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Résumé Checklist

Résumé Checklist

By Tim Genc
June 25, 2021

At some point in your professional pilot career, you will need to create an aviation résumé. Even in today’s digital world with robust and time-saving Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and online application programs, the tried and true, one-page résumé is still a necessity.

Your résumé is something you can leave behind at a job fair to remind the exhibitors of your conversation. It is also a starting point – an introduction – for the person getting ready to interview you. Your document can be both the first and last impression you give someone. Needless to say, it is a very important aspect of your professional career. To help guide you, here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are creating your aviation résumé.

  • Make your résumé easy to read. Your name, certifications/ratings, hours, education and job history are the key takeaways for any recruiter or HR representative, simply, because these things will determine whether or not you are qualified for the job. To make their job as easy as possible, this information should be very obvious to locate. Include all the hours/certificates necessary to illustrate you are qualified to be interviewed for the position.
  • Format. An extension of the previous stanza, the format of your résumé should make it simple from which to extract information as well as aesthetically pleasing. Avoid small fonts, little-to-no breaks between sections and multiple-pages, whenever possible. Your document should not be a reading assignment, rather a brief summary that shows you are qualified. It should also be consistent; carry formatting decisions – dates, italics, use of abbreviations – you have made throughout the document.
  • Accuracy. The terminology and language used on your résumé should be reflective of the knowledge and education you are bringing to the table. Make sure that you are using proper names when citing your pilot credentials and experience. Licenses vs. certificates vs. permits, etc.
  • Professionalism. A résumé is a formal document, and your language/word choice should reflect it. While there are some “experts” recommending a little bit of light humor in your résumé – making it stand out or be appreciated by a HR or recruiting department – it is not a practice enjoyed by everyone. A cover letter is a less formal medium and, perhaps, a safer place for a few well-placed witticisms or jokes.
  • Proofread your résumé. More than once! We all have at least one friend who is a self-celebrated grammarista. Put their annoying habits to good use and have them review your résumé before distributing it. Prepare for the fact that they will likely have multiple recommended changes but know that these changes might make the difference between an offer and a pass.

The entire interview experience should be treated exactly like a flight, as it will be regarded and judged just like a flight. Preparedness, attention to detail, following checklists and adherence to rules are just a few of the ways you will be “graded” during your pilot interview. Your résumé is as important – if not more so – than your wardrobe. It is part of your appearance and presentation.

A résumé matters, it is not a relic of the old world. You need to take the time to create a good résumé; this should not be something you throw together in fifteen minutes flat, thinking it does not matter. It does! It matters a lot and, believe me when I tell you, a bad résumé definitely influences the recruiter’s decision.

If you need more assistance with crafting and/or perfecting your résumé, FAPA Pro members can view our more complete Your Aviation Résumé article in our Job-hunting Pilots section and also receive a sample civilian or military resume by sending an email to support@fapa.aero.

For even more personal attention, our Pro Membership includes a résumé review and critique to make sure your best foot is being put forward during your job hunt. As always, please let us know how FAPA can help accelerate your professional career.

We appreciate your ideas and input. Please email your comments or questions about this article to: support@fapa.aero.

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