The one thing we can always rely on is change. History says it was Leonardo de Vinci who created the first CV back in the 1480s. However, the format we know and love developed back in the 1950s, and since then has remained relatively unchanged: 2 pages of A4 paper listing personal details and experience, laid out in a professional way.
While this remains a constant (for now), what is changing is the way that modern technology deals with them. Technology can help applicants make the most of their qualifications and experience to find the best roles and can help recruiters to find the best candidates to fill positions.
One of the biggest changes in recent years is the increasing use of AI (artificial intelligence) in recruitment packages. Don’t worry - this doesn’t mean there’s a robot at a desk! It means functions such as CV scanning, which allow the program to scan your CV and pick up on relevant ‘keywords’. Recruiters can also use this function to search for more specific skills that may not appear on regular searches. One example could be that you play the piano, and the recruiter knows there is a baby grand onboard. This is such a useful tool to help you stand out from the crowd! These scans don’t work well with dark-coloured boxes on CVs, so it is important to design your CV with a light background and a dark font.
The human element will always be the number one tool in recruitment. AI can never replace face-to-face interviews. It can’t build relationships and trust or understand different personalities and interpersonal dynamics. AI can’t spot potential or fight your corner, and I’m pretty sure AI will never take joy in seeing you land your dream position as a human would!
You can’t just apply a search and filter on a person like you would when buying a roll of carpet. However, these additional functions can really assist you, so it’s a good idea to think about how YOU can take advantage of this modern technology and make it work for you. So here are my tips on how to use advancing technology to your advantage!
See also: How to write a memorable yachting CV
Have a great skills section
It is a great idea to have a skills section on the first page of your CV, along with your qualifications and general information. Present it in bullet points so it is easy to read. It is particularly important for the interior, as other departments tend to have licenses, tickets and qualifications that we don’t always have.
One example could be that you have 10 years of service and hospitality experience, but no qualifications. This is where your skills section can take over and showcase your talents and expertise.
Many Chief Stews and agents will look at the skills section before anything else. If you have the skills we are looking for, then we can move on to read your work experience section to see where and how you used these skills. Make sure you have a nice mix of your soft skills as well as your hard skills - perhaps you have great time management or are a great team player. Being successful in yachting isn’t always just about what hard skills you have! It is about your dynamic as a whole.
See also: Free yachting CV templates
Using the best keywords
Keywords are the most commonly used words in the industry for your skills. It’s important to use these words on your CV so that both humans and AI can spot them quickly and move your CV to the top of the pile.
Make sure to add detail, for example, the different styles of service you can do (Silver, Plated, Family and so on). Include skills such as floristry and mixology. Try to write ‘cocktail’ and ‘wine’ knowledge, instead of a more generic term like ‘bar work’. Recruiters will be looking for these specific keywords. A good way to know what keywords to pick is to look at the job posts and see what skills they are looking for. Then you can identify and mention those you have in your skills section.
Keywords are especially important for candidates with extra skill sets, such as massage, hairstyling, personal training, etc. If a yacht is looking for a specific skill, such as acupuncture, reflexology, barbering skills or yoga in pregnancy, then a recruiter can use the search system to find this on your CV. Make sure you add those details.
Use both pages of your CV to your advantage
Now you see how adding these extra details to your CV can put you at an advantage, it is important to not crowd and squish your CV onto one page. Doing so risks common formatting mistakes and also robs you of the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. A 2-page CV is the perfect length for listing your details, qualifications, skills, and experience.
There is also another important section - hobbies and interests. You are more than your hard skills, and recruiters want to know about the whole package. You could potentially have a hobby that could really appeal to a yacht, one they didn’t even know they wanted until they saw it. Recruiters also know their clients well and have often worked together for a long time. We can utilise AI to find a candidate that will fit not just the hard skills, but also the whole dynamic onboard.
I have placed many Stews based on skills you would never imagine, for example, face painting and teaching ballet to children. Perhaps we know the owner’s child is getting a little older and there is a pool onboard, so we could look for a Stew who is a swim coach or lifeguard.
All these extra talents can really add to the experience onboard for everyone. They make you an appealing crew member, someone a yacht would love to have onboard as much as you would thrive and feel valued being there. You have done the hard work in getting skills and experience – now let your CV do the hard work and get you a great position!