Are you looking for your first offshore rig job? If you have already gone through a few contracts, you will know what you need to do. But for first-timers, or even second or third-timers, here is a list of five mistakes that cause recruiters to push your cover letter/resume to the back of the queue:
1. No subject/ Wrong subject/ Inaccurate subject
Not many people write formal letters, so they also forget to add a subject or heading to their cover letters (even those submitted using e-mail). Some will write any old thing, e.g. “Hello” (yes, I’m serious) or “Looking for a job”. Do you know what people call these kinds of mail? Spam! That’s right, those in business, and those with jobs to do, cannot afford the time to fool around. If you can’t or won’t state your business, then out the door you go. This holds true for you in person, and it holds true for your cover letter.
So what’s the right subject header to use for offshore rig jobs? Simple! Whatever the advertisement says to write. Usually, there is a code provided, as well as a standard job title. Use these, exactly as written in the ad. No more, and no less. Of course, if there you notice a spelling mistake in the job title being advertised, it becomes a judgment call. It’s possible the recruiter doesn’t know how to spell the job title, in which case correcting it could give a bad impression.
2. Applying for more than one job
Sometimes, you may feel that you are qualified to do two different jobs (that are posted in the same ad). For example, you may have experience as both a roustabout and as a scaffolder. For goodness sake, do not apply for both jobs! Make up your mind before you send in your job application. Do not confuse the recruiter. When you apply for two different jobs, he has to make a decision about how to file your cover letter/resume. Should he file it under roustabout? Or should he file it under scaffolder? Keep in mind that he is likely overworked and underpaid. If you overtax him, he may decide to make his own life easier by dumping your application into the trash.
3. Spelling/Grammar mistakes
Most offshore rig jobs do not need a college degree. However, this does not mean you can afford to be sloppy when writing your cover letter. If you make spelling mistakes or have obvious grammatical errors, this gives a bad impression. It makes a person wonder if you will be equally careless while working on the company’s multi-billion dollar oil drilling platform (a deepwater rig can cost up to $1,000,000 a DAY to operate).
It’s really easy to fix spelling mistakes nowadays. MS-Word has a feature to detect and fix spelling and grammar mistakes (red squiggly underline for the former, green for the latter). The free word processing program, Open Office, has similar functionality. Just run your cover letter and resume through one of these programs before you submit your job application so that you don’t look like a fool.
4. No contact information
Make sure you provide more than one way to contact you – home phone number, mobile phone number, home address, e-mail address, etc. It is not uncommon to see cover letters and/or resume without contact information, especially those which are submitted through the e-mail system. Remember that the person who received your job application may not be the person who is finally going to call you up for your interview. If he can’t find a convenient way to reach you, he will probably NOT make any additional effort to track down your original job application.
5. Not giving the oil drilling company a reason to hire you
This is especially common with first-time job seekers but can also be seen in the applications of more experienced oil workers. When you apply for an offshore rig job, do YOU know why the company should hire you? If you can’t answer this question, don’t bother applying for the job.
If you have a lot of experience in the offshore drilling industry, you have better ways of looking for oil job vacancies than through job advertisements. Cover letters and resume are just formalities. But when you lack the industry contacts, the formalities become much more important. Job seekers who make one or more of the above mistakes have committed the cardinal sin of giving the recruiter a convenient excuse for throwing their job applications into the trash bin.