Top tips for getting the most out of your relationship with a recruiter

If you’re a job seeker in the current climate, you will more than likely come across a recruiter in your job search sooner or later – but just how do you get the most out of working with an agency? 

At Marine People, we’re dedicated to finding you the perfect role in this uncertain time, but for any good agency you work with, their ultimate goal will be to get the best-suited placement for you. 

So, what are the tips for making sure you use the relationship to your advantage? Read on to find out how to get the most out of your relationship with a recruiter.

Use our knowledge

Our consultants at Marine People have extensive experience in the international maritime market in a number of different sectors, knowledge that is invaluable to job-seeking candidates. Our access to a range of clients and sectors gives us a unique insight into the landscape of the jobs market – so make sure you ask questions!

Don’t forget that recruiters have in-depth knowledge about the organisations they recruit for. At Marine People, we foster meaningful relationships with clients for everyone’s mutual benefit. Get the inside scoop by asking questions like: 

  • What is the company culture like?
  • Where will I fit in?
  • Do they offer career progression?
  • Does the company offer flexible working hours?
  • Can I negotiate the offered salary?

Using your consultants’ knowledge to plan your next career move is one of our top tips when it comes to your job search.

Make sure you’re upfront 

It’s not always easy to give recruiters and companies the full picture of who you are. In our ‘Six do’s when writing a winning CV’ guide, we mention the ideal length of CV as one A4 page. If you have stuck to that rule, then sharing more information with a recruiter is essential!

Adding a secondary recruiter specific document detailing a more in-depth career history, including the reasons for leaving previous roles, your job search so far, and what you earned in previous roles – all help us to build up a bigger picture of you as a professional. 

When we know the full picture, we can use this information to your advantage, speeding up the process of securing your dream role! 

Ask for help!

Let’s not pretend that getting you that new job isn’t going to benefit us as well. Building a relationship and working together for our common goal is a powerful tool in your job search! 

With vast experience in placing candidates, our consultants know how the recruitment process works. At Marine People, we always provide coaching and advice for your application. 

This isn’t about tricking the system. It’s about showcasing your talent and skills to prospective employers. Presenting the best version of yourself really makes the application process run smoother and is the key to you securing the opportunity you want.

Marine People always offer bespoke CV workshops and interview technique coaching so don’t be afraid to ask. These skills aren’t just for your next role, they will help you for the rest of your career. 

Ready to hit the ground running on your latest job search? View our latest available roles and work with the dedicated team at Marine People to land your perfect role. 

ICONIC MARITIME: Cockatoo Island, The Heart of Australian Shipbuilding

When talking about Australian shipbuilding heritage, it is impossible to not mention Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour.

Originally a prison, the island became a dockyard in the 1800s and produced hundreds of ships for the Royal Australian Navy until its closure in 1991. Over 290 ships - totalling some 150,000 tons - were built on the island. A number of these vessels were warships of considerable complexity and innovation. For many of the ships, propulsion machinery and other fittings were built themselves on the island, showing the wide range of engineering and manufacturing facilities the dockyard possessed.

Cockatoo’s Southern slipway launched several large ships built on the island, well-known dredgers such as Latona and John Stewart were built at its Southern facilities. Warrego and sister ships Huon, Torrens and Swan were all built as part of the war effort in the First World War and the Southern slipway was again used during the Second World War. To this day there remains a submarine workshop there, showcasing the importance of the shipyard to Australian and the Commonwealth’s maritime industry.

The New South Wales Government decided to create a northern shipyard on the island in 1912 to build the cruiser Brisbane for the Royal Australian Navy. The slipway which was commonly referred to as ‘Number 1’, was expanded and strengthened after the launch of Brisbane in 1915 and became the main slipway on Cockatoo Island.

The North continued to be used until 1984 and notable ships launched from No. 1 slipway included Australia’s first aircraft carrier, HMAS Albatross in 1928 (the first all-welded warship built in Australia), HMAS Voyager, in 1952, Empress of Australia, in 1964 and the last ship (and largest warship yet built in Australia) HMAS Success, in 1984.

The launch of HMS Albatross in 1928 (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) 

In 1938 the northern shipyard was expanded by the construction of another slipway which became known as No. 2. HMA ships Warrego, Warramunga and Bataan were built there during the Second World War. It was strengthened and re-aligned in 1964 for the construction of HMAS Torrens, launched in 1968.

After years of service, the 1980s saw much of the dockyard's machinery become obsolete and in 1987 it was announced that the dockyard lease would not be renewed beyond and that the island would be sold. Today however the island is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides tours and exhibitions on Australian shipbuilding heritage.

Five top tips to help you ace that remote interview

During the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses across the world have had to adapt to a new way of working. With the lack of face to face communication, almost every worker will have had some experience of a video call, but how does this affect interviewing for a new role?

Naturally firms have had to adapt their hiring policy to a remote based system, so how do candidates adapt in their application and interview process from their own home?

TIP 1 - Set up a base

Working from home comes with all sorts of challenges. This could be down to space and equipment, but even if you lack a plush new desk with a padded swivel chair, you can still ensure your working area is tidy and professional. By keeping your 'home-desk' clean and your area presentable you put yourself in the right frame of mind for an interview, whilst maintaining a tidy and minimalist background will send all the right signals to your interviewer.

TIP 2 - Prepare!

Whilst the interview process may be very different in some ways, many of the same preparations will be required. Every interviewer will be searching for a candidate who has shown enthusiasm and a desire for the role by doing their due diligence, so make sure you prepare for any questions or tasks in the same way you would for a face to face interview.

TIP 3 - Arrive in time

It goes without saying that being late to a job interview (unless an extraordinary reason) will often scupper your chances of securing a role, the same can be said for remote job interviews. Make sure you understand how to attend the virtual interview and have any required software downloaded. Just like you may do during a traditional face to face meeting, arrive with plenty of time ahead to allow for any technical issues!

TIP 4 - 'Do not disturb'

Many of those who have experienced working from home during the pandemic will know just how distracting our own houses can be. Whether it is noisy children or your latest delivery, try to ensure that you keep the volume down and distraction free for your interview. Having a quiet space to conduct your interview in will allow you to remain clear headed for any possible questions you should face.

Putting a note on your door to warn any potential knockers to be keep the noise to a minimum is a great idea, whilst children aren't the easiest to quieten down, it may be a good idea to find them an activity for the duration of your interview.

TIP 5 -  Dress to impress!

Like any regular job interview process, adhering to an expected dress code is ideal for giving the interviewer a great first impression. It is always better to err on the side of caution and dress smarter than expected if you are unsure. Being underdressed will likely harm your confidence and put you on the back foot, even through a computer screen.


We hope these tips help you prepare for the very different proposition of a remote job interview, Marine People provide interview coaching and CV workshops to all of our candidates during these difficult times. You can view our latest job opportunities here!



Is D&I the key to filling niche Marine Engineering roles?

Every maritime engineering organisation knows that frustrating feeling; when you have a role that you struggle to find the perfect candidate for. But we should ask ourselves the question, is there ever a perfect candidate?

At Marine People, our tagline is Recruit. Retain. Develop, Diversify.

Perhaps the most important element of the things we see as vital to recruitment is professional development. Bringing onboard candidates who aren’t the finished article is always a gamble for businesses, but one that could potentially pay dividends in the search for talented Marine Engineers.

By diversifying recruitment and committing to candidate development, we can find talent that standardised recruitment methods miss. Often these capable and diverse engineers slip through the system and end up cut adrift from relevant full-time employment. A 2016 study by the Royal Academy of Engineering found that despite 26% of UK Engineering graduates coming from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, they only make up 6% of full-time employed engineers.

The UK is also behind the rest of the world when it comes to gender equality in engineering. Currently, only 8% of engineers in the country are female.

Putting diversity at the forefront of recruitment has a proven track record. The same Royal Academy of Engineering study found that companies in the top quartile for racial/ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry median.

The strong business case for diversity and inclusion in recruitment should go hand in hand with the strong moral case. With the current percentage of BAME engineers in the UK half of their population makeup, it is only right that recruiters and businesses commit to making the Marine Engineering sector representative.

How can we change to embrace Diversity & Inclusion?

Understanding unconscious bias and how this limits workplace diversity can help to shape new recruitment methods.

The UK Civil Service has introduced blind CV screening the majority of their recruitment processes and have seen an uptake in the number of BAME candidates applying in line with their targets. By taking out gender and ethnicity indicators from personal information, it allows recruiters to view a candidate on their competencies, rather than preconceived notions which appear to be embedded in recruitment methods rather than those carrying out the process.

Commitment to candidate development can also be used to look past abnormalities at the screening stage – this is the key to filling niche technical roles, by expanding the search to locate engineers left behind by ineffective recruitment methods of the past.

At Marine People, we focus on finding well-rounded candidates whose experiences benefit their skillset. Establishing that there is no ‘perfect’ candidate and instead focusing on retaining and developing engineers, we can diversify talent acquisition.

The people who built the Titanic: The story of Harland & Wolff and Belfast’s shipbuilding heritage

Famed as a country of jagged rocks and proud people, Northern Ireland and its capital city Belfast has become synonymous with shipbuilding. One name always associated with the city’s proud maritime heritage is Harland & Wolff named after Yorkshireman Edward Harland and the German Gustav Wolff.

Referred to as the ‘engine room’ of Northern Ireland’s economy, the shipyard is perhaps most famous for the three Olympic-class ships built in the early 20th century, the Olympic, Britannic and most Iconic of all the RMS Titanic.

The construction of the ship is an immense source of pride for the city which proudly displays a number of murals dedicated to the shipyard and its workers. Weighing 46,000 tonnes, the Titanic was the largest manmade moveable object the world had seen at the time and was worked on by nearly 15,000 Belfast men.

The city and country came together in grief after the vessel’s fatal voyage in 1912 however, the shipyard would prove vital in both world wars that followed. The demand for shipbuilding during the great war resulted in a new yard being built on the East side of the dock for mass ship production

A Harland and Wolff mural in Belfast (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

In the Second World War, the Harland and Wolff shipyard made such a contribution to Britain’s war effort that it holds the world record for ship production during the conflict. The energy and success of the shipyard, however, made Belfast a key target for German air attacks, almost 100

0 people were killed during the Belfast Blitz whilst the shipyard was severely damaged.

In the post-war era, the iconic cruise liner Canberra was built at the Shipyard for Anglo-Australian crossings. The vessel was in use for almost 40 years between 1961-1997 and became the ultimate testament to the work ethic of the men and women at Harland and Wolff’s Belfast shipyard.

Today, following the gradual decline of British Shipbuilding, Harland and Wolff have seen a rebirth - with a focus on offshore renewable

energy as well as maritime engineering for smaller vessels. The takeover by Infastrata has brought optimism back to the city and in 2019 with the £7 million acquisition of the Appledore site in South West England, the Harland and Wolff brand is growing into a leading figure of a revitalised British shipbuilding industry.

ICONIC MARITIME: Celebrating Leonard Roy Harmon as part of #BlackHistoryMonth

Celebrating maritime, marine engineering and shipbuilding across the globe, we take a look at the iconic people and locations that are instrumental to the industry - This week and as part of Black History Month, we take a look at the incredible contribution of Leonard Roy Harmon, this first black man to have a warship named after him. 

Leonard Roy Harmon was a Texan born in 1917 into a poor southern African-American family. Harmon faced the same barriers that other black men in the United States faced during this period, he was educated at a segregated school and despite joining the U.S Navy in 1939, he was limited to which roles he could carry out.

One of the positions that black men could take in the navy at that time was in the mess facilities onboard ships. Harmon himself became a Mess Attendant and was promoted to Mess Attendant First Class by the time the United States had entered the second world war. His role consisted of serving food to the officers and the crew aboard the ship. Despite only being tasked with menial jobs, Harmon was trained in damage control like every member of the ship's crew and had his own specific station to report to during general quarters (action stations).

Serving aboard the U.S.S San Francisco, Harmon was involved in the famous naval battle of Guadalcanal in 1942. Following a Japanese attack that killed nearly all of the officers on the ship's bridge - Harmon rushed in to care for and evacuate the wounded, standing between them and enemy gunfire and ultimately giving his life to protect his shipmates.

For this act of bravery, Harmon was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously. In the citation that went with the awarding of the Navy Cross, the President's Office paid tribute to Harmon:

"Mess Attendant First Class Harmon rendered invaluable assistance in caring for the wounded and assisting them to a dressing station. In addition to displaying unusual loyalty in behalf of the injured Executive Officer, he deliberately exposed himself to hostile gunfire in order to protect a shipmate and, as a result of this courageous deed, was killed in action. His heroic spirit of self-sacrifice maintained above and beyond the call of duty, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Leonard Harmon's name lives on to this day as the first black man to have a U.S warship named after him. The U.S.S Harmon was active until the end of the war and remained a fitting reminder of the bravery of the man it was named after. To this day Leonard Harmon is recognised as a true trailblazer for BAME member of the U.S armed forces.