Job Hunting Tips for Fresh Maritime Graduates to Easily Get Ahead

by | Last updated Nov 24, 2023 | Career Guide, Job Search | 0 comments

Maritime graduates always find themselves lost after encountering the realities of life in the big city. Here, we’ll discuss how to effectively get ahead and get hired after graduation. The secret sauce? Hard Work!

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty”

-Proverbs 14:23

The fight is over but the game is on. I want to congratulate you for doing well in your studies. And I officially welcome you to the real world where results are not graded on paper. You and only you will determine your success or failure. So grab that last bottle of beer and prepare for another test called life.

While other maritime graduates extend their celebration throughout summer, the opportunity clock never stops by to wait for them. You have more free time now because nobody will force you to do this and that but yourself. Instead of the usual long vacation and happy-nings that many graduates enjoy, here’s what you can do to get ahead after graduation.

1. Apply for a Cadetship Program

As early as March or April, some companies accept applications for their cadetship programs. This is the best time to go there and take the entrance exams while others are busy enjoying the summer. During this time, the competition will be thin so you have greater chances of being accepted.

This means most companies are receiving fewer applications from fresh maritime graduates. And the fewer the applicants, the better chances for you to get hired.

2. Apply to Different Shipping Agencies

Aside from cadetship programs, you can test your luck by applying directly to around 400+ shipping agencies in the Philippines. This gives you an impression of being serious in your career since recruitment managers will recognize the fact that you sacrificed summer to prioritize your career. This alone is an edge for you.

3. Study and Review Your Lessons

A few more sacrifice is needed to reach your dreams. Instead of watching movies, playing mobile games, and talking with your friends all night, set aside some time studying and reviewing your lessons.

Look into the safety aspects as this is mostly asked in the interviews. Youtube is also a powerful tool for learning as it gives you factual videos that you can learn from. CES exams are also helpful, especially in the theoretical aspect.

Since you don’t have any experience working on board, recruitment officers will test your theoretical knowledge. Being able to answer them confidently gives you an edge over other maritime graduates applying for the same position as you.

A cadet in the bridge looking out the glass windshield.
Image: Alex A Joby.

4. Send Application Letters Online

All shipping companies have email accounts and you should have too. This gives you an advantage since you can reach a lot of companies in just a click. Don’t know how to create a simple resume? Go to one or two shipping companies and ask for their application forms. Copy the details and modify them.

Now you have your own application form. Send it to all companies, or the ones you like and just wait for their replies. Don’t know how to get their email addresses? Here’s a list of accredited manning agencies in the Philippines and their email addresses.

Based on experience, I usually send application forms at night time. I also receive replies in the morning or after a day or two.

5. Work for Free

Most of the time, you will be declined by the companies that you applied for. Don’t take this personally. It is a part of life. They may say that there is no opening, the application is full, they have plenty of cadets already, etc. If they can’t give you an offer, bring the offer to them!

Tell them that you are willing to work for free as a utility cadet. Say to them that you have plenty of spare time and you just want to be useful. This might sound crazy but it can be effective. Just make sure that this company is worthy of your FREE service.

The real twist here is that there is no such thing as FREE. Life will always find ways to reward you. If you excel in your performance as a utility cadet like being the best at the job there is, they might give you a break and give you a vessel assignment.

6. Do Jobs Other Cadets Won’t Do

Once you are hired and already starting out as a utility cadet, it will only be a matter of time before your contract is handed to you. To speed up the process, be attentive to your job. Volunteer if someone in the office asks for something. Do things other cadets (who are also maritime graduates) won’t do and do more than is required.

This does not mean you have to be an S-I-P. Just do your job with humility. This increases your visibility. You will be surprised that opportunity will come looking for you at the most unexpected moment.

Sometimes, it takes time. But be consistent. As many people say and experience, “The harder the struggle, the sweeter the success.”

Seafarers, utility cadets, and maritime graduates flocking in the streets of Kalaw, Manila.

7. Help Random Seasoned Seafarers

Sometimes, you have to take a rest from your job hunt. I recommend the best resting place for job seekers is in Kalaw Street where seafarers and recruitment officers meet. This is like an everyday job fair. But aside from resting, keep an open eyes and ears.

You may meet seasoned seafarers who might be looking for something like the most decent boarding house, an offshore company, medicines, or just a piece of information. Talk to them and find ways to help them. Gather information and create a network.

But don’t beg them to be your backer. Just help them out and sooner or later, some of them will help you back or return the favor. The best-case scenario is they will back you up to their own company.

Fresh maritime graduates always find themselves struggling for a company. Got any tips and tricks that you used in order to get hired? Share it here and let us help the fresh grads.

May the winds be in your favor.



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