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Over-qualified or over the hill? What is wrong with my CV?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by chris View Post
    Just as an additional career idea, have you thought about working as an IT officer on a cruise ship. When I was getting some sea time on Holland America's MS Rotterdam I did a few days in the IT dept and was surprised to find he was the same rank as a 2nd engineer, so deemed a senior officer with a decent cabin to match. He had a few of the Microsoft exams but not a complete MSCE, so probably quite an easy job to get into with your computer background. As I see it, you'd just need to complete the safety courses.
    Chris, many thanks - I have. I actually applied for a couple IT officer positions five years ago. I thought it was a good match too. Again, I didn't even get a reply. I think I need an agent :-)

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    • #17
      I have had a similar experience
      my email is [email protected] and I will give you more details

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      • #18
        A brief version as my orrignal didnt post

        firstly i think your going to appear overly qualified and be having to push for why you want to change
        second, you dont really say much about why you want to make the change and you yachtmaster experience is pretty light, if its not been a professional job then its a hobby
        third as has been mentioned you have a gap in the time frame
        fourth again as has been mentioned you have jumped around into different types of jobs fairly frequently - your periods of employment have barely been long enough to cover a 3 year cadetship let alone somewhere like carnival where your making a 5 year commitment it would have helped if the changing of jobs had been in similar fields.
        Lastly your time in turkey doesnt read partcualrly well, your an architect for the designing, a builder managing an office and providing IT support you seem to have managed 4 full time jobs all at once?
        you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Clanky View Post
          We have a newly qualified officer onboard who is 40 years old and an ex software engineer, so there are opportunities for older cadets. It might be that you were simply too late with applications.
          To further what Clanky has said above, as well as that guy we also had a late 30's guy who had worked on super yachts since he has 18 out in the Caribbean who fancied a change - they were both onboard at the same time as cadets, both were excellent and both now work for the company. So while, I think that older applicants may have a slightly harder job persuading recruiters that they're serious (for lack of a better word) about a career in the merchant navy - age itself won't directly work against you.

          If you hadn't already I would include on your cover letter the reasons why you suddenly want to switch careers - as you will essentially be going right back to the very start where you'll be the lowest and least experienced person onboard for a few years - not to mention the substantial salary drop you will have (most cadets getting around ?600 per month) for 3 years!

          Unfortunately, I think at least some of your experience will work against you - most recruiters would probably want to know why the sudden change after you've been fairly sure (based on your academics) that you wanted to go into the IT industry - this of course based upon the fact that I did a BSc in Computer Science and they all wanted to know why I had given up the IT industry (vs's yourself who has got numerous more years in the industry than I had).

          Most of the current cadets that are being dealt with will start in September/October, I note on your CV you had your availability as next year anyway... Due to the number of applicants they receive, I am pretty sure most of the recruiters will just discard applications that aren't for the current intake - perhaps remove the "availability date" from it!
          ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

          ? Mark Twain
          myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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          • #20
            Hi Tim! I can tell You one sad thing - there is absolutely nothing wrong about Your CV but in these times even deck cadet has to have seagoing experience.. it's ridiculous but crewing agencies can do that because of almost no work for beginners. A lot of people after 5 year in maritime university, 1 year of seamanship training and having a pile of maritime documents can't get a job.. I hope there is a little bit better in the UK and I wish You the best!

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            • #21
              Originally posted by pintero View Post
              Hi Tim! I can tell You one sad thing - there is absolutely nothing wrong about Your CV but in these times even deck cadet has to have seagoing experience.. it's ridiculous but crewing agencies can do that because of almost no work for beginners. A lot of people after 5 year in maritime university, 1 year of seamanship training and having a pile of maritime documents can't get a job.. I hope there is a little bit better in the UK and I wish You the best!
              To be honest, I find that hard to believe as I know what the systems are like abroad and we routinely get cadets on their first trips (not just from Europe, but the Sub-Continent and Far East as well). Which crewing managers have you been and spoken to?
              I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

              All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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              • #22
                Well this thread seems to have been resurrected so here is an update. I applied to the RFA and have made through to the final round - the Admiralty Interview Board which will take place at the end of January. I was impressed throughout the application process by the fairness and objectivity that seems to have been shown. If successful, I know I am likely to be one of RFA's oldest cadet entrants ever, if not the oldest.

                Immediately after my Sift interview I was told that I had passed the minimum standard required to proceed to the AIB and was then given the opportunity for mentoring. I asked about the age issue. I was told it was not an issue in the selection process. I was told candidly that, if successful, it may be a minor issue for some of the younger captains who entered the RFA when the upper age limit for a cadet was 24 but that they would just have to get used to it! I was told my service knowledge was weak and that was something I should brush up on. It explained that the AIB is all about gaining 'points' at every stage and the more points I could get here and there, the greater my chance. I also asked what the AIB pass rate was. I was relieved to hear it was around 70% though I initially misheard/mis-thought this as 17%!

                There, I thought I would share these nuggets with you. I did hear from three or four other companies recently, asking if I still wished to proceed with my applications with them. Perhaps there had been a lull in recruiting with the recession? I have put those companies on hold until after the AIB for now. It is only 6 weeks away.

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                • #23
                  Good luck with the AIB, have you explained your situation to the other companies, rather than simply not replying to them?
                  Go out, do stuff

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                  • #24
                    Are you my mother? It wouldn't surprise me. Thank you yes.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by timmillea View Post
                      Are you my mother? It wouldn't surprise me. Thank you yes.
                      Damn, you figured it out. I hope you have got your vest on in this cold whether, I am knitting you a nice warm scarf as well.
                      Go out, do stuff

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                      • #26
                        Here goes!

                        My RFA AIB starts tomorrow. I have to set off at 7:30 in the morning for HMS Sultan. If the weather is fine as predicted, I should have time to walk the 3 miles from the Gosport ferry terminal to HMS Sultan's AIB centre. I always like to get a sense of where I am and I have never been to Gosport before.

                        As I am over 40, I will be doing the Rockport test instead of the 'bleep test'. I have practised it a few times and I would say it requires a lot more self-discipline to pace yourself maximally over a mile than just to speed up according to beeps until you drop.

                        I used to be a rower and all the paced-pain was a pleasure to rediscover. Then, on the rowing ergos, I had my own spreadsheet calculations taped to the side of the meter to tell me what rate I had to work at every interval to reach the goal - always better than last time but that not always achievable, Even then, as a training session, it was always better to carry on at the upper limits of at a much reduced capacity than just to give up. I will give my all on the Rockport test. My heart is still strong!

                        The aptitude tests I am not concerned about. They are not difficult, they are just measuring comprehension of the question and speed in answering. The Service knowledge I will be learning on the train there tomorrow. I am invisible to history - if I can retain it, it is for a few hours maximum. All the 'It's a Knockout' type planning exercises will be entertainment to me. I have nothing to prove here. I am looking forward to them.

                        The interview, well they will inevitably ask me questions I cannot answer. I am not some school kid obsessed with joining the Royal Navy. They can make their judgments. My reasons for wanting to join the RFA are reasoned, nuanced, logical and well thought out - instead of passionate and perhaps misplaced or dishonest. I am happier to live with a rejection given an honest exchange than an acceptance where I had been anything other than myself.

                        I will be 'unconnected' while I am away. According to the instruction pack, I should have a decision before I leave on Tuesday. I will let you know the outcome.

                        Maybe for the penultimate time. I hope not.

                        Regards,

                        Tim.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Well i will say god luck, you may need it, thr history part of the test is alot more in detailed than a few hours revision will cover and although it is not worth a huge lot of marks a really bad score on one of te two things you can really prepare for and get squared away does not look great!

                          you have got the wrong end of the stick when it comes to the interview, they dont try and catch you out they want you to demenstrate some leadetship potential and come across as a well rounded person. The aib board arent stupid enough to think you are a little kid i would suggest dont go in with pre concieved ideas. It is basically a competency based interview. They will expect differnt and i inagine more comprhensive answers from you than a 16 yo.

                          Try not yo take the planex as rntettainment either you are not jst doing yours for fun you are a key part of everyone else team and being a team player is a key part of it, they will soon get annoyed if your not pulling your weight.

                          it comes across like you have a bit of a hang up when it ckmes to yiur age, dont feel special you wont wven be the 3rd oldest cadet in the last year.

                          Apologies for terrible typos my laptop is kaput an i am on my rubbish phone and i am far to efficent to correct it!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by timmillea View Post
                            Here goes!

                            My RFA AIB starts tomorrow. I have to set off at 7:30 in the morning for HMS Sultan. If the weather is fine as predicted, I should have time to walk the 3 miles from the Gosport ferry terminal to HMS Sultan's AIB centre. I always like to get a sense of where I am and I have never been to Gosport before.

                            As I am over 40, I will be doing the Rockport test instead of the 'bleep test'. I have practised it a few times and I would say it requires a lot more self-discipline to pace yourself maximally over a mile than just to speed up according to beeps until you drop.

                            I used to be a rower and all the paced-pain was a pleasure to rediscover. Then, on the rowing ergos, I had my own spreadsheet calculations taped to the side of the meter to tell me what rate I had to work at every interval to reach the goal - always better than last time but that not always achievable, Even then, as a training session, it was always better to carry on at the upper limits of at a much reduced capacity than just to give up. I will give my all on the Rockport test. My heart is still strong!

                            The aptitude tests I am not concerned about. They are not difficult, they are just measuring comprehension of the question and speed in answering. The Service knowledge I will be learning on the train there tomorrow. I am invisible to history - if I can retain it, it is for a few hours maximum. All the 'It's a Knockout' type planning exercises will be entertainment to me. I have nothing to prove here. I am looking forward to them.

                            The interview, well they will inevitably ask me questions I cannot answer. I am not some school kid obsessed with joining the Royal Navy. They can make their judgments. My reasons for wanting to join the RFA are reasoned, nuanced, logical and well thought out - instead of passionate and perhaps misplaced or dishonest. I am happier to live with a rejection given an honest exchange than an acceptance where I had been anything other than myself.

                            I will be 'unconnected' while I am away. According to the instruction pack, I should have a decision before I leave on Tuesday. I will let you know the outcome.

                            Maybe for the penultimate time. I hope not.

                            Regards,

                            Tim.
                            When I first starting reading this thread I thought what a brave guy going for a new career at a more mature age however and I appreciate its difficult to determine tone from text reading your above statement I think you are doing yourself an injustice.

                            Taking such a nonchalant attitude to the AIB smacks of arrogance, the RFA are the only company that have given you a chance and to be learning service knowledge on the train down is actually unbelievable. It is the business of the RFA to support the RN in operations, it is prudent then for their officers and potential officers to be aware of the service to which their ships are employed. Would you take the same approach to every employer? An example would be going for an interview with BP and they asked you about the company do you think that it would be enough to spout off what you read in the brochure 10 minutes ago in reception?

                            Also be advised you are in a special situation with your age and are going to stand out if you do eventually become a cadet, its not only cadets that are on this forum be careful with what you write, that's advice you can either choose to take or not.

                            I do wish you well however I sincerely hope that your above comments were bravado and you will approach the interview with humility and enthusiasm.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              how did it go Tim?
                              Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                There were four candidates on the board. Three, including me, failed. Putting aside myself, I was shocked that the other two failed. One had all the knowledge that I didn't have, was very able indeed and showed it, but made a mistake during the Planning Leadership Task from which he didn't recover during that task. The other, a 17-year old, I heard through unofficial channels, the AIB would like to go to university first then re-apply. Such a waste of potential! Yes, he was a little quiet amongst us but when he spoke he was confident, intelligent and articulate. He had no intention of going to university - he wanted to go to a maritime college! I feel the AIB has failed him.

                                Yes, being a yacht captain is 'hobby' for me but when I am stuck in a force-9, need crew I can trust our lives to, and live with at close quarters, my decision would have been different to the AIB's.

                                Although the AIB is nominally a points-based system, one strongly suspects that the overall scores were manipulated to match the opinions of the board in their brief time (around 90 minutes in total) with the candidates.

                                As far as service knowledge is concerned, point taken. But any essential knowledge for the job MUST be taught, not casually picked up on the internet. As a former educator, it was always much easier to deal with a blank slate rather than have to correct half-truths, misbeliefs and amateur knowledge picked up before. It is irresponsible to encourage candidates to learn this type of information pre-entry.

                                Instead, service knowledge is one of those deplorable entry barriers the like of which should have no place in fair selection. This is not direct entry, it is entry to 3 years of training. The process should be seeking the potential at the end of 3 years of training. Having employed people in the past, I would be flattered by any candidate who had swatted up on all the company details - but hopefully never affected in my decision whether or not to employ them.

                                However, to close on the title of this thread, I am happy to report that I never thought that age was an issue with the RFA for a moment.

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