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How to land a job at Boeing

With Boeing ramping up to crank out thousands of new jets in the coming year, the help wanted sign is out in Everett and Renton.

Even with so many openings, it's not as simple as just sending in a resume. It turns out getting an initial interview can be as daunting as getting a new jet off the ground.

"I would say the most unique or the most challenging thing when it comes to applying for a job at Boeing is understanding the job postings," says Julie Lord, Area Director with WorkSource's Everett office.

Boeing uses automated software to filter for key words, which many otherwise qualified people fail to get on their resumes, eliminating them from the process, according to Lord.

For example, she says the company might ask for experience reading schematic drawings, but a construction worker might call it blue print reading and be overlooked.

"Resumes are like women's fashions, they change constantly," Lord says. And she says that's why it's critical you craft a resume specifically to the job you're seeking.

WorkSource offers a series of workshops and trainings targeted specifically to getting a Boeing job. Along with resume writing and the online application, it also features such skills as interviewing "the Boeing way." Lord describes that as a specific style and line of questions that can catch people off guard.

Bernie Quinn swears by the WorkSource program. Her two sons and a son-in-law were all struggling to survive massive cutbacks in the construction industry during the recession before discovering the Boeing training classes.

"You know, it's like my family was desperate," she says.

But after going through the training, all three men ended up getting hired to help build the next generation jets.

"I'm just so thankful my family is no longer on the brink of disaster," says Quinn.

Boeing won't say how many positions it plans to fill in the coming years, but Senior Hiring Manager David Barrios says the company is committed to the Puget Sound community and works hard to partner with the state in making the application process as easy as possible.

And he says ultimately, the biggest key to getting your foot in the door is specifically detailing what you can do for the company.

"Obviously you don't want to misrepresent yourself, but at the same time, it's important to make sure your previous experience aligns with what we're looking for and it's called out on your resume," says Barrios.

While WorkSource offers Boeing specific training, Administrator Matt Bench in the Everett office says most people don't realize the state-funded agency offers help for anyone, regardless of their age, experience, or interest.

"It's not the unemployment office, so it really is available to anybody that's looking to find a job if they're unemployed or upgrade a job if they're underemployed."

And if you've been struggling like Bernie's boys but aren't sure where to turn, she says just look at how Worksource helped them get back on their feet for free.

"They are now catching up on their bills and they're getting healthcare. It's just a wonderful story," she says.

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About the Author

Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news.


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