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How to Write your CV and Prepare for an Interview for Jobs at Sea

Feb 15 2018

Interview processes have changed over the years but shipping companies have not, they are mainly interested in seeing your sea service and qualifications/certification before deciding whether to short list you for a role.

Your CV

Firstly, we thought it would be useful to give you some tips to help you to keep to the facts and avoid too much narrative when it comes to writing your CV.

Most importantly the key is to keep to the basics: education, qualifications/certification, specific training courses or pilotage exemption certification etc together with full sea service.

Sea Service is arguably the most important part of your CV, this must include the name of the ships you have been on, the company, the size of the ships and your rank whilst onboard. You can then add narrative for each ship to provide insight into specifics which will make you stand out as a candidate.

Deck Officers and Ratings should include trading area, type of cargo’s if applicable, details such as involvement in grade changes, surveys, inspections, dry dockings, difficult mooring operations, manoeuvres and any incidents.

Engineering Officers and Ratings must include the type of engine, engine power and details of auxiliary equipment you have worked with. It will also be of interest to potential employers to include narrative covering any difficulties you encountered voyage to voyage and your involvement in engine rebuilds, major overhauls or identifying ongoing mechanical/technical issues and being part of the resolution.

Regardless whether you’re Deck or Engine, being able to show you made a difference to the team and describing your part in challenging situations in a short and concise manner makes you stand out.

One way to ensure you have a concise and easily digestible format for your CV, sign up to my-ankaa for free today and have my-ankaa create your CV for you! All you need to do is when input your Assignments and full details of all documentation and certification, add your narrative into the notes section about specifics of voyages. To find out more about the my-ankaa click here.


When it comes to the interview, thanks to technology, companies sometimes no longer require you to attend their office, and will conduct it from the comfort of your own home via a video call service such as Skype. This can be seen as a blessing or a curse depending on your views of technology. Regardless of the interview type you are still required to prepare for an interview in the same way.

Preparing for an interview can be stressful therefore we have included some hints and techniques below:

No matter how the interview is being conducted, we recommend that you research the company that you’re interviewing with. Look at their core values and think of situations where your behaviour or actions exemplify their values, Fleet details.

Make sure you understand the job description, if available or provided and what the role entails. If you have any questions about the job, write these down beforehand so you remember to ask them during the interview.

You should also be able to describe your experience to date on the various ships you have sailed on and be ready for specific questions about the ships or situations you may have described in your CV.

Be honest and sincere avoiding trying to give the answer you think the interviewer wants to hear. If you do not like a particular tasks or specific elements of a duty be honest and where you are good at things do not be afraid to tell them.

Some interviews for roles at sea have competency and technical questions, so it is worth your while brushing down some of your oral examination standard questions so you are not thrown off during the interview.

Finally, no matter where the interview is taking place presentation is key, below is a breakdown of potential interview scenarios:

Office Interview:

Before the interview ensure you are dressed smartly and appropriately for the role.

Arrive at least 10-15mins before your scheduled interview time. This ensures that if you have difficulty finding the office you should still be on time for your interview. By arriving early, you are also setting a good example.

Skype Interview:

Although you won’t be meeting your interviewer face to face, interviewees are expected to be presentable in appearance and their surroundings. it is still worth dressing smartly as they will be able to see at least half of you.

Ensure you have your computer or tablet set up in advance of your interview and have the correct log in detail’s for your Skype call. Any issues with accessing your video call can potentially be resolved before your interview.

Phone Interview:

Surroundings are key to a telephone interview, ensuring you have a quiet environment where you can talk without being interrupted for the duration of the interview.

It is essential to know who you are being interviewed by therefore if this hasn’t been passed on by your Recruiter, do not hesitate to ask.


Lastly remember, no matter how your interview is conducted speak clearly and be professional at all times.

We wish you all the best for your next interview.


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