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We asked captains for their advice on how potential crew can be better prepared to apply for a job on their yacht. Here’s what they said.
Don’t try to act like you know everything about everything. In my experience, people do well as long as they are still learning new things. Once the learning stops, they don’t seem happy with the job anymore. I won’t hire you if I think you are already at that point.
Dress, prepare and act in a manner that would be pleasing to your grandparents. Such mannerisms will always be respected and never go out of style.
Know your strengths. Seek a position that is suited to your skills and personality.
Do not lie. I do not hire smokers. When I catch you, you are gone.
Have a neat appearance, be punctual, be well spoken, be prepared, and have an idea what you are getting into. Leave the cell phone off.
Learn about the boat, its schedule and reputation.
Have a well put-together CV. Show up looking the part for the interview. Show an eagerness for the work, not be here for the party.
Have copies of certificates.
I like crew members who have direction in life, know what they want and have something to work toward. They must be up front at the beginning. There’s nothing worse than getting surprises at the wrong time. Be presentable, as the way you present yourself in an interview is what I expect if I give the candidate the position. Guys are the worst. But if a crew member works well with others and is always willing to be part of a team rather than a loner, they will normally work out.
Be prompt, ask questions. Don’t say you know how to do something when you don’t. We’re always happy to teach new crew.
Give up smoking.
Have longevity in something. Have real applicable skills to offer, and the keen desire to learn more. Be honest. Be enthusiastic. Be ready for action.
Remember that you are on the dock for the first time just once.
Dress and look the part. Have good references. Ask well thought-out questions. Be friendly. Be enthusiastic. Be honest. Be punctual. First impressions count.
Be serious and real. Don’t overqualify your CV.
You have 10-30 minutes to sell yourself. Make sure you are prepared to do so.
1. Be honest about your experience. If you put it on paper, you will eventually be asked to perform the stated tasks.
2. Be brief in your resume. Busy people do not want to read a novel. List your credentials, highlight your experience, be honest and do it with as few words as possible.
If you advertise with agents and on job boards that you are available and I call you, like you and offer a job, don’t tell me you can’t decide because you have a few irons in the fire. That’s a waste of everyone’s time. If you are ready, you are ready.
Show interest in the yacht, not the destinations. Be discreet. Have good behavior.
Gather information available regarding the yacht. Be “on your game” and prepared for the interview. Your attitude controls your altitude.
Learn how to varnish.
Deal with your loose ends, have your commitments in order, and your tickets current. Stay in good physical condition including medical routines. Show up with a smile.
Act professional and dress the part, even if you’re a mate on a sport fishing boat. Tattoos and ratty clothing are unacceptable. Owners have high expectations.
Follow through. Half of the people I reached out to never even responded.
Be presentable, with easy contact information available. A card is helpful as it will fit in a pocket until later if walking around.
Try to find out something about the boat beforehand. You will be more prepared to help the interviewer determine how you will fit in with the crew, the guests, and the vessel’s program.
Tell me what is different about you. Don’t tell me that you are “easy going” or have “great attention to detail,” etc. Everybody else is, too, and it’s just wasted space on the CV.
Do your homework. Know the build, design, etc. of the boat you’re being considered for. Watch the boat and our crew. Chat with the crew on the dock or in the bar if you like, and get a feel for if this team feels right to you.