you buy the newspaper; and whether or not your CV will pass the 30-second test.  Whether you place a Personal Statement or a Summary of Achievements above the fold is up to you, but there’s no getting away from the fact that you need to get the best part of your aviation career story above the fold.

If you’re struggling to perfect your CV alone, AviationMatch has linked up with an experienced and affordable marketing writer who can help.  If you’d like to get help to make your CV stand out, you can claim a FREE 15 minute consultation here.

If you’re on the lookout for an aviation job, why not upload your CV today to get headhunted by top airlines and aviation companies as well as receiving job alerts that tell you when new jobs that match your criteria are posted on our site? 

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