How to write a marine and shipbuilding cover letter

29 Aug 2023

How to write a marine and shipbuilding cover letter

You’ve spotted some contract work in a UK shipyard that would be perfect. You need to do is complete the application and come up with a cover letter and that gets you the interview. But where to start?

At SLR, we’ve helped candidates in the marine sector for years to secure the work they want so I thought we’d create a blog to help you put together the perfect cover letter step-by-step.

Start where you feel most confident.

It sounds like crazy advice, but you don’t need to start at the beginning. A blank screen can be daunting so putting down elements of your cover letter that you feel confident about gives you a boost and gets you started. An introduction, salutation and address can all be added after you have written the body of the cover letter.

Give real examples of achievements and results

Whilst your experience will be listed on your CV, the cover letter is where you get to expand on those examples. Marine managers want to understand the scope of projects you have been involved with to see what you have accomplished, and the results you have achieved. An example of this could be:

“I worked as part of a team of industrial painters and blasters, who were proud to complete work on HMS Queen Elizabeth”

“I spent weeks working as part of a team of industrial painters coaching Tower Bridge in London. This well-known landmark was coated professionally in the timeframe of the contract.”

Whilst you may have listed this experience on your CV, the cover letter is when you get to go into detail. Make sure you expand on other aspects that will be crucial such as you worked well with the whole team or that the work was completed on time. Hiring managers either in shipbuilding or any areas that require skill sets such as an Industrial Painter, are keen to hear that candidates understand getting work done on time is critical to the success of any project.

Key tips for your CV

  1. If you know the name of the HR manager or the hiring manager, start the letter dear (name). If you don’t, it’s completely acceptable to write “Dear HR team” or “Dear Hiring Manager “
  2. Your opening sentence should reference the position that you are applying for. Convey enthusiasm for the position such as:

‘It is with great interest that I came across the vacancy for _____’.

‘I am keen to apply for the position of ______’.

  1. You need to demonstrate that your skills and experience match those required for the vacancy.
  2. Look at the words on the job ad, pick some of those out and make sure you use them in your cover letter to show how you match requirements.
  3. Keep the cover letter about the vacancy and the client examples to help you meet their need.
  4. Make sure you stick to one page.
  5. Finish the letter with “best regards” or “sincerely”


Want to join a thriving sector? Contact SLR today.