Air Force Veteran’s Successful Job Search Lands Airline Tower Operator Job

man with headset, illustrating airline tower operator job found in veteran's job search


An Air Force Veteran who is now working as an Airline Tower Operator shares modern techniques for the job seeker, from his most recent successful job search. Read on to discover, in his own words, how he got the best results from job search boards, professional networking, and keeping his skill set up-to-date.

This Veteran’s Job Search Story

I work in the airline safety industry. My current position is as an airline tower operator for Delta Airlines. I found this job through a rather long and difficult job search that began with the recommendation of a friend and ended with a networking event. I was looking for this job for the past two years after I was let go from a technician position at Boeing.

I used many forms of technology in my job search, including:

  • Social networking sites, both large and small
  • Job boards
  • Websites of temporary agencies
  • Message boards and events dedicated to people searching for a job

I made profiles on so many social networking sites that my fingers actually began to hurt from all of the typing. I was on them every day joining groups and trying to create any kind of connection with people that were in my industry that might have a lead on a job.

How This Veteran’s Job Search Might Have Gone Even Better

If I was applying for the exact same position tomorrow, but with a different company, in order to make myself stand out from other applications I would have reorganized my resume a bit more, would have called back more, and would have used e-mail and social networking sites much more to stay in touch with the people that held my employment in their hands after my initial contacts with them.

I also definitely would not have been so scared to go straight to the top in my job search. I really only tried to connect with people on my pay grade, but they are not the ones who do the hiring, so in looking back I see this was a mistake.

Veteran’s Take on Technology Used in Job Search

The types of technologies that I used to connect with professionals in my industry were Facebook, LinkedIn, craigslist, SMS texting, video chatting, and the job boards that I mentioned above.

Although all of these definitely played a part in me getting my new job, I guess that I would have to say that the most effective technology that helped me find my current job were the job boards. The job boards were the most effective in my job search because they were the most targeted and simply got to the point quicker. Many of the other technologies were helpful, but they were not as easy to use because they were not dedicated to helping people find a job.

Veteran’s Take on Job Interviews

An example of a job interview that went exceedingly well for me, besides the one at Delta Airlines, my current employer, was an interview I had at Virgin Airlines for another position entirely. They have a much looser culture than many other airlines, so I was able to show my personality a little bit more than on the other job interviews.

I would say that the thing I did in job interviews that other people could learn from was picking up on the culture of the business right away. I was able to loosen up quickly at Virgin Airlines and that helped me get to the second interview. However, I was not quite the most qualified person for the job, and so I did not get it. Nonetheless, my interviewer said I was by far the most entertaining and likable prospect he had had interviewed for the position, and I would have had the job if I had just had more experience.

Veteran Emphasizes Role of Updating Skills in Successful Job Search

The single most important thing about a professional job market that I have learned on my own is that it is always good to stay up-to-date with your resume and your job skill set.

As you increase in pay grade, with domestic businesses outsourcing as much work as they possibly can, you really have to stay ahead of the learning curve to get a position worthy of your experience. Many tasks performed by humans in the past can now be automated quite easily for a fraction of the cost.

I think the thing that got me the job was the fact I stayed up to date on the latest technologies in the industry and was able to communicate that to the interviewer during my interview.

On the other hand, this wasn’t always so. In fact, if I could redo one event from my professional career, I would have definitely gone right back to school after leaving the Air Force. It was during this period that I sort of fell behind the learning curve of the technology in my industry. I had to play catch-up for the next five years before I could get up to the pay grade of other people my age.

Veteran Used University’s Career Services in Job Search

I actually did use the services offered by my university’s career services office in my job search, and they were quite useful. I was able to link from the university’s career service resources to some of the social networking sites and get in touch with some alumni in a much quicker fashion. These were the people who led me in the right direction. It would have been much harder for me to find out who was hiring in the industry without their help.

For Further Information

  • At you’ll find many jobs suitable for vets all in one place.
  • At Human Resources Manager you can read another career interview like this one.

    This guest post about a veteran’s job search was provided by, a site allowing users to search job sites, company pages, associations and newspapers, and learn from true career stories such as this one.

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