As we at last, see airlines actively recruit to fill their pilot rosters, we have to ask ourselves this question. We may have waited till the vacancy was posted, before we dusted off our CV and updated it with our most recent check ride, updated log book details, and particulars of the alternate career we pursued.
Well, it is time to be sure, you can say Yes, to my question. If you are not quite there yet, let me offer some simple points of guidance.
Let’s see if your CV passes the IRA test… Interesting, Relevant and Aviation focussed.
- Interesting… Be sure your CV captures the readers attention, with interesting details about you as a person and what you offering as a pilot. Be sure to tailor your content, to match the requirements and competencies required. The format should be engaging, but not distracting to the flow of the reader. Think of the Chief Pilot, giving you one minute of his/her time, and make it easy for you to be selected for interview
- Relevant… You want to put all your important information on one page, so be sure that everything you write, is relevant to the position. Eliminate any padding in text and try to combine work experience, not directly aviation applicable together. Highlight what your pilot qualifications are, especially if they exceed minimum requirements, and be sure to demonstrate where your personality, is a good match for the airlines culture.
- Aviation focussed… We have all had various experiences and jobs, that may or may not be directly related to flying. Ensure you show your commitment to the industry, and highlight where other roles, would enhance your value as a pilot, e.g. customer service, technical knowledge, working under pressure, high standards. Be sure your aviation experience is high in the order of your work experience, even if you have to adjust the chronological order.
Think about the presentation of your CV, and what catches the eye initially.
Consider using a photo, in uniform, engaging and relaxed, that shows you are a good fit for the cockpit.
Perhaps combine your total flight time hours in a tabular form, so it is easy for the reader to interpret total number of hours, time on type, PIC, Twin time and Single and sim time.
Highlight the validity period of your ME/IR, medical or any other qualifications
Detail where you completed your training, including MCC and APS work completed. This gives the reader the quality of instruction you received, and the choice of Flight Academy.
Do give the reader an insight to your personality by including non-aviation interests and achievements to demonstrate your life journey to date.
If you have good references arranged, do detail them. “References on request”, is the loss of an opportunity to announce, who endorses in you.
So hopefully there is some info that you can add to your CV design and detail, that will result in you getting called for assessment and interview, and avoid getting tossed into the bin.
The very best of luck to you all… It’s a great career.
Author Conor Keeling
Conor is an Airbus A330 Commander with many years of experience in the aviation world. His primary focus is working with the next generation of Airline Pilots, providing professional coaching and pilot experience to enhance their skills and boost their confidence during Airline assessments. He is a fully accredited member of the Association of Coaching and European Coaching and Mentoring Council and operates strictly under their Global Code of Ethics. You can find out more about his services here: