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How to write a pilot CV?

Whether you are still a cadet or looking for a change in your pilot career, you will need to apply for a new position at an airline. Your resume will be the first impression that recruiters will have. Thus, it is essential to use it as a platform to highlight your strengths, experiences, and stand out from the crowd. But how can you write the perfect pilot CV?

The CV of a pilot does not differ that much from any other kind of position. Try to use an attractive template and a readable layout. It should fit on one page, as the person who receives your resume will spend less than 20 seconds scanning it before making a preliminary decision. 

As for the content, the same rules apply as for any job: keep it clear, short, and adapted to the position you are applying for. However, a pilot resume should emphasize the candidate’s experience and skills even more clearly.

Start with your personal information. Write your name, address, your preferred telephone number and email address (make sure it looks professional), your nationality, and date of birth.

A pilot position usually asks for very specific qualifications, and your potential employer should be able to see that you are fit for the job on their first read. If a certain number of flight hours or certification is needed, then it should appear in the first lines of the CV. Round up your flight hour numbers (example: 200h rather than 196h or 207h). Keep it simple and efficient: mention the flight hours on the aircraft type asked by the position, but leave the trainer aircraft for your interview.

After your qualifications, your resume should highlight your professional experiences. Detail each of your previous assignments in one or two lines, which position you were holding (captain, first officer…) on which aircraft. You can also include your references there. There again, keep any experiences unrelated to the aviation industry for your interview.

Then comes your education. Note the degree and university where you studied.  If you apply abroad, be sure to find the local equivalent to your degrees (example: in France, a Baccalaureat is not a Bachelor’s degree, but a British A-Levels or a US High school diploma).  

Finally, conclude with your language abilities and your personal interests. Be honest with your language proficiency and prioritize internationally recognized evaluations. For instance, spoken Spanish does not say much about your level. You can also mention if you lived in a foreign country. Finish your CV on a lighter note with special achievements, such as honors awards and prizes.

After you are done writing your resume, go through the offer once more and verify that you have provided all the information needed for the recruiter to make a preliminary decision. Use that opportunity to make sure you did not miss any typo or spelling error.

A good resume can be the key for your pilot career to find new wings, so put the effort needed to get the position of your dreams! 

What worked wonders for your CV? Feel free to add your tips in the comments.

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