Your CV is the most important tool that you will have while searching for a job on a boat. You will use this CV in both virtual applications and in person while dock walking and networking.
Begin with the most Important info at the top!
- Current phone number with country code (US is +1)
- Current location
- Languages spoken
- Date of Birth & AGE – I know it’s silly but captains don’t want to do the math.
- If you are a non-smoker, highlight that, if not – QUIT! But don’t mention it.
A photo for your CV is not optional – it is a MUST (yes, I know this violates some serious labor laws, but trust me, it’s real). Many captains and owners will not allow your CV to come across their desks without a photo. The photo must look professional. You are showing that you are a focused, dedicated future employee and you must look the part. The photo will be placed in the upper right hand corner of your CV.
- Wear a collared shirt. Choose a neutral color, white, black or navy are usually the best. It should look like a crew shirt, so pastels are out.
- Hair should be combed, or pulled back: neat. Ladies – generally, you do not want to overdo the hair and makeup. Picture yourself arriving in the dinghy for the first day of work on a super yacht and dress accordingly.
- Go outside. Take this photo outdoors. Bonus: Take it near the ocean or in a marina. If that is not an option, at least take it with blue sky in the background. Your job will have a lot to do with being outdoors; showing yourself outdoors on your resume creates a good gut reaction for employers.
- Make sure the lighting is bright. Try to take this photo on a sunny day and use the natural light from the sun. If this is not possible, make sure to lighten up your photo with an editor.
- Crop this photo from the shoulders up.
- Remember: This is not a beauty contest. You will not be chosen for the job based on your looks. In fact, if you overdo it, you may be denied the job. Think professional, low maintenance, and happy.
Write a Profile:
Highlight some strong points about yourself, and mention what you want out of this job. You want to make this short and sweet. 5 lines MAXIMUM. Here are two examples I have seen:
I am seeking a First Mate position as part of a professional team. While I consider myself knowledgeable and experienced, I understand that each vessel is unique and I appreciate learning new methods and techniques. My goal is to continue challenging and growing my existing skill set.
I am an extremely motivated self-starter with a passion for people. I am seeking a position as a deckhand with hopes of moving up to a first mate position in the future.
List your skills:
Write your skills in a list form with three columns. Here is an example of some skills, feel free to pull the ones relevant for you.
- Line Handling
- Electrical Work
- Interior Detailing
- Flushing Jetskis
- Watch Experience
- Metal Cleaning
- Engine Maintenance
- Driving Tender
- Drill Leader
- Silver Service
- Problem Solving
- White Glove Service
- Flower Arrangements
- Sailing Knots
- Minor Repairs
Certificates and Licenses:
Here is where you’ll list your STCW-95 along with any other certifications and licenses you may have. It is also appropriate to list any diving certifications if you have them.
Believe it or not, most employers do not care about your education. If you have a degree in Marine Bio, or Hospitality, your education may be relevant. As a general rule of thumb include your education ONLY if you have graduated from college, but one line only – unless the degree is relevant to your job position.
Professional Work Experience:
Here is a great place to list any relevant work you have done on a vessel. The format should be as follows: Position Name of Vessel Date First Mate S/V Athena Aug – Dec 2014 A brief description of your relevant duties in list format.
Here you can talk about any experience you’ve had on boats. Also, list any work that you’ve done onshore that may apply to your position. If you are looking to be a stewardess: bartending, serving, or anything in hospitality is relevant. If you don’t have any onshore experience that relates directly to your job, just list your previous jobs and try to relate some of the skills back to working on a boat. Perhaps you’ve spent time working in a team, etc.
Interests and Hobbies:
Keep this short and sweet. 1-2 lines. It can be as simple as: Reading, Writing, Fishing, Diving, Hiking and Sailing. Please don’t say that you love partying, drinking alcohol or anything else that would detract from your professional appearance.
It is extremely important that you get approval from all references before listing them on your resume. List them at the end of your resume with phone numbers and email addresses. These references will likely be contacted.
- Your CV should be no longer than 2 pages!
- Use spell check and have someone proofread!
- Do not use the word “I” in your CV.
Here’s a Sample CV:
PDF For download: CV Example