How to write a yacht crew CV

With thanks to YPI Crew and Van Allen Group

Ask any employing captain or yacht management company and they'll tell you that finding reliable yacht crew is often one of their most challenging and time consuming tasks!

crew onboard yacht exterior

The yachting industry sees one of the highest staff turnover rates yet there are still fewer jobs than there are applicants, meaning there's often strong competition for all vacant positions – from both new and existing crew. As such, it’s important to ensure your yachting CV stands out from the crowd.

We relay what to include and how to format your crew CV to stand the best chance of landing a yacht job.

What to include on a crew CV

The first step in finding your dream job is to ensure your CV is up to scratch. A specialist yacht crew agent will lend great advice and expertise in this area, but don’t forget; a well-presented CV is a CV that shines. By ensuring you deliver a well-formatted and typo-free resume, you ensure that it doesn’t end up in the bin after the first scan read!

1. A professional photograph

In the maritime industry, those CVs without a professional photograph tend to be discarded first.

Remember, a smart appearance is extremely important on board. Make sure you look well groomed, cover any tattoos and remove any piercings (while other industries may have softened their stance towards such things, it's still important in yachting).

You may not realise it, but you have changed a lot in the last three years. It's sad fact of life. With this in mind, be sure to update your photo every year.

yacht docked

2. Your past experience

If you’ve been doing day work, make sure you add each role to your CV as you go (believe us when we say this is the best way to recall everything you do). Include the yacht name and what your duties were, and wherever possible, ask the captain for a reference. If you don’t do this as you go, you're at risk of forgetting your roles and a captain may wonder about gaps in your experience.

Laurence Lewis, director at YPI Crew, recommends listing up to 10 years' of past work experience, if you have it. “Don’t disregard job experiences, skills, or education credentials whether relevant or seemingly irrelevant to your new career," she noted. "Employers will want to build a global picture of who you are and will perhaps want to see how versatile you are. Big gaps in CVs should also be explained. Define what your unique selling point is and mention it in your introduction.”

3. Add references

It's always useful to include a few professional references at the end of your CV if possible. Another good tip is to ask employers to endorse you on LinkedIn.

How to format your crew CV

Typically, you have between three and six seconds to catch the captain’s attention. Captains don’t have long to look through applications, so your CV needs to stand out right from the start. Keep it to a maximum of two pages in length - this will help your chances of landing your dream yacht job.

Studies show that people often scan pages diagonally rather than linearly, often giving up reading bullet points after the third point and moving further down the page instead. With this in mind, make sure to include your most recent employment and qualification first, and move your most impressive skills and attributes to the top of lists.

Opt for a classic font that is both professional and aesthetically pleasing, and use subheadings and bold fonts to keep things organised. Lewis added, “The key to writing an effective CV is simplicity, clarity and tidiness. As you only have a very short time to grab the captain’s attention, we recommend that you ‘test-run’ your CV with friends or family.”

yachts berthed

CV template

Required information:

  • Your full name
  • A current and professional passport photograph
  • A current mobile number, location and email address
  • Your nationality
  • The details of any visas that you may currently hold with expiration dates
  • Your marital status
  • Your smoking habits, visible tattoos and piercings

Below this, you should then include:

  • A concise profile or objective paragraph summarising your experience and unique selling point
  • Your listed yachting experience, including employment dates, yacht name and size and the position held (with a list of duties, listed in reverse order with the most recent first)
  • Your additional qualifications and relevant work experience (again listed in reverse time order)
  • Your hobbies and interests
  • Details of your references or a few short endorsements

Top tip: Don’t forget to take a quick look over your social media accounts before applying for any new yacht job. Prospective employers will almost certainly check out your public-facing profiles to learn more about you. It's important, therefore, to remove negative comments and inappropriate photographs, or switch your profiles to ‘private’. Failing to do so could mean that you never make it to interview stage.

Make use of LinkedIn. It's essentially a platform that allows you to create an online CV - only with scope to include much more information than your actual CV. It's being used more and more by yachting professionals so ensuring you're discoverable on the platform can only be helpful. 

Proofread and request feedback

It may sound obvious, but before printing or sending any CVs make sure you proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes. After all, you can’t boast about having ‘great attention to detail’ when there are obvious mistakes on your CV!

Ask someone in the industry for his or her opinion on your CV. You should question them on its presentation, its content and ask them to do a final proofread before committing to printing off a few dozen copies to be distributed.

Read on for crew tips for yacht job interviews, or search for yacht crew agents on Yachtingpages.com.


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