Recruitment agencies, Captains and Heads of Department receive hundreds of CVs daily. Take a look at our top tips for ensuring that your CV will be in the “yes” pile and that you’re among those candidates that will be invited for interview.  Whether you’re onboard, on shore or climbing that career ladder, these CV do’s and don’ts can make all the difference.

  1. Photo – make it professional.
    If the advertised position asks you to include a photo (most crew positions do), then your photo should be of your head and shoulders only, and show you looking at the camera and smiling. Make sure you are smartly dressed, no sunglasses or hats, remove any piercings and that your hair is tidy. Make sure it’s a recent photo as well – something taken in the last 12 months, and not taken at a social occasion. Check that the photo looks good when printed both in colour and B&W, and don’t forget to refresh the photo on your CV every year.
    Check out some examples of a good CV photos on Instagram @crewprofilephotos.
  2. Structure – stand out, but keep it simple.
    It only takes a few seconds to catch someone’s attention and that first impression is vital. Consider the format of your CV carefully. Use a smart font such as Georgia, Calibri or Arial, and use headline titles to differentiate between sections. The content needs to be clear and easy to read. Recruiters and captains will not consider your CV if it is too long or the text too tiny. Stick to black text or a dark colour, and make sure it’s still clear when printed. Finally, name your file smartly, e.g. “First name, second name CV”.
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  3. General – Reassure the reader that you are the right candidate for the position. Don’t leave questions unanswered such as “Was the yacht private or charter?” Keep your CV updated, keep it chronological and constantly refresh it. Don’t leave gaps in the timeline and make sure that you start with relevant yachting experience first, then mention other experience related to yachting. Make it short, attractive and catchy.

Layout – What to include:

  • First and second names
  • Last Position held
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address
  • DoB
  • Nationality
  • Visas/applicable work permits
  • Languages
  • Current location
  • Driving Licence
  • Qualifications
  • Personal statement: a couple of sentences to outline your experience – make it personal and tell the reader what you are looking for. Present your skills, career goals, and unique selling points – what makes you different from other candidates?
  • Yachting experience
  • Related experience
  • Reference
  • Hobbies/Interests
  1. Content – Start with your yachting experience.
    Include employment start and end dates (month and year), yacht name and size, position, state whether it was charter or private, and add any further selling points that are relevant to your experience such as cruising area and your specific duties on board.
    Other experience: choose only the work experience relevant to the yachting industry and be concise.
  2. Spelling and grammar – in the yachting industry attention to detail is everything.
    If your CV is a grammatical disaster, it can damage the first impression the recruiter has of you. Don’t let spelling and punctuation mistakes stop you from succeeding.
  3. Honesty – because honestly, it’s the best policy.
    Incorrect information doesn’t help anyone, be truthful when listing your employment dates, whether you have any tattoos/piercings, your marital status, whether you smoke, etc. Be clear about your skill-set but don’t over-sell it – it may come back to haunt you!
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  4. References – keep it recent and relevant.
    Make sure that you provide contact details for your references – Name, surname, which yacht it is related to, their position, telephone and e-mail address. Reputable recruitment agencies will always check references, so ensure contact information is current. Aim for a minimum of three recent and relevant references and avoid stating ‘References Available Upon Request’. If you are currently employed and have not informed your captain that you are looking for work, don’t add their contact information! And don’t invent references – if any employer discovers you’ve made it up, you can be sure that’s the end of your career.
  5. Hobbies/ Interests – give them the bigger picture
    Add interesting information about what you like to do off the yacht. Be original and show what your passions are.
  6. Share it!
    Before you send your CV to agencies, share it with your friends, colleagues and family. They may pick up on things that you have missed. Everyone you show it to will give you a different opinion so listen to their advice but at the end of the day make sure you are happy with it!
  7. Conclusion – the perfect CV
    Your CV is a reflection of you: your experience and your personality should shine through, and it should be a document you are proud of.

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