As what we know today, the Maritime Industry is growing by leaps and bounds while the years pass by. The demands for competent seafarers are also on the rise since new ships are built to move more goods and accommodate the rising trade forecasted in the future.
For this reason, manning agencies are gearing up to provide their shipowners with the best, qualified and competent crew to man their ships. You might already know that some of the big names in the maritime business are securing their future by investing in cadetship programs such as the Project Alpha, NIS/NSA, IMEC, INC, and many others. This ensures the loyalty of their new and young manpower while training them to become the best Officers and Engineers.
But is it enough?
If it is, you might be surprised of the huge number of seafarers and agencies flocking in the streets of Kalaw with job postings on all types of vessel for all kinds of crew. It’s like an everyday Job Fair Feast for everyone! Not to mention the online promotions some agencies make every day to hire the best qualified crews.
Because of this, applicants are having great options on which company to apply. Maybe you have that dream agency in mind wherein the pay is excellent, benefits are full, crew rejoining bonus is given, free training with allowance is observed, vacation is paid and a whole lot more. If you are the kind of seaman who wants to work with your dream agency, follow these simple tips so you may have a greater chance for employment.
Before attempting to contact or submit an application form, do a background research of that company. Check its historic records of accomplishments and information like the nationality of its principals, type and number of ships they have, latest awards, news, office branches and others. It may be helpful if you also do some little study on the big names of their staffs like the crewing manager, owner’s representatives, port captains and the like. Be familiar with their faces and a little bit of their backgrounds as well. To do this, visit their websites or ask someone, an ex-crew for example. You can use the information that you gained later on at your advantage.
Once you have a specific knowledge of that company and its people, prepare your CV in black and white. It must include all your trainings and certificates, sea service experience, travel documents, pertinent visas, contact details, availability, etc. Also include a very nice picture of yourself. Scan your files and save it in your USB. Here, I am assuming that you already know the salary and other benefits since this is your dream company. Watch out for the job postings that they are making. You are maybe aware where to look at it. If not, visit their website, main office, Kalaw postings, FB Page, Seaman Jobsite pages and other media.
If they have no opening on your position yet, that’s fine. An extremely reputable company often has a very high retention rate of their crew. But it doesn’t mean there won’t be any. Looking at another angle, this is a great opportunity for you. Since everybody is not seeing any job postings, nobody cares to apply to them. If you are still onboard, send your CV anyway. It’s better to show your interest to them early on. You can deal with them and go there once you’re contract is finished.
If you are on vacation, send your resume via email with an interesting message. If you receive no reply, go directly in their office and apply for the said position. They may tell you they have no vacancy but suggest that you write an application form. In other cases, they will give you one even though you won’t ask for it.
Now that you are in their office, you have a great chance of seeing the crewing manager. If you meet him, I mean you must meet him, always be polite but confident. Be professional. Paint your face with a smile. Give that proficient aura. Remember your research. He may tell you upfront that they have no vacancy. Don’t be frustrated. Instead, slowly talk about the latest achievement of the company. Open up the most recent award that they received and give him a warm congratulation. Ask them questions about the forecast of shipping and compliment them with how well they are doing compared to other agencies in spite of the downturn of the global economy. Particularly, talk about his accomplishment. This will greatly spark his interest on the subject. You can be creative on your own. The point here is to make an impression to him that as soon as an opening is made to your position, you are the number one person that comes to his mind.
Now that you left an imprint to the crewing manager, the very next thing that you must do is to follow up your application at least once a week. I suggest you do this by email or text and visiting their office. You can do something like, upon reporting to their agency, just say you happened to buy or meet a friend in the nearby mall and since the office is not too far, you took a time to visit. This way, they will know your great interest in the company and give you a higher possibility of employment.
You can do this method simultaneously with other companies as well. I’m sure there are many dream companies that you are interested in. You will be surprised how to answer them if they need you all together at the same time. In this case, you have the very chance of choosing the best agency of your choice. Isn’t it wonderful how it feels when people are calling you because they need you instead of you desperately needing them?
But here’s a shortcut.
If you know a relative or a friend who is employed on that company, your chances of getting hired is exponential. It is common in our culture. We call them our “backer”. Ask him to introduce you to them and make clear of your intentions that you really want to work with the agency. In this case, you are not only bringing the name of your backer on the line but you are also putting his reputation at stake. Make sure you will be of great value to the company so that your backer will be proud of you and at the same time, the company will give more credibility to both of you.
May the winds be on your favor.