Skills that all successful aviation executives and leaders have in common – that go beyond your resume

The skill sets, experience, and education of leaders in aviation are as varied as the aviation industry itself, and there is no single path that one needs to take in their education or work experience to have an impactful career as a leader in aviation. 

The recruiters at Aviation Search Group know this better than anyone: after 20 years in direct-hire aviation recruiting, they have spoken with hundreds of aviation hiring managers, CEOs, directors, and owners, as well as thousands of potential candidates, about what makes a successful aviation professional beyond what is on their resume. 

Check out the list below, and prepare a few examples from your professional career that highlight your mastery of these skills. Then, be sure to mention them during your next job interview!

  1. Flexibility: Can you roll with the punches?
    How do you plan for the unexpected? Good aviation leaders know it’s important to be able to think quickly on their feet and be adaptable as situations can change in an instant. On an interpersonal level, successful aviation leaders and managers know that it’s never a “one size fits all” solution in managing teams of people and have a flexible approach to their management style. 
  2. Communication is more than just talking
    Good communication goes beyond being able to clearly and concisely express your ideas, thoughts, and initiatives to others. Good communication also involves active listening – not just to your team, but to your entire network. Being able to receive feedback and respond to it in a way that fosters positive action and improved operations is another hallmark of effective communication. 
  3. You can’t be afraid of failure
    It is true that no one is perfect, and that everyone makes mistakes. You should not think of your career as a path to “perfection”, where all your ideas are spot-on, your management style is egalitarian yet likeable in all situations, operations never exceed the budget, and deadlines are never missed. This dream scenario doesn’t exist! Show you can learn and grow from mistakes by taking ownership of your part, addressing why the mistake happened, and the steps that you implemented to be sure the mistake doesn’t repeat itself.

Overall, it is important to remember that great leaders – in any industry – are more than just what fits onto a resume, and being able to highlight these skills with specific examples from your career can help give you an edge as you search for a job. 


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