Written by Doug Taylor   
Resumes are a very important part of the aviation job hunt. When I was a flight instructor in California doing "desk duty" between students, occasionally a pilot looking for employment as a flight instructor would drop in, introduce himself and leave a resume for our chief pilot. He could have been the best candidate on earth for the job, but a bad resume leaves a lasting impression.

Before you run out to the bookstore and buy a book on resumes, there's just a couple details that 99% of the resume books leave out. Here are some pointers.

Keep it under one page!
Seriously, if someone hands you a two page memo at work, generally you'll glance at the first page, skim over the middle and read how it ends. That leaves the potential of your target audience never reading some of your most important qualifications.

Psychologists have proven that the human mind will remember the first and the last items that are read. So the longer the resume, the less information that will potentially be forgotten.

Flight Times
Make sure your flight times add up - it is acceptable to round 100.9 hours up to 101 hours. However rounding up from 102 to 110 hours is not. Also, be ready to answer questions about anything on your resume. For example, if you've listed that you have experience as a first officer in a Beechcraft 1900D aircraft. They may ask you, "What do all of those things on the tail do?" or, "What is your immediate action item for loss of pressurization".

You should know the current aircraft you are flying very well. Basically, the airlines expect you to remain proficient and knowledgeable about the current aircraft you are flying for obvious reasons. If a candidate is currently instructing in a Cessna 310 or flying a F-16 Falcon in the Air National Guard, they should be expected to be able to reasonably talk about the systems and procedures on the aircraft.

Life Experiences
Everyone wants a healthy, relatively risk-free pilot. If you enjoy high risk sports, I really wouldn't suggest listing them. No airline wants to spend $20,000 to $50,000 training a new hire pilot who is going to end up with a bungee jumping injury a few months later.

Include life experiences that make you human. If you donate time to certain humanitarian organizations, show that. For example, my airline is heavily involved with "Habitat For Humanity" and the "United Way". If you donate time, money or manpower to these organizations, it would definitely be a plus to advertise this.

Contact Information
Make it very easy for an airline to call you if they offer you an interview. If they cannot contact you within a reasonable period of time, they may lose interest in your application/resume and go on to the next applicant who is easier to reach.

Paper
Most of the aviation-related books that I've read about resumes talk about using natural cottons, an off-white for easier viewing, and a host of other suggestions on resume paper selection. Plain white paper is just fine. Hopefully I won't get in trouble for dropping names but I've been told this by Marlene Bermann of Northwest Airlines pilot recruitment, Captain Plato Rhyne of pilot recruitment and a variety of other airlines during my job search.

The paper doesn't matter, but by no means use any type of strangely colored paper, stationary with puffy clouds or strange clip art. Remember that the first person to see your resume may not be a pilot.

Experience
Keep it leadership and aviation-related. Don't, by any means, omit experience which would show a large gap in employment. On the other hand, you don't need to disclose full details that you were responsible for taking precise orders and making correct change when you worked the counter at Burger Giant.

And Most Importantly...
Please don't send me your resume! I can't offer a letter of recommendation or "walk in resumes" for people that I don't personally know. Besides, that's one of the first things that I am asked when I do that: "How long have you known (blank)?" And if my only answer is, "Well, he's some guy that sent me his resume through email from my website"... Well you see what I mean!

I'm not sure if this is true, but I think my website is indexed under "Employment Services" in some parts of India because I get at least five to ten resumes per week from India.