5 Tips for Yachting CV’s

Tips and Tricks on how to write a superyacht crew CV. Also feel free to download and use the CV templates at the bottom of the artical.

Note: We use the term CV throughout to refer to what some people call a resume.

Tip 1, Not only must you be the best candidate for the position, but your CV must advertise this fact to the captain.

Looking at hiring from the captain’s point of view.

Yachting has one of the highest rates of personnel turnover of any industry. This means that captains have to look at a lot of CVs. So your objective is to make your CV stand out on the captain’s very crowded desktop.
Captain’s want crew who are not only competent and well-presented, but who also “shine” – crew that have something special. Your CV needs to shine for you.

Here’s what a couple of captains had to say about CVs.
“I thin out the number of CVs by scanning the first pages and binning the ones I don’t like the look of.”

“If I have a bunch of CVs all with equal qualifications. The first ones to go are the ones without a photo.”

What should a CV do?

A good CV should convey the type of person you are and sell your abilities and your personality to a potential employer. It is not just a list of qualifications and life experiences presented in chronological order.

To achieve this you must stop thinking of your CV as a textbook and start thinking of it as a broachure.

Your CV must:
• State points that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
• Present these relevant points in a way that grabs the employer’s attention and highlights your personal style.

Tip 2, Formating: Place important content in a prominent location.

The format of your CV is incredibly important because before the captain even reads your name at the top of the first page he has already made assumptions about the type of candidate you are, simply by noticing how you have presented the information on the page.

The psychology of layout
How to grab the readers attention and ensure you key content is seen and read.

• Before people start to read a page, they scan it.
• People scan pages diagonally not linearly.
You have between 3–6 seconds to give the reader their “First Impression” of you.
• A person reading a list of bullet points will stop reading by point three if you haven’t grabbed their attention.

Ways of grabbing your reader’s attention.

• Include images.
• Change font, font size or colour.
• Making text bold or underlined.
• Use background shading.
• Change the page format.

Some rules about text.

• Do not use more than two fonts.
• Do not keep on changing font size.
• Do not use more than two colours.

Tip 3, Content is king. Make sure your Content is spell checked and proof read.

General Rules

• Always use MS Word or similar editing software.
• Always use a spell checker.
• Always be accurate.
• Always be concise.

How many pages should your CV be?

“Your CV should not be more than two pages”. Now, there are some exceptions. Chefs should include  example menus. Covering letters are not part of the CV but a seperate document.

What should and should not be in a yachting CV.

Primary YES points:

• Your name,
• A photo (more about this later)
• Nationality,
• Visa’s Green Card (current),
• Smoking habits,
• Current phone number,
• E-mail address,
• Relevant yachting qualifications,
• Sea mileage or days at sea,
• Positions held, writen in reverse order, stating dates, name of vessel and position, with a critique of the boat’s travels and working life.
• Profile (more about this later)
• References with current contact details.

Additional YES points

• Objective (more about this later)
• Additional qualifications, e.g. full driving license, helicopter license or Degree in Marine Law.
• Additional relevant work, e.g. 3 years in the British Navy, worked for 2 years as a rigger or worked at the Ivy Restaurant in London as a silver service waiter.
• Present Location (not necessarily full address),
• Hobbies. Keep the list short, sweet and honest.

What should not be in a Yachting CV?

Well this should be self-explanatory – basically, everything that is not in the lists above, including:

• The words “Curriculum Vitae” at the top of the page.
• Your normal residential address.
• Irrelevant land-based jobs.
• Your general education. Note: Although this is a key point in normal land-based CVs, it is a waste of prime space in a yachting CV. However, if you have achieved a high level of education you may want to include this in your “Profile” section. Some captains and owners like to show off how intelligent and qualified their crew are.

How do I write a profile for my CV?

When writing any profile for your CV, you need to present your information in a direct and concise way – do not waffle. Start by writing down a list of points that need to be in the profile, for example.

Profile list
• Experience
• Work well in a team
• I like a job done well
• Efficient
• Keen on sailing
• Good personal skills
• Good at handling stress
• Sense of humour

Important points
• You are trying to sell yourself – do not write about what you hope to see or do, rather focus on what you have to offer.
• Be honest.
• Be direct – do not overemphasize or exaggerate.
• Keep your profile short – no more than 6 lines.

Key Point: You are trying to sell yourself – do not write about what you hope to see or do, rather focus on what you have to offer.

“I have been keen on sailing ever since I was a child. Over the last three years, whilst working on various yachts, I have learnt to be a team player. I am an efficient worker who likes to see a job done well. I get on well with people, and I handle stressful situations with a calm, positive, attitude.”

You should adopt the same approach when writing about your objective, but obviously you are writing to achieve a different result.

Objective list
• Further my career
• Running a large classic yacht

Important points
• An objective should be a concise sentence of one or two lines.
• The sentence can be separate or you can make it the last sentence in your profile
• Your objective should be realistic – something you can achieve in the next few years. For example, if you are just starting out, a good objective would be to complete the STCW course.
• Make the objective something that would also benefit the yacht, such as obtaining qualifications or learning new skills.

“My long-term objective is to advance my career towards running a large classic yacht.

Of course, you would not write this if you were applying for a job on a 23 metre plastic motor yacht.
All paragraphs written in your CV should be approached in this way.
Another way of presenting information is as a series of bullet points – useful for lists of qualifications, responsibilities, etc.

Tip 4, A covering letter won’t do you any harm and may do you a lot of good.

Some captains consider covering letters to be extremely important, others never read them. In my opinion, a well written covering letter will never do you any harm and may do you a lot of good, so always write one – but make sure you do it well.

Use your covering letter to explain why you are the perfect applicant for the job. Be positive and confident but without sounding big headed. You want to come across as a pleasant person to be around. Remember no one wants to be stuck on a boat all season with a grumpy deckhand or stewardess.

Dear Jonathan
I am a deckhand with three years’ experience on vessels ranging from 30 to 75 metres. I am now looking to move up the ranks to become bosun on similar sized vessels.
I left my last vessel (vessel name) in Antibes, where I am presently studying for my OOW ticket with Blue Water. The course finishes on 12 September and I shall be available for work from 15 September.
My strengths include an ability to work well under pressure and to make guests feel comfortable. In addition, I have extensive knowledge of the Algrip paint system, thanks to two years working in a shipyard.
I am a good sailor and have an understanding of both general navigation and tender driving, having passed my RYA powerboat level two.
Yours sincerely
John Allan

Tip 5: A good photograph is vital. However, it is better to have no photo rather than a bad one.

A good photograph is an essential part of your CV. The old saying that an image is worth a thousand words is very true. But remember, it must be a good photograph. A bad photo will reflect very badly on you, and could easily lose you the job.

Main points

• A current black and white or colour head shot of good quality and size.
• Look smart – wear a nice shirt or the uniform from the boat you are presently on.
• Be conservative in your appearance – no outrageous hairstyles.
• Have a photograph especially taken – do not have other people, pets or anything else in the frame.
• The background of the photograph should be a nice neutral colour
• If you are physically attaching a photograph to your CV, make sure you write your name and phone number on the back of it.
• If you are attaching your photograph to your CV electronically, you will need to reduce the file size of the image to no more than 100kb (see link below for some free software that can do this for you).
• Most importantly, don’t forget to smile.

CV Templates





Are your crew letting hackers on-board?

Imagine having your guest’s / owners identities stolen or laptops infected due to poor on-board digital security. Hacking is now big business. Over the last few years hackers have become ever more sophisticated resulting in bigger data breaches.

Hacking is now big business. Over the last few years hackers have become ever more sophisticated resulting in bigger data breaches.

  • 2013, Yahoo 1,000,000,000 user details stolen
  • 2014, JP Morgan Chase 76,000,000 user details stolen
  • 2016, Friend Finder 412,000,000 user details stolen
  • 2016, Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO), Sundar Pichai (Google CEO) and Jack Dorsey (Twitter CEO) all had their personal accounts hacked.
  • With that in mind, you might want to think about how sensitive the data you hold on your network is and what would be the liability if your yachts network was compromised.
    IT security is a massive topic covering hardware, software and training. The following points are to make you think about your yachts network and crew and to make you start asking the right questions.

  1. Do you have IT Security as part of crew familiarization?
  2. Do you routinely change system passwords when a crew member leaves the yacht?
  3. Is Antivirus / firewall / systems updates Included in the yachts routine maintenance checklist?
  4. Do you have a procedure for when any of the computers on the yacht (Bridge, Crew or Guest) becomes compromised.
  5. Are your bridge computers, Crew WiFi and Guest WiFi all on a separately firewalled networks? If so great, what about the entertainment system?
  6. Do your crew stream / download movies from less than reputable websites. Are those same computers then plugged into the yachts network?
  7. Do you allow your crew to plug their phones into the bridge computers to charge them?
  8. Do you allow USB drives to be plugged into any computer on the yacht?
  9. Do you have offsite backup? What would happen if you were unable to access any of the data on your yachts network just before a port state control?
  10. VPN’s. Yachts are built, to high specifications and the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) installers do excellent work. What you may not know is that along with the engines, air conditioning or AV/IT equipment, OEMs may also be installing VPNs. These are effectively back-doors into your yachts network.
  11. Does any of your yacht’s systems get automatic firmware updates? If yes, what would happen if that system shut down when you were at sea or about to dock?

How Strong is your password
You may not be a network engineer but you can keep a strong password.
This website shows you how secure your password is and explains why.

Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security method that requires two different ways of proving your identity. Normally something you know, like your pin code and something you have like your phone or a bank card. Chances are you already do this for online banking. You should also add this to other accounts such as Gmail or Yahoo as well as Facebook

Useful Links
Free Malware Scanning Software
Remote Backup Solution
Get Safe Online (for personal and business advice):
Cyber Essentials documents, a free download

With thanks to
Akula yachts

Sourcing Crew; Agents versus Social Media

In recent years social media has become an increasingly popular tool for hiring crew. Platforms like Facebook have given captains easy access to a vast audience of potential candidates on what can only be described as the world’s largest jobs board. This in turn has made in-house recruiting more appealing and much more effective.

In-house recruiting has a number of obvious benefits.

No Recruiting Fees
One of the biggest arguments in favour of in-house recruiting is that it enables you to avoid the cost of recruiting fees. A large yacht may have a recruitment budget of 50–60k per annum, the majority of which generally goes on agency fees. For some yachts in-house recruiting is the only option as their owners flatly refuse to pay agency fees all together.

You know what you are looking for!
Putting a strong crew together is not only about candidates’ skills, it’s also about their strengths. Conveying this to an agent can be difficult. They’ll often send you someone who’s perfect on paper but falls short when it comes to getting along with the rest of the crew and fitting in with your yacht culture.

Speed and Simplicity
Post a job offer on facebook and you will get an immediate response and in some cases far more of a response that you bargained for. In effect you are simply broadcasting your requirements to the World with no ability to filter out unsuitable applicants. Additionally because you’re looking at the candidates cold, you have to invest an awful lot of time carefully checking each one to make sure the perfect candidate doesn’t slip through the net.

However using agents does have some major upsides

Time Saving
Using a quality agent to source your candidates can save you loads of time. Even after filtering the wheat from the chaff and narrowing down the applicants for interview, there is still a large amount of admin work related to ensuring that copies of all the required documents are present and up to date, including validation of any CoC.

Stealthy Recruiting
In certain cases you may have good reason for not wanting to broadcast all or any of the information related to the position on offer. This could be because the position is currently filled, or because of its sensitive nature – quite common with captain’s jobs for example. When you need to recruit on the QT, having a large database of potential candidates is the most effective way to source applicants.

Rotten Apples
A large part of what makes a yachtie is attitude. Having a crew member on board with the wrong attitude can be disastrous. Quality of service varies from agency to agency, so make sure you pick a reputable one if you want to avoid ending up with a bad apple.

A Third Option
There are now a number of online solutions that enable you to source crew at a fraction of the cost of going through an agency. They come with the same tools and filters for selecting potential applicants, and the same terms of confidentiality. The better versions of these online portals also incorporate feedback from previous employers, further reducing the chances of picking that rotten apple.

Hire Slow and Fire Fast

“Hire slow and fire fast” is generally a good mantra when managing crew. But sometimes you simply don’t have that choice. Where loss of crew is due to injury or incompatibility, for example, you’re forced to recruit mid-season, you may have no choice but to hire fast to fill that gaping hole as soon as possible.

The following tips will keep you focused and help you find your new crew member quickly.

1. Clearly define the job requirements and the time frame. The new crew member will need to hit the ground running—they’ll need to understand the position they’re stepping into. Setting out these requirements should be done in two steps. Firstly the general description to give to the crew agents/ Jobs Board. Secondly the nitty gritty detail which should be saved for the interview.

2. Use existing relationships to find crew: Your contacts are a treasure trove of potential crew. Keep a record of former crew members, of promising applicants you didn’t hired (or who didn’t take the job), and of people you meet in the industry. When you need to fill a position fast, scrolling back through contacts whose credentials you’re already familiar with is a lot quicker and easier than hiring from scratch. And you never know—the one that got away may well be looking for a new opportunity at the very same moment.

3. Broaden your mindset: Don’t just look at applicants from a skills perspective, look at them in terms of their “strengths” as well. What I’m getting at is this: you are mid-season with a crew that’s already worked together for several months. It should now be possible for a less experienced member to be brought on-board and up to speed in a very short time—as long as that person has the right attitude.

4. Chose good recruiting tools that take the emphasis away from you doing the admin work, like making sure you have all the crew member’s documentation.

5. Build a standard recruiting process. When you’re hiring ad hoc, rather than building repeatable processes through quantitative insights and technology, you end up conducting your searches manually—a process that, as with any job functions, can feel a bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall.

The 5 Screening Questions You Should Always Ask

Is your interview technique all about having a bit of a chit chat or do you have a plan?
We‘ve put together a list of key interview questions to help you weed out the bad apples.

1. “Tell me about your ideal job?”
What you’re listening for: The balance between positive or negative points. This is an easy introductory question that gives the candidate a chance to open up. It can also give you a valuable insight into how positive this candidate’s attitude is towards work.

2. “Why do you think this position is for you?”
What you’re listening for: This will tell you what the candidate’s key motivators are. You can then check this against the reality. Unrealistic expectations soon result in low morale and a high crew turnover. Compare the candidate’s answers with the answers they gave to question one. This will help you decipher whether the candidate is driven to find a yacht that fits their requirements or simply going through the motions.

3. “What can you contribute to our team? Or Why should we hire you?”
What you’re listening for: This is where you find out what your candidate sees as their key strength. Consider how it will fit with the strengths of your current team. Listen for specific details or examples of previous positions. Knowing what the position/team needs will help you identify candidates with the appropriate strengths.

4. “What attributes are you looking for in an employer?”
What you’re listening for: Personality match. In order to find out if a candidate will survive/ flourish on your yacht, you’ll need to see whether they’ll get along with the person who’ll be managing them. Listen for specific attributes the candidate states as important or not important. A good clue as to whether or not the candidate is likely to be a positive fit for your yacht is hidden within the things they mention as good attributes. Be wary of candidates who list a bunch of things they hate about employers.

Note: Big complainers in interviews are bright red flags for recruiters.

5. What you’re listening for: This is another way to approach the classic “What’s your greatest weakness?” question without directly asking the candidate to reveal their flaws. By imagining they’re speaking from the perspective of a former captain, candidates will usually offer more honest feedback on their previous boss’s criticisms .

Attracting top talent starts with your Job description

If you’re only looking for top-tier talent, writing a focused job posting will filter out most of the unsuitable applicants.

1. Write an Informative Job Title
The job title is the very first thing a job seeker sees.
Aim for 25–50 characters in length – this is the sweet spot. It’s long enough to be descriptive but short enough to be read at a glance.

Key components
● Position: Captain, Stewardess
● Type: M/Y, S/Y, Private, Charter,
● Yacht Size: 50mt
● Duration: Permanent, Seasonal

2. Describe the Position’s Minimum Requirements
The minimum requirements/qualifications need to be clearly defined. Beyond the obvious qualifications, most yachts have additional requirements. These are often subtle but need to appear at the beginning of the job posting.

Avoid ambiguity. Clearly state the specified level, and explain that it is a strict requirement.

3. Selling your position to the right candidates
Remember you’re writing an advertisement, not a description. To attract the right candidate, the ad should convey some sense of your yacht’s culture and plans . The following is a list of points that could be included:

● Specific Captain or Owner requirements
● Yachts rough Itinerary
● MLC compliance
● Size of yacht
● Number of crew
● Cabin arrangements
● (For engineers) Engine/Gen Make,Type and Year
● (For chefs) Specific cooking styles

Mediocre or generic job descriptions won’t lure top talent away from their current positions. You have to introduce a dash of color and excitement to your copy and link it seamlessly to solid details about the job on offer.

4. It’s all in the formatting
An effective job advertisement is brief, clear and to the point. What’s more, it should be easy to read, no matter where it’s published. Many of your prospective candidates will be job seeking on their smartphones and tablets, so make sure your formatting works across all devices.

5. Keep out of the SPAM box
Remember that in many cases candidates will receive your job posting as an emailed. To avoid ending up in the SPAM box, take note of the following:

●­ Don’t use ALL CAPITAL letters – it looks like you’re yelling at the job seekers.
●­ Avoid the use of symbols purely as a means of grabbing people’s *!$%ing attention without substance!
●­ Don’t – and I do mean don’t – repeat words in the title.