CV surgery 4
In a departure from our usual CV advice, this month Laurence Reymann of YPI Crew is broaching the subject of cover letters when applying for positions on superyachts.
These days the need for cover letters has decreased as most of the time candidates register with recruitment consultancies via databases that do not require the traditional cover letter approach; all candidates have to do is fill in forms and tick appropriate boxes. The cover letter is, however, not dead and can be useful at a different level. If a candidate is interested in a specific job presented by a recruitment consultant, the candidate may choose to write a cover letter to the attention of the captain or owner (if the candidate is a captain), which the recruitment consultant could send along with the CV.
The cover letter is a “sales document” and must contain the following elements:
As a candidate you will express your interest for the position and in a few sentences explain why you are suitable for the job. This is no time for vague comments, be factual, be precise, eg; “My in-depth knowledge of South East Asian cruising grounds from X to Y makes me the ideal candidate to join your yacht based in Thailand.” Develop on the cruising ground and local knowledge.
Skills and knowledge
Develop on skills and knowledge you bring to the table, eg; “As I have supervised the construction of two yachts in X shipyard I am ideally suited to follow the construction of your yacht.”
Sell, sell, sell…
Pick no more than three examples that clearly illustrate why you are the best candidate for that particular job and then ask for an interview.
A common error would be to elaborate on what you are looking for, but this is not the time. The person who will read the letter needs to be reassured that you are the best candidate for THEM. This is not what they can do for you; it’s what you can do for THEM.
The cover should not be too long, nobody reads long letters, be clear, be concise, and know yourself and what you have to offer!