If you want to get a rewarding and lucrative career in aviation, enrolling in aviation college is the first step on that long and challenging road. However, if you have made certain mistakes in your life, it can be difficult to get a job in the industry, and going to aviation school will be a complete waste of your time and money. Here are two potential career destroyers you need to get worked out before you start classes.
Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts
Possibly the most common mistake people make these days is posting questionable or objectionable material on their social media accounts. While the First Amendment guarantees your right to free speech and expression, it doesn't protect you from the social or legal consequences that may result from your online behavior, and one of those consequences is that future employers may not hire you if they don't like what they see when they take a look at your online profiles.
According to a survey conducted by Career Builder, 60 percent of respondents stated they use social media to research potential job candidates, and 49 percent of those that found applicants' online footprints said it influenced them to not hire the candidates. Therefore, you should look at your profiles with a critical eye. Remove posts that future employers may find concerning or, at least, put your accounts on private.
The reason you want to do this before you start aviation college is that Google and other search engines index web pages from social sites every day, and it can take awhile for the results connected to your name to go away. In fact, you may have to actively clean up your search results if you were involved in any type of online scandal, so it's best to start the process as soon as possible.
Address Any Criminal Background Issues
Many aviation companies perform criminal background checks on all potential employees. Additionally, you typically must undergo a background check to obtain certain licenses and certifications in the industry, and past run-ins with the law can instantly disqualify you from obtaining the appropriate licensing or getting a job. For instance, if you have multiple DUI offenses on your record, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may decline to issue you a pilot's license.
Research the job you want to obtain in the field to determine how a criminal record is likely to affect you, and then take steps to minimize the effect your record has on your prospects. In some cases, you can have previous convictions expunged, so it may be worth the cost to hire an attorney to assist you. In other cases, it may be prudent to time your entry into aviation college so your criminal conviction becomes a non-issue. For example, DUI convictions that are more than 5 years old when you submit your application for a pilot's license have less impact on your chances of getting approved than convictions that occur within those years.
For more information about things that can hurt your chances of getting employed after graduating aviation college, contact a vocational counselor or a school such as Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.