Often, the first port of call to getting your first superyacht job is to ensure your CV catches the eyes of crew recruitment agencies.
Crew recruitment agencies are the gatekeepers and the ones who can often make or break your yachting career, especially if you are brand spanking new to the industry.
We get hundreds of candidates registering on a monthly basis, and with over 300 applicants for most junior roles (and therefore ripe for green crew), consultants simply don’t have the time to scrawl through each and every person.
If your crew CV isn’t structured correctly or contain any relevant experience, no matter how tenuous, then your dream to become a yachtie could be over before it’s even started.
To ensure your green crew CV has every chance of being noticed by crew recruitment agencies, make sure you follow these steps.
Unlike most shore-based sectors, crew CVs without a photo won’t even be looked at. Regardless of how controversial it is, the yachting industry is vain and we need to know that you are capable of being presentable.
With this in mind, make sure you include a professional-looking head and shoulders shot in a plain polo with no sunglasses, minimal make-up, tidy hair and no offensive jewellery and piercings on show. A nautical or coastal backdrop would be a bonus, but a white wall is absolutely fine too.
Make sure your name, age and contact info are at the top. Sounds obvious, but check it and check it again, because the amount of incorrect (or downright inappropriate) email addresses we see is far too many. People often get their own mobile number wrong too, especially when it’s a recently bought foreign SIM. And don’t forget to remove the zero!
It’s worth including your passport origin and Covid vaccination status here too (most yachts only accept double vaccinated with booster).
If you do not have an ENG1 medical or STCW certificate, do not even bother registering with a crew recruitment agency. You absolutely must have these to even be considered. And put them front and centre with the expiry dates.
It shows that you are ready to take a role immediately should a suitable job come up and that you’ve committed to joining the yachting industry by investing in them.
If you’re looking for a deckhand role, Power Boat level 2 and PWC licence would be beneficial as well.
Short and informative bio
We don’t want to scroll pages and pages of text before understanding why you want to get into yachting and what relevant experience or transferrable skills you have.
Include a summary paragraph at the top that explains who you are, why you want to work onboard and in what role (so do your research first) and why you think you would make a good deckhand or stew for example.
List your skills
Regardless of whether you are new to the industry, crew recruitment agencies will be looking for relevant and/or transferrable skills.
List them in bullet point style beneath your bio and focus on practical skills that would be useful onboard, like hospitality (high-end), service, guest relations etc. Secondary skills and experience in carpentry, security, watersports (mainly deck) or beauty therapy, massage, hairdressing (mainly interior) and fitness, first aid, photography or videography are all sought-after.
Make your work history relevant
When it comes to your crew CV, always make the most relevant experience top of the pile, under an ‘industry experience’ subtitle. A week’s work experience in a boatyard at 14 won’t count, but summer work at a sailing or watersports school will, as will any yachting/boating related roles.
If you haven’t got any direct experience in the industry, detail the most applicable and how this role(s) has provided you with transferrable skills and experience. A background in a trade – be it carpentry for deckhands, floristry for stews or mechanical/electrical for engineers – are good places to start.
Something I also find appealing is tough working conditions. That can be physical work or it can be working long hours, which are both relevant in yachting.
All good crew recruitment agencies will get references – verbal ones in our case. We’ll want to see the contact details for your current or last employer and at least one other, preferably from a role that is relevant to any yachting experience you have.
If you’ve done a good enough job catching our eye with your CV, then it’s likely we will be in touch to find out more. If and when we do call you, this is what we expect from you:
- Knowledgeable – make sure you have done enough research to know enough about the basics of each role and department and how the industry operates.
- Polite – be yourself, but be polite and professional. Do not swear; we are not your mates, we are recruiters who will be potentially representing you to yachts.
- Flexibility – as a greenie, your options will be limited, so try and be open to any and all opportunities rather than mandate location, salary, charter vs private etc.
Think your CV is ready for crew recruitment agency eyes? Register here.