In the ‘good old days’ if you were looking for an aircraft engineering job in the middle east or aviation maintenance jobs in the UK or Europe, you either registered with an agency or sniffed out ads in the industry mags. Today however, aviation careers and airline jobs are advertised differently. No matter whether you’re looking for jobs in aviation in the UK, Europe, the middle east or UAE, the social media can be a real boost to your aviation career search.
Tools like LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook have only in the last few years become really prominent in the aviation recruitment process. With figures as high as almost 80% of recruiters saying that they have used social media in one way or another to help them source talent, these truly are a platforms you can’t ignore. All of that said, using the social media to enhance your aviation job hunt needs to be done with care.
Here are our Top 10 Tips to spreading your wings on the social media:
- Look before you leap. If you’re new to the social media or if you’ve only ever used it to share funny snaps of you and your kids on holiday, then if you plan to use it to enhance your chances of bagging your dream aviation job in the middle east – stop and think again! To get social media marketing right in your aviation job hunt, you need to understand a bit about the animal that you’re dealing with and the best way to do that is to invest some time looking around to see what’s going on in your sector. At this point you don’t need to do anything, all you need to know is who is active on which social media and look and learn.
- Check what your profiles are saying about you and make as much stuff private as you can. If you do decide that the social media is a platform that you could embrace to enhance your aviation job search, then you need to have a firm grip on where you’re starting from. The best way to do this is to do a social media ‘audit’ of what’s online about you right now. This sort of audit doesn’t need to be over complicated or over scientific, but you owe it to yourself to find out exactly what information a prospective aviation employer might find about you if he or she were to do a bit of social media searching right now. Generally speaking, the best rule of thumb for social media and aviation job hunting is to keep your personal self and your professional self apart, but if it’s too late for that, make sure that anything personal you don’t want to show is hidden to potential employers.
- Listen before you speak. No matter whether you’ve been Facebooking and tweeting for years on a personal basis, when it comes to so doing to advance your aviation career chances the best advice is listen before you speak. Take time to see what others in your position or the people you’re trying to impress are speaking about online. Sit back quietly and listen in on their conversations and look at the exchanges they’re having amongst them. See if you can pick up on themes, their style of communication and so on so you can adopt an approach that’s appropriate right from kick-off.
- If needs be set up a new aviation job search profile on your chosen social media. If you’re unhappy about using your personal profiles for your aviation job search, then you could consider opening up new profiles that you use specifically for your professional interests. That said, you still need to be aware that anything you leave open for public viewing on your personal profiles could still be picked up by your prospective aviation employer.
- Network. One of the main reasons for being on the social media is to link up with the movers and shakers in your particular aviation sector, but before you go out and network like crazy with important people, make sure you know what you want to say. Once you do, don’t be shy to ask for introductions and when you get them, be as polite and appropriate as you would be in any face-to-face situation.
- Go public, but only once you’re ready. Like most things in life, if there is no reason for people NOT to know you’re job hunting you can make it obvious in your aviation social media profile. You might do this with something as simple as saying you’ve updated your aviation CV or you might make a public announcement that you’re in the market for an aircraft engineer job, a pilot position or whatever other role you’re after. However, before you do so make doubly sure that you’re unlikely to damage your current position by making this move and make sure that you’re ready to go public.
- Link to your CV. If there is no reason why you can’t go public on your search for a new aviation job, then there’s no reason why you don’t add a copy of your aviation CV to your profile. That way, anyone interested in finding out more about you can do so easily and conveniently.
- Join groups. Groups are a great way to listen and to be heard in the aviation industry. There are a whole host of aviation groups on the social media that are geared towards pilots, engineers, maintenance workers and ground staff; so sniff them out, check them out and once you’ve decided they’re for you, join. When you join, take time to make small contributions that show your knowledge and your expertise and you’ll soon be embraced as a fully fledged contributor with all the kudos that goes with that.
- Get help from Uncle Google. Pretend you’re an aviation employer and do a Google search for yourself as they might. Have a good look at what comes up in the search results and while you can’t change what’s on there, you can push listings further down the page by making new listings. Creating a new LinkedIn profile for example and completing it to the max will help your Google rankings and will move unwanted listings down the page. This will be a big help if you need to hide things you’d rather your potential employer doesn’t see.
- Get active and get noticed. When you’ve got all your social media ducks in a row you need to plan your aviation job hunt strategy. When you’re doing this, remember to be realistic. There’s no point in planning to tweet 5 times a day and only keeping up the pace for a week. You’d be better to tweet twice a week and keep it going long term than burn out after just a few days!
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