Offshore A- Maturity-common sense, good work ethic, physical fitness, anticipate job/diver requirements..
B- Deck smarts-run a clean safe work station, able to pull wrenches (mechanical ability) basic rigging, burning, welding, familiarity with marine structures/equipment -what they are & rudiments of what they do (from drilling to pipelay, etc.is a bonus). Work well with the team, and don't piss off the rig crew too badly. Ideally never have to be told to tune-up/maintain gear, clean up, repair, have everything ready to up and go next time the bell rings and never ever be last. Notice I haven't mentioned diving-because everybody knows how to dive-what else have you got and when it all turns to s*** do I want you as my standby diver??
To Bill's post I would add: A) desire to learn, willingness to work hard, be a team player, be reliable and give 150% each day.
It wouldn't hurt you to know a little background info on the company that you're applying to. It tells the boss that you've taken time to research them and shows you're interested in working for them specifically.
When you go to apply be prepared to be interviewed on the spot. Dress up isnt necesssary but be clean - showered, clean teeth and no bad breathe, hair clean and facial hair trimmed, clean clothes - jeans, boots, BELT, shirt are fine; no stains or h***s- don't go in looking like you're living out of your car, grunge chic isnt for the interview. And lose the piercings, to you they may be cool but to HR the question begs "Wonder if he/she has Hep-C?" You can put them back in after the interview.
Y'all know the usual interview stuff, sit up straight, firm hand shake, look them in the eye, show no fear. Ask intelligent questions, i.e. what equipt do I need to provide? what kind of training is available through them to improve your skills? Do they recommend you take specific training? etc. Dont be afraid to write some questions down and take them in with you - it shows you're organized.
Make a closing statement, remember you're competing with a lot of other qualified individuals, so you have to sell yourself. Why should HR hire you instead of the guy behind you? So think about why you're the best for the job, keep it short, write it down, and when you have it perfected memorize it! And remember to thank them for taking the time to interview you, lol.
Some little things can add up in a big way. Any mechanical, welding, or health/safety training is a plus. Many times if you are unemployed you can get free training, especially in Texas. For example, I was trained at Houston Community College for MIG welding, I didn't pay a cent, but had to provide my own hood, chipping hammer, leathers. The Red Cross will train you to be an instructor in four days. Some companies have their own trucks, so having a CDL is good. Get your TWIC card and passport, these items can take some time to obtain, and some companies won't hire you if you don't have a TWIC. Hyperbaric training only takes a week in Key Largo. KMDSI Technician course takes two days at DiveLab in Panama City. Crane school is good. Electrical and Hydraulics courses will get you closer to ROVs and Hard Suits. Computer programs and software knowledge helps. Learn Spanish. I could go on and on.
When your time is idle, get some more training. Don't be one of those guys crying in his beer at the bar because there's no work. Do what ever you can to better yourself. The more you bring to the job, the more valuable you will be. And be prepared to do other types of work during the slow time, such at now. Winter time is a good time to pick up some welding work, even if you're just a helper.