Volunteerimage-01 Ah, community service. I bet most of you haven’t thought about that since high school or even college. If you haven’t thought about getting involved, then you should.

The bottom line is that serving others is good for your community and also very good for you. Several studies have shown that giving back improves your sense of purpose which improves your mental health, life satisfaction and even your lifespan. That’s some heavy stuff, right? Volunteering opportunities often get you outside and/or moving which helps you stay active, fit and happy.

As it turns out, the airlines have said publically that they want to see how you give back. This is why most airlines have a field within their application for you to talk about all the great things you’re doing or have done in your community.

Looking back through years of successful client applications, we’ve noticed that successful candidates tend to have strong volunteer commitments. Please note, we’re not making any claims that there is a direct relationship or coloration between landing a job and the amount of community service you do. But there has to be something to this connection. Here’s what we think is going on.

People who give back to their community tend to be happier, more positive individuals. This positive energy shows in the way you present yourself at a job fair and/or interview. When you volunteer, you often give back to an organization that supports a mission and vision you’re passionate about. I don’t know about you, but when I talk about my service in the community, I light up and beam with pride. Recruiters and airlines are not only looking for highly qualified pilots, they’re also looking for pilots who exude positivity and care for others. Nobody likes flying for days with a negative, self-absorbed person… those are pilots we bid to avoid.

When you present your resume/application to a recruiter or company representative, listing your volunteer work gives you an opportunity to talk about something different than the standard fare. Everyone who wants to work for a major airline is passionate about aviation. A conversation about your run-of-the-mill type ratings will likely not inspire. There’s a good chance the rep is looking for items on your resume/application that are unique and interesting. They want to know more about who you are as a person. A strong volunteer work section is a good way to get a lively conversation going and build rapport.

Lastly, many airlines like to brag about how their employees give back. From a marketing stand-point, it humanizes the company and shows how they’re making a difference. When you’re in the community, people will ask you what you do for a living. “A pilot, that’s so cool! I always wanted to fly”, they’ll say. The people you meet while volunteering will remember the pilot who helped build the park playground. If you already have a penchant for community service, then you’ll fit right in as a brand ambassador for the company. You’re essentially telling the company rep “Hire me, I’ll make you proud through serving others! Oh, and, I won’t embarrass you.”

So, get out and serve if you aren’t already. No time? All of our clients are busy professionals with kids, new homes, lawns, repairs to our old airport cars – the list goes on. We know you’re busy, we’re all busy. You don’t need to devote hundreds of hours per month. Pick an organization with a mission you’re passionate about and start small. If you’re passionate about it, you’ll find the time.

Below are links to pages listing organizations or causes that are supported by major airlines. If your target is United, why not support one of their existing community partners?