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The Crew Coach: Is your CV Underselling your Strongest Points?

Q: Tom, New Deckhand, 23

"I’m looking for a job as a deckhand, and people keep telling me I need to make my CV more relevant to yachting. But I don’t really know what that means? I’m not very good at writing and everyone keeps giving me different advice so now I’m just really confused."

A: The Crew Coach

You are not alone in this. A yachting CV is hard to do well, especially when you’re new to this rather odd industry. We see a huge amount of CVs here at The Crew Coach and it is very worrying that so many people, even experienced crew, undersell themselves by minimising or even leaving out really relevant and important information.

For a start, it’s not enough to simply list your jobs and yachting certificates and say you’re keen for a career in luxury yachting. Seriously, everyone says that. You need to impress upon the Captain, head of department or crew agent that will be reading the CV, exactly what it is about you and your past experience that will make you suited to a career on superyachts – or if you’re already experienced, what makes you suitable for the next role you want to get. It’s time to get specific, and it’s time to get creative.

To give you an example, I was recently sent the CV for a new deckhand trying to get his first job in yachting. Prior to coming over here he was working as a mechanic, but not just an ordinary car mechanic, a mechanic for a luxury high performance car manufacturer.

I immediately saw the potential of how this applied in a yachting context: his experience means he knows how to work in a high pressure team to deadlines, is good with electronics and is accustomed to working on the toys of wealthy individuals with exacting demands. It meant he knows how to work in a highly organised and clean manner, and (the holy grail of yachting), with extreme attention to detail. He’d also done lots of sailing and had first aid certificates and a surf lifesaving bronze medallion. I thought to myself: luck guy, he’ll get snapped up.

But this great experience was barely listed on his CV. He’d included the name of the car company, his length of service and a couple of bullet points about the servicing of cars. His experience as a lifesaver was just a bullet point too. It’s easy to see how this happened: how would he know how important those things are in yachting when he’s so new to yachting himself? He didn’t know how rare those skills are in young new crew, or how sought after – and they were. Once his CV had been re-written to reflect his experience properly, he had a job within 24 hours.

Now I know not everyone has experience quite as obviously relevant lurking hidden in their CV. But you will definitely have some skills that relate to yachting if you think about it hard enough from the perspective of the person who wants to hire you and what is involved in that role.

It frustrates the heck out of me to see huge potential going to waste purely because of a lacklustre CV. If you’re struggling to figure out what makes you special in a yachting context, please click here to see the different options we offer to help you with this. Remember, your CV is the biggest thing standing between you and the great yachting job you really want to get – so don’t underestimate how important it really is!

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