Pilot Resume Writing: Using Contextualized Keywords to Get the Job You Want

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Here are more pilot resume writing tips for our BizJetJobs.com Members who want to stand out from the crowd.

Our previous post on How BizJetJobs.com Pilots Gain an Edge with Computer Friendly Formatting discussed quick changes you can make to your resume to get past automated scanning and sorting while others are lost in cyberspace. This week’s post covers the context changes you can make to give your resume an edge over the competition.

Effective Use of Keywords

If there’s a job you really want, you could take the time to gear your resume to that particular job by making sure your resume includes keywords that appear in the job listing. If you don’t want to go that far, you can take a look at what the jobs you want have in common.

Adding relevant keywords will help get your resume seen, especially if you meet the job qualifications. Describing yourself in a way that matches the resume reviewer’s vernacular not only increases the chances that your resume will make the first cut (computer), but creates commonality with the person who wrote the job description in the first place. This is a tactic used by great sales people and brands, who mirror the buyer’s choice of words to create commonality and familiarity. It is a simple way to update your resume in an effective manner. Consciously and subconsciously this shows the employer that not only are you a good listener, but you’re a good communicator.

For example, if the job posting title is “Director of Aviation”, avoid using “Corporate Aviation Director” as past position titles in your resume or during the interview. If they are seeking a Current First Class Medical, include the word “Current” when you hold this qualification.

Putting Keywords in Context

These subtleties can make a big difference both with the computer and the interviewer so keep this in mind throughout the hiring process. The difference doesn’t just apply to aviation-related terms and phrases, it is all encompassing. When you are applying for a position with a flight department in a specific city and state, be sure that city and state are included in your resume.

Employers are searching BizJetJobs.com resumes for keywords they care about. Here are some quick checks you should do to your resume now to ensure you are getting seen, and making the right impression:

    • Your Aircraft. Make sure they are relevant to the position you are applying for. If the job description lists a “CE-501”, make sure you list your hours and past flying experience as “CE-501”. The aircraft you fly may be different from your type rating. For example, the CE-500 type rating covers the CE-501, 550 and 560, etc.. For maximum impact, include both keywords in your resume.
    • Your Hours. BizJetJobs.com pilots get the job that is a fit for them by listing their flight hours. Pilots who omit flight hours – for fear they are too few, or out of concern of looking “long in the tooth” – can shoot themselves in the foot. If you are seeking a flying position, even one part time, you need to list your flight hours. Even though you may have many years with your company, both the computer software and the recruiter need a flight hours number to read in order to determine your qualifications. If the job posting requires a certain number of night hours, make sure yours are listed.
    • Training / Recurrent Training, Certificates. The recruiter or HR person who set up the online job listing may also be person who does all of the resume filtering. “Current First Class Medical” is a great certification to mention front and center, as are “valid passport”, “valid drivers license: and “FCC Radio Operator’s Certificate.”
    • Location. If you really want a job – but you are not located in the city specified by the job listing – find a way to incorporate that city into your resume. The phrase “willing to relocate” can be a big differentiator, and you can include in your cover letter, but your resume the document that is more likely to be searched. For example, you could re-write/include an Objective statement like this: “A position as a Director of Aviation with a flight department headquartered in Dallas, TX.”If they’re seeking someone located locally and the job requirements say so (i.e. “must be within one hour drive time from DFW”), include “located less than 15 minutes from DFW,” if that’s the case. Not only do you stand out, but adding this means they’re now comparing you to their current flight department crew member who may have difficulty arriving on time. If you don’t plan to move, which airports are close?
    • Past Experience. Past corporate aviation experience is another criteria for many top corporate aviation employers. When possible, match any past titles / positions you want to the title they are seeking, or include them in your objective. If they’re looking for a PIC, list your experience as a PIC and / or include the keyword “PIC” in your Objective. If they list “Pilot in Command,” use that phrase, or use both.
    • Take Note of any “Musts.” If the job posting says applicants “must be able to complete ICAO international procedures training annually,” make sure you address this in your certifications section.

BizJetJobs.com offers Resume Writing, Cover Letter & Interview Prep Services. If you’d like to take advantage of a professional resume review, we can help! Please review our packages and pricing options here, and give us a call today. We are available from 9-5 ET M-F.