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Job search tips for graduates entering the shipping industry by CV Library

This week we are delighted to publish an article from one of online recruitment advertising partners CV Library, written by Laura Slingo. This article offers some great advice for graduates keen to start a career within the shipping industry.

If you’re keen to enter the shipping industry, you should probably take note that it isn’t all just big boats. There are so many roles available across the entire sector that there’s something to suit everyone’s skill set and passion:

Areas to explore in the shipping industry

Some of the key areas you can delve into include:

Supply Chain Management – All the way from the factory on the other side of the world to on the shelf in your local shopping centre, someone has to manage the process
Freight Forwarding – Managing the transportation process whether by plane, oat or truck and then getting it to where it needs to be and on time!
Transport Planning – The human sat nav, planning the routes ensure efficiency, profitability & the goods get to where they need to be.
Technology – Think navigational or operational, both on the dockside and on board. Technology is constantly evolving, and you could be the key to its future.
Environmental – Shipping is still the most environmentally friendly way of transporting goods around the world. So, if sustainability is your passion, it’s worth exploring this route.
Marketing – Digital and social media marketing are key influencers in all industries, not least shipping.
Shipbroker – The ships and those that need them have to be married up. If sales and networking are your thing, so too could brokering.
Engineering – Ships have to be built to meet demand and maintained to continue to operate.
Operations – Every successful company has to be run smoothly. So, if communications, administration, coordination and support are your thing, you could do it either on land or at sea.
Legal – Every industry needs lawyers.

Tailor your CV

Like any job you apply for, your CV has to be tailored to match the job description. The recruiters want to know exactly what value you will add to their team or organisation. Think of the job advert as the question and your CV as the answer.

Highlight the keywords in the job description and make sure you include them throughout your CV to show you’re a match for the role. Remember though, your CV will be read by a human recruiter, so don’t just stuff it with keywords or it may read awkwardly.

Understand what qualities the recruiter desires in an ideal candidate and make sure your CV accurately reflects those qualities back to them. Use similar or identical adjectives to mirror the job description language.

Research the organisation or company that you’re applying to. Try and get a feel for their company culture and core values. Can you demonstrate, in your CV, that your aims and values and theirs align?

Cut out any irrelevant information. If your CV is half-filled with skills and knowledge that the job description doesn’t call for, omit them. You only have two pages of A4 to convey that you’re the ideal candidate for the job, so use the space wisely.

Where to find jobs as a graduate entering the shipping industry

Recruitment Agencies

Top industry recruitment agencies, such as SDW, are a great starting point when looking for a graduate shipping role. Not only do they have exceptional market knowledge and access to exclusive job roles, but they can also assist you throughout the application process, from pitching you for a job to providing constructive interview feedback. These are must-haves for any graduate just starting their career.

Jobs boards
Industries like shipping also advertise positions on online job boards, directly from employers and the industry recruitment agencies. Have a look at what’s on offer, but bear in mind if you have found a vacancy that appeals, so too have hundreds, maybe thousands of other candidates. So, be smart in your application.

Reach out to family and friends and see if anyone can introduce you to key decision makers in the hiring process for any shipping firms.

Prospectively apply
If you find a shipping company or a position within a shipping company that you really want to work in, apply prospectively. Send in a letter of introduction explaining who you are, what you want and what you can bring to the organisation. Don’t ask, don’t get. The worst that can happen is they keep your letter on file until something opens up; the best is you could be invited in for a chat.

If you can’t find paid work in an area you are keen to work in, explore internship options. These always look good on a CV as they demonstrate your passion and willingness to get to know an industry.

Graduate Programmes
These introduce you to a company, like Maersk, and let you explore a lot of the available career options within that company, whilst getting paid. If you excel, there’s usually an option for employment at the end of them.

Remember there’s more than one shipping company and more than one country from which they operate, so if you can’t find what you are looking for, cast your net wider afield.

CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.