Most divers are quite pessimistic when it comes to employment.
“It’s too tough out there.”
“Good luck industry is dead mate but don’t let that dishearten you.”
“Don’t even bother going to dive school.”
Facing Employment Challenge Head on
I’ve heard it all before. And it’s true: Finding steady employment in the maritime industry is a challenge. It’s always fluctuating. Always seasonal. Always rolling in and out, like the tide.
As an underwater welder, you have to put yourself ahead of the competition. A hard-hitting resume is the best way to make this happen. Once your foot’s in the door, you can demonstrate your experience to your employer.
Unfortunately, many divers spend very little time on their job applications and resumes.
Their lack of effort sinks them, even if they have all the right qualifications.
You can’t just work on becoming a professional diver. You must become a professional job-seeker.
Most never learn this lesson. That’s why the unemployed turn to pessimism. Turn your employment frustration into problem-solving by correcting these resume mixups:
Welder-diver Resume Mistakes
1. Shotgunning Resumes to Maritime Employers
If there’s one lesson you learn with resumes, remember this:
There’s no shortcut.
A poor quality, impersonal resume won’t get you a job. Even if you send it to 1,000 companies in one day (that’s the “shotgun” approach).
Employers won’t be impressed by a generic greeting. They won’t appreciate your, “dear sir/madam,” or “To whom it may concern.”
Quality over quantity, every time.
Here’s my advice:
Pick up the phone. Call every single diving company you plan on sending your resume to. Ask for the name of the recipient of your resume, or at least in which department.
Research the company online; find out about their mission, previous dive jobs and companies they work with on a continual basis.
Gathering this information gives you everything you need to package your application into a focused, hard-hitting rifle cartridge.
2. Dive Career Responsibilities Instead of Achievements
Underwater welder employers know what an underwater welder does. They’ve seen a list of his duties thousands of times in a hundred different ways.
They won’t be impressed by your diving job descriptions.
What do they want? Results.
Employers want to know what you’ve accomplished – specifically. Here’s a few examples:
Project Manager: Executed dock column repair through coordination with 3-member surface and diving team.
Pipeline Welder: Successfully wet welded six-inch metal plate on horizontal gas pipeline.
3. Overloading Irrelevant Underwater Skills
Resumes aren’t a life story. They’re a concise, one-page overview of your diving work history. One month or 40 years – doesn’t matter. Always one page or less.
They’re also adaptable; the more you customize them toward an individual position, the higher your chances of getting noticed.
Don’t ever add “fluff” to your resume. Only meat. Delicious, valuable, employable meat.
And don’t leave out relevant keywords that closely match the position you’re applying for (another news flash: Larger companies often use computers to weed out the bulk of resumes. One tactic is by looking for relevant keywords).
Here’s real-life scenario:
Let’s say you’ve just found a job listing for vessel maintenance.
You have one year in total of experience on an oil rig as an operator and floorhand. You also have two days of experience in inland ship inspection and maintenance.
Which is more impressive, your work history length or experience type?
In this case, I say inland ship inspection and maintenance goes at the top of the resume. Experience type often trumps work history – unless it’s in a closely related field or a management position.
4. Splashing on Poor Resume Writing & Design
People in the maritime and construction industry aren’t exactly known for their incredible writing or layout skills. They stick to what they understand best: Mechanical aptitude.
So you expect your applicant reviewer to cut you some slack here, right?
Design and grammar play huge roles in a resume. Misspellings, punctuation errors and misaligned text will send your resume to sleep with the fishes.
Any spelling and grammar mistakes can be corrected with free software (including your web browser). But if English is your second language, you’ll definitely want a native English speaker to look over your resume first.
Resume layout is a little more tricky. Better to keep a minimalist approach – don’t go too overboard with colors or borders. Align your dates, headers and job titles correctly.
If you’re completely lost, find a professional resume service to help you out.
5. Fake Dive Work Experience
I shouldn’t need to tell you this:
Reputation travels with you like the waves. If you try to cheat the system, you’ll find yourself drowning in a sea of mistrust.
Welder-divers are highly dependent on their professional job network.
It’s a temptation to lie on your resume – especially if you’re applying for a position halfway around the world. Your employer may never find out. They may assume what you write, you’ve performed and are skilled.
But what if they ask you to perform something you can’t do? You may be putting your own safety and your team members at risk.
Lies will catch up with you.
Ride the waves. Put in your time. Gain experience and certification. When you’re hired, your employers will respect your genuine character more than any other trait you can put on your resume.
That’s worth it all.
What diver resume mistake did I miss? Tell us in the comments below!