Why Trash Talking Former Employers on Your Seafarer Resume is a No-No
How to make sure you impress your potential employer by not talking trash about your former one!
Are you about to start writing a seafarer resume? Perhaps you’re thinking about dusting off your current seafarer resume or CV to start applying for jobs at sea after a period spent onshore.
Either way and whatever stage in your sea career you are at, there are a number of dos and don’ts when it comes to writing a resume for a seafarer.
And to give you the best shot of being lined up for the hot vacancies for seamen that you really want, we’re going to take a look at one absolute no no in this article.
We’ve already covered how to write a resume for a seaman without coming across as a great big show off (while still selling yourself...), we’ve also looked at why you should really give the clichés a miss when you’re writing a seafarer resume, and we've covered why you really shouldn't lie on your resume for a seafarer.
And so in this blog post we thought we’d take a closer look at why you need to ditch the negativity and go for positive vibes only on your seafarer CV.
Why you shouldn't trash talk former employers on your seafarer resume
No one likes negativity. Even if we sometimes fall into the trap of dwelling on the negative side of life now and again, we have to admit to ourselves that it doesn’t make us happy. Yes we all love to have a good old moan sometimes, but undoubtedly, having a positive outlook on life is much better for us.
Being positive improves our mental health, it makes our relationships with others better, it makes our work more fulfilling, it reduces our stress levels - and it just makes us happier. What’s not to love?
And aside from negativity being bad for us mentally, it can also have an unfavorable effect on our careers - i.e. your sea career.
When we talk about being negative on your seaman resume, we’re not talking about saying there are things you can’t do or qualifications you don’t have. No, when it comes to writing a resume for a seafarer, you should always make sure you're showing yourself to the very best of your abilities.
We’re talking about not being negative about the shipping companies you’ve previously worked for or your former supervisor, master, officer or employer.
We know, we know - we’ve all been there.
Whether in shore based maritime jobs or in jobs at sea, only a lucky few among us can say they’ve never had a boss who they didn’t get on with. Feelings can range from thinking your manager or superior is incompetent, to downright not being able to stand the sight of them.
But regardless, and no matter how justified you believe your opinion of this person or company is, do not let your feeling show when you’re creating your seafarer resume.
Why you really shouldn’t bad mouth former employers
Believe us when we say that talking trash about a previous company or supervisor is only going to backfire on you. It won’t impress the person who is reading your seafarer CV and it will just make you look bad, bitter and...well, negative.
Aside from that, it’s really not professional. Plus, your potential employer wants to interview positive, go-getting candidates who will bring a hardworking and positive attitude to their vessel - not someone who is still dwelling upon that one chief officer they hated back in 2016!
Furthermore, it can even make it look as if you are someone who might be problematic to hire.
After all, if you trash talk behind your current or previous employer’s back in your resume for a seafarer, the person that you are applying for seafarer jobs with will only be left with one thought: you could quite easily do the same to them next time you update your seafarer resume.
That’s going to make them think twice about signing that contract with you.
Turn that frown upside down!
So, to conclude, it’s no exaggeration to say that bad mouthing your former employers on your resume for a seafarer is a real no-no.
And even though it might be tempting to think you’ll be winning a potential employer over by talking badly about one of their competitors, you’ll only wind up making yourself look unprofessional, disloyal, bitter and difficult to work with.
And none of these things are going to impress a potential employer!
So what should you do instead?
The simplest thing would be to leave any kind of animosity you harbor towards any company or person out of your seafarer resume. You don’t need to give a reason for leaving, especially in seafarer jobs where the constant change over of contracts is the norm.
However you can put a positive spin on a bad situation, either when writing your resume for a seafarer or later on in an interview if you’re asked why you don’t want to line up contracts with a certain shipping company anymore.
So instead of ranting about how many issues you had with a certain individual or organization (even if you feel or know you are 100% in the right) talk about the challenges you felt during that time.
And - and this is the important part - talk about how you dealt with them in a positive way to overcome them and continue performing your job to the best of your talents and abilities.
Finally, whatever you do, don’t name names or get personal.
You might just end up talking badly about someone to one of their friends or acquaintances. Play it safe, keep quiet and increase your chances of lining up your next jobs at sea by being the positive seafarer that everyone wants to work with - and hire again.
This article was originally published on the Martide Seafarer Blog on January 22nd 2020.