Impressing the Crew Agent

9 January 2009 By Sally Aston

Everybody knows how important it is to make a good first impression when you arrive for your interview – be on time, dress properly, look the interviewer in the eye, give a firm handshake and all that.

But in the superyacht industry, the first and lasting impression you make may begin well before that – before the point where that captain or owner decides to talk to you. In most cases it all starts with the impression you make on the crew agency.

Remember that the job of a recruitment firm is to help match the right crew with the owner or captain and that’s not as easy as it might seem.

Most recruiters like to have longstanding relationships with both the crew they work with and the owners and captains. One quick way to shorten a relationship is for the recruiter to waste owners’ and captains’ time by sending them irresponsible people. And what many candidates fail to realize is that the agent is judging how they will interact with the owner by observing how they interact with the agent.

Here’s how to impress the recruiter:

  1. Always ensure your CV is a readable format with one font and one color. Don’t send it in fancy attachments that the agency may have trouble opening.
  2. Good phone manners: The initial 45 seconds are telling. Speak up, be positive and be clear.
  3. Above all, be honest. After years of experience it’s pretty easy for a recruiter to figure out that what you’re saying may not be the exact truth. Make sure you explain the real reason you left that job and be able to sincerely say why someone would want you on their team.
  4. Be responsive. The best way to prove to a recruiter that you’re a responsible person is to return phone calls and emails promptly and forward requested information quickly.
  5. Always make sure your contact details on the CV are correct and keep the agency updated with new contact numbers as you move locations.

Many books have been written on how to communicate through a well-written resume or CV. But remember, when the owner or captain asks the recruiter, “But what do you think of them,” their answer may depend as much on the impression they gained while working with you as that well-crafted piece of paper summarizing your professional life, which might have been written by someone else anyway.

Sally Aston is the Crew Recruitment Manager for Döhle Private Clients Ltd.