Clearly indicate position applied for in a short cover letter.
Use an agreeable font in black ink on white paper. Never a cursive or script font.
Be neat, concise and make no spelling mistakes.
Indicate clearly all your licenses, certificates including date of issue / expiry / validity, including driver’s license.
Indicate maritime and other relevant training
If your history shows you changed employers every two or three months, don’t bother to apply.
Indicate what maritime tasks / challenges / equipment you have mastered or are experienced with
Indicate the range of vessels you have sailed on. Do not write a book about this. If you get to next stage, you will be asked.
Keep it to a single page for any position below C/M - 1 AE. For higher positions, add a page if you need to add a list of vessels.
Where an HR office is involved, someone will look at all these things and refer to a checklist specific to the position before it even gets to a decision maker.
If you send a photo, make sure it shows you well groomed, dressed neatly, clean and in a non-distracting professional or very neutral setting. Have a photographer take the photo if need be. We’ve had people apply that sent photos that looked like they were unshaven bums. Not bearded, we mean unwashed. Might be the most qualified guy in reality, but the first impression is along the lines of, "[I]Oh yeah, sure. We’ll give that guy a whack at our equipment and running a department… "[/I]