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CVs: Bring Your ’A’ Game!

Yachting is a competitive industry at the best of times, and the Coronavirus situation this year has seen an increase in crew wanting to make the move from cruise ships & the commercial industry, so there’s a much higher percentage of candidates applying for each role. Is your CV representing you in the best possible way? 

Hidden Talents 

There are the obvious things to include on your CV, e.g. a professional photo, up to date contact information, and clear formatting with consistent fonts and sizing, but I want to focus on the content… and I’m not talking about the standard ‘profile’ and ‘career history’ headings, I’m referring to the skills and achievements you tell me about over the phone but haven’t included in your CV! 

I enjoy speaking to candidates for the first time; I like to get to know you as a person and building relationships is one of the things I love most about my job. Something which always amazes me though is when I find out that they’ve achieved something incredible like rowed across the Atlantic, run marathons, built a car from scratch, or raised huge amounts of money for charity, and it’s not mentioned at all on their CV. Or, they have additional skills such as videography/drone photography, a Personal Trainer qualification, or they’re Grade 8 on the piano or guitar and they’ve not thought to refer to it. Now, more than ever, your CV needs to stand out. 

Character Profiling 

Additional skills are something many of our clients ask for, and they can set you ahead of those with a similar background or experience to you so don’t forget about them! Not only will additional skills make your CV stand out, but they allow recruiters to do a bit of character profiling to paint a picture of who you are and see what crew culture would be the best fit for you.

E.g. If you get to the interview stage of a job then that additional content on your CV can give Captains or Heads of Departments something to talk to you about in order to get to know the real you – they may have already made assumptions about you before that call, i.e. if you’ve run marathons they’ll no doubt have assumed that you’re fit and healthy, or if you’ve built a car from scratch they’ll presume that you have a genuine passion for engineering, are hands-on, committed and like a challenge. 


Whilst on the subject of CVs, I can’t stress this enough… proofread, proofread, proofread! You’re applying for jobs in an industry which is known for high attention to detail, having spelling mistakes or different fonts and inconsistencies just doesn’t look good. Re-read your CV and put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes, with so many CVs for each job would yours stand out for the right reasons? If you know that grammar’s not your strong point, ask someone to look over your CV for you. 

Make Your CV Stand Out 

Make sure to include relevant – emphasis on relevant – courses you’ve completed, i.e. for engineering CVs list any CAT/MTU Engine courses or AV/IT courses you’ve done, don’t just assume that because you’ve held a certain job title recruiters will assume you have this experience or have done a course already. If you have extensive experience with welding/fabrication then mention it, if you’ve been rebuilding cars and motorbikes since you were a teenager mention it, you speak a foreign language? Put it on your CV. 

Use facts and figures in your CV where you can too. For example, if your last yacht was a busy charter then state how many weeks usage you had – one person’s definition of ‘busy’ can be quite different to another’s. If you overcame any major issues or diverted any potential disasters in your last role, mention it. I could pull out at least 20 CVs from my inbox which all have similar job descriptions with nothing really setting them apart – those who demonstrate their experience through past experiences stand out. 

So, if you haven’t had a good look at your CV for a while then maybe now’s the time. Give it a fresh review and make sure you’re bringing your ‘A’ game! 

Drop me an email if we haven’t spoken for a while – or at all –

CVs: Bring Your ’A’ Game!

About the author

Sam Botha

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