We all know apps are useful, but have you ever thought about what they could do for your yachting career? Amongst the Angry Birds and Candy Crush lie the social and yacht-crew specific apps to help you on your way.
If you haven't heard of LinkedIn then you have recently awoken from a coma and may need to see a doctor. It may be well-known, but this platform is completely underused by yacht crew.
LinkedIn is the main social platform for professional networking, and has become the standard portal for job seekers and recruiters the world over. Users can connect with colleagues past and present, post their experience and skills, look for jobs, and scout for employees. It currently has more than 200 million members around the world.
However, it’s not well-utilised by yacht crew, which seems an oversight. After all, if you work on cultivating a nice number of yachting contacts on LinkedIn, you may find you don't have to dock walk next time you're looking for work.
Many people find the task of creating or even updating their LinkedIn profiles either daunting or tedious. But it doesn't have to be. Some elements of the system now work in an almost game-like way.
For example, the way it encourages you to 'endorse' your contacts for certain suggested skills, but always wants you to endorse more, providing you with potential hours of procrastination. (Tip: don't list skills you don't have, because once people have endorsed you for them you really need to know what you're doing.)
You can also add your certificates to your profile. With the easily navigable gallery function you can upload anything related to your work - if you're a chef your menus will find a home here, if you're a stew, your table settings.
Another thing to bear in mind is that much like pages on Facebook, Linkedin has groups. Some of them have people posting jobs, while others have information and discussion pages on regulations, provisioners and agents.
Five Star Crew
You may have been on this site already. If not, and you’re still looking for work, then I highly recommend it.
It hosts job listings directly from boats, meaning you’re generally in touch with a chief stewardess or captain from the off.
While Five Star Crew explains that they charge their 'small fee' to ensure that only serious candidates use the app, personally I think £1.99 is a little steep.
It is a good app, well designed and easy to use, but when you can access the same information on a website (which is also good on mobile) I don't really see the extra benefit of the app.
This app was launched in 2013. In theory, this is the same kind of thing as Five Star Crew but (at time of writing) there were no listings for jobs, only for 'talent'.
Perhaps it's worth creating a profile on here just in case it happens to be where the captain of the ‘perfect’ boat looks for crew, but I'd say it's unlikely.
If they really got it going, nailed the signup process and listed some jobs it could be good.
So we've covered how apps can aid you in your career, but have you really considered how apps or social media can hinder you?
As handy as they are when you're far from home and lonely, all of the apps you use to connect to people also enable potential employers to see more than you might bargain for. Before you start looking for work, take the time to pore over your privacy settings on Facebook, and actually understand them.
Also, be cautious about who you add. It's a surprisingly small industry and the more people who have access to your profile, the more public it essentially is. I had a friend who added every Tom, Dick and Harry who trod on her toes in a bar once, and when she had an interview and met the crew, one of those 'acquaintances' actually had her on Facebook.
He then showed the chief stew the candidate's profile, including a metre of tequilas, and a subsequent whinge about her hangover - the next thing she knew an almost dead cert job was down the pan.
Are you on Tinder? You might be bored, or frisky, or genuinely looking for love, but Tinder is public, and it has a reputation.
Many of the people on Tinder may only use it as an ego boost or an occasional date, but some have a different date every night of the week, and potential employers might not love that. It’s also been known for married or attached crew to get caught out on Tinder, it is a public app, after all. People and professional reputations can get hurt.
There's also a privacy issue here that could cost you your job. Lately I've seen plenty of people bragging about tips on Facebook and tweeting about their guests.
Every boat is different but really, even if you're allowed to, what are you gaining? Your five minutes of Facebook fame? Don't bother. Enjoy your tip and revel in the fact you met Leonardo DiCaprio but save your stories for your good friends and family.
Do you have a story of how an app has helped you or got you in trouble? If so, we'd love to hear it.
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