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Working in Aviation: Resume Writing Tips

Resume basics

First impressions are important. Take the time to polish your resume. Make it look good, triple-check for spelling and grammatical errors, use an easy-to-read font, and make sure the formatting makes everything easy to read.

A personal statement highlights how you are suited for the specific job you are applying for. It should be fairly short – around 100 words – and include three key things: who you are, what you can offer, and what your career goals are. This is where you sell yourself.

Be specific. Don’t just list generic skills – give specific examples of when you demonstrated them. Keep in mind the position you are applying for.

Length is important. Generally, a resume should be no more than 2 pages. Don’t fall into the trap of filling in space, though. Keep it relevant.

Key sections to include: your name and contact info, a brief personal statement, education, and work experience. Optional sections like skills, awards, and personal interests should be included only if relevant. You could also include a link to a professional online profile, like LinkedIn.

Keep in mind that employers will tend to scan a resume first, rather than reading all the information line by line. Make sure your formatting allows key points to stand out.

Customise your resume for each job application. Employers are looking for ways you can fulfill their needs, not what they can do for you.

Make sure your contact information is correct and up to date.

Be wary of online templates. Use these as a guide, not as the be-all-and-end-all of resume formatting. Each industry tends to have specific requirements and conventions, which may not translate well. Find the best way to clearly highlight your relevant skills and experience.

Aviation-specific requirements

Keep in mind that the industry is competitive, and companies receive many resumes for jobs they’re not even advertising for. Keep it focused and to the point.

If you’re applying for an advertised job, make sure you meet all the requirements before submitting an application – you don’t want to have mark against your name for wasting their time or not following clear instructions.

A brief summary of your flying experience should be included before your work history. List specific ratings and endorsements, as well as types of aircraft flown.

Leave the detailed “this is why I’m perfect for the job” for the cover letter.

The resume should be just your qualifications, flying experience, work experience, volunteer experience and three references.

A single page resume is generally preferred in the aviation industry.

You should also have a separate cover letter for each application.

The cover letter needs to address the job advertisement. It should explain how your experience, attitude, etc means that you fit the criteria set out in the job description.

You might set out your resume like this:

  1. Start with basic personal information

Your name — Address — Telephone number — E-mail (make sure it’s your personal email and looks professional) — Date of birth

  1. Flight hours. It’s really important to include hours relevant for the position. When applying for an airline, multi-engine, jet hours, second in command time, and hours flown on a specific type should be included. For example:

Total time: X hours — Pilot in Command: X hours — Second in Command: X hours — X hours on relevant type

  1. Qualifications. In this section include your Licences, Endorsements, and Ratings. Remember, this is where you have to prove that you meet requirements listed. Mention licence types, their validity, medical certificate, and licence issue country.
  2. Work experience. Keep it short and accurate. Mention the company name, duration of employment in years, your role, and aircraft types you flew on.
  3. Education and training. Note the qualification and where you studied. It is important to mention your last training (including the type of aircraft/simulator) and last actual flight (when, where, aircraft type).
  4. Skills, languages, achievements. Mention just relevant information, such as honours awards, prizes, special skills, or languages. This section is not obligatory.

Other things to consider:
Make sure your logbook is up to date.
Have a scan or copies of your licence and medical.

As with any piece of writing, it’s a good idea to read it out loud as a final check. This will help pick up on any missed errors or awkward phrasing. Have someone you trust proofread as well.