What companies look for in a new employee
By Joe Escobar
If you happen to be in the job seeking mode, you have probably realized that there is some stiff competition out there. Many qualified candidates could be competing for the same job that you are. But what will make you stand out? What skills or traits will help you land that job? I spoke with some decision makers in the industry to get a little insight into what helps job seekers land that job.
Having experience is often a requirement mentioned in job listings. You've probably seen something in the classified ads like this "3-years type experience required." Often times, those with experience, especially type-specific experience, have a greater chance at getting a job than someone fresh out of school. But if you are just out of school, what could set you apart from the crowd? Howard Siedlecki, president of Kenosha, Wisconsin-based Sunshine Aircraft Repair Inc., shares his insight. "When looking at an A&P fresh out of school, I hand them a wrench and see if they know which way to hold it. That's the first thing I look at. When you look at someone's experience, everybody comes out of A&P school with something. I tend to like the ones who have a passion for fixing things - those that restore cars or have a mechanical background other than what they went through in school. I tend to glance out the window and see what they drove up in. If it looks bad, that's OK. If it is purring like a kitten that is a plus. I also tend to lean toward those with military experience. It's about discipline."
Broaden your knowledge
Say you are fortunate enough to have a few years experience under your belt. What can help make you more marketable? Having a wide range of skills is one way to increase your hiring potential. Are you computer literate? Are you NDT certified? Do you have any additional certifications such as an FCC license?
But be aware that while the extra skills you have could make you more valuable in one facility, they may not mean much at another. "In our facility, we don't do a lot of NDT," Siedlecki shares. "We tend to send most of our NDT work out. So an applicant with a lot of experience in NDT methods wouldn't mean a whole lot to me." Jim Freeman, owner of Janesville, Wisconsin-based Helicopter Specialties Inc. (H.S.I.), adds, "For me, I like to see someone with avionics knowledge. That is something that you don't see with very many mechanics these days. And with the work that we do, it helps to have our employees as well-rounded as possible."
So the bottom line is evaluate what additional skills you have and consider those when applying for jobs. Research the company and find out what kinds of skills are valuable to them. If possible, talk to some of the employees for some insight. If you match the jobs you are applying for with the skills you have, you have a greater chance of getting hired.
Plan for and conduct a successful job interview
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