Whether you’re freshly green and entering the industry forthe first time or a seasoned veteran, trying to land a new job can be overwhelming,intimidating and just frustrating. What should your résumé look like? What are the bestqualifications to possess? Where did you go wrong in the last interview? Thesequestions often haunt jobseekers, and odds are you’re receiving an excess ofadvice from friends, mentors and articles like this one. Wouldn’t it be morehelpful to hear from those behind the hiring process themselves? Here, captainsand crew agents share their hiring secrets to help you snag that much-covetedjob.
1. Put a Smile On
If there’s one thing that both recruiters and captainscouldn’t emphasize enough, it’s having a positive attitude.
As Sally Aston, recruitment manager at Dohle Yacht Crew,puts it, “It’s not ‘what can the captain/yacht do for me, it is what can I dofor the captain/yacht.”
Capt. Michael Murphy admits that attitude and personalityare the biggest factors for him when it comes to hiring a crewmember. Not onlydoes he look to see if they are enthusiastic and would make a good fit on theteam, but he wants to know they are willing to go the extra yard. He keeps aneye out for those who stress their ability to work in hard situations and havea no job is too big or too small outlook.
“I don’t want someone who grumbles and gripes or who getshyped up or upset,” he says. “They need a good, calm, mellowdemeanor…intelligent, a team player.”
2. Be Genuine
Pair your positivity up with sincerity and you’re golden.
“Primarily, I seek honesty, tremendous desire andconfidence,” said Capt. Baldo Gjurasic, adding that he will disqualify someoneif he finds out a candidate is lying or has no feelings for the sea.
3. Educate Yourself
According to Aston, with the increase of the size of yachtsbeing built, and their technical complexity, each position is likely to have aspecific, individual requirement and each candidate needs to be suitablyqualified for the position for which he or she is applying.
But fulfilling minimum education requirements may not beenough — there are always options to further your studies, which can be highly regardedby captains and owners. Aston maintains it’s up to the candidate to obtainhigher licenses than required, and that it shows they plan to progress to ahigher position or larger yacht.
Similarly, Angela Wilson, crew agent and marketing directorat Elite Crew International, advocates always maintaining your education.
“Keeping up with education so that it’s balanced with theexperience you have will ensure you’re a balanced candidate and improve yourchances of landing the job you want,” she said. “For instance, if you’ve chosento take a long period of time off, employers would prefer to see that youcontinued with your education, even if it’s just working on modules for yournext ticket.”
4. Demonstrate Longevity
Wilson and Aston both agree that longevity can boost a CV.Wilson even cites lack of longevity as a disqualifier.
“If [the captain/owner] sees that the applicant has had,say, three or four jobs in the last two years, this could indicate lack ofcommitment, and commitment, as well as enthusiasm, is what a captain wants,”Aston adds.
She suggests letting your crew agents know if there’s areason why you’ve moved around from previous employments so they can explainthis to the captain.
The interview is your first impression on the captain/owner,and your chance to prove to them why you’d make a good crewmember or to make upfor any discrepancies your résumé may have. As much as yourattitude and personality count, so does your initial appearance.
Wilson says that showing up to an interview in aninappropriate outfit is one of the biggest mistakes a candidate can make. Thatsaid, don’t arrive to your interview dressed like you’re ready to hit theweights or paint the town red.
6. Be Prepared
The better prepared you are, the better you’ll be able towalk into an interview with confidence and a stronger ability to answerquestions and ask your own.
“Have the important things to you written down or in noteform,” Capt. Murphy says. “Have memorized questions to ask, ask about jobdescriptions, educational, medical benefits so they have that all upfront sothere’s no surprises.”
Aston maintains that being prepared applies equally toapplicants new to the industry as well as experienced crew and that it’s vitalto research the industry, the yacht you wish to join and the position. In fact,not knowing the build or size of the yacht is one of the most common mistakescandidates make, according to Wilson.
7. Keep it Concise
Brevity is key. Gjurasic recommends being short and precise whenspeaking so that the other party understands immediately what you want.
“The biggest turnoff when I interview is if they don’tlisten and just talk, talk, talk,” says Murphy, who warns against rambling. “Duringthe interview process, when [the captain] is conducting [the interview], youshould listen to what the person interviewing has to say and don’t expand onstories.”
So stick with questions, listen and be thoughtful about yourresponses.
Remember, there is the right job out there for everyone.With these tips, you just might find yours sooner than you think.