It’s that time of year again. The new Med season looms as new crew, once again, arrive by the hundreds to the South of France and Palma. If you, too, are looking for work, give your CV a makeover to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
First, put yourself in the employer’s position. When recruiting for a new stewardess, you'll have a sky-high pile of CVs to go through on your desk – you need to decide which ones will you pick up and read and which ones will you leave on the pile and why.
As a job seeker, you need to be an attention grabber. Your CV must be neat and well presented, but the first thing an employer in the yachting industry will look at is your photo. Don’t ever use a photo taken on a night out – the one that you’ve cropped to hide the pina colada/male stripper/inflatable donkey – even if you look great in it. Have someone take a professional-looking shot of you in a crew shirt or something similar. If possible, have the photo taken outside in a marina. Sunny skies and a big smile make you look approachable and warm. Good candidates too often are immediately dismissed due to inappropriate CV photos, so be sure you get step one right!
Keep your details in order. Record any new certifications you've obtained or courses you've completed. Update your objective to reflect your most recent experience and how you want to progress.
Even if you have 10 years of industry experience, keep your CV to two pages. Any longer and employers will stop reading – or they might not even pick it up. Keep your job descriptions brief and concise, avoid using too many buzz words (i.e. I’m a motivated team player – obviously you’re not going to say you’re a lazy, old hermit) and your CV will be easier to read and more appealing to the reader.
A good idea is to title the CV with your name, then pop your certification underneath, i.e.
Make sure you have your current phone number (with
area code) and email address listed. Also, don’t forget to check your
references’ information to be sure they are current. There’s nothing
more frustrating to a captain who's checking refs to find that the numbers
and mail addresses are all wrong. Though people move around, the
advent of Linkedin and Facebook and all these other sites mean there’s no
excuse for losing touch with old colleagues.
Use bold only to
highlight essential parts, i.e. dates, name/size/type of yacht, job
title. Then, at a glance, the reader’s eye is drawn to the most important
most important rule for keeping your CV up-to-date is KISS… keep it
simple (no, we’re not going to call anyone stupid here)!