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  • Writer's pictureYPI CREW

A career in the yachting industry is an exciting and rewarding journey but starting in this competitive industry requires careful preparation and a solid foundation. From acquiring the necessary training and certifications to creating your CV and building a professional network, each step plays a crucial role in establishing yourself as a valuable crew member.

In this guide, we present essential tips to help you navigate the initial stages of your yachting career with confidence and success.

1. Complete Necessary Training and Certifications

As a newcomer to the yachting industry, getting the necessary certifications will be your first step. All crew, regardless of their position on board, need to have completed the STCW Basic Safety Training along with obtaining a recognised Seafarers medical certificate, the most popular being the ENG1 which is issued by an MCA professional medic.

Without these two certificates, a yacht crew recruitment agent cannot assist you in finding work onboard a yacht. To learn more about the necessary certification, visit our section on qualifications required to work on board a yacht.

2. Create a Professional CV

Your CV is your first chance to make a good impression. We recommend using a clear, easy-to-read CV format. Avoid using white text on a color block, as it's difficult to read and avoid using too many graphic elements. Simple and easy is the key!

Highlight any relevant skills and experience you may have. For example, experience in hospitality, customer service, carpentry, mechanical work, or even childcare can all be relevant.

You are welcome to use our free CV templates you can find on our website.

3. Build Your Network and Secure Daywork

The yachting industry is built on connections so be proactive about connecting with fellow crew and industry professionals. Join yacht crew groups on Facebook or connect with crew in local crew houses.

As an entry-level crew member, your goal is to get that first bit of work and gain experience. Building a network in the industry will make it easier to secure daywork or temp positions that will help you build your CV towards a permanent position.

When starting out be sure to show your willingness to learn, work hard and take on these roles with a positive attitude.

4. Register with a Reputable Crew Agency

Registering with a reputable yacht crew recruitment agency like YPI CREW is an important part of your yachting career. Your recruiter will guide you through your job search and will be your trusted partner throughout your yachting career.

Agencies such as YPI CREW have years of experience matching junior crew members with suitable yachts and positions. They can help you understand the industry, provide advice on enhancing your CV and connect you with roles that will best suit your skillset.

Importantly, ensure that the recruitment agency you choose is compliant with international regulations, including being registered under the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). This assures that the agency operates under internationally recognized standards for the rights of seafarers, including crew placement and recruitment practices.

Before visiting a yacht crew recruitment agency read our article on Essential Tips for Junior Crew Visiting a Yacht Crew Recruitment Agency.

5. Keep Your Online Presence Clean

In today's digital age, maintaining a clean online presence is crucial, especially when entering a highly professional industry like yachting. Potential employers and yacht recruitment agencies often conduct thorough background checks, which can include reviewing your social media profiles. As a result, it is essential to ensure that your online presence reflects a professional image that aligns with the expectations of the industry.

It’s a good idea to conduct an audit of your social media profiles and remove any content that could be deemed inappropriate or offensive. This includes photos from nights out, explicit content or use of vulgar language.

Consider adjusting your privacy settings and making your profiles private to ensure that your personal information and posts are only visible to a limited audience. By adjusting your privacy settings, you can control who can view your content and reduce the risk of potential employers stumbling upon inappropriate or unprofessional posts.

6. Dress Professionally for All Interactions

Remember, first impressions count. Showing up well-dressed to a yacht interview or meeting with your recruitment agent shows respect and indicates that you understand the high standards of service expected in the yachting industry.

When it comes to dressing for a professional yacht crew role, it's important to maintain a clean and polished appearance. The standard yachting attire is a crisp polo shirt or blouse paired with plain, dark-colored shorts or a skirt. While these specific clothes are commonly worn, it is also completely acceptable if you choose something else that looks professional and polished.

It's also important to avoid drinking the night before an interview as this can negatively impact your professional appearance.

7. Ace Your Job Interview

When you get the opportunity to interview, be punctual, professional and prepared. Research the yacht and prepare for the common interview questions. Remember, it's not just about your skills and qualifications; your personality and fit with the existing crew are equally important.

To prepare for your interview have a look at our guide through preparing for a yacht job interview.

8. Be Flexible

Flexibility can open doors. Be open to taking on temporary or seasonal roles, as they can lead to more permanent positions. Also, be flexible about location - the more open you are to travel, the more opportunities you will have.

Remember, everyone starts somewhere. Stay persistent, keep learning and be patient. Your first job in the yachting industry could be just around the corner.

9. Beware of Online Scams

As you begin your job search, it's important to be mindful of potential online scams. In recent times there has been a rise in misleading job posts and scams, particularly on social media platforms.

Most of all, trust your gut; if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Take time to do your research or consult with a trusted recruitment agent before proceeding. Your safety and security are the most important!

To help you recognise potential scams, we have created a short guide on how to spot yacht job scams on social media.

Are you ready to start your yachting career?

Become a member of YPI CREW and our expert team of superyacht recruiters will make finding your dream role as easy and stress-free as possible. Each of our recruiters is specialised in crew placement for a particular department and they will do their best to get you an interview on board a yacht. They will also advise you on how to best present your experience and skills and prepare for a yacht job interview.

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