Do you know
what employers really want?
Below is a short
list of skills and characteristics that aviation employers
have stated they want to see in an employee. Following each
skill or characteristic is a "translation" obtained
through individual interviews with employers. You may be
surprised to see what was NOT mentioned....
Good Communication Skills
Most people would think this means to speak and write
well. In reality, employers want an employee that is first
WILLING TO LISTEN. Employers become frustrated when an employee "shuts
them out," showing disrespect to the boss.
Employers do not want to have to tell you each and everything
to do. For example, if there are no customers right now
how about, on your own initiative, go empty the trash cans
or refill the printer with paper or sweep the shop floor
or clean the machines or catch up on paperwork or learn
a new skill?
High Ethical Standards
An employer must be able to trust you with customers.
There are many times when it is just you and the customer
alone during a purchase or conversation. The employer must
know that you will do nothing to harm the customer nor the
reputation of the company or even the aviation industry.
Good People Skills
This does NOT mean chatting with everyone about your
personal problems. Leave your emotional baggage at the door.
Only talk professionally with the customer. This would include
making the customer comfortable by giving the customer a
chance to talk about THEIR personal interests, wants. needs,
concerns and fears. Good people skills includes showing
respect for everyone at all times. For instance, using a
person's proper title and last name. NEVER call a customer
by their first name unless they make the request.
Can Follow Instructions
Obeying all the rules and regulations in aviation is
critical to the safety of the customer and you. Part of
following instructions is also recognizing who is the boss.
Do not attempt to "go around" the boss. If you
have a problem with the boss, first talk directly to the
Critical Thinking Skills
Aviation Professionals, all day long, must be able to
recognize and solve problems. Critical thinking means that
you are capable and willing to work on a problem until a
proper solution is found. It means that you will not give
up and look to someone else to solve the problem for you.
Know Your Limits
Most aviation occupations have a "scope of expertise"
or "special licensing requirements." This is a
regulation or company document that outlines what any worker
within a particular area of aviation can legally do. You
must know and follow the scope of practice for your field.
If in doubt, STOP, consult the applicable FAR's and get
help. Visit some health organization websites to get an
idea of what is expected.
There is nothing in any aviation field that even comes
close to being a game. Employers want someone who works
well with others for the common good of the customer and
the company. Egos should be checked at the door.
When there are many experienced applicants for a job,
employers are more likely to offer the job to the person
who has an outstanding attitude. The applicant's attitude
isn't measured objectively. Usually it is revealed during
the job interview, and the employer weighs it intuitively.
An employee with a positive attitude is expected to:
- Have a pleasant demeanor.
- Be courteous.
- Have a good posture and excellent hygiene and
know how to dress appropriately.
- Have an optimistic outlook. They see tasks as
potential opportunities, rather than insurmountable
- Show enthusiasm for the job. Even without being
hired, they are already engaged in problem-solving
tasks related to the job. They listen actively and
ask insightful, pertinent questions.
- Be willing to work hard.
- Be reliable, dependable and trustworthy. Employers
may check references to confirm the impressions
they form from the interview.
- Be a team player who enjoys collaborative efforts
and gets along with people.
- Fit in with the organization.
Employers use the application, resume and interview
to gauge how willing you are to do the job.
They look for evidence that:
- Your values are aligned with the values of the
- You are a committed to the work involved. For
instance, a professional carpenter who is committed
to the industry's mission of providing homes may
do voluntary work and donate his time to Habitat
So....what is missing?
It may have struck you that "competence in the field"
was not listed above. Employers expect that you will be
qualified to perform the basic duties of the job because
you will have demonstrated the appropriate skills during
the interview process. Everything else listed above is expected
in addition to competence.
Employers value employees who can do the job well, who
are committed to the work and the mission of the organization,
who have a positive attitude toward the job and toward their
co-workers and whom they can afford to pay.