Today most hiring managers don’t read people’s cover letters even though their expectation is still to receive a cover letter with the application. This means that your cover letter is still a positive addition to your application and should be submitted even though it probably won’t be read. This can be frustrating because you might not be willing to write one, and if you do, it’ll be minimal effort you put into it.

However, it’s possible that a company who isn’t sure about your application decides to read your cover letter to get more information about you, or they have a shortlist of candidates and they look through cover letters to eliminate people on the list. You need to know exactly how to write a successful cover letter that will give you all possible chances to proceed to the interview stage. Here are the 8 most common mistakes to avoid for pilots applying for a new position


Putting too much focus on yourself

The company you’re applying to be a pilot for is hiring because they need someone to fill a gap that they have. At the end of the day, the first and most important thing they want to know is what you can do for the company. Therefore, it’s important to share your accomplishments and explain why you’re the best pilot to fill the gap they have, but also explain your achievements in a way that highlights how you’re the best fit for that specific position. 

Sharing too many details about previous positions

Depending how long you’ve been in the field and you’re job history, sharing details about every previous job will make for a very cluttered and headache-inducing cover letter. Instead, focus on the experience that you gained in previous positions that is relevant to the pilot job you’re applying to currently. This means you shouldn’t be including pilot hour breakdowns for each airline, unless you’ve been asked to provide a minimum. Similarly, don’t list every airplane you’ve ever flown – only put those that are adding value to your application. 

Including awkward information

It’s not necessary or recommended to put in your cover letter why you left a previous company, what struggles you faced, and why you were laid off. Employers want to know current information and will see any of this extra information as insecurity and a red flag. Focus on your achievements and how they translate to the current job, but be prepared to be asked about past positions in an interview. 

Writing too much

Frederick Heimler, a recruiter at Big Assignments and Ox Essays, says that “you don’t want to write too much in your cover letter so it exhausts any managers that try to read it. Instead of a novel, keep your cover letter to the point, and half a page length maximum. Don’t include your availability unless it’s nonstandard (such as military, or more than a month from the application date).” 

Repeating your resume

Your cover letter is not the place to repeat everything that’s in your resume; if the hiring manager is reading your cover letter, it means they’ve already read your resume. Certain things should be listed only in the resume and not in the cover letter – certainly not in both. For example, it’s important to mention a furlough, which can explain a gap in your job history, but that fits better in your resume’s timeline, not in your cover letter. 

Avoid cliches

Avoid cliche and obvious sentences like “I’d like to apply for” or “I believe I am the perfect fit for”, because no one likes reading those. Be specific and give examples of what you’re saying instead of just including buzz words. 

Don’t gush about the company

Don’t talk about how much you love and respect the company as it’s over the top and not appealing. Instead, explain how you’ll fit in and serve their image. 

Review for spelling mistakes

Even though as a pilot, your job doesn’t revolve around spelling well, the majority of hiring managers will eliminate any applications with typos because they lack professionalism. Review your cover letter to make sure it’s properly addressed and there’s no grammar mistakes. Here are some online tools to help you: 


Not submitting a cover letter is irresponsible and may be the difference between being invited back for an interview or ignored. Don’t make the mistake of applying for a job without being as prepared as you can be.
Ellie Coverdale, a technical and recruitment writer at Essay roo and UK Writings, is involved in helping individuals in their job search as well as assisting companies streamline their hiring processes. She also teaches writing skills at Boom Essays

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