Air Traffic Controller Resume: Examples and Tips

Air traffic controllers manage the movement of aircraft in and out of airports, as well as on the ground, coordinating with pilots and control towers to direct planes efficiently and safely.

To create a resume that directs potential employers to all your best qualities as an air traffic controller, use these expert tips and resume examples:

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Airtrafficcontroller Resume Sample

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-Class Air Traffic Controller Resume

  1. Summary Your summary should highlight your top abilities and work experiences, presented in a few crisp sentences. For example: “Focused Air Traffic Controller with four years’ experience directing aircraft under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Well-versed in assisting pilots with flight plan preparation.”
  2. Skills Read through the description of the job you are applying for, aligning the skills you list here with the job’s needs. Feature both hard skills (e.g., analyzing and disseminating weather observations, familiarity with equipment such as radar and runway lighting systems and record-keeping) and soft skills such as leadership, excellent communication abilities, and the ability to excel in stressful situations.
  3. Work history Zero-in on important duties and achievements from previous jobs, adding numbers and data to highlight your accomplishments. For example: “Supervised a crew of 25, recording zero mishaps over more than 5,000 hours.”
  4. Education Include your FAA certification and highest qualification (such as high school diploma or college degree), with name and location of the institution where you received credit, and any additional certifications that apply to the job, such as certification in specific software.

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Find the Right Template for your Resume

Below are three professionally-designed templates you can use to construct your air traffic controller resume in our resume builder:


This clean, straightforward layout presents a professional image that’s suitable for most jobs. The job applicant’s name and contact information are arranged at the top right for a unique look.


Using centered headings and simple lines to separate each section, this template is easy for hiring managers to scan.


The bold colored header gives this design a polished, eye-catching look. This layout allows you to customize content easily, depending on if you want to emphasize work skills or experience.

For even more resume layouts you can use, visit our resume templates section.

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • DO tailor your resume for different jobs. Air traffic controller duties can vary from job to job, which means that one resume most definitely does not fit all. Create different versions of your resume for each job you apply to, updating your summary, skills and work history accordingly. For example, if the job emphasizes “Coordinating with and issuing instructions to airport vehicles and personnel,” emphasize skills that relate to coordination (e.g., attention to detail, excellent communication skills, team management), or give an example of a job where you’ve performed a similar function successfully. Our article How to Create a Targeted Resume features more advice on customizing your resume.
  • DO use job-specific keywords. Every job posting is loaded with keywords — phrases that explain the job’s major duties and requirements. Make sure you address these keywords in your own resume. This not only helps your resume pass muster with employers, but also with applicant tracking systems (ATS) employers use to scan resumes. If a job calls for “supervising and managing air traffic control facilities,” then include “facilities management” or “air traffic control facility management” in your skills section. See our article How to Use Keywords Effectively for more keywords pointers.
  • DO submit your resume after proofreading it. As an air traffic controller, you will be expected to deliver error-free, on-time work. So, it is better to start the same with your resume. Sometimes minor errors or even typos can lead to rejections and hence never send a resume without decent proofreading. A neat and error-free resume ensures that your profile perfectly aligns with the recruiter’s requirements.
  • DON’T forget to include soft skills. While air traffic control management involves many technical and professional skills, it also depends on soft skills that determine how well you can work with others, and perform under pressure. Add soft skills like communication, leadership, collaboration, attention to detail and problem-solving to your resume. For more soft skill suggestions, see our Top Resume Skills page.
  • DON’T make your resume too long. Most recruiters only take scant seconds to read a resume, so don’t lose their interest by packing your resume with unneeded information. Limit your work history to the last 10 years, and use bullet points and short phrases to describe your achievements, as you’ll find in our resume examples. Above all, focus only on qualifications and experiences that directly relate to what’s needed to perform the job well.
  • DON’T get too fancy with your layout. Don’t get caught up with flamboyant resume fonts and graphics when putting together your resume — it’s much more important to present the right content that resonates with hiring managers rather than throwing together a visual look that might not connect with them. Stick to a straightforward resume template that lets employers find what they want to know without any issues.