One of the most common questions we are asked is how to improve a CV.
My thoughts on this may come as a surprise to some. I find that most people have a tendency to focus almost exclusively on what they want on their CV and totally forget the needs of the person reading it.
We all look at the world through our own lens, but when writing your CV, taking a one-dimensional view is often the reason your CV can be overlooked. I am not advocating that you don’t mention your priorities but I strongly encourage job seekers to attempt to put themselves in the shoes of the employer as well.
What matters to an employer you may ask?
One captain I spoke with had the following comment: ‘Crew will always let you down’. Bear with me before you throw your hands up. What he meant was this – ‘Crew will put their needs before mine’. Well yes, that is correct, we all do this (the captain is no exception). Our needs and wants are hugely important. The closer these align with the needs and wants of the employer, the better the fit.
The trick is to get to the bottom of these as soon as possible, your CV and interview is the best place to start.
Our job as agents is to ascertain in as much detail as possible what the employer’s needs are. This means gaining a deep insight into how each of our client’s yachts operates and what their preferences and priorities are. This can be met with a little resistance, but when considering the cost saving that occurs from ‘getting it right’, most come to value this approach.
It takes a lot of effort on both sides to ascertain what your priorities and desirable attributes are and how to communicate them effectively which is why so many fail to create a memorable CV and or interview.
My advice is simple, highlight what makes you unique.
I have read thousands of CVs and interviewed just as many people over the years and the ones that stand out, are the ones who came across as genuine and insightful. Crew that display an understanding about the business of yachting and their role in it are rare.
It is important to remember that a yachting CV is almost entirely different from a corporate CV. Your hobbies, interests and ‘soft skills’ are very often what get you the job. Of course, qualifications, experiences and references play a major part, but since you will be living with the new hire, these other factors take on a lot of importance.
Own your uniqueness – Do you have an unusual skill-set? What do you do for fun? Remember that You are your own agent! Don’t be afraid to represent yourself.
There is a 3-month trial period for a reason. We can only fake it for so long so my advice is be yourself from day one and you will fair much better than pretending to be someone you are not.
While speaking with a candidate about a job recently I discovered that she is an avid triathlete but had not made any mention of it on her CV. Had we not discovered this, she would most likely not have gotten the job. – The owner of the yacht also happens to be a triathlete and loves the fact that there is a crew member on board who he can train with.
We built YOA with the intention of giving crew a platform where they can showcase themselves and many have taken the opportunity to upload content to highlight their unique personalities and skills.
Hang a camera in the galley and tell employers what you’re making for lunch, narrate your yoga session, upload your show reel.
Employers want to hire people who WANT to be on board. No-one enjoys feeling like second prize so don’t apply for and/or accept a job offer just for the sake of doing so. If you know that you are planning to leave the second something else comes along, you are doing no one any favors. Yes, circumstances change and life happens, but how you chose to conduct yourself is completely in your hands.