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The seafarer CV – top 5 tips

Spinnaker's Matthew Holman (pictured right) gives the top 5 CV tips for seafarers looking to come ashore. This article was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse.

Having been established for 17 years, Spinnaker Global has seen its fair share of CVs and resumes from seafarers looking to come ashore. We know what distinguishes the good from the shipwrecks. CVs are individual and should reflect that, however we do have some advice and tips that we have learnt over the years that can make your CV stand out from the rest when applying for shore-based positions.

1. All about experience

Show your seafaring experience in chronological order. Not as a table*, but as individual positions, showing the responsibilities you've had and what you were doing. It's worth remembering that not everyone ashore knows what responsibilities a Chief Officer has at sea, and how they can differ to a Second Officer. If you have had any extra training or fire safety responsibilities, include these too.

*Tables can be difficult to read, overly complicated and look clunky. Your seafaring record is important of course, however we would suggest including a detailed table as a separate document, to supplement your CV.

2. List your vessel types

Include detail on the vessels you have sailed on, including the type and the cargo. These are the important details, far more so than the tonnage or the flag it sailed under. If you've sailed on ships carrying weird and wonderful cargo, tell us, as very often that experience can be more in demand!

3. Your shore side knowledge

Include any shore based experience you've had. If you spent a few months ashore surveying, tell us. If you spent some time in the chartering department of a ship owner, tell us. This will only help in your application for a shore based role, even if it was only for a short time.

4. Certificates and endorsements

Tell us what certificates and endorsements you have. These can be very important when coming ashore, and can really mark out a candidate. If you've done courses with class societies or have endorsements for particular cargoes, this experience can be highly sought after ashore.

5. More about you

Why do you want to come ashore? Do you want to progress your career? Spend more time with your family? Let recruiters and employers know more about you as a person. There are many reasons why a seafarer wants to come permanently ashore, at any stage in the career, and this can be an important factor in getting the right shore based position for you.

We are always happy at Spinnaker to have a chat with you about your CV and offer our advice. If you have any other suggestions of your own, tell us in the comments.

When Spinnaker started out in 1997, we launched the first ever shipping recruitment agency specialising in shore-based vacancies.We now employ around 50 people trained extensively in both shipping and recruitment, making their knowledge second to none. Each day, we connect people in this fascinating industry.

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