If having an office with a view and fringe benefits that include free airline travel sound like the job for you, it’s time to customize your resume and apply to be a flight attendant. According to Boeing’s Commercial Outlook, 899,000 cabin crew members (aka flight attendants) will be needed globally over the next 20 years. So now is a good time to polish your flight attendant resume to join this workforce in the sky
Flight Attendant Requirements
Most airlines require their flight attendant candidates to have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) and be 21 years of age or older. They should also have the ability to: lift up to 50 pounds above their shoulders (to load luggage into overhead bins); push and/or pull a cart requiring 32 pounds of force, and open and close an emergency exit door weighing up to 60 pounds. English proficiency is also required for most flight attendant jobs at airlines operating in the U.S. Previous guest services experience is preferred and bilingual capabilities are a plus.
Flight attendant candidates should present a professional appearance. Certain airlines may require that tattoos be concealed and may also restrict visible body piercings (including ear gauges and cuffs).
Flight Attendant Resume Must-Haves
To make your flight attendant resume shine above the competition, be sure to highlight your customer service experience, physical capabilities and endurance, positive attitude, communication, and leadership skills, as well as any previous aviation or safety experience you might have. It’s also important to highlight your passion for the aviation industry and/or travel. The airlines want people who understand and relish their greater mission—it’s not just about getting people safely from point A to point B, it’s about making each flight the experience of a lifetime.
Communication skills are important in any job and are particularly critical as a flight attendant. As a flight attendant, you will communicate with passengers, as well as fellow crew members and pilots. It’s essential that you can speak in a way in which people understand you and respond favorably to your requests.
For your flight attendant resume, be sure to include examples of your interpersonal and public speaking skills and experience. This might include working as an announcer at your local ballpark, reciting a poem on stage, and/or clearly communicating with team members to accomplish a common task.
An aircraft is a dynamic environment and as a flight attendant, you must understand that your work schedule may be subject to change at any time, based on emergencies, workforce availability, workload, maintenance, and technical developments. In the aviation industry, safety always comes first. If that means your aircraft sits on the tarmac for an hour or two while the A&P fixes something on the flight deck, then your work day just got extended. Be sure to highlight in your flight attendant resume your ability and willingness to flex with the needs and demands of the job.
Be a Positive Team Member
Flight attendants are primarily responsible for the guest experience aboard an aircraft. Airlines want to build loyalty among their passengers so that when they fly again, they choose to fly on their airline exclusively. A positive, friendly, service-minded manner on the part of its flight attendants goes a long way in helping an airline build a loyal customer base.
Additionally, an aircraft doesn’t offer a lot of space to work in. Given the space constraints and the dynamic environment (mentioned above), passenger and crew tempers have been known to flare. A positive attitude and the ability to work on a team are key attributes that airlines look for in a flight attendant’s resume.
As a flight attendant, you will be expected to direct passengers with regard to safety information, e.g. preflight announcements and emergency procedures. Additionally, you are required to remind, and when necessary, enforce FAA regulations with regard to the flying public. Being in this position puts the flight attendant in a position of authority, requiring leadership skills. However, the airlines recognize that the best leaders in public service roles, like the airlines, are servant leaders.
As you grow in your career as a flight attendant, you may ascend to the role of the lead flight attendant. In this role, servant leadership skills are even more desirable. Include in your flight attendant resume any experience you may have as a servant leader (one who focuses on the well-being and growth of the people and communities to which they belong).
Passion for Travel and Aviation
While rarely listed in any airline’s flight attendant job description, mentioning your passion or experience in aviation and travel is sure to put your resume on top. Those who work in the airline industry are typically passionate about aviation. They want flight attendants who bring a spirit of excitement and enjoyment of aviation to their jobs so that passengers might also catch the aviation bug and fly more.
Physical Strength and Endurance
A flight attendant’s job requires a certain degree of physical strength and endurance. The job responsibilities include lifting items that weigh up to 50 pounds over your shoulders and pushing/pulling a cart that requires 32 pounds of force to maneuver. Additionally, a flight attendant’s job requires long periods of standing and walking with very short, sporadic breaks—if any. Your flight attendant resume should reflect job experiences that include physical strength and endurance.
On an airplane, the primary customer is the passenger. Depending upon the size of the aircraft, as a flight attendant, you will be personally responsible for nine to 50 passengers. However, with the largest commercial airplane (Airbus A380-800) carrying up to 840 people on international flights, you should be prepared to help any one of these passengers upon request. Given the number of passengers and the airlines’ overriding business concern—to create a loyal customer base—it is critical to demonstrate in your flight attendant resume your skills and experience in working with and satisfying customers and dealing with customer complaints.
Flight Attendant Skills To List on Your Resume
Not everyone gets a call to interview for a flight attendant job. Make sure your flight attendant resume stands out by including these key skills.
- Customer Service
- Safety Orientation
- Public Speaking
Helpful Work Experience to Land a Flight Attendant Gig
Your flight attendant resume should include any prior work experience that showcases your skills and abilities to be a flight attendant. This can include working for a fast food restaurant, a retail store, a hotel, or in any supervisory or service-related role. Do you have experience acting in community theater? As a flight attendant, the aisle of the airplane is your stage. Be sure to list any experiences you’ve had where you had a public speaking role or were in the limelight. Following are examples of relevant work experience that you could expand upon in your flight attendant resume.
- Retail or Direct Sales
- Food Service
- Hospitality & Hotel Industry
- Private Pilot
- Ramp Agent
Writing a Resume with No Experience
No experience, don’t worry! Given the current need for flight attendants, airlines may be more interested in attitude and aptitude than in work experience. If you haven’t worked outside of your home, you can list volunteer activities and school projects on your flight attendant resume.
Any experiences that you’ve had that required you to work on your own, with a team, or with members of the community to deliver a product or service would be good to include. Have you volunteered at your local humane society, hospital, or church? List it.
It’s also beneficial to include extracurricular activities that build leadership skills, including involvement with professional associations or groups like the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, or College Clubs.
Apply for a Flight Attendant Job Today
With business and leisure travel trending up, opportunities to work as a flight attendant are plentiful. If you love to fly and don’t mind working in tight spaces, this may be the job for you. Follow the resume-writing tips above and submit your application today. A 30,000-foot office with a view is waiting for you! You can find flight attendant opportunities and other aviation career announcements on the FLYING Job Board.
For all things aviation, subscribe to FLYING Magazine.
Most airlines provide a free four to six-week training program for new-hire flight attendants, which may or may not include per diem to offset the cost of meals and expenses. Additionally, some airlines offer a one-time bonus upon completion of the training program.
Anyone who is 21 or older and has a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) is eligible to apply to be a flight attendant.
Most hiring managers recommend applicants keep their resume to one page in length. You may also wish to include a cover letter, which helps to personalize your application and describe your passion for aviation and travel