So, you’ve spent thousands of pounds obtaining your commercial pilot’s licence, but still haven’t found a job yet. Have you invested enough time into your job search though? More importantly, your pilot CV?
Having a clear and powerful pilot CV, our friends over at Flight Deck Friend say, is essential if you want to move forward in the recruitment process. An airline will likely receive hundreds, even a couple thousand applications for just a few select pilot vacancies. Many of them will include similar details, so it’s essential to do what you can to make your application stand out. Part of this can be done through tailoring your CV. Below, we’ve included some tips to help you get started, so you can go after your dream job.
An eye-catching header
First thing’s first. Eliminate the title ‘Curriculum Vitae’ from your CV. It’s unnecessary, and it uses up available space on your CV where instead, you could highlight the job title you’re applying for. E.g. if you’ve just got your license, you’ll be applying for a ‘First Officer’ role, so you can use this as your title. Got more experience under your wing? ‘Captain’ could be the title to use instead.
After this, include your name, home address, telephone number and email address.
Don’t submit your application unless you’ve included the flight hours you’ve accrued during your pilot career. Most airlines will highlight the amount of hours acceptable for the role, so make sure you look at this before you apply.
A good way to display this on your section, because it’s so important, is to create a new section. Label it ‘Flight time’ and underneath, include the total amount of flight hours you’ve gathered over your career. Then, break it down in a small table underneath. A good way to break it down is X amount of hours per aircraft. Noting down figures can get messy, so the table will allow you to present it in a clearer form. If the airline is looking for someone who has flown a particular aircraft, you can bold the relevant aircraft and flight time in this section to make it stand out.
License and ratings
This section is about relevance. Your qualifications, licenses and ratings should reflect what the recruiter is looking for. For example, JAR-FCL ATPL, or FAA ATP. You should also include the type ratings on the license. Similar to flight time, airlines will have particular certifications or licenses in mind, so you should ensure that your qualifications match the needs of the role before you apply.
Including a separate skills section in your pilot CV helps a recruiter to easily match you to the job they are advertising for. It’s easier for them to compare and contrast as opposed to the skills being included in your work experience section. Use the job description as a guide for what to include – but don’t lie. It won’t help you or anyone else involved. It will simply serve as a huge time waster.
This section informs a recruiter of what experience you’ve had in the run up to becoming a pilot. Here, you should highlight your main responsibilities in bullet point form. Important things to note would be to compliment your skills section e.g. if you mentioned your leadership skills, briefly mention how you would delegate tasks on a daily basis. Again, read the job description, and try to match the relevant responsibilities with the expectations of the job you’re applying for. The more relevant your CV is to the job, the more it will stand out to the airline.
Are you less experienced or just starting out in your pilot career? Use past work experience from other jobs to highlight skills that can be easily transferred to your pilot career e.g. leadership or communication skills, task management etc.
Including an education section helps recruiters to identify what level of education you reached, and whether you carry a passion for aircraft or aviation. For example, do you have a degree in aerospace engineering? It’s not necessary to include your GCSE’s in detail, although mentioning that you achieved X amount A*-C would be useful. But keep the focus around college and university if applicable.
Need some help getting started? Why not try the resources below? Download our helpful template if you’re ready to take off: