CV surgery 7
As part of a new regular feature Laurence Reymann of YPI Crew is looking at c.v.’s to explain how to present them better, and where job seeking crew can go wrong in all aspects of the c.v. writing process. This month Laurence is reviewing the c.v. of someone with a long-term marine background who wants to reach the top of the career ladder.
At first glance, the c.v. feels a bit uneasy and contains redundant pieces of information, it needs tightening up. Let’s start from the top:
Quite a good effort, the candidate identified his selling points “tender driver, watchkeeper, dive instructor etc…” and put them to the front. It gives me an idea of what he can do and I want to read further, but what does he really want to do? It is not clear and from reading the whole c.v. I know that he worked as commercial captain in Australia and has some luxury yachting experience on a 49- metre vessel as mate. I expect that, to start off with and due to the lack of local knowledge, our candidate sees himself as fitting in as mate or bo’sun (we have the limitation 5 of the Yachtmaster®) in which case he should say so. However, if he is looking for a captain’s job he should 6 say so too. What would not be wise, 7 however, is to write “I am looking for a captain or mate position”; it should be one or the other. It is fine of course to have two c.v.’s with two different objectives. He should refrain from using symbols such as “&” in a text as it disrupts the flow.
His yacht qualifications are fine 8 and presented well. However, his other qualifications need work to improve presentation. What interests me here is the apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery, I would put this in bold as this is a useful skill in our industry.
Other experience and achievements
This section is a real mishmash of information with no relevance to each other. Some information is also redundant, for instance, we already know the candidate has a B1B2 visa, it is mentioned on top of the c.v! My advice is to delete this section altogether, it is trivia and only confuses me. Some of the interesting information, seatime should of course be mentioned during an interview.
Sports and hobbies
This should be included in the c.v. BUT not before maritime experience!
Maritime experience This gives the reader a slight feeling of confusion as many dates overlap. In a case like this the c.v. would benefit from having a little note explaining that “As I held various part-time/short- term jobs at any one time, some of the dates overlap.” In particular with MV Eclipse : the duties are unclear, the whole text should be rewritten. What does one do on Eclipse? Stick to the facts; the comings and goings can be discussed face to face during a meeting. I see that the candidate left one of his jobs, on MY Um Hurair for “personal reasons”. This is non-information and does not mean anything: it is to be avoided.
The candidate also wrote a covering letter that duplicates most of the c.v. and therefore has no added value. I am just reading the same information twice and therefore wasting my time! Now that most candidates register with recruitment consultancies through online databases, the need for covering letters has decreased. A covering letter can be used to apply for specific jobs, to sell yourself and expresses interest in the job in question. It should convince the reader, with facts and examples, that you merit an interview.