How to Write a Pilot Cover Letter in 7 Steps (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 28, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Pilots are responsible for flying various types of aircraft safely and efficiently. If you want to pursue an open pilot position, being able to draft an effective cover letter can improve your chances that the recruiter invites you to interview for the role. Having a well-written pilot cover letter can have a positive impact on your career trajectory. In this article, we discuss what a cover letter for an open pilot position is, explain how you can write one, and provide a template and an example.

What's a pilot cover letter?

A pilot cover letter is a document that a candidate who intends to apply for an open position as a pilot sends to a recruiter, with their resume. The main goal of a cover letter is to give the hiring manager additional details regarding the candidate's specific qualifications and skills for the role. Although not all open positions require candidates to send a cover letter along with their resumes, doing so can help differentiate you from other candidates. The following are some specific situations when it's particularly important to include a cover letter with your resume:

  • If the pilot job opening specifically requires it: If the job posting requires candidates to include a cover letter in their application, it's advisable to add one. If the job listing says that including a cover letter is optional, you can use the letter as a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

  • If you know the hiring manager's name: You can make your job application more personal by addressing the cover letter to the hiring manager, if you know their name. Doing this can also help you make sure you're addressing the right person if someone referred you to the hiring manager.

  • If someone referred you to the open position: If you know someone within the hiring company, you can send your cover letter to them. They can then send it to the human resources department or directly to the hiring manager.

Related: How Long Does It Take to Become a Pilot? (With Skills)

How to draft a cover letter for a pilot role

Consider following these steps when writing your cover letter for an open position as a pilot:

1. Choose some basic formatting guidelines

You can make your cover letter more visually attractive and easier to read by following some basic formatting rules. Choosing the same general format as your resume can help display consistency. The following are some common guidelines for cover letters:

  • Typeface: Use a professional typeface, such as Helvetica, Arial, or Calibri, and leave one-inch margins on all sides.

  • Font size and spacing: Use a font size of 12 and leave a line of space after each paragraph, to make it easier to read.

  • File type: Save both your cover letter and resume in a PDF format, so you can be sure they keep their original formatting on any device.

Related: How to Become a Commercial Pilot

2. Include basic information about you and the employer in the cover letter's header

You can save space by including both your details and the employer's in the header. Start by adding your full name in the header's first line, and then include your phone number, e-mail address, city, and province or territory in the second line. You can then leave a line break and include the data, followed by the hiring organization's name and location.

3. Start with a common greeting

You can open the cover letter with a common greeting, such as Hello or Dear. If you know the name of the person receiving the cover letter, you can include it after the greeting. Otherwise, use their job title, such as Dear Hiring Manager.

Related: How to Become a Helicopter Pilot: A Guide and Examples

4. Introduce yourself to the hiring manager

Use the cover letter's first paragraph to let the recruiter know who you are and the open pilot position you want to pursue. You can also mention how you found out about the job opening and why you think it's likely to be a good fit for you. Also, include a sentence where you briefly mention your main qualifications for the role. Starting the cover letter by telling the hiring manager who you are, why you want the job, and why you think you're qualified for it can help make a good first impression.

5. Mention the reasons you might benefit the hiring organization

The specific skills and qualifications that the role requires depend on the type of pilot position you're applying for and the hiring organization. For instance, airline pilots may require qualifications different than that of cargo pilots. You can use the second paragraph of your cover letter to provide the recruiter with more details regarding your background as a pilot. Analyze the job description for insight about the specific attributes and experience that the employer is looking for and use this part of your cover letter to highlight the ones that you also possess.

Related: How Much Do Pilots Make?

6. Reiterate your qualifications and desire to interview for the role

The third and final paragraph of your cover letter is a good opportunity to express your preference for that employer. Be specific when expressing your desire to work there by including some of your reasons, such as the work schedule and the opportunity to fly certain types of aircraft. You can also use this paragraph as an additional chance to mention some of your skills and qualifications.

Related: 15 Jobs That Don't Require a Degree (With Salaries)

7. End with a powerful statement and professional salutation

You can use the final part of your cover letter to suggest that you're the right candidate for the role and request an interview. Then, close with a formal salutation, such as Yours truly, Best regards, or Sincerely, and include your full name. If you're sending the cover letter in a physical format, remember to add your signature at the end.

Related: What Are Non-office Jobs? (With Benefits and Examples)

Cover letter template for pilot job

Consider using this template to guide you when drafting your cover letter for an open pilot position:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]

[Phone number] | [E-mail address] | [City], [Province or Territory]


[Company name]

Dear [Hiring manager's first name] [Hiring manager's last name],

[Express excitement for the position including the role title and the company name]. [Introduce yourself by explaining why you're applying for the job and how the job aligns with your career goals and what specifically draws you to the company].

[Explain your relevant experience and qualifications without repeating what's in your resume]. [Highlight one to two relevant achievements with facts and data when possible]. [Explain why you'd be a good fit for the company]. [Optional - address employment gap or career transition].

[Express gratitude]. [Summarize qualification]. [Restate interest in the role]. [Call to action + availability and preferred contact method].

[Complimentary close],


Related: 10 Stable Jobs with Salaries and Primary Responsibilities

Cover letter example for pilot job

Consider using this example to help you draft an effective cover letter for an open pilot role:

Andrea Martinez

234-556-67878 | | Toronto, Ontario

April 12, 2022

South Canada Air

Dear Mr. Johnson,

My name is Andrea Martinez, and I'm writing to you regarding my application for the open pilot position at your airline. Someone in my professional network mentioned this opening to me, and I was instantly interested, mainly due to my desire to work for an airline that mostly operates local routes and because of your reputation as an exceptionally good workplace. I'm certain that my soft skills and technical ability can help me have a successful career with your organization.

I have a long history of flying different types of aircraft for various purposes. After gaining enough experience, I joined an airline cadet pilot program and earned my Airline Transport Pilot Licence. Throughout my career, I've constantly demonstrated my ability to fly aircraft of any size, from small private planes to commercial jets. As being an airline pilot was my dream since I was a child, I believe that working for your organization is a natural step in my career.

In closing, thank you for taking the time to review my application. I'm very confident in my abilities and very interested in working for your organization. I'd like to use this letter as an opportunity to kindly request a meeting to discuss the possibility of filling the open position.


Andrea Martinez

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