Looking at CVs all day, it’s noticeable that ‘hospitality’ is mentioned on almost every Junior Steward/Stewardess CV, in one way or another.
Get a full-time hospitality job
If you really want to stand out and give yourself the best start when it comes to your stew career, my advice is to invest some time prior to shelling out for your STCW, by working shore-based in high-end hospitality. This could consist of working for a 5* hotel in either Service or Housekeeping, a Michelin Star restaurant or a swanky ski chalet. Learning about wines, being trained in Silver Service (on the job) and servicing rooms in a 5* hotel are all notable experiences to sell on your CV.
With a solid year or two working full time in this sort of environment and coming away with a manager who can vouch for your ‘natural abilities with guests’, your ‘superb service skills’ and your ‘no-nonsense approach to cleaning toilets’, is when you will detach yourself from the other thousands of candidates who worked a shift a week in a local pub whilst studying and now have ‘four years of hospitality experience’.
Any experience will help to some degree
I don’t want to discount any experience as bad experience because working in a pub or café, interacting with others and working alongside a team is certainly no bad thing. However, if you’re reading this before applying for work as a stew or perhaps after a few months of no luck with applications and wondering what to do, invest the time now and give yourself the best chance with some serious experience behind you.
Just doing courses won’t give you the knowledge
There are courses out there that can give you the basic skills you require but this isn’t going to make you stand out from the crowd. I see hundreds of CVs including attendance on such courses and faced with a decision of sending a candidate with a certificate or one that has gained the skills over time and comes with excellent references, well it becomes an easy choice.
In my opinion, if it’s a career in yachting you are looking for, invest in the building blocks before you start.
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