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What kind of information is featured on the ideal flight attendant resume? What does a sample flight attendant resume look like?

There are key elements that every airline HR department looks for when trying to select suitable flight attendant applicants. Incorporating these key elements into your resume and cover letter will help you obtain that coveted flight attendant position. Since your resume is your ticket to the interview, an impeccable resume and cover letter ensures that you will be given the opportunity to move on to the next stages of the hiring process.

A simple way to get started is to choose the type of resume you want to build. A profile or combination resume with an overview or objective section at the top is a good choice as it allows you to describe yourself and highlight your skills and experience. The following is a sample airline resume using the profile format:

Sample Flight Attendant Resume

Key Elements of a Winning Resume

Company Culture

How can researching an airline’s business, culture, route structure and history help you stand out in a sea of resumes? Sprinkling company knowledge into your resume and cover letter will help you grab the HR department’s attention and conveys your willingness to belong to the airline’s culture.

Resume Example: As a carrier that flies primarily to Asian destinations and offers premium class service, the opportunity to work for XYZ airlines is an ideal fit with my experience as a volunteer English teacher in Korea and my knowledge of the language, etiquette and customs of this region.

Showcase Relevant Work History

Recruiters will examine a candidate’s work history to determine if the kind of jobs they’ve held relate to the on-board tasks a Flight Attendant performs. If you have customer service experience, highlight your skills to distinguish yourself from the pack. If you worked as a bartender for example, the hiring team will assume that you will be great at mixing drinks and making small talk with passengers.

Cover Letter Example: As a bartender at Joe’s Steakhouse, my regular clientele were fond of my signature cocktail. Because of its popularity, this specialty drink was eventually incorporated into the restaurant’s cocktail menu.

Physical Fitness

Are you mentally and physically capable of doing the job? Since you are required to pass a medical test to prove your fitness, it’s a good idea to list some type of activity or sport under the ‘Interests’ category of your resume.

Resume Examples:

Competitive lightweight bodybuilder and avid surfer,
Enjoy hiking and mountain biking in my spare time,
Part-time yoga instructor and Pilates coach,
Tennis, running and biking

Languages

Fluency in a language other than English is an asset and in some cases a requirement if you want to land a position with an airline that has an extensive route structure. Some airlines conduct hiring sprees based purely on the need for language speaking F/A’s. A recent advertisement at American Airlines’ for Japanese speaking Flight Attendants listed the following requirements:

Must be able to fluently speak Japanese
Must be able to read, write and speak English fluently
Competent in handling difficult situations, problem solving and complaint resolution
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; friendly reception of all customers
Must present a professional image, may not have visible tattoos, facial, multiple or upper ear piercing, or extreme hair color or style while in Flight Attendant Uniform
Work in climates and locations across the globe and work variable shifts
Able to attend up to 8 1/2 weeks of training in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and move immediately to the city to which you are assigned as a base

Resume/Cover Letter Example: As a tour guide for City Tours, my fluency in Japanese and knowledge of Japanese culture and customs is greatly appreciated by the Japanese tourists who take our tours and the company’s owners who have been able to increase their market share.

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Like the odds faced by Peta and Katniss in The Hunger Games, your chances of getting hired as a Flight Attendant can seem equally insurmountable. When over 90% of applicants do not make the cut (http://mentalfloss.com/article/31044/10-shocking-secrets-flight-attendants), you will need a winning strategy to defy the odds.

Like Katniss’ bow and arrow, a concise resume and cover letter/email that is free of spelling mistakes and formatting errors will help you hit the Flight Attendant job target.

The following resume tips taken from our book “Airborne,” have been designed to set you up for resume success.

Short and Sweet
A good resume is not long. One, maximum two pages should be sufficient when describing your work history, proficiencies, interests and activities.
Stick to the Facts
When it’s time to complete your background checks, what you say on your resume must match your work history or you will be withdrawn from the pool of available candidates.
Consistency
Consistent formatting in terms of font size, headings, bolding and bullets yields a document that is clean and polished. Your resume should have visual appeal.
Proper Spelling and Grammar
Without good spelling and grammar, you will undo all of your hard work. Put your spellchecker to work.
Mind the Gaps
Always account for any employment gaps. If you were unemployed and living with your parents for six months it’s a good idea to validate any breaks in your employment history.

Social Media

If you are going to direct the recruiters to your on-line resume or career information posted on social media such as LinkedIn, there are some important guidelines to follow. The information you direct them to should be up-to-date and consistent with what you’ve said on your resume. In addition, refrain from providing HR with too much information as some of it could work against you. For example if you tailored your resume towards your customer service experience and your LinkedIn profile emphasizes your IT background, the recruiters might overlook you in favor of a candidate who gives the impression of being more customer service oriented.

Last Word

The time and effort you put into your resume could mean the difference between a career at 35,000 feet vs. the view from your office cubicle. A resume that shines will open the door to a Flight Attendant job and help you gain access to a world where travel and adventure await!

Here’s what a random selection of flight attendants had to say about their flight attendant training experience:

  • “Eight weeks in the training center was definitely more difficult than four years at college.”
  • “I’ve formed a strong bond with my trainers, classmates, and supervisors. It’s really been a very short period of time, but even so I feel like these people are practically family.”
  • “FA Training will kill your social life. In the last week I’ve seen my partner twice, and only for a few hours each time. Outside of class we get a lot of homework, so when I’m home, I’m either studying, sleeping or eating.”
  • “Flight attendant training is often considered an extended interview and if you want to succeed, you should treat it that way.”
  • “Listening to lectures, answering questions about emergency procedures, and hoping to not get kicked out over grooming standards, punctuality, or maybe even just smiling the wrong way, gives you some idea of what you will experience in flight attendant training.”
  • “A few of us in the training class are what I would describe as “book smart.” Memorizing the training manual and acing the written exams was easy however demonstrating the correct operation of safety and emergency equipment and performing evacuation drills was another story. The training taught me the difference between practical and applied knowledge vs. academic knowledge.
  • “Training was like boot camp. It revealed my strengths and weaknesses and prepared me for life on board.”

Duration:

Depending on the number of aircraft type in a company’s fleet and the aircraft systems and procedures to be covered, flight attendant training can last between 4 to 8 weeks. During this period, expect to eat, sleep and breathe airplanes.

Service vs. Safety Training

Most airlines offer very little in terms of customer service training during the training course. Approximately 95% of the training curriculum is related to cabin safety.  Course content includes evacuation drills, operation of emergency equipment, safety demonstrations, fire fighting and aviation security just to name a few.

Since most airlines hire candidates for their people skills, it will be up to your peers to train you on board. Flight attendant training is an expensive for the company hosting the training. The current trend among airlines is to fulfill all of the regulatory training requirements and send you up in the air as soon as they are fulfilled. It is expected that your customer service skills will be learned on the job.

Where will you be trained?

Generally speaking, flight attendants are trained in a simulated aircraft cabin known as a ‘simulator’. It resembles a passenger cabin and usually has a variety of exit types corresponding to the various exits in an airline’s fleet. One airline jokingly refers to their trainer as “The Stimulator.”

Larger airlines have more advanced, high tech training facilities with classrooms and simulators. Smaller airlines sometimes rent the training facilities of larger airlines or they use older unserviceable aircraft or aircraft that are in the hangar for repairs.

The Flight From Hell

The intimate surroundings of the simulator are where you will spend much of your time during training. Within its confines, you will experience “The Flight from Hell” in all of its and themes and variations. For example on some practice flights, you could have severe turbulence, followed by a disruptive passenger followed by an emergency landing.  “The Stimulator” is the ultimate classroom. Memories of it will linger long after you’ve completed your training.

Whether its fire in a smoke-filled cabin, an attempted high-jacking or an evacuation that is complicated by blocked emergency exits; expect to be put through your paces and scrutinized to see how you can handle the pressure at 35 000 ft.

Process of Elimination

Training is designed to weed out the weakest links. Although candidates have been interviewed and pre-screened, round the clock time spent with the trainers and flight attendant hopefuls reveals the most well hidden personality traits.

During training the airline tries to screen out candidates who might possess annoying habits, be poorly groomed, who are racist or intolerant of others or who cheat on exams, for example. Once you are on board and in uniform, you are the airline’s brand ambassador. Airlines do not want to risk their brand with nasty, unreliable or politically incorrect employees.

In addition to the simulator exercises, equipment hands-on, written exams and oral shouted-commands will be tested and punctuality, personal grooming and interpersonal skills will be evaluated on an hourly, daily basis and weekly basis.

If you can handle time changes, lack of food and water in an irregular flight situation or the sight of blood during an on-board medical emergency, than read on.

The instructors will find unique ways to test your tolerance levels through odd classroom start times, delayed lunch breaks or by sudden changes to the exam schedule. The flight attendant lifestyle is never routine. If you can’t go with the flow and deal with change, you will be shown the exit door.

The Flight Attendant Bible

During training, the Flight Attendant Manual or FAM is your bible. You will refer to it at every step of the training process. If you are lucky enough to work for a technologically advanced carrier that has gone paperless, you won’t have to lug  the FAM around with you to Tokyo, Paris or London.

Airlines that have gone digital sometimes keep a hardcopy version of the FAM on board. In this case every F/A’s keeps a downloadable version on an electronic device of their choice. Whatever format it’s in, be FAMiliar with the FAM!

Graduation and the FAM flight!

Congratulations. You’ve passed your initial Flight Attendant training. There is a feeling of exhilaration when your shiny new wings are pinned on you.  “I believe I can fly…” as the song goes.  Well almost. There is one more step before you leave the nest. The last step is the FAM or “familiarization flight.” (You may have noticed that FAM is a popular acronym in the airline world).

Also known as a line indoctrination flight, the FAM flight is a government requirement for all flight attendant trainees. Prospective flight attendants are placed on board as additional crewmembers and are required to observe as well as participate in the service.

In some cases, if there are a large number of trainees, a single, line indoctrination will be organized on a flight operated without any passengers.

If you want to know more about how you can join the flight attendant ranks, check out my new book “Airborne.” (link) It’s loaded with helpful tips and information that will help you launch your flight attendant career.

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If you’re considering a career as a Flight Attendant (F/A), you’ve probably wondered what kind of salary you can expect in this era of high fuel costs, low-cost carriers and airline mergers. As airlines struggle to stay afloat and find efficiencies during tough economic times, Flight Attendant wages have felt the pressure as companies attempt […]

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