Skip to content
Menu Contact Us
interior crew yoga

With interior crew secondary skills in high demand from yachts right now, I have been focussing on sourcing the best candidates over the past few months with beauty therapy, massage, personal training, yoga instruction and medical experience – to name but a few.

And while I’ve had the pleasure of working with some very highly qualified candidates, I have also noticed a few trends emerging among those who want to try and make themselves stand out.   

DON’T waste your money on short courses

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of candidates embarking on short courses in various areas to make their CV appear more attractive.

I am all about career progression and continual professional development (CPD), however, I’m not a fan of Stews taking short courses in a subject and then applying for roles that involve using that skill. Neither are my clients, to be honest.

A great example of this is the classic ‘Learn to be a Masseuse in a Month’ course. I understand that it’s an intense course, and you might be a natural, but the reality is you don’t have the practical experience or enough knowledge to be applying for stew/masseuse roles.

Quite frankly, you’re not going to get a look in either when you’re put up against candidates who have years of experience in their field. If the role requires heavy use of a secondary skill, then it’s even likely that a green Stew with less onboard experience will be preferred.

Billionaire yacht clients are looking for years of former experience, working in luxury hotels, retreats and spas all over the world. They are looking for candidates who have spent a few months in Thailand, learning just Thai massage, on top of their already existing qualifications. Now that’s the type of CPD I want to see on a CV!

Clients want to feel safe when receiving a sports/deep tissue massage and be confident in their therapist’s knowledge. They want to feel certain that you know exactly what you’re doing!

DON’T rely on old experience

You might think this is really obvious, but believe me, some candidates genuinely think that having a qualification from 10 years ago still stands. This is more common among new candidates trying to get their first yachting gig and relying on sought-after interior crew secondary skills.

If, however, you haven’t been continually practicing, learning, keeping up with modern trends and new techniques, then you cannot expect to be considered for a yacht job on that basis.

I’ve lost count of the number of hairdressers, personal trainers and beauticians that think their post-collage three or four years in that industry is relevant another three or four years down the line.

Would you really want someone cutting your hair who hasn’t picked up a pair of scissors in five years? Probably not.

That said, if you do have historical experience and qualifications, getting yourself back into it with a refresher course and more recent work experience could work. It’s likely you’ll be able to pick it up again easily, but invest some time in honing this secondary skill before including it on your CV.  

DON’T fake it until you make it

This ties in with both points I made above! It’s so easy when you’re writing your CV to perhaps exaggerate the truth a little. Perhaps just extending the experience and knowledge that you have and telling yourself that you’ll figure it out when you get there.

Now don’t get me wrong, I lived by this motto in my early 20s! I always had the attitude of ‘say what they want to hear’ in an interview, fill them with confidence and I’ll figure it out when I get onboard. Cross that bridge when it comes to it, hold on tight and hope for the best, type thing.

Being my older and wiser self, I look back and it just wasn’t the case. Speaking from experience, you get figured out pretty quickly, and that’s even truer now.

I was the classic, ‘yeah I can do that’, but when you are there, standing in front of the primary, not having a clue what cocktail they are talking about, Googling it underneath the bar, while they ask about your experience and your background, as you attempt to make drinks for his 10 other guests, all wanting different cocktails – it’s a nightmare.

Yes, I winged it but it did not feel good. You will buckle under pressure. The key point here is that a day course in cocktails does not make you a mixologist.

Remember that episode in Friends when Ross does one of Phoebe’s massages and he ends up using wooden spoons on the client’s back? Well, things like this happen!

I’ve taken reference before from a client who let one of their stews do the boss’s nails, because she raved about her nail technician course in the interview that she had done years ago and assured them they had been in practice since. Well, she hadn’t and crumbled in front of the boss resulting in her feeling very silly.

What I’m trying to say is be careful what you wish for, and only mention an interior crew secondary skill on your CV if you truly are confident in it.

If you don’t have a secondary skill and want to enhance your CV, then make sure you are passionate about it, research it and pick an accredited and recognised course. Then get practical experience for a decent amount of time.

Secondary skill or not, our clients are always looking for amazing stews. Make sure you are registered with us here.

Interior crew secondary skills – what not to do

About the author

Emily Daniels

More from the author


Using life skills to lead onboard

lead onboard


Chief Officer salary survey 2023

SUPERYACHT SALARY AND LEAVE REPORT FINAL (730 × 550px) (730 × 400px) (1)