Airline Pilot Resume Tips


As I was surfing the web today I came across an article titled ’10 Resume errors that will land you in the trash’. While it was never my experience that a poor resume would actually wind up in the circular file, certainly there were many that failed to catch my eye.

Airline pilot hiring is different from the corporate world. We know what your foundational skills are; you fly airplanes.  The hard part for you in convincing the reader why you should be considered over thousands of other candidates with the same underlying mechanical abilities.  You will need to sell yourself in this document, and regrettably, most of you will sell yourselves short instead.

When you attach a resume to an application or present it at a job fair the reader will, on average, spend less than 10 seconds actually reading your work. Here are a few tips to make sure that you are making the best impression possible.

  1. Don’t be flashy.  While you certainly want to be noticed, use of non-traditional fonts, paper, or other presentation creativity may not yield the intended result.  There are other ways to make yourself stand apart.
  2. Omit the references.  References should only be provided on request and are usually a part of every airline’s application.  You have limited real estate on your page, leave these out.
  3. Don’t write complete sentences.  Write short meaningful fragments that tell the reader as much as possible with very little reading.  Be sure to keep your narrative style the same throughout your descriptions.
  4. Be specific with the numbers.  Many applicants are ‘rounders’;  8000 total time, 4500 PIC.  The odds of actually having all of your numbers land on even are low, and this shows a lack of attention to detail.
  5. Don’t list your responsibilities.  This is a tough one for the average line pilot.  You will show more value to the reader by listing your accomplishments instead.  No easy task, but well worth the effort.
  6. Don’t include an objective.  In this career field, at this level, we know what you want to do.  Save the space for something that sets you apart.
  7. Spell check and proofread.  You are submitting your best representation on your best day, take the time to ensure you are free of self-induced blemishes.
  8. Don’t list your ‘cool’ email. may look good on a business card at the bar, but it doesn’t reflect well professionally.  Ditch the novelty emails.
  9. Don’t include your picture.  There are very strict laws on hiring, and placing your image on your resume reveals details about your sex, age, and ethnicity.  These details cannot be used in the hiring decision and add no value to you.
  10. Don’t get too personal.  It is OK to let your personality shine by including volunteer or other value-added experiences but leave the details about family and other interests off the page.

We look forward to working with you to make sure your resume is recruiter ready.