Writing a pilot resume is different from writing a resume for a job in any other industry. Most of the career recommendations and resume tips that can be found online are too generic to be applied when seeking an airline industry job. Whether you are applying for the job of a digital marketing specialist, customer service, office administrator or electrical engineer, your resume will have a pretty similar structure and content. However, if you are writing a resume to apply for a pilot job, your resume should be different in regard to the structure as well as its content. 

Tailoring your main application document to the needs and wants of prospective employers (i.e. commercial airline companies) is probably the only advice that can be learned from basic resume tips in the context of a pilot job search and the airline industry. The key question is what do employers expect to see from candidates who wish to become airline pilots?


Professional Pilot Resume: Key Ingredients

Name and contact details 

The standard resume format implies listing your name and contact information at the top of the page. The contact details should include your home address, phone number, and email address. Ideally, your email address will be simple and professional. Additionally, you can include a link to your LinkedIn profile.



This is something that identifies you as a professional. Ideally, it should be the same as your target job. For example, your title can be “Airline Pilot” or “First Officer”. This helps employers understand your past work experience – it sets the right tone for the rest of the document.



This is the extension of your professional title. It should summarize your qualifications, skills, and experiences relevant to the job requirements. So before writing this section, you should carefully study the job opening first. The summary is the highlight of your career, and at the same time it is your value proposition to prospective employers.


Flight Hours

This is one of the most important ingredients of a powerful pilot resume. Airline companies and their hiring authorities prefer candidates to list their flight hours at the top of their main marketing documents. The total amount of hours, Pilot-in-Command, Second-in-Command, multi-engine, jet, night, instruments, and simulator instruction hours should be a part of this section. 


Certificates and Ratings

As a rule, all employers specify the qualification requirements in the job opening. If the candidate doesn’t meet them, it is unlikely that such candidates will be seriously considered for the role. While for most industries, certificates and training don’t mean much, it is the opposite for the airline industry. Most pilot job openings require candidates to have at least FAA Airline Transport Certificate, FAA First-Class Medical Certificate, and FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit. Listing this information is essential for your resume’s success. The earlier it comes up, the better.


Work Experience

While it is a common practice to list job responsibilities and accomplishments under each employment, it is not necessary to do so when you are applying for the airline industry job. Besides, if you have worked as a pilot for your entire life, then most likely your duties will be pretty much the same regardless of the airline you worked for. It makes no sense to repeat yourself and extend your resume length by an extra page or even two. Sometimes, it is a good idea to separate your commercial airlines and general aviation experiences.


Education & Training

List the degree(s) you earned and the educational establishment where you obtained it (them). Even if your degree doesn’t directly relate to the airline industry (i.e. aerospace engineering, aviation transport, etc.), still add it to your resume. Don’t include your high school diploma though. 


Systems Knowledge

This section is meant to showcase your knowledge of systems and technologies. If the airline company uses applicant tracking software (ATS), it will help your resume pass an initial ATS scan.

These are the most critical components of an effective pilot resume. If you are serious about getting a job in this profession, you should make sure your resume isn’t missing any of these ingredients. It doesn’t mean that the sections mentioned above are the only ones to include in your resume. Additionally, you can consider adding the skills, languages and achievements sections.


Commercial Airline Pilot Resume Example

One Asian proverb says that it is better to see something once, rather than to hear about it a thousand times. Below, you can find the sample pilot resume which is meant to be used for applying for commercial airline pilot jobs. It demonstrates how you can organize content to ensure you’re invited for an interview. 

One final note: make sure you target your resume to a specific airline before sending it to a prospective employer.

Roy Maclaughlin

Career Advice Expert & Professional Resume Writer

Having worked for 8 years as a professional writer at Prime-Resume, Roy Maclaughlin has become one of the most prominent company’s leaders today. From helping to overcome various career challenges to providing guidance in launching new career services, Roy has become instrumental in making a great difference both at Prime-Resume as well as in the careers of its clients. Prime-Resume has been serving job seekers for over 8 years now providing resume writing as well as other career assistance services.


Commercial Pilot: Salary Guide

Commercial Pilot: Salary Guide

The starting salary for a newly qualified first officer working for a small operation may be around £22,000 and could rise to well over £100,000 for an experienced long-haul captain. We reveal how much a pilot could earn with different airlines, flying different types of aircraft.

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