Airline Pilot CV Examples & Guide for 2024

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Airline Pilot CV

Your airline pilot CV must clearly display your certifications, including your Commercial Pilot License (CPL) or Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL). Ensure that your flight hours are meticulously detailed and accurately logged. Demonstrate your commitment to safety and continuous education by highlighting any additional training or safety courses you have completed. Your resume should also reflect strong communication skills and the ability to work effectively in a team, as both are crucial in the cockpit.

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One CV challenge you might encounter as an airline pilot is effectively translating your extensive flight hours and technical experience into commercially appealing skills for non-aviation roles. Our guide offers tailored strategies to help you articulate your unique capabilities in a manner that resonates with a broad range of employers, ensuring your CV stands out in a competitive job market.

What information should you include in your airline pilot CV? Learn how to create your interview-landing and job-winning profile with our bespoke guide on:

  • Applying best practices from real-world examples to ensure your profile always meets recruiters' expectations;
  • What to include in your work experience section, apart from your past roles and responsibilities?
  • Why are both hard and soft skills important for your application?
  • How do you need to format your CV to pass the Applicant Tracker Software (ATS) assessment?

If you're writing your CV for a niche airline pilot role, make sure to get some inspiration from professionals:

How complex should the format of your airline pilot CV be?

Perhaps, you decided to use a fancy font and plenty of colours to ensure your airline pilot CV stands out amongst the pile of other candidate profiles. Alas - this may confuse recruiters. By keeping your format simple and organising your information coherently, you'll ultimately make a better impression. What matters most is your experience, while your CV format should act as complementary thing by:

  • Presenting the information in a reverse chronological order with the most recent of your jobs first. This is done so that your career history stays organised and is aligned to the role;
  • Making it easy for recruiters to get in touch with you by including your contact details in the CV header. Regarding the design of your CV header, include plenty of white space and icons to draw attention to your information. If you're applying for roles in the UK, don't include a photo, as this is considered a bad practice;
  • Organising your most important CV sections with consistent colours, plenty of white space, and appropriate margins (2.54 cm). Remember that your CV design should always aim at legibility and to spotlight your key information;
  • Writing no more than two pages of your relevant experience. For candidates who are just starting out in the field, we recommend to have an one-page CV.

One more thing about your CV format - you may be worried if your double column CV is Applicant Tracker System (ATS) complaint. In our recent study, we discovered that both single and double-column CVs are ATS-friendly . Most ATSes out there can also read all serif and sans serif fonts. We suggest you go with modern, yet simple, fonts (e.g. Rubik, Lato, Raleway) instead of the classic Times New Roman. You'll want your application to stand out, and many candidates still go for the classics. Finally, you'll have to export your CV. If you're wondering if you should select Doc or PDF, we always advise going with PDF. Your CV in PDF will stay intact and opens easily on every OS, including Mac OS.

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Use font size and style strategically to create a visual hierarchy, drawing the reader's eye to the most important information first (like your name and most recent job title).

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The top sections on a airline pilot CV

  • Flight hours detail experience and proficiency.
  • Aviation licences and ratings are essential qualifications.
  • Relevant education demonstrates foundational knowledge.
  • Aviation medical certificate ensures fitness to fly.
  • Professional history highlights aviation career progression.
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What recruiters value on your CV:
  • Include all relevant aviation qualifications, such as your pilot's licence details, ratings, and any type-specific endorsements, as these are critical for airline recruiters who need to ascertain your eligibility to operate their aircraft.
  • Detail your flying experience, highlighting total flight hours, multi-engine hours, and any instrument flight rules (IFR) experience, to showcase your capability and readiness for the demands of commercial airline operations.
  • Emphasise any leadership roles or responsibilities held during your career, such as training other pilots or acting as a captain, to demonstrate your ability to handle the responsibility and leadership expected of a pilot.
  • Outline your educational background, ensuring you include any aviation-related degrees or diplomas, as a solid educational foundation can be advantageous in the highly technical and regulated aviation industry.
  • Include any additional skills or certifications such as Crew Resource Management (CRM), safety training, or first aid, that can enhance your profile as a well-rounded candidate prepared for the diverse scenarios encountered by airline pilots.

What information should you include in your airline pilot CV header?

The CV header is potentially the section that recruiters would refer to the most, as it should include your:

  • Contact details - your professional (non-work) email address and phone number;
  • Professional photograph - if you're applying hinting at the value you bring as a professional.

Many professionals often struggle with writing their airline pilot CV headline. That's why in the next section of this guide, we've curated examples of how you can optimise this space to pass any form of assessment.

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Examples of good CV headlines for airline pilot:

  1. Senior First Officer | Wide-Body Aircraft Expert | Crew Leadership | ATPL | 10+ Years Flight Experience
  2. Airline Captain | Flight Safety Advocate | Type-Rated: A320 Family | CRM Specialist | 15+ Years Airtime
  3. Chief Pilot | Aviation Operations Management | Recruitment & Training Lead | MPL | 20-Year Flying Tenure
  4. Commercial Pilot | Jet Turbine Command | Cross-Continental Experience | Frozen ATPL | 5 Years in Aviation
  5. First Officer | Regional Routes Specialist | Advanced Navigation Techniques | Multi-Engine Rating | 7+ Years Professional Pilot
  6. Experienced Captain | International Routes | Airline Quality Assurance | TRI | Over 25 Years in Cockpit

Your airline pilot CV introduction: selecting between a summary and an objective

airline pilot candidates often wonder how to start writing their resumes. More specifically, how exactly can they use their opening statements to build a connection with recruiters, showcase their relevant skills, and spotlight job alignment. A tricky situation, we know. When crafting you airline pilot CV select between:

Find out more examples and ultimately, decide which type of opening statement will fit your profile in the next section of our guide:

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CV summaries for a airline pilot job:

  • Seasoned airline pilot with over 15 years of experience commanding 747 and 787 airliners, skilled in advanced navigation systems and adept at executing high-pressure emergency procedures. Boasts a commendable track record of zero safety incidents and recipient of the 'Pilot of the Year' award twice.
  • Decorated former naval aviator with 20 years of flying experience transitioning to commercial aviation with expertise in multi-engine aircraft and a solid foundation in international flight operations. Known for exceptional leadership skills and a strong ability to make critical decisions under stress.
  • Former healthcare manager with an unwavering passion for aviation seeking to leverage a decade of strategic operational experience into a new career path as a commercial pilot. Completed rigorous flight training programme with top grades and praised for quick adaptability and analytical skills in flight simulations.
  • Dynamic professional with a rich background in engineering and physics seeking to leverage 7 years of technical project management into a rewarding career in aviation. Recently completed a comprehensive flight certification course with flying colours and demonstrates acute attention to detail and rigorous adherence to safety protocols.
  • Eager to embark on an aviation career as a commercial pilot, offering a fresh perspective and relentless dedication to mastering aircraft systems and flight operations. Eager to learn from seasoned professionals and contribute to a culture of safety and precision. Committed to continuous personal and professional development.
  • Highly motivated individual with a strong interest in aviation and customer service, aiming to begin a career as a pilot with a reputable airline. Ready to undergo rigorous training and embrace challenges, aiming to ensure passenger comfort and safety as ultimate objectives.

More detailed look into your work history: best advice on writing your airline pilot CV experience section

The CV experience is a space not just to merely list your past roles and responsibilities. It is the CV real estate within which you could detail your greatest accomplishments and skills, while matching the job requirements. Here's what to have in your experience section:

For more help on how to write your CV experience section, check out the next section of our guide:

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Best practices for your CV's work experience section
  • List specific types of aircraft you have experience with, including the total number of hours flown for each type. Mention any advanced systems you are certified to operate within those aircraft.
  • Detail your flight experience by dividing it between PIC (Pilot in Command), SIC (Second in Command), day, night, cross-country, international, and instrument flight hours, as applicable. Highlight any unique aviation environments or weather conditions you've successfully navigated.
  • Include any experience with safety protocol development, safety audits, or incident reporting as airlines highly value safety expertise. Describe any contributions you've made towards improving safety standards.
  • If you've had the opportunity to train or instruct other pilots, mention your role as a mentor or instructor, including the type of instruction (simulator, in-flight, etc.) and the clientele (new hires, upgrading captains, etc.). Training roles show leadership and a solid grasp of aviation knowledge.
  • For those with military experience, mention the type of military missions flown and any leadership roles undertaken. This could range from transport to reconnaissance or combat missions and shows a level of versatility and discipline.
  • Include the management of any emergency situations, such as technical failures, medical emergencies on board, or severe weather evasions. How you dealt with these emergencies reflects your capability to stay calm and make critical decisions under pressure.
  • Reference your understanding and compliance with international aviation regulations, as well as your experience in flight planning and execution according to global airspace rules. Global experience is particularly valuable for international carriers.
  • Outline your experience in pre-flight briefing and de-briefing processes, showcasing your communication skills and comprehensive approach to flight operations. Effective communication highlights your ability to work as part of a cohesive team.
  • Detail any involvement in fuel planning and management, showcasing your awareness of cost-efficiency and environmental considerations. Efficient fuel management is an important aspect of airline operations.
Work Experience
Senior Airline Captain
Delta Air Lines
  • Captain on Boeing 787 Dreamliner, handling over 200 transatlantic flights with a focus on maintaining a perfect safety record and passenger satisfaction.
  • Implemented new crosswind landing techniques which increased landing safety margins by 15% during adverse weather conditions.
  • Mentored and coached over 30 first officers, ensuring compliance with all aviation regulations, which led to enhanced crew preparedness and a reduction in training time by 20%.
Work Experience
Airline Transport Pilot
American Airlines
  • Operated Airbus A320 for various domestic and international routes, accumulating 3,000+ flight hours and maintaining a punctuality record of 95%.
  • Actively participated in Fleet Transition Program, aiding in the seamless integration of A321 aircraft into existing fleet operations.
  • Led a safety initiative that revamped the pre-flight checklist procedure, minimizing potential oversights and increasing the overall safety score of the airline by 10%.
Work Experience
Commercial Airline First Officer
Southwest Airlines
  • Served as a first officer on Boeing 737s, assisting in the execution of flights to high-density airports, thus refining traffic negotiation strategies and reducing flight delays.
  • Played a pivotal role in a fuel-saving project that cut fuel consumption by 5%, leading to significant cost savings for the airline.
  • Assisted in revamping emergency procedures, leading to a 20% faster emergency passenger evacuation time during drills.
Work Experience
Regional Airline Captain
SkyWest Airlines
  • Commanded regional flights on CRJ-700 aircraft, consistently achieving a 98% on-time performance rate while ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for passengers.
  • Contributed to the development of a regional pilot training program, which boosted the graduation rate of new pilots by 25%.
  • Collaborated with maintenance teams to identify and reduce recurrent technical issues, leading to a 30% decrease in delays due to mechanical faults.
Work Experience
International Airline Pilot
United Airlines
  • Operated long-haul international flights on Airbus A380, resulting in above industry average customer satisfaction scores due to exceptional service and flight management.
  • Spearheaded in-flight entertainment upgrade project, increasing passenger engagement by 40% and generating additional revenue streams.
  • Conducted comprehensive de-icing procedure reviews, which decreased winter ground delays by an average of 12 minutes per affected flight.
Work Experience
First Officer
British Airways
  • Held the role of first officer on Boeing 777, facilitating over 150 safe long-haul flights annually and receiving commendations for excellent teamwork and communication.
  • Engaged in advanced weather radar training, significantly improving the ability to anticipate and navigate meteorological challenges.
  • Contributed to a task force aimed at reducing carbon emissions, achieving a 7% reduction in emissions through optimized flight paths and aircraft performance monitoring.
Work Experience
Domestic Airline Captain
Alaska Airlines
  • Managed a fleet of Embraer E-175 aircraft as a captain, adeptly coordinating with air traffic control and successfully reducing average flight times by optimizing routes.
  • Piloted over 250+ domestic flights per year, with a focus on adhering to strict operational and safety standards, which bolstered the airline's industry reputation.
  • Led the co-development of a new CRM protocol to enhance communication between cockpit and cabin crew, improving operational efficiency and in-flight service quality.
Work Experience
JetBlue Airways
  • Performed as a co-pilot on various short-haul routes, playing a key role in maintaining a 99.7% accuracy for takeoffs and landings within allotted time slots.
  • Initiated a peer-review process for flight operations, contributing to a culture of continuous improvement and knowledge sharing among the flight deck team.
  • Assisted in evaluating new electronic flight bag (EFB) solutions, leading to a 20% reduction in paper usage and streamlined flight operations.
Work Experience
Line Pilot
Spirit Airlines
  • Served as a line pilot for regional routes, excelling in precise navigation and fuel management that surpassed company benchmarks for efficiency and cost-savings.
  • Instrumental in the implementation of real-time weather tracking systems onboard, significantly improving flight safety and passenger comfort during turbulent conditions.
  • Facilitated critical in-flight decisions, leading to zero safety incidents and upholding the airline's impeccable safety record during tenure.
Work Experience
Chief Pilot
Horizon Air
  • Operated flights as a captain on Bombardier Q400 aircraft, enhancing reliability and punctuality across the northeastern United States corridor.
  • Played an instrumental role in the crew mentorship program, accelerating the transition of junior pilots to line-ready status by 3 months.
  • Advocated for and helped implement an automated flight information system, reducing pilot workload and contributing to a more seamless operation.

Writing your CV without professional experience for your first job or when switching industries

There comes a day, when applying for a job, you happen to have no relevant experience, whatsoever. Yet, you're keen on putting your name in the hat. What should you do? Candidates who part-time experience , internships, and volunteer work.

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Talk about any positive changes you helped bring about in your previous jobs, like improving a process or helping increase efficiency.

Describing your unique skill set using both hard skills and soft skills

Your airline pilot CV provides you with the perfect opportunity to spotlight your talents, and at the same time - to pass any form of assessment. Focusing on your skill set across different CV sections is the way to go, as this would provide you with an opportunity to quantify your achievements and successes. There's one common, very simple mistake, which candidates tend to make at this stage. Short on time, they tend to hurry and mess up the spelling of some of the key technologies, skills, and keywords. Copy and paste the particular skill directly from the job requirement to your CV to pass the Applicant Tracker System (ATS) assessment. Now, your CV skills are divided into:

Top skills for your airline pilot CV:

ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence)

Multi-engine experience

Instrument rating

Flight planning and navigation

Aircraft systems knowledge

Complex aircraft operation

Advanced meteorology

Safety and emergency procedures

Radio operation and communication

Air traffic control compliance


Situational awareness






Attention to detail

Stress management


Time management

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Use mini case studies or success stories in your CV to demonstrate how your skills have positively impacted previous roles or projects.

Education and more professional qualifications to include in your airline pilot CV

If you want to showcase to recruiters that you're further qualified for the role, ensure you've included your relevant university diplomas. Within your education section:

  • Describe your degree with your university name(-s) and start-graduation dates;
  • List any awards you've received, if you deem they would be impressive or are relevant to the industry;
  • Include your projects and publications, if you need to further showcase how you've used your technical know-how;
  • Avoid listing your A-level marks, as your potential employers care to learn more about your university background.

Apart from your higher education, ensure that you've curated your relevant certificates or courses by listing the:

  • name of the certificate or course;
  • name of the institution within which you received your training;
  • the date(-s) when you obtained your accreditation.

In the next section, discover some of the most relevant certificates for your airline pilot CV:

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If you have received professional endorsements or recommendations for certain skills, especially on platforms like LinkedIn, mention these to add credibility.

Key takeaways

Your successful job application depends on how you well you have aligned your airline pilot CV to the job description and portrayed your best skills and traits. Make sure to:

  • Select your CV format, so that it ensures your experience is easy to read and understand;
  • Include your professional contact details and a link to your portfolio, so that recruiters can easily get in touch with you and preview your work;
  • Write a CV summary if you happen to have more relevant professional experience. Meanwhile, use the objective to showcase your career dreams and ambitions;
  • In your CV experience section bullets, back up your individual skills and responsibilities with tangible achievements;
  • Have a healthy balance between hard and soft skills to answer the job requirements and hint at your unique professional value.

Looking to build your own Airline Pilot CV?

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.