When you are looking for offshore oil rig jobs, your most important weapons are your cover letter and resume. It does not matter whether your target is an executive job in the headquarters of the oil company or a physical job on an oil platform, the cover letter and resume you write are what make or break your job hunt. No doubt, you would like to know the secret, sure-fire way to get yourself an interview for offshore drilling employment.
Sadly, there is no such thing. Sure, there are supposed to be important industry buzzwords that will retrieve your resume from a jobs database. But tell me, how often have you gotten called for an interview based on a job application you sent a year ago? If HR (regardless of whether it is an oil company or not) ever used their database, they would almost never need to post job advertisements. No, getting buzzwords into your cover letter is not important. What does matter are the number of job applications you have sent – the more you send out, the higher your chances of getting an interview.
Now, although there are no silver bullets to getting your interview, there are three rules which you need to follow when writing your cover letter. They do not guarantee your being shortlisted, but break them and you are shooting yourself in the foot. The first rule is to say why you are the best fit for the employer. This is simple to do – just copy down the job scope and duties that were posted in their advertisement and then list down you relevant experiences after each point.
The second rule is to explain why you are better than the other guys going after the same job. Again, here is a simple way to do this – list down your additional skills. Of course, these skills need to be related to oil rig employment, something relevant to the job being advertised. For example, let’s say you want to apply for a motorman’s job. Useful related skills could be prior experience rebuilding diesel engines, and maybe experience of repairing a wide range of motor vehicles including cars, trucks and boats. It also helps if you can mention some useful certifications as proof of your previous experience.
The third rule is the simplest, “When can you start work?” If the answer is “Immediately!” because you already have all the needed medical reports and skills certifications (e.g. HUET cert, firefighter’s cert, union membership, etc.) ready, then you will have a strong advantage over someone who writes, “Please wait one month for me to serve my notice.”
When you are hunting for offshore drilling employment, make sure to take the time and effort to write a good cover letter. It gives the oil company their first impression of you, so make sure you do it right. That said, there is no secret sauce to writing a good cover letter. You do, however, need to follow the three rules stated above if you do not want your job application thrown into the trash.