Monday, August 17, 2009

Lets Review Your Resume - WTF are your sending?

Always review older posts for information to your questions and contact current information.

I was recently asked to review some resumes. And after all I have suggested, regrettably some people are just getting it - and that's to be expected.
Errors like, Hope to hear from you shorty, Have a keen eye for derail, Dear Sir or Madman, I'm attacking my resume for you to review, I am a rabid learner, My work ethics are impeachable (go Nixon), I have nervous of steel and so on - you get the picture. A recent 2009 study of cruise line HR executives, stated that 3 out of 4 of HR executives, will absolutely not hire someone with even 1 spelling or grammar mistake in their cover letter or CV/resume. That's harsh! (On a blog, it don't got to madda much now do it peeps.)

No matter what anyone or any other website tries to tell you, getting a ship job is like searching for employment anywhere. Ship jobs are not gimme's. Yes, they are out there and indeed they are plentiful, but, you and 1000's of others want the same thing! Dig? Good!

You need to make sure you have done your investigative homework, who will you send it to, know the correct name or at least correct title of the department head or their position - that is who you are Fed-Exing, also your photo - not a shopping mall machine or blackberry photo - pro shot only - and for crying out loud .....SPELLCHECK!!! (See above again!)I have said this a thousand times and still, I receive emailed resumes for review with a ton of errors - are you kidding me?? You don't need a ship job, you need remedial grammar and spelling lessons - you know who you guys are - but don't lose faith...just pay attention to the details...why??? I will tell you why.....

Your résumé is your first chance to make a positive impression. Cruise ship H.R. Departments view your resume as a reflection of the applicant. (say this over and over) "If you make simple mistakes on your application materials, the assumption is that you will make similar mistakes on the ship." And on a ship, simple mistakes can be costly! So, make sure there aren't any typos, grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in it. You must do more than just spell check it. Print it out. It's easier to detect errors on paper than after your eyes glaze over from staring at a computer screen. Also, have a friend proof-read it for you. This goes for both your cover letter and your resume.

One version of your résumé won't be right for all the various shipboard positions you may wish to apply for. It's better to tailor it to a handful of openings on various cruise lines that directly relate to your experience and accomplishments, rather than to write one and spam dozens of hiring managers with it. Also, use the keywords that are relevant to the job desciption or cruise industry. It shows you know your industry. The biggest mistake people make on a resume is they think everything they've ever done, needs to be in their resume. The resume is the bait to get you the interview - usually by phone, unless the cruise line has an agent in your area. (These are not my words, but they are very true and even moreso here, because you may not get the benefit of a face to face interview) In many cases, your resume and a phone call is it. So, you better make sure its hot and your phone skills are at the top of their game!!! Why? In one day, you know how many email job inquires Princess Cruises receives???? Do ya???? Ha??? More than 1000..that's ONE THOUSAND!! A Day!!! So, you better make sure you stand out, and the way to do it, is to present yourself as eager, willing, with relevant experience and an accomplished individual. Don't worry if you do not have previous shipboard experience. Most cruise line HR offices, (and their respective agents), care more about what you have "achieved" as opposed to what you have "done." They care less about what your duties are/were; they care about what your achievements are/were? Know the difference - it will serve you well.

Managers are more likely to "take that bait" if you describe your accomplishments instead of listing your daily responsibilities - ho hum, boring. Your accomplishments, however insignificant as you may think they are, will set you apart from the competition. Quantify those accomplishments when possible. Describe what you made, saved and achieved for your employer.