We have been super busy of late with our CV Services as we equip crew with a new professional CV. As such, I thought it would be timely to put together a list for you of the top ten mistakes we see in CVs and how you can avoid them. First and foremost, remember how important your CV is – it is show-casing who you are and what skills and qualities you can offer, above and beyond any other candidate. Your CV is competing against a significant number of other yachting CVs, therefore, it is important that it stands out and is quickly separated from the ‘no’ pile.
Follow these 10 tips to make sure your CV gets a chance to go into the ‘interview’ pile:
Spelling and grammar
Get someone else to proofread your CV. Spelling and grammar mistakes make you look lazy and unprofessional which doesn’t bode well for your alleged ‘attention to detail’ (True story, I once saw CV that boasted: Excellent attention to detale).
Don’t exceed two pages. If you have held five positions or less you should try and get everything onto one single page. Don’t make the font too tiny, rather optimise the layout and margins instead. If you have considerable yachting experience you should still keep it to two pages maximum – summarise earlier experience into a paragraph to give your more recent and relevant info more room.
In the work experience section make sure you relate the experience back to yachting. Think about the skills and attributes that are required for the position and reflect this in your previous work experience.
Overly detailed Profile Statement
Employers want to know your attributes, skills and knowledge and why they should consider you, they are generally not interested in reading about your personal life. Focus on what’s in it for the person hiring you. Your content should be well articulated and to the point.
Separate your yachting experience from other relevant work experience.
Ensure that within each section, that your previous work experience is listed from your most recent being first.
Don’t use a photo from your social media profile. Keep it professional – a head and shoulders shot with your hair neat and a friendly smile.
Stick to black and white and use standard, sans serif fonts such as Arial or Helvetica. This will keep it looking neat and professional. It might work in other industries, however, in yachting bright colours and fancy fonts, pictures and other distractions actually detract from your CV and make it look like you’re trying to compensate for weak content.
Hobbies shows your personal side, it gives people an idea of what you are like as a person, so make them genuine and interesting.
Ensure your references have the correct contact details and make sure those people are prepared to speak on your behalf. If people don’t expect the reference call or if what they say doesn’t relate to the jobs you’re applying for, it could do more damage than good.
Lastly, always write your CV in first person. Keep it professional and use the appropriate jargon.
On behalf of The Crew Coach, we wish you the very best in your job search and hope that your yachting career is a rewarding one!