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CV help & advice

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  • Clanky
    In terms of sea time / experience, there is no point in listing the duties of a 4th engineer / second mate, companies will know that you maintained safety equipment / air compressors / whatever, so unless you were on a particular ship type where you were responsible for something special like a decompression chamber for diving there is no point listing all of your duties.

    I keep mine to:

    <Dates from / to> <Company Name>
    <Position(s) held>
    <Ship Type>
    <Main engine type and size range>

    <any particularly significant or relevant iformation>
    So for example:

    2005 / Present - Dodgy Shipping Limited
    Chief Engineer
    Passenger Cruise Vessels
    MAN medium speed diesel engines 16200 - 21800kW

    As chief engineer on a 3rd party managed cruise vessel I am responsible for maintaining the highest possible technical standards while ensuring that owners needs are met and that the technical department operates within budget

    2000 / 2005 - Ropey Wrecks Limited
    Chief engineer / 2nd Engineer
    Bulk Carriers
    Sulzer and B&W slow speed diesel engines 9500 - 31000kW

    As chief engineer responsible for maintaining the vessel to the highest possible techinical standards and ensuring that the requirements of the charter party are met at all times while running an onboard budget

    1997 / 2000 - Rusty Ro-Ro's Limited
    Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax vessel
    2nd Engineer / 3rd ENgineer
    Wartsilla medium speed diesel engines 12600 - 16200kW

    1992 / 1997 - Dicky Dredging
    Suction hopper dredgers
    3rd engineer / 4th Engineer / Cadet
    Ruston and Wartsilla medium speed diesel engines 3800 - 6700kW

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  • Hatchorder
    Originally posted by noworries182 View Post
    Thanks for your replies guys, they're very helpful. 'Hatchorder' I'm liking your posts, I clocked the one you posted to that lad who was having a hard time at sea, that was really good as well. I have saved this advice above should I ever need to make a new CV, which is actually always being updated, you just never know in this industry =] Thanks again.
    My pleasure, glad I could help. I perhaps need to expand on a couple of bits in the piece.

    The reason I say not to fold it and send it A4 is because some people make a pile of all the applications/CV's for every job. If you have one in the middle that has been folded and it makes your pile unstable then you pull it out and dump it. If it is on different coloured paper then it stands out and makes the pile untidy then it may get pulled out and dumped. If the fonts and colours are all over the place and difficult to read it gets pulled out and dumped.

    I can hear people say "That is not fair" or "nobody does that". Let me tell you they are all things told to me by recruiters that they have done. Whatever their selection criteria is, providing it is fair, then it is their selection criteria. Years ago I went for a job. I was a "shoe in" on skills. Matched everything in spades. Got through two rounds of interviews and got a shoeing instead! When I rang for feedback I was told that after the second round of interviews they had 5 candidates that were all capable of doing the job but the Chairman refused to interview 5 people so they decided to interview the 3 that lived nearest to their offices because it would mean that they did not have to worry about someone moving for the job. It does not matter if it is unfair on you - it just matters that it works for them. The Chairman wanted 3 to interview, the recruiters selected 3!

    So to give yourself the best chance stand out ON paper - don't stand out BECAUSE of the paper, it just annoys people! Forget Underlines, forget colours, forget pictures, and use an English Dictionary rather than American in your spellchecker, and get rid of the 'z's in words. Keep getting other people to check your CV before you send it off.

    Finally if you put down chess as a hobby, make sure you can play! I had a friend that, if people put chess on their CV, he would set up a board with that days problem from the newspaper set out. He would then tell people he would want them to look at the next move for white at the end of the interview and discuss it. He never did, but those that lied performed badly in the interview because they were thinking of how to get out of the dilemma at the end. He could not play chess either, but that did not matter a) he was the interviewer and b) he never told them he could play!

    But that is interview techniques - a whole new bag of worms - first get the interview!


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  • noworries182
    Thanks for your replies guys, they're very helpful. 'Hatchorder' I'm liking your posts, I clocked the one you posted to that lad who was having a hard time at sea, that was really good as well. I have saved this advice above should I ever need to make a new CV, which is actually always being updated, you just never know in this industry =] Thanks again.

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  • Hatchorder
    First of all I'll cover the basics. I used to teach people how to prepare their CV's so much of this is generalities but apply to everyone.

    1) Use plain white paper and ensure that the letter and CV are not folded. Use an A4 envelope

    2) Use Arial or Tahoma font and ensure the whole letter and CV are in the same font.

    3) Black text only and nothing smaller than 11 points and use paragraph spacing of 6 points rather than 2 line breaks between each paragraph.

    4) You have approximately 40 seconds to make an impression with a CV so start with the basics. Name at the top, do not write Curriculum Vitae (everyone knows what it is), then have your address, phone number and email address on 2 lines max. Then comes your personal profile. If you remember the old Coca Cola advert it was a string of adjectives. Write it, trim it, rewrite it, drop surplus words and get it down to 5 or 6 lines.

    This is an old profile of mine:

    A proven background in set up and turnaround management of commercial operations in the UK and overseas. Strong strategic planning and leadership over the last twenty years have contributed to the achievement of financial and operational targets. Efficient team building and organisational skills of teams over one hundred strong combined with focused corporate strategy development techniques have led to the building of highly motivated and quality driven teams.

    It is a string of adjectives that highlight the skills and is high impact. Remember you want them to be impressed to read the rest of the CV.

    5) List experience latest first. Always talk about achievements - never "responsible for". Responsible for does not mean you actually achieved anything! Tailor the CV to each application. Never just create one and use it for all. If you are applying to Shell for Tankers then list your relevant experience and dangerous cargo endorsements etc first.

    6) Keep it to two pages. Make margins smaller if you need to fit it onto the 2 pages, List at the end all the smaller details such as hobbies and interests and driving licence etc, but only if you need to fill it out.

    7) Always put a covering letter with it, research the company so you can write relevant information.

    8) If companies have an application form DO complete it fully. They do this because:
    a) They want to capture the same information for everyone.
    b) They know people cannot be bothered to fill out application forms so it reduces the number of applicants, which improves your chances if you do.
    c) They want to see you comply. If you just fill it out with "See attached CV" then they know you cannot do as they ask you when you want a job so what makes them think you will do it once you have it.

    Thats a start - hope it helps.


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  • chris
    This might help. When I was thinking about my career change to ETO, I was google searching for possible ETO jobs and always seemed to come across peoples seagoing cvs. In the experience section it seemed quite common to give a short relevant summary of previous ship so for ETOs... Tonnage, propulsion system, generators, low/high voltage etc then some details on your responsibilities in the role.

    I would also include sections for education, short courses and other professional training, other - visas, vaccinations, eng1.

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  • noworries182
    started a topic CV help & advice

    CV help & advice

    When I was looking for my first job one of the things I had trouble doing was making my CV. Due to the salty sea dog life being slightly different to those land lover jobs our CV's also have to be slightly different (or so I think). I was wondering if people could share their opinions on how they think a CV should be set out and the information it should contain. Not just for people looking for their first job but for Officers who may be looking for a new job. It may in some cases be easy to list experience as a cadet but for those who have been sailing for a few years on various types of vessels it may be harder to know how to summarise your experience.