Preparing Yourself For The Maritime Job Market In 2023

  • Posted May 24, 2023

There are two different types of people on the job market nowadays:

  • The Job Hopper: Using regular job changes as a means by which to leverage a higher salary or a higher ranking role.
  • The Stalwart: Working on the basis that stability, dependability and time served will lead to pay increases and promotions to get you where you want to be.

In today’s market, there is no right or wrong way. At the end of the day, we all do what we feel is the right thing to do in order to reach our own professional goals. To some their career is everything, to others it is not.

If you fall into the category of ‘Job Hopper’ then you likely know what the world is like post-covid, how the market has changed, how differently jobseekers and employers are approaching the process.

However, if you’ve stuck with your current employer since before the pandemic, then you’re going to experience an entirely different jobseeking market to the one you may have been in before.

Here are a few tips for those looking to change roles in 2023:

Considering a role: 

Before the pandemic, it was an employer’s marketplace. Across all industries (and indeed this is still the case in some) there would be tens, sometimes hundreds, of applicants for each position. You were in a fight to even make the shortlist, let alone interview or be offered a position. Within the maritime sector, the tables have turned and as an applicant you are now likely to be one of a single digit number of applicants with a minimum 50% chance of an invite to interview.

In turn this means you can now afford to be a little picky with where you apply or even interview.

  • Are you researching potential employers?
  • Do they pay at or above market rates?
  • What is their culture like?
  • Do they offer flexibility?
  • What are the short, medium and long term prospects if you were to join them with a long term commitment in mind.

Businesses are now a lot more open with how they operate and they need to be to attract talent. If applying through a recruiter or directly, don’t be afraid to ask more questions about a potential employer in order to paint a full picture and ensure that the company shares your morals and ideals.

Preparing an application:

In our opinion the days of adding colour, photos and weird layouts to a CV are (thankfully) starting to fade. Of course, if you’re a designer then a portfolio is a must (and no, saying your current employer has you under NDA is not an excuse for a poor portfolio. Those wanting to go far will be finding the spare time to work on their own projects.).

Here are a few things we suggest you consider when preparing your application:

  • Cover Letters – A good cover letter if applying directly is always a bonus. A short summary of your experience, reasons why you’re suited to the role and your ambitions in under a single page will be a big help to your application.
  • CV Layout – We still see the odd strange layout however we suggest the following;

Summary/Profile > Education > Experience (current employment first and max 2 paragraphs/6 bullets per role) and key achievements > Further qualifications/awards > Interests and hobbies.

Take a look at our CV Advice article

  • CV Preparation – Prepare your CV (and covering letter) for each application you make. Tailoring your achievements or experiences to make yourself relevant to that employer is key.
  • What you did during covid – Whilst many of us were furloughed, a lot of employers look to see what those who were furloughed got up to. Did you take on part time employment? Did you take up sport? Did you undertake distance learning to further your career?
  • Knowing your intentions – Many employers are now starting to expect employees back in offices more than in 2021/22. Has your situation changed during the pandemic and do you now require a degree of home working for childcare, pet sitting etc? Consider this during the application process and check with a potential employer whether they can offer you the working set up you require.

The interview process: 

With the increased chance of being invited to an interview, you need to be prepared. It may have been 5 or more years since your last interview so you need to be fully prepared and armed with the tools for success.

  • Research – We say this time and time again, but DO YOUR RESEARCH. Know the people you are meeting and research both them and the company. They will ask you questions!
  • Have questions ready – Make sure you have some good questions planned and that you can reference them against company achievements or projects.
  • Understand how they work – Fully on-site, hybrid, remote – Understand the in-person commitment that they need from you.
  • Call to confirm the meeting – A surprisingly good tactic. Call the potential employer a day before to confirm the appointment. This shows you’re willing but also brings your name to the forefront of their mind just before the interview process starts.
  • Know your minimum expectations – Salaries are being discussed earlier in the process these days. Understand and be able to explain your desired package.

Receiving an offer/Accepting a role:

Fingers crossed you’ve made it this far and are hoping for an offer of employment. If this doesn’t come immediately, don’t worry. Employers are generally short staffed right now and despite it being crucial to relieving this stress, for some reason sending a job offer is never a high priority. We generally see it taking 7-14 days for a formal offer to come out to a candidate.

When the offer lands, read it in detail.

  • What are the terms?
  • What is the overall package?
  • What are the working hours/office attendance?
  • When do they want you to start?

Plus, if you’re not happy don’t be afraid to make a counter-offer.

More than half of our applicants will make a counter offer on a role and more than half again will be successful when doing so. Make sure that the role meets as many of your expectations as possible from Day 1, otherwise you may well find yourself back in the job market sooner than you’d think.

Once you’ve decided to accept the role however, be quick to formalise your acceptance. Employers aren’t hanging around, so if it’s been a week since you received the offer don’t be surprised if they then decide to rescind it. Employers are running at much lower staffing levels, so 9 times out of 10 they will have a need to fill a post rapidly.

Last but not least, you need to hand in your notice! Whilst always a scary proposition, our advice……rip the plaster off and get it done.

And whatever you do, if you’ve got this far then don’t accept a counter offer from your current employer. We’ll only see you back on the market in a couple of months!

If you’d like more advice, drop us a line at