When looking for a job, a resume is the most important tool you can possess.
It is the key that opens the door to the job interview.
It presents the first impression of who you are and if you meet the qualifications the employer is looking for. It determines your future.
It must be concise, yet portray the scope of your experience.
A color photo of your face grants visual recognition in addition to the introduction of your name. Every person assimilates information on different levels. Some absorb information best by reading, some thru graphics and some by sound or touch.
It is best to use at least two forms of communication, literate and graphic, to get the introduction you are seeking, so you may proceed forward with the second two levels available for communication, the sound of your voice and the touch of a handshake, to close the interview.
Your information must get your qualifications, experience, and commitment to longevity across to the reader within the first half of a page. The total resume should be no longer than two pages. Your contact information supplying a phone number and e-mail address should be at the beginning. The objective statement at the beginning should be a general statement, unless you are only considering an exact job description. Many times an employer will not consider someone that has made the job objective too exact, because their available position does not fit all the criteria exactly.
A few references should also be included at the end. The format should include, the dates of employment, size and type of vessel worked on, your job title, the name of the vessel, the previous employer's contact information, and a short job description, for each of your previous employers. If you have long term as well as short-term contract jobs, it is best to group them, putting the longer-term commitments at the beginning of the presentation. Jobs unrelated to the industry should be grouped towards the end. The layout should be simple, organized, uncluttered and easy to read.
It is best to avoid long essay type presentations. Long job descriptions are not easily assimilated. and will not hold the new employers attention. Narratives about your love of the sea, ect., ect., do not do much to impress either. The employer is not interested in supplying you with a good time at his expense, nor a free ride.
When a Captain or Owner is considering someone to hire, they are looking for someone interested in presenting the owner with a helpful, willing, pleasant attitude. Your qualifications and past experience hold merit, but you willingness to be helpful and contribute to the owner having a carefree experience and an enjoyable time while on board is the most important impression you need to portray.
A willingness to work until the job is done is also helpful. If you are more interested in what time you can have off, how much you will be paid, where the boat is traveling, or other extraneous issues, you are putting the cart before the horse. If you state those facts in your resume, you will not receive a good response. Those facts do need to be covered at the interview, but not before the mutual interest in making an agreement has been seriously considered.
Presenting your information in a concise, easily assimilated format is the most successful formula to reach your goal of getting an interview.
By Linda Turner, President
As Seen in The Triton
Crewfinders International, Inc.