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Written by Sandra Logan (alias)Sandra Logan (alias)

Pilot CV Examples & UK Templates

If you’re having a turbulent time securing your next pilot job, you may just find that a strong pilot CV is what you’re missing. Stay on course with our CV writing tips and free example in this guide!
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Pilot CV Examples & UK Templates
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According to a report published by the Department of Transport, there could be up to 7,500 unfilled pilot positions by 2026. While it may be a beneficial moment to be in the pilot’s seat, you will need a strong pilot CV to land your ideal position. 

In addition to extensive training, pilots take on a heavy responsibility of ensuring the safety of their passengers and cargo. For such an important job, the hiring manager wants to leave nothing to chance. You should afford your professional goals the same dignity. Since a CV is your key tool in the job search process, don’t leave how you write yours to chance. 

While we can’t help you to command an aircraft, we do know a thing or two about writing a CV that can take you from A to B. Resume.io has helped job seekers around the world with our CV writing guides and CV examples. Plus, it’s all backed up by an easy-to-use CV builder. We can help your CV to really take flight.

This CV guide, along with the corresponding CV example will cover the following topics:

  • What does a pilot do?
  • How to write a pilot CV (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for a pilot CV
  • Advice on each section of your CV (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional CV layout and design hints.

What does a pilot do?

Whether you’re currently a co-pilot, second officer, or are moving up the ranks, your job requires a swiss army knife of skills. A strong understanding of mathematics and physics and the ability to communicate clearly and consistently whether it’s clear skies or stormy weather will take you far.

Becoming a pilot isn’t a job for just any personality. But if you’re reading this guide then you’ve likely finished or are part way through the intensive training required before you earn your Air Transport Pilot License. Not to mention the steps and training that will be recurrent for the rest of your career — every six months, to be precise. 

Your key responsibilities as a pilot include checking the flight plan you’ve received from the flight planning department, carrying out pre-flight checks on the navigation and aircraft systems, and ensuring that all safety systems are functioning correctly. You must always be ready to react quickly to any environmental changes and emergencies. 

The United Kingdom had approximately 18,000 active licensed pilots
The United Kingdom had approximately 18,000 active licensed pilots

Pilots job market and outlook

The average annual salary in the UK for a pilot is £42,036, according to Indeed. However, according to the National Careers Service, an experienced airline pilot could be earning an annual salary of £110,000. Your actual salary will depend on many factors such as location, the aircraft you fly, and more.

If you’re on the look for a new role as a pilot, your skills are in demand. In fact, by 2026 the Department of Transport has estimated up to 7,500 unfilled positions. This could put you in a stronger position to negotiate beneficial contracts with working conditions, hours, and benefits that are more beneficial to you. Not to mention you are more likely to have your pick of which roles to apply for. In short: there are plenty of opportunities that can arrive to you when demand is high and supply is low.

Statistical insight

How much does it cost to become a pilot?

While you could be looking at a healthy salary, the Department of Transport addressed the fact that it’s not cheap to train to become a pilot in a recently commissioned report. 

According to the report, the overall cost of attaining an Air Transport Pilot License (ATPL) or a Multi-pilot License (MPL) in the UK ranges from £60,000 to £150,000.

How to write a pilot CV

Before anything else, start on the right foot with your pilot CV by including the right sections. Your CV should contain the following elements:

  • The CV header
  • The CV summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The CV skills section
  • The education section

If you want your CV to take you places, then you’ll need to create a different CV for each job application. The company culture, the position, and all sorts of other elements will affect how you fill out each of these sections.

As you follow the instructions in the rest of this writing guide, just remember that you should be writing the content for each section with the specific job you are aiming for in mind.

Choosing the best CV format for a pilot

As a general rule of thumb, the reverse chronological CV format is the best one pilots. This will require you to list any sections that rely on dates — such as your previous experience or education — in reverse chronological order.

Your chosen CV format determines which sections have more or less importance on your CV. For instance, while the previous employment section characterises the reverse chronological format, the skills section is the most important when you are writing a CV that follows the functional format. However, as a pilot who has gone through extensive training, the reverse chronological is almost certainly the right one for you.

CV summary example: show them who’s in the pilot’s seat

As a pilot, you’re a skilled professional. There are certain non-negotiable expectations for the role, so use the three to four sentences you have in your CV summary to highlight what makes your skills and experience uniquely suited to the job that you’re applying to.

This is one of the only freeform sections in your CV. So while it’s important to stay focused when crafting the limited space you have to write your summary, some creativity with the way that you present your attributes is also encouraged. You can get some ideas from our other CV examples such as our: 

To get you started, there is also the pilot CV sample content below.

Adaptable CV summary example

A dedicated and safety-conscious pilot with more than 10 years of experience in flying commercial and cargo aircraft. Proven track record in optimising flight operations and ensuring a smooth experience for passengers. Strong knowledge of aviation regulations and standard operating procedures of various aircraft. Adept at communicating with ground control and on-board team members.

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Employment history sample: your flight plan to success

When using the reverse chronological format, this is the most important part of your pilot CV. For an employment history section that’s destined for success, carefully frame your previous roles. Create subheadings for each previous role with the job title, name of employer, dates of employment, and location.

Underneath each subheading you can include several bullet points that demonstrate relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments for the job that you’re applying to. This is a great way to include examples and keywords that will strengthen your CV in the mind of the hiring manager and the ATS.

Expert tip

Co-piloting with the ATS

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is the digital algorithm you’ll have to impress before any hiring manager sees your CV. That’s why you should write your CV in a way that is engaging for human eyes, but also ticks the boxes that the ATS wants.

Do this by mirroring the language of important keywords that are used in the job description.

Remember that your most recent title should be at the top of the section and you should work backwards in reverse chronological order. This CV format didn’t get its name from nowhere, after all.
 

Adaptable CV employment history example

Commercial Pilot at British Airways, Harmondsworth, UK 
August 2011 - Present 

  • Operated long-haul, multi-stop flights across Europe, North & South America, Asia, and Africa.
  • Maintained a 100% safety record throughout tenure, effectively handling emergencies and preventing accidents.
  • Played a key role in training junior pilots, serving as a mentor on aircraft operations and professionalism.

 

Cargo Pilot at FedEx Express, Essex, UK 
June 2007 - July 2011 

  • Flew cargo planes to various destinations across the UK and Europe, ensuring consistent on-time delivery .
  • Managed and maintained logs of cargo deliveries, flight manifests, and other required documentation.
  • Coordinated with grounds crew to expedite loading and unloading of cargo.
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CV skills example: turbocharge your CV

The skills section of your pilot CV is a simple but powerful list. Remember to include the most important skills that the role asks for. You can also mention relevant bonus skills you haven’t been able to mention elsewhere. Don’t forget to use those keywords that the ATS will be searching for!

While your most important hard and soft skills should also be demonstrated in the bullet points that you write in the employment history section, the skills section makes it easy to label your skill set in no uncertain terms. Just remember to use plain and clear language that the hiring manager and ATS will understand. The best way to do this is to mirror the language used in the job description. 

Adaptable CV skills example section
  • Aircraft Operation
  • Flight Systems Management
  • Instrument Flying
  • Crew Resource Management
  • Commercial/ATP License
  • Flight Simulation
  • Aircraft Maintenance
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Cargo & Passenger Jets
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You can choose to list some of your licences and training under the skills section. However, depending on the type and how many you need to mention, you could also place them in the education section or even create a new heading for them altogether. 

Read through our CV sample content below for one suggested approach to write your skills section.

Pilot CV education example

There’s a lot of training required of a pilot. So, don’t forget to lay out the educational journey you took that landed you in the cockpit. Create a reverse chronological list of your formal education and training including the name of the qualification, where it was earnt, dates of attendance, and location.

The CV sample content below will show you how it’s done.

Adaptable education CV example

Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), Oxford Aviation Academy, Kidlington, UK 
2005 - 2007


BSc (Hons) Aviation Technology and Management, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK 
2002 - 2005

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CV layout and design: inspire confidence

As any nervous flyer will tell you, impressions matter. Take some of the anxiety out of the hiring manager’s decision to call you for an interview by making sure that your CV looks the part. What does that mean? Well-spaced sections with a clear font and simple colour scheme will send the right message. You’re an organised and trustworthy candidate who means business.

Expert tip

Brands and companies hiring pilots may have varied personalities, but a conservative CV style is almost always appropriate for the role of pilot. After all, it’s one of those roles where nobody really wants to take any chances.

If you would like a hand in making your CV look the part, then consider checking out our professionally designed CV templates. They will take out some of the guesswork in portraying a professional persona after you’ve taken such care with the written content of your pilot CV.

Key takeaways for a pilot CV

  1. There could be thousands of pilot vacancies within the next three years. Set yourself up to fill the most desirable roles with a strong pilot CV.
  2. Position yourself for success by preparing your CV with the ATS and the human hiring manager in mind.
  3. Remind the hiring manager that you have the skills and certifications required in the skills section.
  4. A pilot has a lot of responsibility: it’s best to make sure the visual design of your CV portrays you as a trustworthy professional.
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