5 Big Mistakes People Make in Their Seafarer Resume

Jan 10, 2020 · 8 mins read ·

Job Seeker Tips, Jobs at Sea
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Writing a seafarer resume - actually writing any resume - is never something the vast majority of people sit down to do with a smile on their face. It’s time consuming, it can be tricky to know what to include and what to leave out, and checking for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can be a real headache.

But if you want to win hot vacancies for seamen you need to know what to look out for. That’s why we’re telling you about 5 big mistakes that people often make when they’re writing their resume for a seafarer.

Related: 5 More Big Mistakes People Make in Their Seafarer Resume

After all, competition can be fierce when you’re applying for maritime jobs and you want to make sure that the resume for a seaman you email over to maritime recruitment agencies and shipowners is the best it possibly can be!


We’ve covered the basics of how to write a maritime resume before, so if you’re really starting out from scratch and looking to kickstart your career and search for jobs at sea, it would be well worth your time taking a look at that article first.

And whether you’re a deck cadet who is fresh out of maritime academy or you’re an old sea hand who has been working in chief engineer jobs for years, it’s always well worth knowing how to write a maritime resume.

A great seafarer resume can help you get your foot in the door for maritime jobs when you’re just starting out. And a not so great one could be the reason why you’re getting passed over by employers and maritime recruitment agencies for jobs at sea that you know you’d be a great fit for.

There are a number of things to avoid when writing a resume for a seafarer including not showing off and not using cliches, but we’re going to focus on five basics.


So let’s get down to the cold hard facts and take a closer look at 5 things that you really shouldn’t be putting on your resume for a seafarer.

5 big mistakes people make in their seafarer resume

The mistake: Not making sure that your spelling and grammar are correct. We know you’re applying for maritime jobs and not a desk job where you’ll be writing emails and correspondence all day, but these sorts of errors will still jump off the page to a recruiter.

The solution: Check and double check (and even triple check while you’re at it) to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct.

And no matter how proficient you are in your native language or in English, it is always well worth asking someone you trust to take another look over your seafarer resume with a fresh pair of eyes. A friend, coworker, lecturer at your school or maritime academy, or family member will be happy to help.

Remember: In seafaring, attention to detail is key!


The mistake: Including salary information such as your previous salaries, your expected salary for this position, as well as any reasons why you left your former company.

The solution: Leave salary and reasons for leaving your previous company off your maritime resume altogether. If you include salary info it looks like you’re only interested in the money. (Yes we know everyone wants to be paid for the work they do, but that’s a given.)

If you include reasons why you no longer want to work with a former shipping company it might look like you’re a difficult employee. All of these things can be discussed if and when you progress to the next stages of the recruitment process.

Related: Why Trash Talking Former Employers on Your Maritime Resume is a No-No

The mistake: The dates of your education and/or previous jobs at sea and contracts don’t add up.

The solution: Again, like your spelling and grammar, there’s no shortcut for this. You need to double check that your dates make sense. If there are huge gaps between contracts (shore leave aside) or your contract dates overlap, employers and maritime recruitment agencies WILL spot them.

If there are genuine reasons why you had to take time off from working for any reason, a very brief explanation will be fine.

Read more: Why Lying on Your Seafarer Resume will Always Backfire


The mistake: Including waaaay too much information. Or, including way too little. A recruiter won’t sit down and read five pages of a seafarer resume, no matter how impressive the information in it is.

And a resume for a seafarer with only a couple of lines printed on it won’t be taken seriously when applying for hot vacancies for seamen.

The solution: If you have lots and lots of work experience, only list the most important or most recent jobs you’ve had. For example if you’re a chief officer with 15 years in the job, employers or maritime recruitment agencies don’t need to know about your first ever job as a cadet.

If you’re at the other end of the scale and don’t feel you have enough to say, you can always pad your resume out with achievements, specialist skills, volunteer work, courses taken, and certifications gained.

Related: Things You Really Shouldn't Include on Your Seafarer Resume

The mistake: Forgetting to include your contact details or including an unprofessional email address.


The solution: Simple - include your name, telephone number(s), Skype ID, address, and email address. And make sure your email address is professional. That email you’ve had since you were a teenager, cooldude1992@mailbox.com doesn’t really look that great in a professional document!

There’s no need to get rid of your email address, simply set up another email account using your name or even your rank as the address - AB.smith@mailbox.com - and use it just for your maritime job applications and messages.

Martide helps you line up jobs at sea

At Martide we make it simple for seafarers to find and apply for maritime jobs. All you need to do is register an account with us and complete your seafarer profile (it’s like an online maritime resume) and you’ll then be able to search our hot vacancies for seamen.

Plus if you want to make life even easier, download the Martide mobile app. It’s free for seafarers and will give you anytime, anywhere access to our jobs, plus any messages from manning agents and employers.

Get the app now from Google Play for Android or the Apple App Store.

We hope to see you onboard very soon!

Eve Jones

Eve Jones