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workingtofly

Going for a Guard/Reserve Pilot Slot - Where do I stand?

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Hi all, 

Age: 20 (Graduating May 2020)

Private Pilot w/ 140 hrs

PSCM: 90 (94 at 201)

AFOQT: Pilot94, Nav89, AA92, Verb95, Quant81

Major: Economics (3.75 GPA)

Letters of Rec: Ret. USAF Pilot, Director of Food Pantry where I volunteered, College Prof.

Work Experience: Founded an Aerial Photography company in High School, Tennis instructor over the summer.

 

Not sure exactly what I want to go for yet in terms of the airframe, so far I'm most interested in C130s, Fighters, and RSQ HH-60s but I can see myself getting excited about just about any military flying opportunity.  

Where do you all think I stand?  How competitive am I for different types of wings (AW, FW, ARW, RSQ, etc)?

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Looking pretty good for any type of unit. Put the effort into your cover letter and resume. 

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5 hours ago, brabus said:

Looking pretty good for any type of unit. Put the effort into your cover letter and resume. 

Do this ^ I didn't (unknowingly) and was burned because of it, I think

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What brabus said. From what I know of the guys I was interviewing with at fighter units, you are in the middle of the pack and competitive.

There’s at least 50 people with good score applying for each fighter unit, so you need to set yourself apart with your cover letter. This is doubly important if you aren’t able to visit a unit.


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If you want to get past interviews as fast as possible, the helos will do that for you. Otherwise, best of luck, you've got a great application package! The only items that would help you past where you are now are instrument rating and a time machine to go back and get some military experience and a STEM degree. That being said, military experience is a surprisingly minor boost and an economics degree is pretty damn close to STEM. You're solid, just start schmoozin, turn 21, and start boozin.

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If you want to get past interviews as fast as possible, the helos will do that for you. Otherwise, best of luck, you've got a great application package! The only items that would help you past where you are now are instrument rating and a time machine to go back and get some military experience and a STEM degree. That being said, military experience is a surprisingly minor boost and an economics degree is pretty damn close to STEM. You're solid, just start schmoozin, turn 21, and start boozin.

Thank you for the feedback, appreciate it! Not sure what to bring if I visit units in the next couple of months before I turn 21...


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What brabus said. From what I know of the guys I was interviewing with at fighter units, you are in the middle of the pack and competitive.

There’s at least 50 people with good score applying for each fighter unit, so you need to set yourself apart with your cover letter. This is doubly important if you aren’t able to visit a unit.


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Other than the consulting service on this site, do you know of any resume/cover letter resources? Any insight?
Thanks for the input!


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4 minutes ago, workingtofly said:


Thank you for the feedback, appreciate it! Not sure what to bring if I visit units in the next couple of months before I turn 21...

Part of these interviews is a social outing that usually involves drinking. Ask for a non-alcoholic beer or mixed drink and try to socially open up the healthy way. I wouldn't make it "a thing" that you're under 21 because then the focus is on "oh hey this guy's 20" and not "hey this guy's a solid dude"

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7 hours ago, workingtofly said:


Thanks! And letter/resume advice?


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We have to look at 200 of these things - resume (what have you done) and cover letter (who are you/sell yourself) are the first two things looked at. If they’re not good, your app is easily thrown to the side pile.  For content, remember we’re pilots who may not know anything about your current profession (if you’re already in the workforce), so keep that in mind when you write...if there’s too much jargon I may just skim over something that’s perhaps a big deal, but I had no idea and treated it as nothing of substance.  Besides content, put the effort into grammar, spelling, ensuring you have the right unit in the letter, etc. If I read something that appears a middle schooler wrote/there’s a clear lack of proof reading, I immediately question whether this guy can succeed at the entire commisioning/flight training process. Maybe the two aren’t directly related, but it’s still a bias that will absolutely exist. 

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We have to look at 200 of these things - resume (what have you done) and cover letter (who are you/sell yourself) are the first two things looked at. If they’re not good, your app is easily thrown to the side pile.  For content, remember we’re pilots who may not know anything about your current profession (if you’re already in the workforce), so keep that in mind when you write...if there’s too much jargon I may just skim over something that’s perhaps a big deal, but I had no idea and treated it as nothing of substance.  Besides content, put the effort into grammar, spelling, ensuring you have the right unit in the letter, etc. If I read something that appears a middle schooler wrote/there’s a clear lack of proof reading, I immediately question whether this guy can succeed at the entire commisioning/flight training process. Maybe the two aren’t directly related, but it’s still a bias that will absolutely exist. 

Appreciate the insight and perspective, thank you. Do you think AFOQT/PCSM scores be mentioned on the resume?


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9 hours ago, Catman said:

 That being said, military experience is a surprisingly minor boost.

This is 100% opposite of the truth.

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11 hours ago, workingtofly said:


Other than the consulting service on this site, do you know of any resume/cover letter resources? Any insight?
Thanks for the input!


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If you are a decent writer, you should be ok. But use the people here that offer help. I had someone look over my cover letter and give me some pointers.

Also, personalize it. If the entire cover letter is "I want to fly" said 100 different ways, it adds nothing. Everyone applying wants to fly. Explain why, why that unit, why that mission/airframe, what is it about you that is unique? If you don't get to visit the unit, this is your chance for the unit to get to know you. 

Don't make jokes, but this is your chance to introduce yourself. You have one page for a cover letter, so make use of it.

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4 hours ago, workingtofly said:


Appreciate the insight and perspective, thank you. Do you think AFOQT/PCSM scores be mentioned on the resume?


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Either way is fine, though if it’s on there I don’t have to go flipping through your package to find them. I don’t think anyone looks at it negatively if they’re not on there (unless unit specific instructions say otherwise).

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I'm military. I've seen plenty of folks, including myself, get passed up in favor of civilians for these spots. It's a great perk to have in your background, but if you pitted two similar applicants, one military and one civilian, against each other, the civilian could nail the interview and be considered above the military guy. It's not insignificant, but a civilian can make up for not being military quite easily. 

Probably varies widely by the unit/aircraft. A loadmaster, FE, Boom, or FCC who’s already a known quantity in the squadron will probably have a huge leg up over an off the street hire. Someone with duties peripheral to the unit, or totally unrelated, may not get much of a bump.


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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Catman said:

I'm military. I've seen plenty of folks, including myself, get passed up in favor of civilians for these spots. It's a great perk to have in your background, but if you pitted two similar applicants, one military and one civilian, against each other, the civilian could nail the interview and be considered above the military guy. It's not insignificant, but a civilian can make up for not being military quite easily. 

Uhhhh.  ANG fighter pilot member here, pretty sure I know how it works.  Listen, don’t talk.

Edited by matmacwc

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And I'm an current ANG pilot applicant. Not sure which one is more qualified to speak on the subject, but I know I can keep my cool and post on a forum with some tact, so I'll stick with my experience until someone else comes along.


ee7da6473e46c82f245963c0160671a6.jpg

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1 hour ago, Catman said:

And I'm an current ANG pilot applicant. Not sure which one is more qualified to speak on the subject, but I know I can keep my cool and post on a forum with some tact, so I'll stick with my experience until someone else comes along.

An ANG fighter pilot has a higher likelihood of sitting on an ANG hiring board. Also has 100% more success getting hired by the ANG at this point than an applicant. Following matmacwc's advice about listening will be key for UPT and follow on tactical training (surprisingly, tactics don't always include tact).

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Posted (edited)

You got it bro, might as well find a different forum if you have it all figured out.  My unit was only the biggest in the US, and to transition from active duty to the ANG you must apply just like a guy off the street.  It’s cool though, you already knew that.

heres the last piece of advice I’ll ever give you; when I think I’m being catfished/trolled/assholed by somebody on the interwebz I go look at that users posts and then decide if I’m getting lied too.  I like to have fun and create humor on here but I’m pretty sure I’ve dropped advice before.  Like I said though, you already know everything.

And for fuk sake, that pic of Obama....

Edited by matmacwc
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8 hours ago, Catman said:

Words

I know how to listen. I've been listening for the past several years, and I can't wait to listen some more in UPT.

More words

If you think this is how you need to listen, you are out to lunch. What you are doing right now is going to be seen as quibbling, which won't play well. Also, if you think the dudes who sit on these boards aren't on these forums, and can likely figure out who you are in an applicant stack...

This board can be a great source of information if used correctly. If you mouth off instead of taking advice given, you could completely sink your chances also. It has happened before.

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If you are a decent writer, you should be ok. But use the people here that offer help. I had someone look over my cover letter and give me some pointers.
Also, personalize it. If the entire cover letter is "I want to fly" said 100 different ways, it adds nothing. Everyone applying wants to fly. Explain why, why that unit, why that mission/airframe, what is it about you that is unique? If you don't get to visit the unit, this is your chance for the unit to get to know you. 
Don't make jokes, but this is your chance to introduce yourself. You have one page for a cover letter, so make use of it.

Thank you for the feedback, really appreciate it.


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10 hours ago, Catman said:

“I know how to listen. I've been listening for the past several years”

You’ve been “listening” for the past several years and you haven’t been hired by a squadron yet?

On top of that, you’re giving attitude to a bro that’s been-there, done-that? I have an idea why you haven’t been hired. 

Anyways.....

D33DBAFE-5B53-4E9F-BAFC-BE41976D8E38.gif

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1 hour ago, Inertia17 said:

If you think this is how you need to listen, you are out to lunch. What you are doing right now is going to be seen as quibbling, which won't play well. Also, if you think the dudes who sit on these boards aren't on these forums, and can likely figure out who you are in an applicant stack...

This board can be a great source of information if used correctly. If you mouth off instead of taking advice given, you could completely sink your chances also. It has happened before.

How am I the one "mouthing off"? The only thing I've said so far is that matmacwc was unnecessarily rude and blunt when he corrected me. I have said nothing bad about him, only said that I don't know who he is. He came in, said that I was wrong, and offered nothing else. 

And I do know how to listen. I've had plenty of other pilots tell me and other applicants that the military checkbox is not as big a deal as folks make it out to be. So when he posts that the info I got is wrong, I want to know why! I'm looking for information here, just like everyone else. But please, for OP's sake, tell me how stupid I am here, not in this thread. 

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12 hours ago, Catman said:

but I know I can keep my cool and post on a forum with some tact

 

10 hours ago, Catman said:

He just came in and shot my opinion down with zero context. I backed myself up with the context that got me to write my post, and he responded like a valley girl.

So much for that first comment...

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Catman said:

Words.

I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and will offer you some help. If you’re interested, DM me your latest application. I’ll take a look at it and will offer my genuine advice.

Disclosures:

1. @matmacwc is far more knowledgeable than myself. 

2. I’ve never been on a hiring board, thus my opinions and criticisms are inherently limited in value  

 

 

Edit: Grammar

Edited by PilotCandidate

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