Creating an Airline Pilot CV

The aim of this guide is to offer some insight into creating an airline pilot CV! Airline pilot recruiters may only assess a CV for as little as 15 seconds, so it is vitally important that your key attributes for the role stand out!

For many years we've been assisting aspiring, current and military pilots with creating their CVs for airline applications. Creating and submitting a CV seems to be one of the most daunting tasks for any pilot, because they want it to end up in the pile of CVs that are called forward for an interview and assessment.

A CV is a recruiter's first look at the applicant and it needs to count. With that in mind, we thought we might offer the following guidance to help pilots create this essential document!

  • Be truthful, because a recruiter will discover anything you have omitted at your assessment day.

  • Keep it to one page - a CV is a brief overview of your experience!

  • White space - Make sure there is sufficient white space on the CV so that your text is easy to read.

  • Make it easy for the recruiter to see find your flying experience - by putting this information high up on the CV, the recruiter can check that you meet the basic entry requirements. Total, P1, multi crew and aircraft type specific hours are the ones that are often used for entry requirements so they must be found easily on the CV.

  • If you have recently completed your pilot training - show your training record high up on the page and highlight your positive results e.g. first time ATPL ground exam passes with 90% average. A table is a very useful tool for outlining your ATPL, CPL, IR and MCC grades.

  • List your employment experience in reverse chronoligical order, emphasising the skills you acquired in your roles with approproiate examples. For example, if you claim to have good good leadership skills then follow that up with a brief statement about how you have lead e.g. "team leader for 20 people in a sales and marketing team".  Airlines assess pilots based on their competencies such as leadership, teamwork, decision making, communication, situational awareness and standards as well as their ability to fly. 

  • Use language that is easy to understand - you need to the recruiter to have a very clear understanding of what you have been doing throughout your employment. Avoid using abbreviations and complex technical language.

  • Ensure that you can justify the claims you make on your CV with evidence based examples in a subsequent airline pilot interview and assessment.

  • It’s important to remember you applying for the role of a pilot - don’t waste space with technicalities from previous employment i.e. listing 10 different IT programming languages is not relevant to flying!

  • Highlight ONLY the hobbies you perform regularly - a list of hockey Captain, football, going to the gym, playing the guitar, travelling and voluntary work is too much. Which of the aforementioned hobbies do you think would be relevant in terms of your personal skills and attributes?

  • Outline any achievements that make you stand out from the crowd.

  • Avoid putting your photo on the CV (unless a requirement from the airline) - it’s human nature to make informal judgements based on what we see. We want the recruiter to focus on the content of your CV! 

At AirlinePrep our interview, assessment and simulator preparation courses are created around the theme of professionalism in aviation.
If you would like to know more about how we can support and help you with your Airline or Cadet Pilot interview, then please feel free to contact us.