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Written by Paul DruryPaul Drury

Seaman Cover Letter Example

Craft the perfect cover letter in minutes with our Seaman cover letter example. Forget the frustration — this sample will get you hired fast in 2024. Just adjust the details, download, and you're ready to submit your application! Take advantage of our expert tips and sample sentences for an easier job search.
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Seaman Cover Letter Example
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As a seaman’s daily work directly impacts the lives and livelihoods of their crew mates, how they go about their work is as important as what they do. Safety is paramount in many situations, so a seaman cover letter should convey their approach to their work as well as their previous experience. They need to show that they can be trusted. A series of interviews will be central to making this decision, but the first evidence should be provided in the cover letter.

A seaman's career can contain many unexpected perils, so the cover letter can tell a few of the less common stories from your career and show that you have what it takes when adversity hits. Simply repeating the duties of the role will not impress anyone: your cover letter should demonstrate adaptability, calmness under pressure and an iron will to get through even the toughest of situations. Telling the unusual stories shows that you are someone who is ready for the unexpected.

When writing a cover letter, it's important to stress the value of collaboration and problem-solving skills. Additionally, having a strong work ethic and striving for excellence are crucial qualities to highlight. It's also important to emphasise the significance of being a good fit for the team, as you'll be spending a lot of time with your crewmates. Just be yourself, and you're likely to find a group of colleagues who share your mindset and values.

This cover letter guide is just one of more than 100 free cover letter samples exclusively on the CVapp.ie website. We’ll show you how to get the most out of your cover letter and how to land an interview for your  position. Writing a cover letter is very different to writing a CV, so let's get started!

In this guide, we will explore:

  • A seaman cover letter format that creates the right structure for your story
  • What information to include in the introduction, including how to structure effective body paragraphs and a strong conclusion
  • How to write a seaman cover letter if you have no seaman experience
  • Psychological tips to consider and basic mistakes to avoid when you write.

Let’s begin! 

Effective cover letter formatting

Every seaman has plenty of stories to tell, but how should you structure your cover letter, and which stories can you tell in each section? Every story needs a compelling beginning, solid middle and memorable end — and a cover letter is no different. For this reason, your cover letter should contain the following sections:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting
  • The cover letter intro
  • The body paragraphs
  • The conclusion
Expert tip

This cover letter example guide is intended to offer a few specific tips for a seaman cover letter, but there are many more general ideas in our comprehensive cover letter example. You may have a diverse background and work history that encompasses far more than a seaman’s core duties, so consider writing a seaman cover letter from as many angles as possible. There are so many transferable skills that can be incorporated into the role. 

Here is a seaman cover letter example that could help spark some creativity:

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr. Ronan Gallagher,  

My name is George Murphy, and I'm thrilled to sail into this opportunity as a Merchant Seaman. When I saw the Merchant Seaman position advertised on the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster website, I knew I had to drop anchor and reach out. Thank you for taking the time to read my application! 

Having completed comprehensive training in maritime operations and shipboard safety, I possess a strong foundation of knowledge and experience that is essential for a successful career at sea. I have acquired the necessary certifications, such as STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) and other relevant qualifications, which demonstrate my commitment to safety and compliance within the industry. Additionally, I hold a valid Merchant Mariner Credential, indicating my suitability for the position. I believe that my extensive skills and qualifications, combined with a strong passion for the maritime industry, I am confident in my ability to make a valuable contribution to your team.  

Throughout my career, I have gained valuable hands-on experience in various roles, including navigating, operating and maintaining machinery, and ensuring the safe and efficient functioning of the vessel. My ability to work collaboratively with diverse teams, adapt to dynamic situations, and make quick decisions under pressure has been consistently recognised by my superiors and colleagues.  

Furthermore, my strong work ethic, attention to detail, and dedication to continuous improvement have enabled me to effectively manage complex operations and maintain a high level of professionalism in challenging environments. I am committed to upholding the highest standards of efficiency, safety, and integrity, and I am confident that my skills and qualifications align well with the goals and requirements as stipulated by Irish law. 

I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss how my unique skill set and enthusiasm can contribute to the success of IMERC. Thank you for considering my application. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience.  

Yours sincerely,  

George Murphy

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Cover letter header

Any maritime captain will put efficiency and simplicity right at the top of their priority list, so the seaman cover letter header should contain the essentials of their application with a minimum of fuss. It’s important to keep designs and colour schemes practical, so its best to steer clear of bright, quirky graphics. 

The cover letter header should contain the contact details of the candidate: their full name, email address and social media profile if appropriate and applicable. The main goal of the header is to make yourself easy to contact. If the header section contains all the required information, the reader can quickly move on to the more important aspects of the cover letter: your experience and your story. Use a private email with your name and a common provider. Ultimately, it’s essential to keep the header section as uncluttered as possible. Nobody wants a visual headache!

Goal of the cover letter header: Give the basic information in the most unobtrusive way and pick a simple design for the cover letter header that does not distract from your story.

Cover letter greeting

A seaman cover letter does not need to be overly formal, but it’s still important to greet your prospective boss correctly. Getting the right name (with the correct spelling) is basic courtesy, so be sure to check and double check the job description. If you don’t know the name, a quick phone call to the company won’t hurt, and it may even give you an opportunity to find out a little more about the role or the culture.

Goal of letter greeting: Start the seaman cover letter off on the right footing.

Adaptable cover letter greeting example

Dear Mr. Ronan Gallagher,

Copied!

Cover letter introduction

The introduction of your cover letter should show that you understand the specific demands of the role and how your previous experience shows that you will be the person for the job. Be specific, give examples and show some personality.

A cover letter introduction that depicts you at the heart of a well-functioning team is a great way to start off your introduction. Be sure to include how well you have worked with your previous crew mates to do your daily jobs. We’ve got some great examples below if you need some help writing your cover letter introduction! 

Goal of the cover letter intro: You know what qualities really matter as a seaman: make sure that your future boss has a good understanding of what type of seaman you are in the cover letter introduction! 

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

My name is George Murphy, and I'm thrilled to sail into this opportunity as a Merchant Seaman. When I saw the Merchant Seaman position advertised on the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster website, I knew I had to drop anchor and reach out. Thank you for taking the time to read my application! 

Copied!

Cover letter body paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your cover letter is where you expand on your experience and tell a couple of stories that both fit with the role in question and help you stand out from the competition. If the stories aren’t relevant, they will be discounted. If they are common to many others, they will fade into obscurity.

Don’t fall into the trap of simply repeating the job description in your seaman cover letter. The middle part of the letter should draw the reader into your story and explain just how you make your unique difference with what you do on the boat. As mentioned earlier, the safety and wellbeing of your crew mates depends on how you do things as well as what you do. Give context to what you share and quantify your achievements wherever possible using numbers, facts and figures. 

While a cover letter should be written from a first-person perspective, roles that involve a lot of teamwork should also mention the achievements of those around them in a cover letter. It might seem obvious, but it’s important to mention some of the crucial personal qualities that every seaman should possess. Going to sea is a tough job on many levels, so your future employer will want to know why exactly you do it.

Goal of the body of your cover letter: Make sure that the core content of your cover letter is relevant and unique as well as positioning yourself as a member of the wider crew!

Adaptable cover letter body example

Having completed comprehensive training in maritime operations and shipboard safety, I possess a strong foundation of knowledge and experience that is essential for a successful career at sea. I have acquired the necessary certifications, such as STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) and other relevant qualifications, which demonstrate my commitment to safety and compliance within the industry. Additionally, I hold a valid Merchant Mariner Credential, indicating my suitability for the position. I believe that my extensive skills and qualifications, combined with a strong passion for the maritime industry, I am confident in my ability to make a valuable contribution to your team.  

Throughout my career, I have gained valuable hands-on experience in various roles, including navigating, operating and maintaining machinery, and ensuring the safe and efficient functioning of the vessel. My ability to work collaboratively with diverse teams, adapt to dynamic situations, and make quick decisions under pressure has been consistently recognised by my superiors and colleagues.  

Furthermore, my strong work ethic, attention to detail, and dedication to continuous improvement have enabled me to effectively manage complex operations and maintain a high level of professionalism in challenging environments. I am committed to upholding the highest standards of efficiency, safety, and integrity, and I am confident that my skills and qualifications align well with the goals and requirements as stipulated by Irish law. 

Copied!

How to conclude your cover letter 

The most important thing that a captain is looking for in a seaman (besides qualifications!) is someone that they will be able to work well with and get on with. After all, when you are spending long hours at sea, you will be looking for a kindred spirit! The conclusion of your cover letter should share one last insight into your character before a potential future boss decides to invite you to interview.

Hopefully by now your CV and cover letter have done their job, so the last lines of your cover letter should finish on the strongest possible note. Ask for the interview in a polite, professional way. If your application is a good fit, there is nothing wrong with saying that you are looking forward to a potential meeting and understanding more about the details of the role.

Goal of the closing: Give them one last personality-led reason to hire you and don’t shy away from saying that you are looking forward to a possible interview.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion example

I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss how my unique skill set and enthusiasm can contribute to the success of IMERC. Thank you for considering my application. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience.  

Yours sincerely,  

George Murphy

Copied!

Writing psychology: mistakes to avoid in your cover letter

Communication skills are important for a seaman. While you likely will not be judged too harshly for any mistakes or typos in a seaman cover letter, these mistakes do hint at a lack of attention to detail which can be incredibly dangerous when you are out on the high seas. When there are a number of applicants, you cannot afford for the following mistakes to put any doubt in the hiring manager’s mind:

  1. Grammatical and spelling issues: Take advantage of our online CV and cover letter builders on the CVapp.ie website, which come with in-built spell-checking and grammar software! Asking a friend to proofread the cover letter can also help ensure your document is flawless and typo-free.
  2. A friendly tone: You will be spending a lot of time with your future crew mates, so don’t be too formal in the tone of your letter. Write as if you are having a conversation with them – keep it light.
  3. Generic examples: There is always a temptation to give generic examples and simply copy the responsibilities in the job description. Don't do it! You have to find a way to stand out, and copy-pasting old, stale content isn’t the way to do it. Fortunately, we have a ton of professional samples and examples on the CVapp.ie website for you to draw inspiration from!
Expert tip

Getting the content of your cover letter right is half the battle. You also have to make sure that it is visually appealing. If you experiment with different formatting with Word software or somehow come up with a PDF version yourself, you risk your CV looking different on different browsers, etc. Save yourself the trouble with one of our expert-designed simple cover letter templates. Looks matter just as much as the detail.

Cover letter for a seaman with limited experience

If you have no prior experience as a seaman, focus on writing about transferable skills that might be considered useful in a seaman career: ability to work with machinery, physical fitness, attention to detail, excellent communication skills, determination to cope with a difficult environment and an ability to work in a team when under constant pressure.

You will not be the only person that is applying with little experience, so don’t stress. Describe the sort of person that you are and why you see your previous experience as being relevant. You have to show that you understand what the role entails, so don’t be afraid to make some links to what you will be expected to do. 

Key takeaways

  1. Show that you have the skills and personality to excel at one of the most demanding roles in the world. Being a seaman is hard work: both physically and mentally.
  2. Use our cover letter tips in each section to set out your story in a logical way.
  3. Getting a job as a seaman with no experience is possible, but you have to make sure the skills you include are relevant. Be sure to read over the job description vigilantly!
  4. Since paying attention to detail is a crucial quality for this job, make sure to carefully review and identify any minor errors.
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Build your cover letter in no time
Make a lasting impression and get hired faster with our collection of free, expertly-crafted cover letter templates.
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