View Full Version : Fitting your PPL into a CV!
18th Jun 2002, 18:56
It's finally getting to the time when I can put it off no longer, I'm going to have to get a job! :eek: And that means updating my CV :(
My question is ... did any of you mention your PPL in your CV, and if so, in what context? Obviously it depends on the kind of work you're hoping to get on how much emphasis you put on it, however it's obviously plays a pretty important role in personal development.
Personally getting the PPL has made me a much more confident, responsible person - happy to make my own decisions and live (hopefully ;) ) by them! All very useful to potential employers ... I would hope.
Can any of you bring more insight into this? It's early days, as I've got a few months ahead of me before I have to head out into the big bad world, but I'd like to start thinking about it soon! :)
I did, although in my case it was 'learning to fly'. Definitely do it - and you can bring the skills it gives you into all sorts of interview questions too if they don't spot it. Just stick it in the hobbies and interests bit.
Most interviewers will thank you for it too - much better than discovering that 'an interest in keeping fit' actually means you walk the dog, sometimes, as long as it isn't raining :)
So you've got the pleasure of 'writing up' then? That was me this time last year. Not sure if I should tell you what it's like though... :eek: :)
18th Jun 2002, 19:20
Yip... finish messing about with the bugs sometime around October. Then it's thesis-writing and job-finding time. :(
*bites nails* What was your write up for?
18th Jun 2002, 19:25
Flying light aircraft and helicopters is on my c/v under interests and hobbies although I don't expect to gain a job which relies on either. It is, though, an indication of an ability to learn a complex skill and subject which is valuable alongside more formal learning. It is also a different subject for an interviewer to refer to in order to develop conversation. The most valuable bit though (and I am in a position where I have interviewed many people for jobs) is that it is something by which you can be remembered. This additional memory jogger for an interviewer might be what makes the difference between being called back or ignored.
I have been in the fortunate position to have flown to interviews in the past and this certainly lends a certain something to the struggle to move up the priority list.
What do you have to lose.
You might even come up in front of an interviewer who also flies and form a 'bonus bond' which can help. Not all interviewers are expert and detached in their decision making sad statement though that it.
PhD in Astrophysics, punishment for something I did in a former life... :o :rolleyes: Writing it up wasn't the most fun time of my life, but I guess it does make a nice thump when I drop it :)
18th Jun 2002, 19:40
Aerbabe For real style, add to you CV under:-
Clean driving licence & own car
Pilot's licence & own aeroplane
Hi Babe. Have a look at this. C.V. thingy. (http://content.monster.co.uk/Job_hunting/articles2/cv_prep/page3/)
Under the section Key Achievements just slip in your PPL bit.... :)
18th Jun 2002, 20:22
Beware, having a PPL may indicate you are more interested in flying than the job on offer.
As one interviewer once said, is flying a hobby or an obsession?
18th Jun 2002, 20:33
Aerbabe - I went for a short term consultancy job a couple of years ago and was told that I'd have to report to the board in W London fortnightly. "Don't worry - if you live near a regional airport we'll fly you down to Heathrow, save you the M25. Where is your nearest airport?"
"Well it is a small grass strip just a couple of miles from home."
"Oh but there won't be service going to LHR."
"No, but I do have a pilot's licence and access to an aeroplane and Denham is just a 15 minute cab ride from your HQ - so door to door in less than an hour assuming that the weather is okay."
I got the position and flew down to Denham for 5 of the 6 meetings!
As Formationfoto says, they remembered who I was because I could fly. Remember there are many mere mortals out there who would love to learn to fly but for some reason or another have yet to do it and may well be in awe of a babe with a licence!
Good luck. See you Friday.
18th Jun 2002, 20:56
I think it all depends on the context and in particular what else you have on your CV, as to how you play it. I have suffered recently from having too much interesting stuff on my CV and the business about 'Private Pilot' and having my own plane and loving to fly it about has, I think, finished me on a couple of occasions.
Always tailor your CV to the job in question and remember that in the last analysis although they 'might' be interested by this stuff, they won't hire you on the basis of it. What they really want is a person who is going to fit into that particular working environment, do the job that is needed, develop as they are expected to and, above all, not be too uppity. Having a PPL and playing that up will probably be just the ticket for the job you're applying for and will probably demonstrate the qualities they want. But, depending on the context both of the rest of the CV and the particular position, it just may not.
Worth bearing in mind.
Genghis the Engineer
18th Jun 2002, 21:18
My view on this, having sat both sides of the table for a few job interviews is only put things on your CV you're prepared to talk about.
I know you're a keep aviatrix, so yes - list it. I did have a chap I interviewed for a job listed an aeronautical related hobby on his CV, so to settle him down, I started by asking some fairly basic questions about it. He demonstrated quite clearly no understanding of what he'd put on his CV, and it went rather downhill subsequently!
18th Jun 2002, 21:31
Way back in another life I used to be involved in helping people write CVs and apply for jobs. The basic rule as far as hobbies and interests is concerned is to sound like a well rounded person, but not to appear to have so much outside your job that you won't have time to work. I'd tend to put it under "Hobbies and Interests" or "Other Information" as something like "In my spare time I fly light aircraft,...etc, etc". That way they can ask about it if it grabs them, but it doesn't sound like a big deal if it doesn't.
19th Jun 2002, 09:08
I agree with all the comments so far. It needs to go under "Hobbies and Interests", preferably in no more than one or two lines. It's not relevant to the job you're applying to, so it doesn't need any more than that. On the other hand, if your potential employer is interested in aviation, you can be sure s/he'll give you as much time as you want to talk about it in your interview!
You mentioned the life-skills you've gained from your PPL, such as confidence and decision-making. I'd suggest you put them in a paragraph where you introduce yourself - completely unrelated to the PPL. For example, "I'm a confident person, happy to make my own decisions when necessary." Then, if you get asked in an interview for an examle of where you've had experience of decision-making, you can expand on it.
(Of course, this changes if you're applying for an aviation-related job! I applied for an IT job at an avionics company, and sent them a slightly modified CV which included far more information about my flying. Didn't get invited for interview there, though...)
The important thing is to remember that the CV has only two purposes in life. Its first purpose is to get you an interview. Its second purpose it to provide a basis for talking about the things which you want to talk about in the interview. It's the interview - not the CV - which will get you the job.
Shaggy Sheep Driver
19th Jun 2002, 11:23
A tricky one, this. While I agree with much of what has been said, there a couple of thing to be wary of in the 'inerests' part of a CV. Piloting might be seen as too individualistic for some employers- they want team players, so might be more impressed with evidence of a group activity. Also, if your interviwer is a 'wannabe', he/she may feel intimidated by someone who has been there and done it. I once worked for a guy who, when he found out I flew, said "oh yeah, I used to do that, but I grew out of it". It was obvious from his 'recollections' that he had never flown as a pilot, maybe desperatly wanted too, and was uncomfortable around someone who was a flyer.
Sad, but there's nowt so queer as folk.
AerBabe's going to be Dr. AerBabe, so she's got nothing to worry about in the Education section :)
However, I'd personally be very carefull of putting something like that in as education, especially as filler - it's unusual, and will make the interviewer wonder why it is there. That my backfire and bring his attention to what isn't there....
Most optimistic attempt at expanding the education section that I've seen was a chap who listed a BSc in big letters and then explained in small letters that he'd actually failed it... :rolleyes: :)
19th Jun 2002, 15:55
"You give your full name as Arnold Rimmer, BSC - but BSC stands for Bronze Swimming Certificate." Red Dwarf
You want it when?
19th Jun 2002, 15:56
AerBabe as FFF and others have said the CV is supposed to be document to get you in front of the recruiter (either agency or the real company). When I've been hiring PMs and programmers it helps if the CV has some juicy bits for the interviewer to ask questions around. I once had two PMs applying to me for roles both had PPL on their CVs neither PPRuNed though - I got blank looks during the interview. :)
Not really worth putting it under education (sorry ETOPS773 IMHO only) as it is too specialised and not really mainstream enough to be picked up on. Defiantly put it under achievements as PPL(a) JAR-FCL etc.. as it represents a massive commitment and ability. I'd also slip it into hobbies. I did like the idea of putting after "clean licence and car" but I think that the "smile" would be lost and assumed to be bragging in some way.
Of course a CV / Brag-sheet needs to be tuned to the role you are applying for if the company is remotely connected to air services then all bets are off.
Bear in mind that the firm I work for often see 400+ CVs for every role we advertise, and when in a previous life I used to hire directly a 100+ CVs were the norm - any differentiator is worth putting in. All IMHO and FWIW of course.
19th Jun 2002, 16:29
Thanks for all the replies guys! I do think my initial post was a bit misleading about what it was I actually wanted though.... :rolleyes: (typical woman) The PPL was only ever going to go under hobbies/interests, and be a sentence at most. It was more the specific qualities/abilities etc which doing a PPL have brought to you which I was interested in.
FlyingForFun is more on the right track of what I'm after (but I did speak to him on the phone about it, so he can't really read my mind :D
Interesting to see you do all mention it though. I especially liked Stik's story ;)
My biggest hurdle at the moment is that I'm not sure what kind of jobs I'll be applying to. I'm 100% sure it won't be lab-based research though :rolleyes: At the moment just to get my CV into a good general format would be a weight off my shoulders :)
As an old lag who interviewed graduates (PhDs too) in large numbers, and still does a few (despite being retired) I would say:
1. Yes, mention the PPL. Briefly, and under "Interests".
2. Be ready to talk about it if asked, but don't bore the interviewer if he/she isn't interested.
3. Be ready for a snide remark (if you have that sort of interviewer) about the spendthrift aspect of it. Yes, if I had an overconfident candidate, I would turn snide. Part of the "tactic" to get inside their heads.
I used to review piles of applications/CVs, and decide which ones I wanted to interview. Those who had done nothing interesting were more likely to go on the "reject" pile. A PPL would probably get you an interview; once you're in the room, it becomes irrelevant except for what it reveals of your abilities and motivation.
Far more interesting, to a good interviewer, is "what leadership roles have you taken on?" Captain of sports team, organiser of UK Universities Ladies Everest Climbing Expedition (yes, I had one of those), or anything that shows you can lead and motivate people.
Your academic ability is a given - the Ph.D. shows that. What I would want to know is "what are you like as a person, and would I want you in my team?"
Happy to comment further off-list if you wish.