Yachtie Guide: building the perfect yacht CV

Your yacht CV is your first impression and with only 3-6 seconds to grab your future Captain’s attention, you want to make it perfect!

Yachting is a highly competitive industry. When a Captain puts out a request for a new crew member they often receive over 15 CVs for that one position. So think of your yachting CV as your first line of defense against the others – a way of showing you are the best fit for the role before they have even met you. 

Your resume should be an advertisement for yourself, showing the Captain why you are most qualified and what you bring to the table. But it’s about more than just the content, with formatting and image selection a big part of what takes your resume from zero to hero. Below, we look at how to create a kick-ass yacht crew CV to get your dream job.

When looking at a stack of CVs I thin the pile by trashing the ones I don’t like the look of.


Format your yacht CV for simplicity

The format of something describes how it is structured and designed. The truth is that if a hiring manager finds the format of your CV confusing or hard to read, you are at risk of meeting their trashcan before they have even begun to get to know you. You could be the world’s most-qualified yachtie, but if your yacht resume isn’t well-laid out you’ll never even make it onto a boat. That’s where formatting comes in.

The format of something describes how it is structured and designed.

  • An Easy-to-Read Layout

    Humans are more likely to stick with and remember something that is easy to read – that’s why formatting is an essential component of the perfect CV. Using headers to break up the page and signpost what you are going to talk about next is a great way of making your yacht crew CV easy to digest, and other factors include choosing a neutral, non-fussy font and picking a font size everyone can read.

  • Basic Information to Include

    It may be tempting to list all of your greatest achievements since birth, but since this is a yacht CV our advice is to keep it marine-focused. Start out with basic information that you would include on any resume, but remember to include your tattoo and health status, as these are crucial when working on a yacht.

  • Additional Information to Include

    Move on to describe any qualifications, previous positions, and references that are relevant for the position you are applying for, and be sure to include a couple of lines about why you are the right person for the job!

“The first CVs to go are the ones with no photos.”


A yachting CV format that Captains will love

  • Personal Information:

    • Name
    • Nationality
    • Languages Spoken
    • Birth date
    • Passport/ Visa
    • Tattoos/ Health
    • Email Address
    • Telephone Number
    • Home Address
CV Example
    • Objectives:

      Tell a little about yourself, your personality and why you would benefit the existing crew!

    • Certificates/ Qualifications:

      List your qualifications in order of highest first. Include anything relevant to the position you are applying for. Make sure to include the issuing establishments (MCA/RYA/USCG/IYT/PADI etc.)

  • Employment Experience:

    Make sure to start with your most recent position. Try to be detailed but keep it brief, in total two or three lines. Make sure to mention if it was a private or charter yacht and give a concise idea of the itinerary.
    If you are just starting out – eg those applying for first yacht stewardess jobs from a land-based hospitality role – or have taken a break it is still important to include positions you have held on land and/or reasons for taking a break.

  • References:

    It is best to have pre-written references in word or .pdf format, that way we can send your CV, documents, and references out as quickly as possible.

“Cotton Crews app has been the best app for finding yacht work. The work Cotton Crews does is amazing and it was the perfect place to go for crew placement.”

What kind of pictures should I include?

Your yacht resume photo serves as the only visual in your CV, unless you’re applying for yacht chef jobs. And although it’s not about looks, you want to make sure your photo depicts you as professional and friendly – i.e. everything the Captain is looking for! Here’s our advice for achieving the perfect resume photo:

  • Use a headshot of good quality and appropriate size

  • Look smart

    A white collared shirt or uniform will usually do the job.

  • Keep it natural

    Keep it natural when doing your hairstyle and makeup. You want to look beautiful but not like a diva – maintaining a perfect appearance should be low on the priorities of yacht crew compared to serving the guests.

  • Consider your background!

    You ideally want something that reflects the role you are applying for without being too distracting. A photo in the shipyard or on the dock usually works best for stewardess and deckhand jobs. For yacht Captain jobs a picture in the bridge helps set the scene, while for yacht engineer jobs an engine room backdrop is best.

  • Remember to smile!

  • Consider the file size

    When attaching the image keep the file size below 100kb, so that Captains can access them even on patchy yacht WiFi.

Ready to start work?

That concludes our yacht CV guide, but if you have any questions our friendly, professional team will be happy to help. Build a yachting CV that will capture every Captain’s attention with Cotton Crews. Ready to start working? Upload your CV to our Crew Jobs app.

Check out our yacht crew roles on our free Cotton Crew Jobs app. Download the app here: