The way we communicate has undergone a silent revolution in the past few years – instead of venturing out in public to find friends, shop for goods and play, we now stay home, put on our comfy slippers, pull down the shades and switch on the computer.
It’s only natural that job-hunting has gone digital as well. Career-finder websites have proliferated on the Internet, as have sites that let you create and post your CV or résumé online, either for a fee or for free. The flexibility of the digital platform allows job-seekers to be more creative, adding elements like photos and certificates, so the finished résumé may be a better reflection of their personality and work experience than a flat ink-and-paper version.
“As for crew having online CV’s, this is a popular and growing trend, especially for captains, chefs and few engineers,” says Angela Wilson, senior crew agent for Crew International, Inc. “I actually really like this idea for chefs, as it allows them to highlight their food photos, sample menus, awards and other articles or publications they have been in.”
There are a few caveats to remember when putting together an online CV, however. Wilson advises, “Although it’s great to have your own website, most employers don’t want to be just directed to a link – they want the actual résumé presented in a somewhat traditional format. This also makes it easy for them to compare multiple candidates.”
When you distribute your digital CV via email, don’t use a “scattershot” technique by sending out a group mailing; send it to one contact at a time. Be sure to include a proper cover letter addressed to the right person and copy edit your spelling and grammar (which, of course, is also essential when writing the résumé itself). Don’t use texting abbreviations and emoticons – they mite not lik it :). Be ready to send a prospective employer a hard copy of your CV by snail mail, if asked.
In addition to the jobs sites, social networking websites also can be a good place to prospect for work. “I have Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and receive lots of prods and pokes,” says Lucy Medd of Burgess in London, adding, “…lots on LinkedIn (as this is a professional networking site, it makes sense), a few on Facebook but none on Twitter.”
One Fort Lauderdale-based crew agency also reports that while they receive a couple of inquiries a week via Facebook, they get at least one a day through LinkedIn. A popular business tool, LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) offers job-networking capabilities, including finding and getting back in touch with former employers and colleagues you’ve lost contact with who might be able to help you now (although the process is a bit easier if they have an unusual name).
LinkedIn mainly is used for business – so marketing yourself through its services is fair game – but Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are still primarily fun social sites. It pays to be cautious when networking through those online media, in order to avoid inadvertently turning a prospective employer (or a friend) off.
Specifically for yachties, Dockwalk.com marries both social networking and job hunting. Crew are able to virtually network as well as post their CV and browse jobs posted by crew agencies and other users. Captains and crew can then contact one another through the site about jobs.
While the Internet is a great place to supplement your job hunt, yachting industry experts advise not to put all your eggs in one basket. Yachting remains a small, intimate enclave rather than a “virtual” marketplace. A face-to-face meeting and a handshake still stands for much more than a poke or a tweet.
Wilson says, “Most of our new crew and new business comes from word of mouth, advertising and other industry recommendations.”
Most of all, it’s important to remember that what happens on the web, stays on the web – forever. If you’re serious about finding and keeping a good job in the superyacht industry, think twice before uploading photos of that wild bachelor party you attended or wet t-shirt contest you entered on Facebook!