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Being a pilot sounds glamorous. But let's face it—not all aviation jobs are on the same level. After you've done all the hard work necessary to get your license, you expect a job that comes with great pay and benefits, and not one that involves extremely long work hours and little reward.
A great pilot resume can help you maximize your chances of reaching for the stars. And with our help, you'll write one with the speed of light.
In this guide:
- A jet-set airline pilot resume template you can use to write your aviation resume.
- How to write an airline pilot job description to add to your resume.
- The definite guide on the pilot resume format.
- Expert hints to increase the chances of your airline pilot resume.
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Airline Pilot Resume Template
William K Beavers
676 Brighton Circle Road
Stewart, MN 55385
Focused and passionate commercial airline pilot with 4+ years of experience, racking up over 5000 hours: over 1500 hours as Pilot in Command, and 2000 as Second in Command. 500 nighttime hours. Certified and experienced on the Boeing 737-800, Airbus A321 and Bombardier CRJ200. Commended in 2018 for highest punctuality. Successful emergency landing in 2018 due to engine fire. Seeking a position as an international long-haul pilot for Delta Air Lines.
- 5000 flight hours, PiC: 1500, SiC: 2000, Night: 500.
- 97% on time rating in 2018, awarded for highest punctuality in my hub.
- Operated flights out of Minneapolis to Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Detroit, New York, Washington and Baltimore.
- 100% pre-flight check accuracy on flight equipment and navigational controls.
- Successful emergency landing at Rochester International Airport due to bird damaging one engine and causing a fire.
Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science Management with Professional Pilot Concentration
Texas Southern University
- Dean’s List student
- Excelled in Flight Instruments, International Flight Theory, and Principles of Avionics modules.
- Chairman of the TSU Business Society.
- FAA—Airline Transport Pilot License
- FAA—Commercial Multi-Engine Land certification passed on Piper Seminole aircraft
- FAA 3rd Class Aviation Medical Certificate
- Type Ratings: 737, A321, A320, CRJ200
- First Aid, CPR—American Red Cross
- Most Punctual Spirit Pilot 2018
- Conversational Spanish
- Fluent French
- Boeing 737
- Airbus A321
- Bombardier CRJ200
- Dead Reckoning
- VFR flight
Let’s get your own airline pilot resume to the Mile High Club.
Here's how to write a pilot resume:
1. Use the correct pilot resume format.
2. Write a professional profile to highlight your qualifications.
3. Add a job description of a pilot to the work experience section.
4. List degrees and courses in the education section.
5. Select extra sections for your aviation resume.
Keep reading to learn how to complete these steps in more detail:
1. Choose the Right Airline Pilot Resume Format
When you’re in the cockpit of your 737, you know where everything is. Every gauge, every instrument, whatever you wanna know, you know where to look. Your resume format has to work the same—the reader should be able to navigate the sections to find what they’re looking for exactly.
This is how you do it:
Aviation Resume Format
- Always use the reverse-chronological resume format.
- Use legible resume fonts like Calibri or Garamond in 10–12pt.
- Use 1-inch resume marginsand space the sections out evenly.
- Make a one-page resume.
- Pay attention to the order of your resume sections: Header, Objective, Experience, Education, and “Additional.”
- Always save a resume as a PDF, unless asked not to.
OK, let’s put the engines on.
2. Write a Mach-2 Airline Pilot Resume Profile
Pilots are meticulous, pay attention to detail, and check every gauge before take-off. Unfortunately, it won’t be a pilot reading your aviation resume. It will be a recruiter who won’t be doing a thorough instrument check. This is why you need to convey all the information quickly and concisely.
The best way to do that is with a resume profile. A resume profile is a short paragraph at the top of your resume which summarizes your skills and experience in a few sentences.
Here’s a quick formula to get your pilot resume profile right:
- Use strong, active power adjectives like passionate, efficient.
- List your years of experience, if you have them.
- Explain how you will contribute to your new employer—what you bring to the table.
- Back up whatever you can with achievements and numbers. List all your hours on aircraft.
Here’s an example:
Pilot Resume Example: Summary
There is no use in telling the recruiter what they already know so don’t list your responsibilities and tasks. Focus your pilot resume summary on your achievements, numbers, and things that set you apart from the rest.
If you do not have commercial experience, you may opt for a resume objective. In it, you should focus on your existing experience, any awards, commendations, or good feedback you received in training. List all your hours and certifications to underline your passion and commitment.
Example Pilot Resume: Objective
Expert Hint: Before you start each application, make sure to check the airline for their requirements. Some will have very specific requirements regarding type ratings, and may be less willing than others to pay for you to do them. There aren't many airlines in the country, so make every shot count.
3. Ace Your Pilot Job Description on a Resume
Don’t state the obvious. Everyone knows what a pilot does. Instead, in your work experience section tell them about your hours, commendations and notable achievements.
This airline pilot job description nails it:
Airline Pilot Job Description for a Resume
That’s like comparing an A380 with a Cessna. The good example quantifies your performance, instead of just saying what a pilot does. However, what if you are writing a resume with no experience?
If you haven’t held a commercial flying position yet, it is wise to replace this section with an expansive flight hours and certifications section. You could also write about accomplishments that you may have from other work experience, volunteering, or school related activities.
And one more thing—picking the right skills to put on a resume can help.
Don’t just copy and paste. Don’t be silly—everyone knows, or at least hopes, that an airplane pilot has good eye to hand coordination. Choose wisely.
Airline Pilot Skills for Resume
- Dead Reckoning
- VFR Flight
- Basic First Aid and CPR
- List different plane types
- Mathematics & Physics
- Modern Aviation Technology & Instrumentation
- Teamwork & Collaborative Skills
- Excellent Communication Skills
- Ability to Stay Calm Under Pressure
- Situational Awareness
- Environmental Awareness
- Critical-Thinking Skills
- Weather Systems & Weather-Based Decisions
- Time-Management Skills
- Communication Skills
- Interpersonal Skills
- Leadership Skills
- Technical Skills
Expert Hint: Which airlines pay the most? United, American, and Delta Airlines all average above $250/hr, with Southwest close behind at $242. The rest range between $200 and $130. Consider writing a targeted resume for the top 4 airlines.
4. Make Your Education a Reason to Hire You
Many say that you don’t become a real pilot until you first fly solo. Others say that you need to fly an X amount of hours to call yourself a pilot. Regardless, you can make your education section an additional reason to hire you.
List your school name, diploma type, GPA (if you’re a fresher), and graduation date.This airline pilot resume example shows how:
Aviation Resume Example—Education
Stand out by using bullet points to highlight your achievements.
If you don’t have commercial flying experience, you may extend your resume education section further!
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5. Add Extra Sections to Your Pilot Resume
Once you have all the key information in your aviation resume, it can pay off to add a few bonus resume sections such as:
- Additional Activities
- Foreign Languages
- Hobbies and Interests
- Professional References
These two airline pilot resume examples show you clearly the difference it can make:
Aviation Resume—Extra Sections
Think about what’s relevant. Applying for international flights? Make languages the focus. First time applying to a commercial flying position? Focus on the certifications.
One last thing.
Write a cover letter. There’s no better way to show you’re passionate about your job.
Expert Hint: Pilot resumes must always be sent with supporting documents. Attach copies of your licenses, ratings, medical certificates, passport and more. To save time, check thoroughly with each airline on what they require.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There's 21 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
Here’s how to make sure your aviation resume passes with flying colors:
- Use proper pilot resume format settings—margins, fonts, 1 page, reverse chronological.
- Use our airline pilot resume template to build your own from. Adjust accordingly for your experience level.
- In your airline pilot job description describe your excellence, not the generic responsibilities of a pilot.
- If necessary, flesh out strong education section. Let them know you are ready and passionate.
Got questions on how to write a great resume for commercial airline pilot jobs? Did we help you get your airline pilot resume right? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply.
Check out more useful resources:
- How to Start a Resume
- What Should a Resume Look Like
- Resume Outline: Professional Examples
- How to Successfully Email a Resume
- Free MS Word templates
- Free Resume Templates
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