How to write a yacht crew CV
Last updated: 10/08/2016
Ask any employing captain or yacht management company and they will tell you that finding reliable yacht crew is often one of their most challenging and time consuming tasks.
The yachting industry sees one of the highest turnover rates of staff than any other industry, meaning that there can be lots of competition for all yacht crew jobs, from both new and existing crew, so it’s important to ensure your CV stands out from the pile on the captain’s desk.
What to include on a crew CV
The first step in finding your dream job is to ensure your CV is up to scratch; captains don’t have long to look through applications, so your CV needs to be a maximum of two pages to stand the best chance of landing that yacht job.
Your crew agent will lend great advice and expertise in this area, but don’t forget; a well-presented CV is a CV that shines. By ensuring you deliver a well formatted and typo-free CV, you ensure that it doesn’t end up in the bin after the first scan read.
Laurence Lewis, director of YPI Crew said, “The key to writing an effective CV is simplicity, clarity and tidiness. As you only have a very short time to grab the captain’s attention, we recommend that you ‘test-run’ your CV with friends or family.”
Include a photograph: In the maritime industry, those CVs without a professional photograph tend to find themselves in the bin first. Remember, appearance is extremely important; make sure you look well groomed and cover or remove any tattoos or piercings. The photo should be taken within the last year – you may not realise it, but you have changed a lot in the last three years.
Include your past ten year’s experience: If you’ve been doing day work, make sure you add each position to your CV as you go. Include the yacht name and what your duties were, and wherever possible, ask the captain for a reference. If you don’t do this as you go, you are at risk of forgetting your posts and a captain may wonder about gaps in your experience.
Laurence said, “Don’t disregard job experiences, skills, or education credentials that are not fully relevant to your new career. Employers will want to build a global picture of who you are and will perhaps want to see how versatile you are. Big gaps in CVs should also be explained. Define what your unique selling point is and mention it in your introduction.”
Add references: It is useful to include a few professional references at the end of your CV if possible - and also ask employers to endorse you on LinkedIn where possible - there is room for much more information here.
Proofread: It may sound obvious, but make sure you proofread your CV for spelling and grammar mistakes; you can’t boast about having ‘great attention to detail’ when there are obvious mistakes on your CV, after all.
Request feedback: Ask someone in the industry for his or her opinion on your CV. You should question them on its presentation, its content and ask them to do a final proofread before committing to printing off a few dozen copies to be distributed.
Crew CV format checklist
Typically, you have between three and six seconds to catch the captain’s attention. People often scan pages diagonally rather than linearly, and they often give up reading bullet points after the third point if they are not interested moving further down the page instead.
With this in mind, make sure to include your most recent employment and qualification first, and move your most impressive skills and attributes to the top of lists. Van Allen Group have provided a sample yacht crew CV, here.
Opt for a classic font that is both professional and aesthetically pleasing making it easy to read, and use subheadings and bold fonts to keep things organised.
- Your full name
- A current and professional passport photograph
- A current mobile number, location and email address
- Your nationality
- The details of any visas that you may currently hold with expiration dates
- Your marital status
- Your smoking habits, visible tattoos and piercings
Below this, you should then include:
- A concise profile or objective paragraph summarising your experience and unique selling point
- Your listed yachting experience, including employment dates, yacht name and size and the position held with a list of duties, listed in reverse order with the most recent first
- Your additional qualifications and relevant work experience, again listed in reverse time order
- Your hobbies and interests
- Details of your references or a few short endorsements
Top tip: Don’t forget to take a quick look over your social media accounts before applying for any new yacht job. Ensure that any and all negative comments and inappropriate photographs are removed or deleted from your social platforms, or that settings are switched to ‘private’. Failing to do so could mean that you never make it to interview stage.
It’s a good idea to update your LinkedIn profile in line with your latest crew CV. You are granted with a little more room here to expand a little more on the information provided on your CV.