When I was growing up, they were stewardesses, and they had a party-hearty reputation that stuck despite all the hard work they did. Today, the word ‘stewardess’ is out of fashion, and flight attendants are respected professionals in the aviation industry. While many in the general public see flight attendants as glorified airborne waitresses, the cabin crews and regular passengers know better. The flight attendant is the face of the airline, and her – or his, since many flight attendants today are male – the primary job is making sure that all the passengers have a safe flight.
But you knew that – that’s part of the reason that you want to be a flight attendant. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s not quite as hard to find a flight attendant job opening as many believe. Besides the major airlines – many of whom are not hiring – there are over 75 airlines operating in the United States and Canada, and you’ll find a flight attendant job opening at most of them. The fastest-growing segment of the aviation industry is in private airlines – charters, fractional operators and company-owned airlines. There are also many mid-size and smaller airlines that run commuter flights and flights within the continental United States and Canada. Because they don’t have the glamour and cachet of the Big Boys – United Airlines, American Airlines, and the others – they get far fewer applicants for every flight attendant job opening. And the fact is because flight attendants bid on the flights they work based on seniority with the plum jobs going to those with the most flight hours, the flight attendants working for the major airlines are just as likely to be working for the short hop flights as those working smaller airlines who specialize in them.
Finding a flight attendant job opening is no different than finding a job opening in any other industry. It takes diligence, persistence, luck and some insider knowledge. You’ll find listings for job openings for flight attendants in your local newspaper, on the job boards like Monster, and by applying directly to the airlines. Once you’ve found a flight attendant job opening, you can apply online at the airline’s web site, or send a resume by mail or over the telephone. If you’ve done a good job of presenting yourself in your cover letter and resume, you may receive an invitation to an interview, or other instructions on your next step.
Preparing yourself for your interview is just as important when the interview is a ‘cattle call’ – industry slang for open houses where recruiters prescreen applicants for a flight attendant job opening – as it is for a face to face interview. Impeccable personal grooming is important in any job interview, but it’s vital when you’re applying for a flight attendant job opening. Trim and manicure your nails, be certain that your hair coloring is not in need of touching up – be certain that every detail of your appearance is just right. After all, your competition will be doing the same thing.