We all know times are changing. Let’s face it, dockwalking seems to be far less common these days for various reasons — there’s lots more security on superyacht docks for one, plus, honestly, who on earth really wants to go begging for work?
Lots of people claim to get their first ever job via Facebook, but lots also claim they send countless CVs and get absolutely no response. Cue Facebook rant from disgruntled wannabe superyacht crewmember on (usually) a rather public forum.
I’m here to impart a little advice, a little wisdom, and a little experience, so here’s my guide to how to get that job through Facebook.
1. Pay Attention
Read the advert carefully. Does it say to PM the Original Poster (OP)? Or send an email? Follow instructions — do not PM them or send them a friend request if they’ve asked for applicants to email. First, it’s rude; second, it shows you’re either too lazy to follow a simple instruction, or you simply can’t. And third, your PM will probably end up in some random “others” folder and never be seen. Your first impression will be negative if you fail to do what’s asked.
If the advert asks for something very specific (like a qualification), then there’s very little point in trying to argue with the OP. “You said the boat’s private, so you probably don’t need the Y4 ticket” just won’t wash well. If that’s what they want, then accept it. It’s most likely down to safe manning requirements and not just the OP being whimsical. And if you’re going to argue with a crew agent, be careful. I don’t post requirements for a laugh, I post them because that’s what the client needs.
This is a big one — first, address your email/message with the person’s name. There’s nothing more annoying than receiving a message on the back of a Facebook post where my name is clearly stated that starts “Dear Sir” or “to whom it may concern.” It’s lazy and unprofessional. Show you’re not just trawling through social media copying and pasting a cover letter that’s so generic it’s irrelevant to every single job post.
Example? “Hi Erica, I saw your post on Facebook today about the Deckhand/Dive Instructor position in the Pacific and I’m really interested.” This will get attention. This, however, will not: “Dear Sir, CV attached for job.” This, guys, is no bueno.
This is a real email I received related to a Facebook-posted job: “this is my cv if you interesting please give me replay message thnx.” Nothing else, not even a “Dear,” let alone punctuation or a capital letter. Or a sign off. Spell check?
Even worse are the people who message with a CV attached and zero words. Not even a hello. Just a blank email with a document attached. For me, that’s akin to someone walking past my deck and throwing a CV at my face without breaking stride. Great first impression. If you’re far too busy for any effort on a message, it means you’re probably too busy to check your work on board.
If you get a reply from the OP, then acknowledge it. A simple thank you is all it takes.
3. Look at your own Facebook page
Seems silly but there’s every chance the OP will look at your profile if they’re interested in your CV. If your public photos are not employer friendly, well, make them private or remove them.
4. Apply for your own jobs
Seems obvious right? So why is your mum messaging/calling/hounding me to get her “hard working and desperate” son a job? Have some independence and do it yourselves, please. And don’t let your mum email people from her own email address and pretend it’s you, then when called out on it continue lying and say your email is broken and you had to use the family email. Honestly, it’s just embarrassing. Anyone who is not motivated enough to send their own emails, do their own applications, check in with agents, etc., is not cut out for the yachting industry. Your mum won’t be coming to the interview (please, don’t bring her) and she certainly won’t be tucking you in at night and washing your socks for you when you’re at sea.
5. Resist the urge to fight!
Honestly this is a terrible, terrible idea. Those crew who post angry tirades on public forums will not be considered for future jobs. I’ve seen crew post sexist, racist, homophobic (etc.) rants on other people’s posts, be sarcastic, impatient, unhelpful, or just downright abusive and I’m not the only one who makes notes. By all means, have a bit of fun but don’t be nasty. It will affect your career. These are some very broad advice points but hopefully, you’ll get the idea and take them on board. Be patient, keep trying, and hang in there! Good luck with the job search.