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A Good Job Application

Preparing a good job application is one of the first steps you need to take in order to make your dream come true: working onboard a cruise ship.

When preparing your application, imagine you are the person who needs to hire someone. Think about what you would like to see in applications you receive. Consider that you would have very little time to filter out the applications which you would like to look more into and those which are a waste of time.

With this in mind, prepare your application.

A good application documents should be short, well structured, straight to the point, easy to read, short paragraphs, highlighting the relevant and important mile stones on your way to your desired position onboard a ship.

Basic Guidelines

There are a few guidelines to follow, when sending out applications:

  • Do your research on “life at sea” and decide is this way of live is for you.
  • Don't apply for positions you do not qualify for.
  • Don't list work experience which you cannot back up with evaluations or references from your employer.
  • Don't apply for "any kind of job". You must be specific and name the right job title.
  • Do your research on the requirements for the position you apply for and on the company you are applying to.
A Good Job Application

Your application should consist of 3 parts:

Your covering letter

You should introduce yourself, show the recruiter why you would be the perfect fit for the position you are applying for and how you can be an asset to the employer. Read more about how to write a good covering letter.

Your Resume/CV

You should briefly describe, foremost, your relevant work experience, your education and the skills needed or useful for the position you are applying for. Please remember that the hiring person has most likely never been in your country, in your town. The person who decides if you get a chance or not, needs some brief information about your previous work place and about the duties you fulfilled, the responsibilities you held.

Besides a short description a very important aspect is the time you worked at each place.

The starting month and year as well as the ending month and year of your employment must be part of the brief description of each position you have held.

Find more tips on writing a good CV/Resume here.

Evaluations/Confirmation of employment

These are provided by your previous employers. They will back up your CV/Resume. In some countries, evaluation letters are standard, in others they are not.

At least you should have a confirmation from your employer (on the company’s letterhead) in what position you have worked and for what time period. It is a good idea to ask for such confirmations before you leave each employment.

Your prospective new boss will not go only by what you tell him or her. They may want to see a proof that what you claim in your CV/Resume is true.

A copy of the confirmation of employment or evaluation letters should ideally accompany your application.


Some positions require certification. A cook must be a trained cook and hold such a certificate. A Hairdresser needs to be a Hairdresser by trade. A copy of your certificates should be part of your application.


Some companies expect photographs, some explicitly ask for them, in some countries a picture belongs to a standard application, in others a picture is not needed. Find out from the hiring company, what they require.

In most countries recruiters and employers are not allowed to explicitly ask for photographs unless the job is directly linked with the look of the applicant (e.g. models, performers,etc.). A picture of you can reveal your age, gender, and ethnic background. Employers are affraid some unsuccessful applicants might sue them for discrimination.

However, applications with photos are much more likely to attract recruiter's attention. You can increase the chance of getting noticed if you include your photograph with your application. You don't have to get a picture taken by a professional photographer for this purpose. Just make sure the photo looks professional (i.e. no pics from a drunken night out with friends) and you smile on it.

Read more about photos here.

How to apply?

Before even preparing your application, there is one very important aspect to consider:

Carefully read what the requirements are for the position you are applying for and only apply if you fulfill them. Carefully read how, to who, by which means, in which format the hiring company wants to receive your application. For example, if they want candidates to register on their website using their online application form, do not send them letters with your CV/Resume enclosed.

By not following the instructions given by the hiring company, you are considerably reducing your chances of being hired.