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How to Write the Perfect Helicopter Pilot Resume and Beat the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Helicopter pilots are in high demand, but getting your resume past the initial screening can be a hurdle. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are computer programs used by many companies to scan resumes for keywords and qualifications before they reach a human recruiter.

Here's how to write a pilot resume that shines and gets noticed, including how to navigate the ATS hurdle:

Beating the Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

  • Keywords are King: Research the specific job description and company thoroughly. Include relevant keywords throughout your resume, especially in your summary, skills section and work experience descriptions. Use a mix of general helicopter pilot keywords (e.g., "helicopter pilot," "VFR/IFR flight," "type ratings") and job-specific terms (e.g., "external load operations," "oil and gas industry," "mountain flying").

  • Optimize Your Formatting: ATS systems often struggle with fancy fonts and formatting. Use a clear and readable font like Arial or Times New Roman. Maintain a simple and consistent format throughout your resume.

  • Avoid PDF Unless Required: While PDFs are great for preserving formatting, some ATS have trouble parsing them. If the application system doesn't specify a format, stick to a .doc or .docx file.

How to write the best Helicopter Pilot Resume

  • Highlight Flight Experience: This is your bread and butter. Quantify your flight hours by type of helicopter, missions flown, and certifications earned.

  • Quantify Your Accomplishments: Don't just list duties. Use numbers and metrics to showcase your impact. "Increased operational efficiency by 15% through route optimization" is more impactful than "Flew search and rescue missions."

  • Action Verbs Make a Difference: Replace generic verbs with strong action verbs that showcase your skills. Instead of "responsible for," use verbs like "spearheaded," "instructed," or "maintained."

  • Proofread Like a Hawk: Typos and grammatical errors scream unprofessionalism. Proofread meticulously before submitting.

Helicopter Pilot Resume Template

This is a sample template, customize it to fit your experience!

  • Name [Your Name]

  • Contact Information

  • [Your Email] (Professional email address)

  • [Your Phone Number]

  • [Your LinkedIn Profile URL] (Optional)

  • Summary Skilled and experienced helicopter pilot with [Number] hours of flight time. Proven ability to safely operate a variety of helicopters in diverse conditions. Strong knowledge of aviation regulations and procedures.

  • Keywords (Optional)** List relevant keywords here to help with ATS searches. (e.g., FAA Commercial Pilot, VFR/IFR Flight, Type Ratings: [List your ratings])

  • Skills

  • FAA Certifications (List all relevant FAA licenses and ratings)

  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

  • Proficient in [List relevant software or tools] (e.g., GPS navigation systems)

  • Experience

  • Helicopter Pilot [Company Name] [City, State] [Dates Employed]

  • Operated a variety of helicopters, including [List types]

  • Flew missions in diverse conditions (VFR/IFR, day/night)

  • Maintained a perfect safety record

  • (Optional) Quantified accomplishments (e.g., "Increased efficiency by 10%...")

  • Additional Relevant Experience (Include other flight or aviation-related roles)

  • Education

  • [Degree] in [Major] [University Name] [City, State] [Dates Attended]

  • Awards and Honors (Optional)

  • List any relevant awards or recognitions

  • Flight hours (summary)

  • References Available upon request.

Remember: Tailor your resume to each specific job you apply for. Highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the position.

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