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Whether you are looking for interview advice that will impress the employer, or need help to improve your CV to gets results, this section of our website allows you to access our expertise directly. Our experienced Career Management Professionals are knowledgeable about the jobs market and the type of people our clients are looking for. We can pass on valuable advice to help you achieve your goal, and we will point out any shortfalls so you can overcome these. We will also share useful information with you right here, so that we can assist you in securing that perfect job.
Click on the topics below to obtain the advice you need or click here to ask a question.
A CV is like an advert of yourself, so it is important to prepare one that sells yourself on your skills and abilities whenever you apply for a job. A prospective marine employer will be looking for a CV that stands out when they are short-listing for interview so it has to look presentable and legible. What you need to think about is presentation, layout and content.
PRESENTATION - Try and keep your CV consistent, and stick to the same font size throughout the main body of your CV. The use of sub-headings will help potential employers to glance quickly at your profile (don’t forget these are busy people!) and try not to go over more than two pages or they may quickly lose interest.
LAYOUT AND CONTENT
1. Your personal details including name, contact details and nationality
2. Brief personal profile - this will be about 3 to 4 lines of text giving a brief overview of your key skills and attributes, and perhaps your objective regarding such a position. Be concise, try to appear interesting and professional to the reader. It will encourage them to read on
3. Work experience in chronological order. Don’t forget to include name of employer, dates worked, a brief description of your daily duties and projects worked on. Highlight areas of responsibility and any notable achievements.
4. Education and qualifications - put your most recent first, as these are more likely to be the most relevant
5. Additional skills - list your important everyday skills such as some IT skills, programs used, professional skills, languages. Perhaps provide some evidence of where you have used them.
6. Interests – employers are usually more interested in activities which require you to show team commitment or personal initiative and drive, but keep it brief.
7. References – remember to make a note if you do not wish them to be contacted yet
8. It is not necessary to state the reasons why you have left your previous employers; this is a topic that can be discussed during interview.
9. Try not to leave any gaps in your career history as this will create a negative impression so be sure to put down any reasons (career break, unemployment).
10. Run it through a spell checker
Although your CV tells the employer if you can do the job, it doesn’t tell them who you are as a person. You are not being recruited for your interest in cooking or cycling, but it helps the reader build a picture of who you are, but keep it brief.
This is a general overview of what you need to know about the interview process so make sure you prepare well. Remember, forewarned is forearmed!
Be prepared: For the types of interview questions you will be asked
Be prepared: To ask questions yourself
Be prepared: To research the company
Be prepared: To look the part
Be prepared: To turn up on time
Before the Interview
• Do your research – view the employer’s website to get an overall idea about the type of company they are and to find general background information. It gives you an insight to the way the company works and remember, they may ask you what you know about them so it gives you an edge if you have prepared.
• Look up house prices in the local area if you are considering relocating.
• Make sure you look presentable – have your best suit dry-cleaned and even pay attention to simple things like making sure your nails and shoes are clean, or have a hair cut. It is the small things that make the big difference.
• Prepare a list of questions to take with you – it will make you appear prepared for the interview, and that you have serious intentions towards the company. Take them with you in a smart folder, with a print of pages off their website (if they have one). It is usual practice to have at least 15 questions prepared in relation to career prospects, what projects you’ll be working on, how many are there in the team, who you can present any ideas to, etc
Don’t forget, you are interviewing them as well as the other way round. Ask them what they can offer you as a prospective employee!
During the Interview
• Create a good first impression – look them in the eye and greet them with a firm handshake. When you sit down, choose a seat opposite your interviewer so you are always facing them. Remain eye contact throughout and try to sit up straight, don’t slouch although do try to relax.
• Be confident – try to be clear and concise in your answers. If you don’t know the answer to one of their questions, don’t bluff them with an unprepared answer. This way they can’t catch you out by questioning you further. Just be honest, and ask them to re-phrase the question, or just advise you don’t know.
• Do not discuss money – should they ask you your salary expectations, refer them to us. We would have already discussed your requirements with them before your interview so they will have a good idea. Should you discuss it, then it may restrict us from trying to negotiate a higher rate on your behalf.
• Show them you have prepared – when they ask you if you have any questions, open your folder and ask them your questions that they haven’t answered for you already. Ask them if it is ok for you to make notes in case you forget the answers later. Don’t forget to take a pen as well!
• Be ready to discuss your current role and previous roles and what the main areas of responsibility were in these positions. Imagine you were the interviewer and what you would ask the interviewee. Be prepared for questions they may ask you, like ‘why do you want to work for us?’ and ‘what strengths could you bring to the team?’
• Do not leave them with any doubt in their mind – should you decide during the course of the interview that this is the job for you, then tell your interviewer before you leave that you would be very happy to work for them should they offer you. Give them a date you have in mind that you could start, bearing in mind what notice you have to give to your current company. This way, when they come to making their decision, they already know that you would accept and when you could start.
After the Interview
• Give us a call! Don’t stop outside for a cigarette break, or to loosen your top collar button – your interviewer could be looking out the window! It is important for you to call us as soon as possible, because we need your feedback to report back to the client. We will then call you back to give you their thoughts and opinions of you.
Q - How would you describe yourself?
A - You should describe attributes that will enhance your suitability for the position. Have some ready in advance.
Q - What are your long-term goals?
A - These should be career orientated. Make sure you have goals to discuss.
Q - Why did you leave your last job?
A - This could be for more responsibility; a better opportunity; increased income. Do not be detrimental to your previous employer. He could be the interviewer’s golfing partner.
Q - Why do you want this job?
A - Your answer should be: more responsibility or better opportunity or similar. Not because its less of a commute to work.
Q - What are your strengths?
A - You should highlight accomplishments and experiences that relate to the position for which you are applying. Also, give examples of situations where your strengths have been demonstrated.
Q - What are your weaknesses?
A - This should not be a list of deficiencies. Don’t mention anything that could make the interviewer question your ability to do the job, for example “I am always late for everything.” Instead, discuss a weakness that could also be a strength such as “I am a workaholic!”
Here are a few more examples of good interview questions:
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Describe your current / most recent position.
What made you want to make this change?
What do you most enjoy doing in your current / most recent position?
Describe your future ambitions.
How would you describe yourself?
Asking questions at interview has a number of positive effects:
• It helps you find out more about the company and the position.
• It can be used to divert the interviewer away from a subject you may wish to avoid.
• It can help build a rapport with the interviewer.
• It demonstrates an interest in the job and the company.
The questions must be about the position and the company. Avoid questions about salary, benefits and facilities until after you have been offered the job. You should already have researched the company and its products and services. Your questions should demonstrate knowledge of the company’s history, successes and problems. If the interviewer is a representative of the personnel department the questions should relate to the company and be general. Specific questions relating to the position should be kept for the line manager who will have a more detailed knowledge.
Example questions relating to the position
• What are the main responsibilities of the job?
• What are the most difficult aspects of the job?
• How did the vacancy arise?
• What is the career path relating to this position?
• How will my work be assessed?
Example questions relating to the company
• What is the company hoping to achieve in the next 12 months?
• What new products, vessels, rigs, or services are the company planning to introduce in the future?
• Are any major changes planned for the department/company?
• Who are your biggest competitors?
Do not discuss wages or benefits at the interview – should they ask you your salary expectations, refer them to us. We would have already discussed your requirements with them before your interview so they will have a good idea. Should you discuss it, then it may restrict us from trying to negotiate a higher rate on your behalf.
It is a big decision to move from sea to shore, and when you are ready to make the move you need to bear in mind that you are entering a completely different environment than you are used to. We recommend attending a Maritime Management Development Programme, which is uniquely designed for sea and shore based marine personnel and is run by Precious Associates, also part of the Clyde Group. If your skills are in demand, you may be able to negotiate this course as part of your new employment package.
Whether you're looking to move your career up to the next level, such as in a Marine Manager role, or make a clean break and try out a whole new career, presenting yourself as the consummate professional will help others see you as you would like to be seen. Here are the key things you need consider when you're looking to develop your career.
1. Put yourself in line for promotion - many people take the default position that getting a better job means changing employer, but there are often great opportunities for progression with your existing employer, and not just in the part of the company you currently work in.
2. Pick the right moment to move - if you do decide to leave your company, quitting at the wrong time can hit you in the pocket. Leaving just before your big bonus is due is not very sensible, and neither is looking for a new job during periods when your industry is struggling. The more buoyant an industry, the more job vacancies there are.
3. Step back to move forward - much of the negativity associated with taking a step back in your career is psychological. But, earning less now could put you in line for a quicker rise to the top, especially if you move to a company renowned for allowing a fast-track path to management.
4. Consider relocation - it's not uncommon to find that that the type of job you’re after simply isn't available locally. Alternatively, it may be the case that your company is moving offices, or setting up a new office such as in Singapore, Montreal, Sydney or Dubai. Showing a willingness to relocate demonstrates real commitment and will mark you out from the crowd.
5. Make a career change - many people complain about their work or see it as a necessary evil, but it doesn't need to be that way. If you think you’d rather be somewhere else on a Monday morning, take control and do something positive to change your situation, such as moving from sea to shore.
• The contacts you make at work are your currency. Former colleagues and suppliers can come in very handy for building networks, and may be valuable when you come to look for your next job. Not to mention the need for solid references.
• For these reasons, make every effort not to alienate anyone, and stay on good terms with as many people as possible when you leave the company. You never know when you might need them again.
• Thank the right people - look around you and identify who might be able to help your future career. Make a point of thanking your boss for the opportunities they gave you, and make it clear that you greatly valued your time working with them and the company, whether it’s true or not.
• Leave a clear desk - there’s nothing more certain to undermine your good reputation than leaving your successor with a pile of half-finished business. All your good relationships could be blown away in a moment if you do. Make it your business to tie up all the loose ends and leave your desk tidy and ready for the next occupant. You’ll make your last few weeks that much more tolerable if you properly finish off what needs to be done, showing everyone how professional you are. If you’re chasing a final bonus payment, staying focussed on your work is even more important.
• Create a handover document - even if you are sick of the sight of the place and everyone in it, the very least you should do is create a proper job handover document for your successor. This should include details of where important files are kept, passwords, the inside line on supplier or other out-of-office relationships, and any little tricks of the trade that might help the new person.
• Don’t forget to include important contact phone numbers and email addresses and anything else that may be of use. Make your handover document as detailed and as long as possible. You never know, your boss may be so shocked about what you know and your value to the company that he will offer you a major pay rise to stay.
• Before you leave, don’t brag about where you’re going, how great the new company is or how much you’re going to be earning. Remain humble and respect the feelings of those you are leaving behind. Once you’ve left, never talk badly of your old company or disclose secrets. It may come back to haunt you one day, and your new employer will definitely not respect your indiscretion.
Should you wish to work in the UK, it is required that you hold a valid passport and a UK work visa or permit. It will of course, depend on your individual circumstances. For current advice and assistance on applying for a UK visa please visit our government website www.ukvisas.gov.uk
It is rare that Clyde Marine Consultants would get such a position, as often companies will use our agency for sourcing experienced candidates. However, the types of roles you will be looking at initially are assistant and training roles. Although these may sometimes be lower paid positions they are a great stepping stone into the career you want to achieve and to gain more experience. It could be worth you trying to contact companies direct to see if they offer graduate schemes or trainee positions.