How to write a yacht crew CV
Last updated: 05/02/2020
Ask any employing captain or yacht management company and they'll 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, yet there are still less jobs than there are applicants, meaning there's often strong competition for all yacht jobs – from both new and existing crew. As such, it’s important to ensure your CV stands out from the pile on the captain’s desk.
We relay what to include and how to format your crew CV to stand the best chance of landing a yacht job.
What to include on a crew CV
The first step in finding your dream job is to ensure your CV is up to scratch. A specialist yacht 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 resume, you ensure that it doesn’t end up in the bin after the first scan read!
1. A professional photograph
In the maritime industry, those CVs without a professional photograph tend to find themselves in the bin first. Remember, a smart appearance is extremely important on board; make sure you look well groomed, cover any tattoos and remove any piercings. You may not realise it, but you have changed a lot in the last three years. The photo should therefore be refresh every year.
2. Your past experience
If you’ve been doing day work, make sure you add each position to your CV as you go before you forget! 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 recommends listing up to 10 years' of past work experience, if you have it. She said, “Don’t disregard job experiences, skills, or education credentials whether relevant or seemingly irrelevant 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.”
3. Add references
It's always useful to include a few professional references at the end of your CV if possible, and ask employers to endorse you on LinkedIn - there's room for much more information here.
How to format your crew CV
Typically, you have between three and six seconds to catch the captain’s attention. 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.
Studies show that people often scan pages diagonally rather than linearly, often giving up reading bullet points after the third point and 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. View a sample yacht crew cv from Van Allen Group.
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. 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.”
- 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 also 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.
Proofread and request feedback
It may sound obvious, but before printing or sending any CVs, make sure you proofread 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!
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.