Dear Mr. Offshore,
why can’t i get a job? I email my resume to every dive company in the country and never here back. I’m screwed if i dont work soon.
– needing work, Arizona
Right now, not many divers can get work. And those who are fortunate to have a hitch know that they are lucky to be where they are.
For the few jobs that open up, you have to be ready.
Take a look at how you are applying for a job. First, are you wasting your time and theirs by applying for jobs that you don’t qualify for? During the slow times, you might have to take a number and get in line for one of the few jobs that pop up where you meet the minimum certification level. Secondly, do you supply all your updated certificates and diplomas when you send in your resume? If your certs are not up to date, they are going to pass right by you and go on to the next person who has everything in order — current certs, an up-to-date dive physical, and relevant endorsements. Companies are not willing to payor wait for you to get your certs up to speed if they have 10 other applicants ready to go.
How are you contacting the companies and agencies? Some companies will not accept resumes by fax or email — if you don’t follow their instructions, your resume goes straight to the trash. Many large companies have their own resume collecting computer system that requires you to go to their web site and enter your information manually. This is normal for larger companies, such as Oceaneering, Subsea 7, Helix, and Bourbon.
Smaller companies can be easier to deal with. They are more personable and have to manually handle your email or fax. It’s OK to give the smaller operators a call every once in a while to see how things are developing. Just don’t waste their time; they’ve got too many other things that are much more critical to them than discussing your your incredibly mundane work history.
While I am at it: don’t think that fabricated claims on your resume will help you, either. The smaller operators are savvy enough to recognize bullshit when they see it. Also, they are not typically willing to give you a break and hire you just because you sound friendly on the phone.
When talking to a possible employer, get to the point and, most of all, be honest about what you want with them. They have already spoken to dozens — if not hundreds — of your mates who have all given them the same tap dance before. If they need you, they will call you.
If you have only been in the industry for a year or two, I wish you luck. Tenders are a dime a dozen and you are fighting an uphill battle.
Remember: if they need you, they will call you.
Good luck and stay safe.