U.S. Pilot Hiring 2013

by Brian Carhide

If you peruse some of the pilot forums on the internet for information about professional-programs-banner-lgthe impending pilot shortage, many will say it’s a fairytale. In regards to the big picture, there is truth to that perception. In the U.S., we are still in a hiring lag from the retirement age increase in 2007, and a “true pilot shortage” could still be 5 or more years away – if the FAA doesn’t raise the retirement age, again. One major airline’s recent strategic planning has indicated this may be a possibility.

The good news, according to FAPA, a few of the regional airlines have plans to hire a number of pilots during 2013. The majority of the need for pilots at these regionals is due in part to the new crew rest requirements. The other conundrum to pilot hiring in 2013 is the new law that requires any pilot wanting to fly for a FAR Part 121 passenger carrying operation to have an Air Transport Pilot certificate and 1500 hours total time.

Recently in the Career Services Office, I have communicated with several regional airlines interested in developing pipeline and bridge programs with Embry-Riddle. This is a good indicator that the airlines are seeing a need to have a solid pool of pilots and to aid in bridging the gap for flight instructors to the regional airlines. I feel the regional airlines envision a growing increase in demand and a declining supply of pilots, hence the interest in developing these types of agreements with key organizations.

Since 2013 began, companies seeking qualified flight instructors have plateaued, but there are still an abundance of CFI opportunities to be found. I feel those low-time CFIs that are willing to relocate will find some great time building opportunities and gain valuable experience. Because of the way supply and demand is heading, those motivated pilots who reach 1500 hours will have some golden opportunities during an exciting time for the industry.

Smaller companies outside of the regional airlines are also planning to hire during 2013 but on a smaller scale. Operations such as Ameriflight, Cape Air, and XOJet have indicated they are recruiting and interviewing for pilots. The advantage these companies have is the 1500 hour requirement does not affect them. However, it is still a viable career path and a great way to build some flight time.

2013 may not be the year of the grand pilot shortage we have all been hearing about, but pilot hiring will continue to move in a positive direction. In speaking with one of the recruiters from a regional airline, who has been in this industry for over 30 years, about future pilot hiring, he stated, “This is definitely an exciting time for young pilots!”

Brian Carhide has more than 20 years of professional aviation experience. He spent many years as a professional pilot, including experience as a charter and airline pilot. Recently, he has been a leader in guiding young aviators in higher education at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


Alumni Career Spotlight: Heather Owen

Heather OwenA Port Orange, FL native, Heather Owen graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Communications (minors in International Relations and Homeland Security) and in 2011 with a Master of Science in Aeronautics (Systems Safety specialization). During her time at ERAU, she studied abroad in China in 2008, and she was captain of the Eagles cheerleading team, a sister of Alpha Xi Delta, and a member of Women in Aviation International. She is currently a Safety Specialist, managing the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) for ExpressJet Airlines in Atlanta, GA. Heather is engaged to a U.S. Air Force Reservist and is excited about integrating her career with her fiance and discovering the world together.

Discuss your internship experiences while enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University?

While enrolled at ERAU, I had two international internships; both were professionally and personally defining.

During the Spring 2010 semester, I interned with the Department of State at the U.S. Consulate in Munich, Germany, as a Political and Economic Diplomacy intern. Although not a traditional internship for an aviation major, my internship incorporated my interests in politics, diplomacy, and German culture. During the internship, highlights included meeting Senator John McCain, working as a site officer during the Munich Security Conference, and traveling with the Consul General to aviation industry locations in Nuremburg and Furth. Heather Owen with McCain

Upon my return to ERAU, I spent much of my graduate schooling looking for a career field that would meld my new passions for international diplomacy with my existing one for aviation. During research for my thesis, my advisor suggested the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an air transport-specialized agency of the United Nations. Immediately following my Spring 2011 graduation, I moved to Montreal, Canada, to intern with ICAO in the Air Navigation Bureau – Integrated Safety Management Section. During my internship, I worked with the office to develop and write safety culture sections for ICAO’s Safety Management Manual. I also gained firsthand experience with aviation’s governing side.

How did your internship experience help prepare you for your current position?

My internship with the State Department taught me diplomacy goes far beyond just international politics. I utilize it most during ASAP meetings between my present company, the FAA, and the workforce union. My ICAO internship introduced me to safety reporting systems. I now manage the Aviation Safety Action Program, a non-punitive, voluntary, and confidential safety reporting system for ExpressJet Airlines’ pilots, dispatchers, and mechanics.

What advice do you have for students who want to intern with a government agency?

Interning with a government agency is to participate daily in activities that may have historical significance. Ask to attend any and every meeting. Whether you understand the topic or even the language, it is important and exciting to see how meetings produce or enact policy at the international level. While in Montreal, I listened to a meeting being simultaneously interpreted in six languages; in Munich, the Security Conference had nearly 20 represented languages.

Do not be discouraged that Embry-Riddle is not a “traditional” international relations university. I almost didn’t apply because I felt like I wouldn’t be considered if I didn’t come from Johns Hopkins or Georgetown. However, my boss in Munich said he hired me because my aviation focus could offer a unique perspective to the Consulate. Additionally, he found ways to incorporate my aviation experiences and gave me chances to serve as the consulate’s subject matter expert.

Finally, while pursuing a government internship, be sure to allow ample time for a security clearance. Additionally, response time can be slow from government agencies, so don’t be discouraged if you haven’t heard from them quickly. By the time I received my interview request from the State Department, it had been three months and I had forgotten about it.

What are your future aspirations?

Professionally, I would like to stay within Atlanta’s burgeoning aviation industry for the next few years. Eventually, I would like to relocate back to Montreal and resume working for ICAO in safety. Personally, I’d like to fill the few remaining spots in my passport and run a race in a foreign country.

Happy Spring Break!

Spring Break

Wishing you a week of fun and relaxation during your spring break!

How To Get Your Résumé Noticed In The Online Application Process

By Mark Lyden

Before you apply to any job opening, before you set up any account or profile on any website, before you do anything, wouldn’t it be nice to have the inside story on what the manager is looking for in a candidate?  Especially the required skills or knowledge they want you to have so you can highlight that on your résumé?

Now, I can’t tell you what key words and phrases they are going to use.  But let me enlighten you on how this often gets done.  You have a person sitting at a computer.  Their job is to essentially screen all the résumés that are associated with a particular job.  You know what is scary?  You would think that these people understand the difference between, for example, an industrial engineer and mechanical engineer or the difference between finance and supply chain management.  Well, many of them do, but a significant amount may not, and some don’t have a clue! Ironically, the same thing I just told you to do, they do.  They just look at the job description and simply look for the key words and phrases the manager put down, type them into a field on the computer, and press “enter.”  Then whoever doesn’t have those key words or phrases in their résumé, exactly how they typed them in is simply counted out.  But be careful.  You need to incorporate those key words and phrases verbatim.  Remember, you don’t know how sophisticated their screening system is.

Whether you think that is totally unfair or not, it is a reality in many companies.  So use this to your advantage.  Outmaneuver the computer-screening process so that you have the best chance of being looked at.  I am not saying to lie or cheat.  I am just saying to completely cater your résumé to each and every job you apply to.  Use the 7 Critical Steps and you will have a far better chance of getting to the next step in the process:

  1. DON’T FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS when a company website tells you how to apply! Before doing anything else, go to the company website and print out all the jobs that you qualify for and not just the ones that you are most interested in.
  2.  Take a highlighter and highlight all the key words and phrases in the job description used to describe the skills, knowledge, and years of experience they want or prefer.
  3. Take the key words and phrases you highlighted, verbatim, and incorporate them throughout your résumé.
  4. Create a heading at the very end of your résumé labeled “INTEREST AREAS” and take all the key words and phrases you previously highlighted and list them, verbatim, under this heading.
  5. NOW follow the directions of the site, which may include setting up an account online.  Make sure to take those same key words and phrases and incorporate them into your profile or the “interest areas” section, if they have that option.
  6. Apply for the job.
  7. As you apply for more openings, continually update the key words and phrases in your résumé in your profile or interest area section.

This is called “reverse engineering” your résumé.  From the job description, see what they want first.  See what are key words and phrases are that they want to see.  Then adjust your résumé and apply.  Just remember:  to do it right, it will take you about forty to forty-five minutes to take your “base” résumé and transform it into a résumé specific for each job.  Approach it this way:  each job that you apply for is the ONLY job your résumé is geared to.  It may sound like a lot of time and effort, but to stand out and to get contacted, your résumé can’t just be a good match; it must be a GREAT match.  This is the way to ensure that is the case for each and every job you apply for.

When I teach seminars on this topic, some ask, “Won’t they look at my résumé and count me out when they see that I just listed all the key words and phrases in the ‘interest areas’ section of my résumé?”  The answer is they might, especially if you haven’t first incorporated those same key words and phrases throughout your résumé.  That is why doing both is critical.  For example, just incorporating the key words and phrases into your résumé is great and might get you through to the next step, but might not raise your percentage compatibility to a high enough level and you miss the cut off.  Remember, with the online processes being the way they are at most companies, there are very few ways for candidates to stand out.  There could be ten candidates that by luck score a higher percentage compatibility, and although you meet all the qualifications, others are “more qualified” according to the computer, and you are counted out.  That is why having the “interest areas” section helps.  Again, it helps boost your compatibility percentage.  Moreover, if you just cut and paste all the key words in the “interest areas” section without also incorporating them into your résumé, they will probably see this and count you out.

When I say to incorporate the key words and phrases into your résumé, what I mean is to have them distributed throughout your résumé.  Change or add bullet items in appropriate places.  Change your objective to have some in there.  The more time you spend doing it this way, the more calls you are going to get.  Try the 7 Critical Steps.

Lastly, if you are applying to jobs online and you are quickly getting counted out, that is the BEST indicator that you are not doing a good enough job at catering your résumé to each specific job.  If you find yourself in that situation, you must go back to the 7 Critical Steps and follow that advice step by step.  Remember, when you are applying to a particular job, your résumé should be entirely focused on just that one job.


Mark Lyden is an expert at getting people jobs…in THIS difficult job market. He has already helped thousands with his advice because it is different and it is PROVEN to work! The advice he gives is not the traditional advice that can be found on the Internet or being given by most career professionals. Now and for the last 15-years, Mr. Lyden has been a Professional Lead Recruiter for a Fortune 50 company. Mark is the author of: College Students: Do This! Get Hired!; Veterans: Do This! Get Hired!; and, Professionals: Do This! Get Hired! Visit DoThisGetHired.com for additional information. A substantial portion of the proceeds from book sales are donated back to charity to help veterans and to help the stray and abandoned animals at Logan’s Run Rescue.

Now and for a limited time, ERAU students/alumni can get a discount on any of the books by visiting: DoThisGetHired.com/ERAU.html

Be the Solution, Get the Job

by Kristy Amburgey

prof womanI love a good quote, and I read one the other day that I thought so wonderfully summed up a challenge that job seekers face today. Many people searching for employment think like a job seeker, hoping that someone will find them, identify their talents, see how their previous experience might relate and even place them in the right position. Instead, I want to emphasize this point from an article, 10 Ways To Use Speed Networking In Your Job Search, by Melissa C. Martin who writes for Careerealism.

“Communicate more like a consultant or solution-finder than a job seeker”

I think that this one suggestion is such an important mindset for any job seeker to accept. You need to find the employers, identify their needs, relate your previous experience to those needs and even place yourself in the right position to be hired. Just like a consultant would do for a new client, you need to spend time understanding a company’s pains in order to help them find solutions. Use your time to network, connect, build relationships and interact with those who may have need for your services. Always proactively advocate for yourself through solution-driven conversations.

Instead of waiting for a company to come calling, be the solution-finder, as Ms. Martin would say, that you know you are.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

Protecting Your Brand

by Kristy Amburgey

Branding YourselfAfter spending several weeks addressing the topic of branding, from Branding 101, planning for branding and how to brand, it’s time to address protecting your brand.

As a result of the increase in branding efforts by job seekers, it also seems that there needs to be an increase in awareness of your web presence.  With your increased use of resources such as LinkedIn, Facebook, a personal blog, and contributing to forums, you need to be acutely aware of how important it is to both protect your brand and project a positive image.

First thing you should do is to conduct an Internet search of your name or iterations of your name (like a maiden name or a nick name).  Make sure that you know what others may see about you if they were to conduct a similar search.  If you find negative information, depending on the social media used, remove any tags, links, names, etc. from what you can; ask others to do the same if you can’t manipulate the system.  Many search engines have processes to help you remove offending information; search Google, Bing or other engines to find out the steps to take, which often involve requests for action.  For some search results, you may not be able to fix what is seen (for example, a person with a similar name that has a bad reputation), but do you best to control what you can with privacy settings and with personal accountability.

With branding, you need people to find you, so you should set your security or protection to where potential employers can track down your efforts.  But you need to also ensure that truly personal information (family vacation pictures, for example) is viewable by your closest friends and family and not the entire web-verse, especially if your personal world conflicts with or negatively impacts in any way your professional brand.  There are privacy guidelines and information for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter that should be reviewed to understand the best ways to control your settings.  For blog posts or forum comments, search for system-specific guidelines to understand appropriate ways to protect your presence.

In addition to using the privacy settings provided by the systems you use, always present yourself in the most professional way possible.  This step helps ensure that there is no doubt about your professionalism even if someone slips through the cracks and sees your personal information.  Use appropriate grammar and punctuation and clear wording when writing.  Keep your tone positive and not derogatory towards anyone or any group.  Understand that people’s perception of what you post may be different than what you intend, but their perception will always be their reality.  Avoid arguing with others in public forums.  Overall, make all your online interactions appropriate for any audience at any point in time, especially as you search for a job.

Presenting your brand is important, but protecting your brand is even more vital.  First impressions are just that; you may never get a chance to mend a negative first view of your online world.  As you work on and grow your brand, assume that anyone can see anything you put out there in the world-wide web.  Use privacy guidelines and settings along with professionalism and common sense to  manage your brand.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

Alumni Career Spotlight: Gonzalo Canseco

Gonzalo during the delivery of the 1st Boeing 787 to launch customer ANA.

Gonzalo during the delivery of the 1st Boeing 787 to launch customer ANA.

Gonzalo Canseco graduated from the Daytona Beach campus, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in May of 2006 and holds multiple degrees, which include Aerospace Engineering, Aeronautical Science, and Applied Meteorology. And yes, there is a story for all the degrees, but you’ll have to contact Gonzalo if you want to know the details.

During his time at Embry-Riddle, Gonzalo did two internships, first with LAB Airlines as an aircraft dispatcher for Boeing 727/737 and Airbus A300 aircraft and later as a Certification Engineer with Kosola & Associates working multiple Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) projects on commercial aircraft (B727, B737, B747), helicopters (Sikorsky S-92, Eurocopter EC135), and structural testing.

In June of 2006, Gonzalo joined Labinal/Safran Engineering Services as a Requirements Validation and Verification Engineer and was later promoted to his current position as a Certification Engineer in 2007. In November of 2011, Gonzalo was given the delegation of Authorized Representative (AR) by the Boeing Regulatory Administration on behalf of the FAA (Designated Engineering Representative – DER delegation).  This delegation allows Gonzalo to approve engineering designs that show compliance with the airworthiness regulations. During his time at Labinal, Gonzalo has supported and helped achieve critical B787 milestones, including engineering requirements verification, type certification with the FAA and EASA regulatory agencies, and multiple customer introduction certifications. Gonzalo continues to be involved with his role as an AR in the B787 program for customer introductions and the new 787-9 model. In the Safran Engineering Services division, Gonzalo has also supported STC programs such as an avionics upgrade with Heli-One for the Los Angeles Sheriff Department on Eurocopter Super Puma rotorcrafts and most recently a military modernization of Eurocopter rotorcrafts for the Brazilian Army.

Gonzalo holds an FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate with Single Engine, Multi Engine, and Instrument ratings and an FAA Aircraft Dispatcher License. He currently resides in Everett, WA together with his wife Darcy and their two dogs.

Tell us about your position with Labinal/Safran Engineering Services.  How did you get this opportunity? 

Labinal came to Embry-Riddle to interview for design engineer positions, and when I interviewed with them, the recruiter noticed my previous experience working in certification with a DER (internship with Kosola); plus I had also expressed my interest and goal to one day become a DER myself. A week later when decisions were being made, I was asked to do an additional interview with the Director of Certification since they had an opening for a requirements engineer, and when asked if that was a career path that I would be interested in instead of design engineering, I had no hesitation in saying yes!

Seven years later, my career has progressed much quicker than I ever expected. As a certification engineer, I get involved in all aspects of design projects, from the early planning phases when the certification plan and agreements are reached with the regulatory agencies all the way to design reviews and aircraft inspections to ensure that the final product meets the applicable airworthiness regulations.

Gonzalo and his wife Darcy during the delivery of the 1st Boeing 787 to launch customer ANA.

Gonzalo and his wife Darcy during the delivery of the 1st Boeing 787 to launch customer ANA.

What is one of the most interesting/exciting parts of your position?

This position allows me to work on several different projects at a time, from the Large Transport Category and modern Boeing 787 to small rotorcraft modifications and upgrades in both the civilian and military worlds.

There is always something exciting going on with this position, but the one that I enjoy the most and which brings the most satisfaction is being part of the review and inspections process to ensure that our designs comply with the airworthiness regulations. For this activity we perform design reviews of all the 3D models, 2D drawings, and process documents and in most cases are also required to do on-airplane inspections before it can be certified and delivered to the customers. As an AR, I also have the responsibility to sign the required FAA forms stating that our design is in compliance.

At the end of the day, I see our job as making sure the final product is safe for the airlines and passengers. We take this job very seriously and also take pride in it.

What attributes and accomplishments do you feel led to your success as a Certification Engineer at Safran Engineering Services?

There are many things I learned during my time at Embry-Riddle that have helped me progress in my career that it would take a lot to write them all, but I think these are some of the more important ones:

1. There’s a lot more than just studying and memorizing things in college:

  • Learn how to work with diverse groups; you will be doing that for the rest of your life in the engineering world. I had the opportunity to get a lot of experience in this area by working as a Resident Advisor and Resident Director in the housing department as well as with our Preliminary Design and Senior Design projects.
  • Get involved in campus organizations; get a part-time job; get internship experience. They will all make you a well-rounded individual and better candidate for most companies. I can honestly say that without the internship I did while at Embry-Riddle I would not be where I am today.

2. However, don’t forget the studying part:

  • Not every single thing you learn in school will be used in each individual career, but it will make you an overall well-rounded engineer who can have educated conversations on any technical topic with other senior engineers, technical managers, etc. This will make you stand out among your peers and help you advance in your career. I was able to experience this first hand when I got selected as an AR candidate and had to interact with several mentors and advisors all of whom had different backgrounds (mechanical engineering, systems engineering, etc.).
  • If you want to be a good aerospace engineer, get some actual flying experience (i.e. take a private pilot’s ground school, some Aeronautical Science classes, or even better get your license). Something I see a lot is people that know all the engineering models and techniques but have no clear understanding of what it really means to be at the command of an aircraft, what it feels to be in the shoes of the pilot, and that can limit your capabilities to contribute as an engineer. In my case having a pilot’s license allowed me to become a more valuable employee and has come very useful when trying to explain the effects that some designs and failures can have on the aircraft and on the pilots.

What advice do you have for current students to help them succeed post-graduation, based on your experiences?

  • Learn to be patient; most design projects in our industry can last several years, and they don’t get done in one semester like they used to in college. Also, when dealing with promotions, if you become anxious in a couple of  years when you are not seeing progress in your current job and decide to move to another company, you probably have to start all over again, when waiting an extra year could have made the difference at your existing job.
  • Take challenges at work; everyone does their normal 8 to 5, but to stand out you have to be willing to take challenges. That project that your boss wants as an improvement and no one else is willing to take may be the one that gets you recognized and on a better career path. Also, taking challenges will force you to learn new things and become a more valuable employee.
  • Always have a positive attitude. Yes, I can guarantee you that there will be stressful days at work, tough co-workers to deal with, deadlines to meet, and many other things that will make you forget why you even got into this job. But becoming bitter will not solve anything. Instead remain positive and look for ways to improve the design, improve the process, improve the work relationships, or improve the schedules. There is always room for improvement, and as an engineer, that’s one thing you should always remember.
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