Before we jump into the steps on how to become a flight attendant, you have to accept one important truth.
It isn’t how much you want this job that matters; but how suitable you are for it .
Cathay Pacific describes a flight attendant as:
“Being the face of an airline comes with many challenging responsibilities. Flight Attendants are often required to spend long hours on their feet while delivering an attentive and friendly service and ensuring that passengers arrive safely. You will work hard but also enjoy a unique lifestyle filled with adventure, excitement and travel. – Cathay Pacific
Now that you accepted the fact that this job is more challenging than it is glamorous let me share with you in detail what exactly you need to do to prepare yourself and eventually get this dream job of yours.
10 Steps On How To Become A Flight Attendant
1 Fulfill All The Requirements
Having an outstanding work experience or possessing a very pleasant personality isn’t enough to get you the job. You’ll need to comply with some basic requirements to qualify.
2 Wait Until You’re 21!
Some domestic airlines accept applicants at the age of 18. For legal reasons, long-haul international airlines require that you’re at least 21 to apply since you will be required to serve alcohol.
The other reason you’ll have to wait until you’re 21 is you’re more mature (hopefully) at this age.
This job is extremely demanding so being mature and independent is crucial. If you aren’t mature enough to take care of yourself without Mommy or Daddy, how could you be able to look after the safety and comfort of other human beings?
If you cry over every boo-boo, then this job isn’t for you!
3 Get Your High School Diploma (At least!)
The great thing about being a flight attendant is you don’t need to take up a special course for it in university. You actually don’t need a college degree altogether.
It doesn’t matter what school you attended. Anybody can apply for the position regardless of their educational background. Keep in mind though there are airlines which require that you’ve attended at least two years of university.
You don’t need to attend a flight attendant school to qualify for this job. Neither will it give you an advantage over the other candidates on the day of the interview. This is particularly true if you’re aiming for an airline in the Middle East and Asia. They don’t require any such training.
However, if you’re applying for some airlines in certain European countries, they do require that you have an aviation certificate before you can apply. Make sure you inquire before you make any decisions.
4 Grow Your Customer Service Work Experience
You’ll be highly considered if you’ve previously worked in a hotel, cruise ship, fine dining restaurant, or as an airport ground staff.
This signals to the recruiter that you’ve had hands-on experience in dealing with customers.
I’ve observed that those with customer service background are the ones who last the longest in this job compared to those who come from a more technical background.
5 Pay Attention To Your Physical Appearance
You must be tall enough to reach the overhead luggage compartments, but not too tall that you won’t fit in the plane. Strong enough to open emergency exits yet slender enough to pass through the narrow aisles.
As Skywest puts it ever so bluntly!
“Must have the ability to walk and fit comfortably down the aircraft aisle while facing forward (not side-stepping), fit quickly through the over-wing exit, and sit in the flight attendant jumpseat without modification or a seatbelt extension. – Skywest
6 Create a Winning Cabin Crew Resume
Your CV should be professional, easy to read, and concise. It should instantly tell the interviewer what, who, and how you are.
Keep it to a maximum of two pages. One page is even better.
Having an Objective statement on the top of you CV is so outdated. Give your CV a fresh look by adding a Summary instead.
7 Take the Best Photos
You’ll need two photos for your application:
- one full body
- one head shot: Passport size or 2 x 2.
Never ask a friend to take a photo of you while posing against a wall in your living room. Invest a little and go to a professional photographer. Buy a full business attire also.
A photo makes a huge impact, especially when applying online. So, when you pose for the photo, show confidence in your posture and friendliness in your smile.
Captivate them 😉
8 Know The Job Description and Hiring Process
It’s always a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Find out everything you can about the airline you’re applying for. Be updated with their latest news.
Constantly follow the careers page on their website for announcements about their assessment days or hiring campaigns worldwide.
Read everything you can about the cabin crew lifestyle and job description. You may think you love the job, but maybe the work doesn’t suit you.
Also, learn how the hiring process works so you’ll know what to expect and prepare yourself better . Things like:
- What is an Assessment day?
- How many stages are there at the interview?
If you’re really serious, invest in buying these ebooks below. You’ll get amazing preparation tips and strategies on how to pass the interview or answer those tricky questions.
9 Be Prepared To Relocate
Airlines have hubs and bases all over the world. You may have to leave family, friends, or country to get the job.
I’ve seen so many new flight attendants resigning after one year of flying just because they missed their loved ones and family!
Start being independent from now on.
10 Apply, Apply and Apply Again!
Apply online through their website. Fill in your details and upload your photos and CV.
If you don’t get an invitation to attend an interview by email or phone, you can still apply by attending their open days at any city near you.
Wehn you aren’t successful at your first trial, or even first few trials, apply again and again and again!
I always remind people that I applied 8 times until I finally got into a major airline. I’m currently on my 15th year soaring the skies as a cabin crew.
It’s true that some people are naturally great at interviews and can pass at the first attempt. But a few of us need more preparation and practice. So don’t lose hope too soon!
Note: You may have to go to another city or even another country to apply for the job. You just have to take the risk and go for it. Don’t wait for the airline to come to your home city for recruitment since it could take months or even years before they do.
In summary, to be a perfect candidate for the flight attendant job, you have to be mature, educated, physically fit and with a heart full of empathy and compassion.
Best of wishes and see you in your cabin crew uniforms soon!
[Photo supplied by Tina]