writing cv

Designing a Great CV That Will Get You The Position You Want

Yacht Crew Agencies receive hundreds of CVs daily. Your aim is to ensure that your CV lands on top of the pile instead of at the bottom. So, how do you achieve this? We’ve compiled a few basic ‘must have’ rules for you to follow to get you’re CV noticed and giving you the best chance of success.

Learn how to highlight your assets and your experience, and adopt a clear structure. 

Be clear and structured

There is no way agencies are going to read all the CVs in detail. They begin by ‘scanning’ the CVs received by reading them diagonally. Only those that catch their attention upon first reading will be examined more closely. Choose an attractive layout and structure your features in a simple and concise format. Use headings, paragraphs and clear titles.

Show yourself

We all know the yachting industry is all about show and looks. Most importantly, the picture that you present on your CV needs to look professional and present you in the best light possible. Place yourself in the environment you wish to be employed in and highlight your features. Then position your picture on the righthand side of your CV, as agencies flip through CV’s looking for face pictures.  If yours stands out, you’re more likely to be considered.

Add essential Information

Most agencies want a quick summary of who you are and where you are. Include relevant information such as location, visas, certification, marital status, driver’s licenses, nationality and language. If the agency wants to contact you they must be able to find your personal information at first glance. Put it at the top of the first page next to your photo.   

Avoid embellishments

A CV is a professional document. Don’t try to make it stand out by using an eccentric font or colours. Keep it simple, clear and to the point. Many agencies print CV’s to present to captains or pursers for selection.  Don’t waste ink by using too many solid panels and colours. 

Be concise

Your CV isn’t a novel. Avoid telling the story of your life and avoid information that isn’t relevant (no one is interested that you were the first team hockey captain at school). Make sure the document doesn’t exceed 1 to 2 pages of A4. Indicate a few relevant elements regarding your professional experience (tasks, responsibilities, etc.) and possibly your education (courses, skills, accreditation, etc.).

Remove all unnecessary information

Avoid putting ‘curriculum vitae’ at the top of the document. Similarly, don’t put ‘name’ in front of your name, ‘address’ in front of your address, etc. If your CV is clear and well structured, there will be no room for uncertainty.

Place the emphasis on your qualifications and experience

Your experience is what interests agencies the most.  If you have completed a season or two, make this stand out, as agencies are more likely to put forward seasoned crew than green crew. It is more important than your training and should be highlighted. Make sure it is relevant to the job for which you are applying. If you have no seasonal experience, then emphasise any day work, contract work or internships or apprenticeships, as these stand out as relevant ‘working experience’ and add to your credibility. If you really don’t have any relevant experience, begin with your education. Do NOT fabricate experience or work as the industry is small and you will be found out.

Only mention relevant training

You’ll need to mention your certification and your specialisations relevant to the job, but make it brief. If you have done any other training relevant to life on a boat, then mention it – it may lead to a position that you may not even have considered. Any training such as dive instructor, massage therapist or yoga guru should e mentioned.  List these as part of your skill sets.

Work in chronological order

Whether you are writing about your experience or qualifications, the most recent information is the most important. Always put it first.

Points to note:

Make sure the your CV is up to date with the most relevant information such as location, contact numbers etc.
You need not list references, but include ‘references available on request’.
Show that you are passionate about what you do – this will influence the reader’s opinion of you.

When you’re starting out in the world of yachting, your best foot forward is a great CV. Good Luck!