The career path of a commercial airline pilot
During our childhoods, many of us aspired to be a pilot when we were older, but what does the qualification process actually include?
Today, pilots face a great deal of competition for each airline role. With numerous specialist aviation recruiters working tirelessly to help fill theses vacant job, a pilot’s CV has become the most important part of her/his journey into employment. So, with your CV being more relevant now than ever, how can you improve it and optimise your chances for immediate employment?
Naturally, piloting is a very specific & skilled position, therefore recruiters are out to ascertain one thing - whether you are qualified to do the job or not. On this basis, you should consider refraining from including information regarding your marital status, personal hobbies, height, or anything else that a recruiter will deem as unnecessary.
Whilst this may seem a bit cold, as a pilot looking for work, you will need to acclimatise to these methods of recruitment; as it always has been, and always will be the way that recruiters within the aviation industry operate. If anything, you should be encouraged by the fact that your qualifications act as your most powerful attribute – a reward for all of your hard work getting to this part of your career.
Within most other professions, jobseekers will utilise a certain amount of ‘artistic license’ when writing their CV, exaggerating their skills experience acquired - bending the truth in order to stand out.
Unfortunately, as a pilot, this simply isn’t acceptable. We’re talking about a profession where you are solely responsible for the safe carriage of hundreds of people, for hours on end, each and every day.
When producing your CV, adopt an exclusively factual tone, and be as transparent as possible. Any deviation from this could lead to you losing your job, worse yet - could eventually result in a substantial lawsuit from a recruiter or employer, if they found out about your fictional piloting qualities that you claimed were true on your CV.
This is not only applicable to your skills and qualifications, but to your employment history. It is imperative that you accurately explain, through your CV, any breaks in employment (or furloughs), and the reasons as to why these breaks took place.
As per every profession, recruiters and employers operating in the aviation industry are completely overwhelmed by CVs. On a daily basis, hundreds will be read, organised into a pile, or discarded instantly by a single recruiter. To stand out, your CV must be refined and focused in order to attract the attention of your readers.
When applying for a pilot job, the best way to interest a recruiter is to list only the aircrafts that you have piloted which are relevant to the position that you are applying for. Look to impress them with relevant skills and experience, and refrain from including anything unnecessary or unengaging. Remember to be specific in the aircraft type that you have experience with, and be certain to include how many hours of flight time you have achieved.
As mentioned throughout this article, pilot recruiters like simple CVs that contain plain, bold, and factual statements. With this in mind, write from the point of view of a recruiter, and refine your CV down to the absolute essentials. A concise CV will entice a recruiter or employer each and every time, whereas a CV which is three to four sides long will simply be ignored.
As ever, clear formatting, good grammar, and a simple layout will also benefit your cause – but you already knew this right?!