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Top 10 Tips for Super CVs
Camper & Nicholsons
1st March 2020

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Top 10 Tips for Super CVs

Recruitment agencies, captains and heads of department receive hundreds of CVs daily.
Take a look at our top tips for ensuring that your CV will be in the “yes” pile and that you’re among those candidates that will be invited for interview.

1. Photo – make it professional.

Your photo should be of your head and shoulders only, and show you looking at the camera and smiling. Make sure you are smartly dressed, no sunglasses or hats, remove any piercings and, for girls, a natural look with light make-up and tidy hair is preferable.

Make sure it’s a recent photo as well - something taken in the last 12 months, and not taken at a social occasion. Check that the photo looks good when printed both in colour and B&W, and don’t forget to refresh the photo on your CV every year.

Check out some examples of a good CV photos on Instagram @crewprofilephotos.

2. Structure – stand out, but keep it simple.

It only takes a few seconds to catch someone’s attention and that first impression is vital.
Consider the format of your CV carefully. Use a smart font such as Georgia, Calibri or Arial, and use headline titles to differentiate between sections. The content needs to be clear, easy to read. Recruiters and captains will not consider your CV if it is too long or the text too tiny to easily read. Stick to black for your text or a dark colour, and make sure it’s still clear when printed. Finally, name your file smartly, e.g. “First name, second name CV”.

3. General – reassure the reader that you are the right candidate for the position.

Don’t leave questions unanswered such as “Was the yacht private or charter?” Keep your CV updated, chronological and constantly refresh it.
Don’t leave gaps in the timeline and make sure that you start with relevant yachting experience first, then you can briefly mention other experience related to yachting. Make it short, attractive and catchy.

Layout – What to include

  • First and second names
  • Position
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address
  • DoB
  • Nationality
  • Visas
  • Languages
  • Current location
  • Driving Licence
  • Qualifications
  • Personal statement: a couple of sentences to outline your experience – make it personal and tell the reader what you are looking for. Present your skills, career goals, and unique selling points - what makes you different from other candidates?
  • Yachting experience
  • Related experience
  • References
  • Hobbies/ Interests

4. Content – start with your yachting experience.

Include employment start and end dates (month and year), yacht name, position, yacht size, state whether it was charter or private, and add any further selling points that are relevant to your experience such as cruising area and your specific duties on board.
Other experience: choose only the work experience relevant to the yachting industry and be concise.

5. Spelling and grammar – in the yachting industry attention to detail is everything.

If your CV is a grammatical disaster, it can damage the first impression the recruiter has of you.
Example: A recent candidate for a senior stewardess position had great experience and excellent references, however the chief stewardess reviewing her CV picked up on several spelling and punctuation mistakes and decided against interviewing her.

6. Honesty – because honestly, it’s the best policy.

Incorrect information doesn’t help anyone, be truthul when listing your employment dates, any tattoos, piercings, your marital status, if you smoke, etc. Be clear about what you really did on board and your skill-set.
Don’t over-sell your skills as it may come back to haunt you!

7. References – keep it recent and relevant.

Make sure that you provide contact details for your references – Name, surname, which yacht they are related to, their position, telephone and e-mail address. Reputable recruitment agencies will always check references, so ensure contact information is current.
Aim for a minimum of three recent and relevant references and avoid stating ‘References Available Upon Request’.

If you are currently employed and have not informed your captain that you are looking for work, don’t add their contact information! And don’t invent references - if an employer discovers you’ve made it up, you can be sure that’s the end of your career.

8. Hobbies/ Interests – give them the bigger picture.

Add interesting information about what you like to do off the yacht. Be original and show what your passions are.

9. Share it!

Before you send your CV to agencies, share it with your friends, colleagues, family. They may pick up on the things that you have missed. Everyone you show it to will give you a different opinion so listen to their advice but at the end of the day make sure you are happy with it!

10. Conclusion – the perfect CV.

Your CV is a reflection of you: your experience and your personality should shine through, and it should be a document you are proud of.