8 common mistakes that we see yacht crew make on their CV

If you've been actively looking for work during your yachting career, you are probably familiar with the feeling of sitting in front of your computer, trying to figure out the best way to present yourself to your future employer.

The importance of properly written CV shouldn’t be underestimated as it will be your most important ally in your job search and the first form of contact with your recruiter and future employer.

As recruiters we are used to seeing hundreds upon hundreds of yachting CVs and we are in daily contact with yachts looking for crew so it doesn’t take us long to spot oversights yacht crew make when writing their CVs. Below we bring you 8 of the most common mistakes we see yacht crew make along with explanations for each of them.


1. Using lots of colourful boxes in your CV layout

“One of the biggest mistakes I often see is the use of large colourful boxes on CV’s. Whilst they can make a CV look nice visually, they can also use up valuable space on a CV, that is needed for the most important thing – your experience! I quite often see people adding unnecessary information to their CV just to fill up some space within a box. Remember that both recruiters and our clients will often print your CV and coloured boxes use a lot of ink when printing. This is not only wasteful but sometimes also results in text not being readable.

Another pitfall with coloured boxes, is that some recruitment computer packages scan CV’s and pre-populate the database with your information and these programs are not always able to process this well, they are designed to scan black text on a light background. So you could be missing out appearing on search for a position all because of dark coloured box on your CV. My advice is to keep it light and simple, and make sure you don’t lose any valuable space on your CV.”

–  Louise Overend, Interior Recruitment consultant


2. Trying to squeeze a whole CV on 1 page

“It is difficult to emphasise all your experience and skills on a 1 page CV. A 2 page CV is ideal to share all the information necessary, including profile/objective, qualifications, previous positions, hobbies and reference contacts. So don’t be shy, we want to know who you are.”

Lisa Frost, Captain and Officer Recruiter



3. Not listing your references 

“It is essential you add your referee’s details at the end of your CV in order for the agencies or your future employers to contact people you previously worked with.

Most of the time, agencies will check your references prior to putting you forward for a new position. The Captains and other HoDs also like to contact previous employers directly to get feedback before offering the candidate the position.

You should list them starting with your most recent ones and make sure the contact details are up to dates which is often not the case.”

Annabelle Huvelin, Interior Recruiter


4. Having spelling and grammar mistakes on your CV

“Make sure you always double check all spelling and grammar. In this day and age there should be no excuse for typos since we all use Word or other software programs which automatically detect spelling and grammar mistakes.

Another good way of making sure everything is in order is to get someone else to double check and proofread your CV – a fresh set of eyes always helps. It is a huge thing to have a client or captain come and say: “We have noticed x, y and z mistakes”, so it’s always good to make sure your CV is flawless.”

Alexandra O’Connell, Deckhand and Bosun Recruiter



5. Forgetting to write dates or descriptions for your work experience

“Always add months of employment to your CV. If you say you’ve worked somewhere from 2020-2021, that could mean anything from a few days to 2 years of experience.

Same thing happens when we see candidates saying they’ve worked on a yacht for 1 season. This could be 2 months, 3 months or 6 months, and it makes a big difference so don’t forget to be precise!

Once you’ve added the dates, make sure you describe your previous work experience. Write a few sentences explaining what were your duties, what have you learned, how many guests and crew did you have on board and where did you cruise. If it’s a land-based position, tell us a bit about the company, what do they do on daily basis and what was your role in the team. Try not to use bullet points to list your duties but rather write out a short paragraph and give your CV a more personal touch!”

Anita Lukas, Interior Department Recruiter


6. Not using appropriate CV picture

“Too often we see candidates including less than professional CV photos. Your CV photo should reflect your best professional self and should never include, pouting, frowning, selfies, dark or blurry images.

We want to see your smile. Even if you don’t think you have the prettiest teeth or a Hollywood smile, smiling on your CV photo is still the way to go – trust us! It will make you seem more approachable and positive, which is always a winner with our clients!

Make sure your CV photo is clear, and yachting appropriate, with good lighting and a nice background from mid waist up.  Professional and tidy, a white polo or a navy polo on a sunny bright day is always a good choice.”

Alexandra O’Connell, Deckhand and Bosun Recruiter



7. Leaving out your date of birth or phone number

“Make sure your mobile phone number (with country code) and current location are always included in your CV. List them at the top part of your CV so your future employer quickly knows how to reach you and knows which time zone you are in.

Your date of birth should also be included in this section. If this is missing, a client will normally ask us for those details and might question why they are being withheld.”

Ulrica Lindstrom, Head of Captain and Officer Department



8. Not mentioning what position you are looking for or what you can bring to the table

“Make sure to always add the position you are looking for on the top of your CV (usually under your name). Yacht Captains and management companies are often recruiting for several positions at once and won’t have time to read through the whole CV before passing it on to the relevant department. Your CV might end up getting lost in the whole process.

When writing your personal profile, we advise you take a look at it from the opposite perspective. Imagine you are the employer reading your own profile: does it sell you as the perfect solution to the employer, or is it all about what you want from your next assignment? There is a huge difference and it will get noticed.”

Anna Horak, Engineering Recruiter at YPI CREW



Are you ready to find your new dream job onboard a yacht?

Become a member of YPI CREW through a free registration and let us connect you with the next step in your career.

Each of our recruiters is specialised in recruitment for a particular department and they will do their best to get you an interview onboard a yacht. They will also advise qualified crew how to best present their CV and prepare for a yacht job interview.


Are you looking for yacht crew for your yacht?

Get in touch with us so our recruiters can connect you with suitable, available and interested candidates, each of which will be checked, certified, pre-interviewed and ensured to be a perfect fit to your existing crew.

You can get in touch with us today by clicking here.



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