Merchant Seaman Resume Example & Writing Guide

Use this Merchant Seaman resume example and guide to improve your career and write a powerful resume that will separate you from the competition.

Merchant mariners are the men and women who help transport goods across oceans and seas. They’re the people who load cargo onto vessels, secure it safely onboard, and ensure that it arrives at its destination safely.

If you’re looking for a job that offers a lot of variety and adventure, plus great pay and benefits, then you might consider becoming a merchant seaman yourself. But before you can land your dream job, you need a resume that stands out from the rest.

Follow these tips and resume example to write a merchant marine resume that hiring managers will love.

David Moore
New York City, NY | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]

Seasoned merchant seaman with experience in cargo operations, vessel navigation, and maritime law. Proven ability to handle complex logistical challenges in a fast-paced environment. Seeking a position as a port captain or harbor master.

Abraham Lincoln High School Jun '08
High School Diploma
Company A, Merchant Seaman Jan '17 – Current
  • Operated cranes and forklifts to load/unload cargo, transported goods between ships and warehouses
  • Maintained a clean work area by following safety regulations and company policies
  • Communicated with other crew members regarding the location of cargo for loading or unloading
  • Followed instructions from supervisors regarding job duties, deadlines, etc., adhered to all safety rules while performing assigned tasks
  • Performed other duties as assigned such as cleaning ship decks, maintaining equipment, assisting in kitchen operations, etc
Company B, Merchant Seaman Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Assisted in the loading and unloading of cargo from ships, including heavy machinery and hazardous materials
  • Maintained a clean work environment by sweeping decks, washing windows and polishing metal surfaces
  • Operated forklifts to transport large shipments weighing up to 50 tons each
  • Followed all safety procedures while operating equipment on board ship (e.g., life vests, fire extinguishers)
  • Performed maintenance on company-owned vessels as needed; replaced damaged propellers with new ones when necessary
Company C, Deckhand Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Assisted the captain and first mate with all aspects of running the vessel, including navigation, docking, and maintenance.
  • Performed regular cleaning and upkeep of the vessel, both inside and out.
  • Acted as a liaison between the captain and passengers, providing information and assistance as needed.
  • Merchant Mariner Credential
  • STCW Basic Safety Training

Industry Knowledge: Navigation, Ship Handling, Cargo, Security
Technical Skills: Microsoft Office Suite
Soft Skills: Leadership, Teamwork, Communication, Problem-Solving, Critical Thinking, Time Management

How to Write a Merchant Seaman Resume

Here’s how to write a merchant seaman resume of your own.

Write Compelling Bullet Points

Bullet points are the most effective way to showcase your experience and qualifications. But rather than simply listing your responsibilities, you can make your bullet points much more interesting and compelling by using specific numbers and statistics.

For example, rather than saying you “assisted customers in the store,” you could say that you “assisted 20 customers per hour in the store, resulting in a 20% increase in customer satisfaction.”

The second bullet point is much more interesting and provides a clear indication of your level of responsibility and the impact of your work.

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

When you apply for a merchant seaman role, your resume is likely to go through an applicant tracking system (ATS). This software will look for certain keywords related to the position in order to determine whether or not you’re a good fit. If your resume doesn’t have enough of the right terms, your application might not make it past the initial screening process.

The best way to make sure your resume includes all of the right keywords is to read through a few job postings and take note of the terms that are being used. Then, make sure to include those words throughout all sections of your resume. Here are some of the most common merchant seaman keywords:

  • Seamanship
  • Maritime
  • Logistics Management
  • Operation Planning
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Teamwork
  • Transportation
  • Shipping
  • Forklift Operation
  • International Logistics
  • Negotiation
  • Management
  • Customer Service
  • Business Planning
  • Inventory Management
  • Microsoft Access
  • Leadership
  • SAP Products
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Strategic Planning
  • Project Planning
  • Sales
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Research
  • Organization Skills
  • Project Management
  • Team Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Retail

Showcase Your Technical Skills

As a merchant seaman, you will be responsible for operating and maintaining the various systems on board the ship. This will include the navigation, communication, and propulsion systems. You will need to be familiar with the various software programs used to operate these systems, as well as the hardware components.

Some of the most commonly used software programs include:

– Navigation: ECDIS, GPS, AIS – Communication: VHF, HF, UHF – Propulsion: Engine control systems, fuel management systems


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