The yachting industry is entering a busy season of boat shows and symposiums. Our yacht crew insurance clients, especially captains, have been chatting with us about the best ways for crew to find their perfect job. With their help we have put together the following tips on creating the perfect multi-national resume for the marine industry.
Building a Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) can be a difficult and daunting task. A resume directly represents yourself to an employer, and many times it is a first impression. Add to that, the multi-cultural environment of our industry and the task becomes more difficult. You should demand it be unparalleled, filled with professional experience, qualifications, strengths, and key skills catered toward the job you want. You wouldn’t go to a job interview poorly dressed and unprepared, so why treat your resume that way? Get your resume looking like it’s dressed to the nines by following these helpful tips.
There are a few things you must include when it comes to building a yacht crew resume that you may not think about.
1. Include a photo.
If you have ever worked in an office, you know that this is not a norm in the corporate world, but in the yachting industry, appearance is important. Your photo should signify that you are friendly and professional. If you have a uniform from your current or previous job, that would be the best option to wear. No sunglasses! Take a look at this photo of our own employee, Johanna as a good example.
2. State your nationality and any visas/ work permits you carry.
3. Note all languages you speak (don't forget your mother tongue!)
4. State whether you are a smoker or not (and quit if you are!)
It doesn't really pay to lie here. You will have to live and work side by side with the other crew, so eventually habits will surface.
5. Clearly define your objective.
Make sure your objective matches the job that you are applying for. You don't want to state your objective is to become a Captain if you are applying for the job of 1st Mate.
6. List your yachting qualifications.
If possible, include the number of nautical miles traveled. It's not necessary, but as captains scan resumes, if your number is high, it could give you a leg up on the competition. As you consider your yachting qualifications, be sure to include the size and type of boat, the time you spent at the position, the position(s) held, and the locations you covered during your time onboard.
If you have any unique experiences to share, consider adding them. One good friend served as Chief Stew on a 162m. yacht in the Mediterranean. When the boat hit issues during a storm, she followed evacuation protocol ensuring the safety of all crew and guests onboard. Engineers will need to include technical information for each boat, Chefs could include any specific events or unusual situations, and so on.
7. List your experience.
Should you have any experience outside of the yachting community, here is where you would include it. If your experience is extensive, this is a good area to cut.
8. List your education.
Obviously if you have maritime education, that should go first. If you have university experience, be sure to state it. If not, it can be helpful to include high school (or equivalent) experience. Be sure to clarify the type of school; we work in an international and multicultural industry and names and titles of schools or accreditations are not always clear.
For one, it’s especially important that you don’t lie about any of your experience. The industry is small - captains communicate - and eventually they will find out.
Structure and Layout
When it comes to building and structuring your resume’s layout, it is important to ensure your resume is easy to read - the most important things should stand out - and easy to scan. Most captains collecting resumes at the Fort Lauderdale Yacht Symposium & Job Fair will collect a stack of resumes. To stand out and create a great first impression, make sure your resume gives an organized, clean impression. Keep the length to one page, unless you are a very experienced professional who is applying for a very experienced position, then you can use more than one page, but no more than two! Don't overcrowd the page, make sure you list the most important elements first, and provide contact information for you that is up to date (we recommend including an email address and Skype address, but leaving a mailing address off as your resume could be kept in the boat files for a while and you may have moved on by the time they reach out to you). Don't use more than two fonts or overuse the bold or italic fonts and more than anything CHECK YOUR SPELLING.
What else should I include?
Include interests and hobbies. When interviewing for most jobs or careers this wouldn’t be a factor, but again, considering you spend all your time on the boat, captains or yacht owners may want to grasp what you do in your spare time. This can be especially helpful when it comes to your interview. Having something in common with your interviewers can help you to build a good rapport and let them see the ways you would be a good fit for the boat.
No one likes a Big Ego
The culture in the U.S. expects job prospects to act confident when building their resumes and attending interviews, whereas in Europe and other places throughout the world, the culture expects job prospects to be more humble and modest. As a result, being in an international career, try to find a middle ground between the two. A good tip to help in this aspect is to write as if you are writing your resume for someone else. For example, if you were writing a resume for a peer, you wouldn’t boast about them, you would be very direct and to the point. This also goes for any interviews or face-to-face meetings.
The Yacht Symposium & Job Fair (October 9-10, 2014)
All of these tips and information will be incredibly valuable in preparation for the Yacht Symposium & Job Fair on October 9-10, 2014. The event will be held in the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, where you can see me speaking from 3:30-4:00 pm on October 10th about Crew Health Insurance and the Maritime Labour Convention.
The final word...
Having a great resume on hand can make or break a career, no matter what the industry. When you save your resume, use a cloud document service like Google Drive or Dropbox so that you can easily share it from your cell phone no matter where in the world you are.
And before you go in for any interview, always do your research, which leads to our question for you:
Question: What was your best or worst job interview?
The worst interview I ever conducted was one in which I asked, "Why are you a good fit for this position?" and the response was, "What is the position?"
Call MHG Insurance Brokers today at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help finding individual or group yacht crew health insurance plans that perfectly meet your needs!