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Crafting a Winning Resume and LinkedIn Profile: Your Gateway to Professional Success

In the modern job market, your resume and LinkedIn profile are not just documents; they are your first impressions on potential employers and professional connections. For former cruise ship crew members transitioning to shore-based careers, these tools are essential for making a strong impact and landing your dream job. However, crafting an effective resume and LinkedIn profile requires more than just listing your experiences. It's about strategically presenting yourself and your skills while adhering to the guidelines that ensure your application doesn't get overlooked due to legal restrictions in countries. MANY MANY crew miss this. These are the most important items we covered in a recent webinar, listen here for the full episode.

Capture Your Essence

Your resume and LinkedIn profile should be a true representation of who you are and what you bring to the table. Start with a compelling summary that encapsulates your unique strengths, experiences, and aspirations. Use this section to tell your story, emphasizing your professional journey and the value you bring to potential employers. Highlight your core skills and key achievements in a concise manner that resonates with your target roles.

  • Use tools like ChatGPT to ensure you are using dynamic and impactful words that draw your audience in - especially if English is your second language.

Focus on Relevant & LEGALLY PERMITTED Information

Many crew members make the mistake of including personal details - from birthdates to passport numbers - which can lead to their resumes being discarded due to equal opportunity employment laws. In the USA, including information like age, marital status, nationality, and even a photograph can lead to potential discrimination and employers are required to discard and not even look at such applications. Many softwares will even kick your resume out before it gets to HR or the hiring manager. Keep your resume and LinkedIn profile strictly professional by focusing on your skills, experiences, and achievements that align with the position you're seeking.This also protects you from being discriminated against.

  • DO NOT include personal information like age, marital status, nationality, and even a photograph!

Tailor for Each Application

Resist the urge to create a generic resume for all job applications. Customize your resume and LinkedIn profile for each role you apply to. Research the company, understand the job requirements, and highlight the experiences that are most relevant. Use keywords from the job description to demonstrate that you're a perfect fit for the position. Also, make sure you have your resume in English and the native language of the role.

  • Have a Skills section at the top of your resume, move around the bullets based on the top skills in the job description.

Quantify Your Achievements

Instead of just listing your job responsibilities, focus on quantifiable achievements. Numbers speak volumes and showcase your impact. For instance, instead of saying you "improved customer satisfaction," mention that you "increased customer satisfaction by 20% through improved service standards and personalized interactions."

  • If anyone can claim the bullet point on your resume, you need to rewrite it to be specific and measurable to how ROCKSTAR you are.

Showcase Your Skills

Incorporate a skills section in your resume to highlight your key competencies. These skills should be directly related to the job you're applying for. On LinkedIn, utilize the skills section to reinforce your expertise and encourage endorsements from colleagues and connections.

Spotlight Professional Development

Demonstrate your commitment to growth by showcasing relevant professional development, courses, certifications, and workshops you've attended. This highlights your dedication to continuous learning and staying updated in your field.

  • Take online courses from reputable sources, so you can add those names to your resume. Harvard has a huge selection of FREE online courses or Coursera, so there is no excuse.

Edit and Proofread

Typos and grammatical errors can be detrimental to your job application. If you think carefully about it, your resume or CV is your representation of YOU. You are selling yourself. If there is a mistake, me as an employer, is going to say, “If they can’t pay attention to detail with themselves, how would they do it for me?” It is a valid question and one that will get your resume put at the bottom of the pile quickly. I probably had 20 of the most critical people I knew check my resume and LinkedIn for mistakes. Some recommendations were style and a lot were typos or inconsistencies. Find those people that are meticulous, they will be so happy to help.

  • Send your resume to 10 of the pickiest, most meticulous people you know. Ask them to review your resume and LinkedIn.

Use Action Verbs

When describing your job experiences, use powerful action verbs that convey your impact. Words like "achieved," "managed," "implemented," and "innovated" carry more weight than passive phrases. Remove as many fluff words.

  • Use Chat GPT to change your job summaries to bullets with action words.

Create a Strong LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a powerful networking platform for professionals. Your profile should mirror your resume while adding a personal touch. Include a professional headshot and a compelling headline that captures your expertise. Write a detailed summary that expands on your skills and experiences, and don't forget to make your profile public to increase your visibility.

  • EVERY employer will check your LinkedIn, so make sure it looks perfect.

Remember, your resume and LinkedIn profile are not just about showcasing your experiences – they're about telling your story, presenting your skills, and demonstrating your value to potential employers. They also show if you care enough about yourself to present yourself well. By crafting these documents strategically, adhering to legal guidelines, and focusing on your professional essence, you're positioning yourself for success in your journey from a crew member to a successful professional on land.

AND remember, the Ship2Shore Employ team is here to help you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

Check out the full episode on this topic here.

If you are looking for opportunities after ships, be sure to set up your online profile with us.

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