Internal Referrals and Your Cover Letter

Published: 05-24-2006
You are probably already aware of how critically important the role personal connections play in your job search. So if you are applying to an airline with whom you have a good contact who's willing to recommend you for employment, you should draft the cover letter differently.

Write the opening sentence in a manner similar to these examples:

"Tom Allen mentioned that you may have some need for Saab 340 First Officers. With over 3 years flying Part 135 freight in multi-engine Metroliners, I..."

"Acme Air Captain Bill Hendall suggested to me that I submit a resume, as hiring at your company might be commencing soon. I am thus eagerly applying in the hopes of becoming an Acme Air B-737 new-hire first officer."

"Acme Air marketing assistant Jill Smith informed me that you are presently interviewing for Fall pilot new-hire classes and suggested I contact you."

As you can see in the above examples, we used the referral's name to highlight the connection to the pilot recruiter. This is a very effective way of getting attention drawn to your resume.

Of course, you must contact the insider and make sure that the name-drop is OK with him or her. Do not introduce the name of somebody that's merely a met-one-time acquaintance, lest the truth comes out in your interview.

In sum, do not be afraid to mention a contact within the airline when you're drafting the cover letter. Rather, address this person right up front in your opening sentence-- given their permission. Your cover letter will be off to a great start.

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