For professional pilots, resumes are a way to present qualifications and experience, and a chance to make a first impression on a potential employer. With the number of qualified applicants currently in the market for the same contract and corporate pilot job opportunities, it is more important than ever to make sure that your resume is updated, accurate, visually friendly and electronically functional (scannable). Whether you are going to an aviation job fair, aviation seminar, responding to a BizJetJobs.com post, or going to an interview it is crucial that you put your best foot forward by creating an excellent pilot resume.
Here is a quick pilot resume checklist from our expert Angie Marshall, Pilot Consultant with over twenty years of experience interviewing, consulting, and preparing pilots for their professional aviation careers.
- Resumes should be well organized and not too wordy. Regardless of the job, recruiters will spend less than 10 seconds initially qualifying your resume. Because of this, certain formats are recommended in order to allow the reader to quickly and efficiently decide if they want to read any more. The top three things to have on your resume are:
- What are you looking to do, or an “Objective.” Keep it short and remove fluff from fact. Be specific. Potential employers appreciate this.
- How many hours do you have? If you don’t meet their minimums, there may be no use in proceeding.
- What are your qualifications? Include your Certificates and Ratings.
- If you qualify in all of the above categories, then they want to know your experience and work history.
- Where have you worked?
- What was your title and the equipment you flew?
- What kind of flying was it (121, 135, 91, 91K, 141, 61)
- Quick and direct job descriptions. Be careful to never equate a good description with a long one. To the point words will win every time!
- Be sure you use accurate flight times! I cannot stress this enough. Regardless of the job you are applying for, there is no bigger “buzz kill” for a potential employer than this. Never guesstimate. Audit your logbooks and flight times and be accurate. Corporations are looking for detail-oriented pilots. If you don’t take the time to manage the details of your own career, then why should they think you are going to be detailed enough to manage the details of the job?
- Keep your resume to one page unless you are focused on a management position. For management, two pages of relevant information is sufficient.
- Gone are the days of multiple addresses and phone numbers. Keep it simple for everyone. Pick a number and address where people can easily reach you and use and review it regularly.
- Resumes should include a 10 year job history. The exception to this rule is if you have a job from your past that is directly relevant to the position to which you are applying. In this case, add a category that highlights this experience without overwhelming the rest of the resume.
- Never place personal information on a resume. No certificate numbers, birthdates, health status, medical certificate issuances, etc.
- Polish your resume! Especially in today’s competitive pilot market you need to ensure that everything looks perfect. Be sure you spell check, that your email address and phone number are correct, and that your resume looks well balanced and professional. Have someone you trust read and review it for typographical and other errors before you send it out.