Yachting CVs: Key problems and how to solve them
When looking for a new yacht job, the first piece of information a recruiting agent, Captain or owner will see is your CV. From our own experiences as recruiters, we can tell a lot about the personality of a candidate just by looking at their CV – so it must not be underestimated when applying for positions. Below, we have outlined a few of the most important considerations when writing a CV for a yacht job and how you can avoid common pitfalls.
What is the purpose of a CV?
CV is the abbreviation of the latin phrase Curriculum Vitae, meaning the course of life. With this in mind, it’s important to understand what you are actually looking to convey on your CV before launching into writing it. You’re trying to show off your highlights to the person reading the CV – the things you’ve done that make you stand out from the crowd. Try to keep those points concise, interesting and relevant. After all, the purpose of this task is to ensure that whoever is reading the CV can find the information they are looking for as quickly and as clearly as possible.
You may laugh, but some yacht crew candidates send Excel spreadsheets detailing their various achievements and experiences. While this may be commonplace in the merchant world, we don’t think a single person has been hired as a result of a spreadsheet in yachting.
At the other end of this extreme, many candidates are now starting to use fancy PDF templates, which is not advisable for many reasons. Sure, if you work in any creative industry, spending the time to create an eye-catching CV is a great way of showing off your skills. For working on a yacht though, a better looking CV does not necessarily make for a better candidate and, more importantly, information is fragmented across different sections of the template – often meaning vital points are scattered in strange places, such as the sidebar.
A captain or hiring manager wants to be able to quickly sift through the pile of CVs in front of them and pick out the best candidates to take forward to the next stage. Non-standard formatting makes this harder to do.
Furthermore, using a PDF template makes it near impossible for a recruiter to put their own company header onto the CV, which is often overlooked by candidates.
We can only assume people want their CV to look more ‘individual’. This may sound harsh, but having worked in the yacht recruitment industry for many years, we can safely say no recruiter or employers cares much about the aesthetics of your CV. Whether it will be rejected or accepted is based on the substance and content.
Remember, you are not trying to win on design; those reading will already generate an opinion in the initial moments looking at the CV if it doesn’t look as it should. The most important is making it as easy as possible for someone to read through and to avoid frustrating the reader with non-standard design and formatting.
For those who are new to yachting it may seem an alien concept to include a picture on the CV. However, it is standard in the yachting industry and the pillar of a good CV.
It may sound obvious to most that the picture must be smart and well lit but unfortunately many do not consider this. Our best practice recommendation is take the photo from a short distance away with a good quality camera or smartphone. It can be against a white wall or even a cliched marina backdrop. Obviously, avoid photos taken on a night out, or those taken with a friend who has been cropped out of the photo. It isn’t a professional look for a candidate.
Selfies are also not ideal, so try to find a friend who can take it for you. Make sure you are clean shaven (or certainly well groomed), well rested, and looking smart and cheerful (but not overly cheesy). With the advent of modern technology, there really is no excuse for a poor quality photo.
How can we help?
With many years in the yacht recruitment industry, we have seen thousands of CVs. Furthermore, we have spent a lot of time talking with employers and researching the most impressive CVs to identify why they are successful. From this, we’ve built our own CV builder for yacht crew from scratch.
We believe this will give candidates the best chance of representing themselves well to prospective employers. It is a very simple, yet effective, design and we have made it easy to put your information in the right places. Once you have created a profile on our platform, you will be presented with your Crew Board CV free of our own branding, which you can download and use as you wish. You can easily adjust your information if required and we believe this will be an important first step when looking for a new position. Other than the free CV, the Crew Board platform has plenty of great benefits and features for crew to enjoy – you can learn more about those here.