Category: Crew Tips

How To Get a Job on a Yacht as a Couple

Is it easy to find a couples position?

How long does it usually take to get a position together?

Are there many couple-friendly boats in the industry?

Can crew couples actually work together?

These are some of the questions we’ve been getting lately from couples looking to work together and with the Mediterranean season fast approaching, we are quite certain that many couples are already on the lookout for their new role together onboard.

There really is no right or wrong way or hard and fast rule when it comes to working together. Sometimes it is as simple as being in the right place at the right time. Either way, it takes the right attitude and perseverance to find work together in the yachting industry.

How To Get a Job on a Yacht as a Couple

 Sure, there will be a few ‘couple friendly’ jobs, but the most common and possibly the easiest route to getting work as a couple is to apply as an individual. This will provide far more opportunities and offers the path of least resistance to get your foot in the door and establish a good relationship with the boat, allowing you to be in a better position to put your partner forward when the opportunity arises.

Keep in mind that you are both individuals with your own experiences and strengths so keeping your CVs separate is key. This will show professionalism and that you are able to separate  your personal relationship from your career.

Another option is to be completely honest and look for jobs purely as a couple and not consider anything else. Be straightforward about your goal during interviews. This approach will probably take longer but you may be happier. It may be a good idea to give yourselves a timeframe and then assess your plans if it takes longer than your set time frame.

Once you both have a season or two of experience under your belt, getting work together should be much easier. You may need to look on it as a short term sacrifice for the longer term gain.

Does it work for everyone?

Just like with everything else, working together as a couple has its pros and cons. It’s best to remember that even though working together seems like the ideal situation, it isn’t always the best option. Being onboard can sometimes get lonely and one of the best things about working together is that you will always have that someone to talk to after a busy day.

So is working together for you?

Every couple is different just as every boat is different. The bottom line is that there are great amount of things to consider when deciding to pursue a career together on board. It’s not easy an journey, not for everyone anyway. However, if you and your partner are persistent and determined, you will find the perfect positions that suit you both.



Yacht Crew: Lets Talk Tax & Crypto

We all know that working in the yacht industry comes with a lot of perks, but I think we can all agree that a tax-free salary is one of the best things of being a yachtie. 

It is always best to remember that yachts may not entirely deduct Tax from your salary when you are paid but unless stated otherwise, all crew onboard are purely responsible for handling their own personal income tax which means doing their research on tax rules and regulations and seeking official advice if needed to remain up to date with the national requirements. 

There are many factors that can affect whether you owe tax but one main important factor to consider is residency which means that the country that you are a resident of is the country that you pay tax to, the tax regulations of that country. Some countries make allowances for sea farers for the mere fact that you work offshore and spend a relatively small amount of time at home. Another challenge that crews needs to be aware of when it comes to tax, and which authorities are increasingly clamping down on is gross pay. Gross pay is the amount paid before taxes and other deductions. With a crackdown on crew being offered gross pay by owners and operators, there is an increasing pressure on employees to identify and address any potential liabilities. 

Yachting and Investments… Show me the money! 

If you have been in the industry for a while, chances are you are looking or have already invested on something whether it’s a new property, bank products, bonds or stocks.

Does crypto ring a bell? We thought so!

We know a lot of crew who have jumped on the crypto bandwagon in the last few months. We hear positive stories about crew making great profit but what we don’t hear about is how much money can you lose if your investment didn’t go so well. The matrix of stocks is quite a complicated thing to grasp especially if it isn’t your area of expertise. 

So the big question is, do you know what you’re doing?

2022 has been a rough year for crypto so far with major cryptocurrencies’ prices plummeting over the last two months.  While falling prices can be concerning, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to “buy the dip” and “get into the swing of things”. Taking advantage of the price drop can be beneficial and right now is one of the most affordable times to invest.  

But does that mean it’s a smart investment? Here’s what you need to know.
There are three things all crew need to understand when investing in Crypto currency:

  • You need to do some research. Investing in anything without a clue what you are doing is not the way forward. 
  • Only invest what you can afford to lose.
  • If you make or lose money trading Crypto you need to declare it on your tax return. 
…and there’s the T word again…

Like with most investments, if you make money doing something, you will need to declare it. 

We have been getting a surge of enquiries from candidates asking questions such as  

  • How do I hide my crypto gains, so I don’t have to pay tax on them? 
  • I’ve made a lot of money trading Crypto. Can I become a resident of Panama to avoid paying tax on them? 
  • Crypto is untraceable, isn’t it? 

At the end of the day, it all comes down to this:
You are in a very fortunate position of not having to pay tax on your salary because of the allowance the UK government permits sea farers due to not being able to spend a significant amount of time in the country. Unfortunately, this does not apply to your investments or “gains” made elsewhere which means that any profit made from your investment by selling or trading crypto currencies will have to be filed and declared on your tax return. 

The take-away on this is always do your research if unsure. 

For more details regarding tax on crypto assets – check out
Please note: the advice link is only for UK residents




In Partnership with

Art On Superyachts

As yachts get bigger it is inevitable that the decorative art displayed onboard becomes more and more valuable.  The responsibility for safeguarding these precious pieces almost always falls to the Crew, but do you really know how to conserve the artwork you have onboard?  Do you know the name of the artist, it’s origin or its true value?  Can you articulate what you see in front of you and respond to guests’ questions?

Pandora Mather Lees is passionate about educating Captains and Crew in art appreciation.  In 2017 she realised that, whilst there were a wide range of courses being offered to interior crew connected with the beauty of the interior and overall guest experience, there was nothing that specifically focused on the art and decorative pieces onboard.  With a degree in History of Art and over 25  years’ experience in the cultural sector, she began working closely with other industry experts such as lawyers, insurers and conservators to create a 10-module course with the aim of assisting superyacht crew to better understand and appreciate art at sea.

Successfully caring for these valuable items can present unique challenges for interior crew.  Risks can be categorised by environmental damage, human intervention and legal pitfalls with certain cultural objects.  Pandora’s bespoke training courses in the practical care of art on yachts covers the safety, assessment and conservation of all art onboard…

How should you get fine art objects cleaned, conserved or technically analysed?  Some of the most common mistakes made involve cleaning or trying to fix accidents that have occurred.  Pandora explains that, quite often, the crew has no idea what they have onboard – “There could be a $39 million Lucio Fontana hanging on the wall, but most crew wouldn’t recognise is as an extraordinary work of art.  Say it’s hanging on the wall behind the bar, and it gets splashed, then what do you do?  If you didn’t know its value, you might wipe it clean with a cloth”.

Putting together a manual focused on how to clean and take care of the art onboard can be very useful.  Written instructions can go a long way in preventing accidents and a little bit of knowledge can help ensure that a £100,000 crystal sculpture isn’t put through the dishwasher or that the owners Crocodile Skin Hermes handbag isn’t confiscated by customs for having the wrong paperwork!  With this in mind Pandora offers onboard consultancy and art surveys to assist with the documentation, preservation and integrity of all luxury objects onboard.

Do you know how to find and fit appropriate casings, framing and coverings for paintings, sculptures and designer pieces on board?  The placement of artwork onboard and the risks it may be exposed to is also covered.  Unfortunately, interior designers do not always consider the practicality of the placement of such pieces and they can easily be damaged by sunlight, temperature and humidity, to name just some of the “The Ten Agents of Deterioration” that Pandora discusses in more detail.

Could you safely organise the packing of a valuable painting and are you aware of the various export risks of taking art into international waters?  It is helpful to know that if an artwork isn’t packed professionally and gets damaged along the way, insurance won’t cover it.  The same is said for transporting and installing artwork.  Shipping art to other countries can also be complex and may need to involve multiple companies with different jurisdictions in different countries.

Art on Superyachts 1 or 2-day certified courses will equip you with the knowledge and skills to care for art collections aboard luxury vessels.  You will learn how to avoid risks, enjoy your surroundings and have the comfort of ongoing personal support once completed.  The courses can be delivered either as one to one training, lectures, workshops or as a course and consultancy onboard and the location can be adapted to suit you. The full course to include an understanding of art history is two days and can be taught in convenient sized modules. Previous students have been put in charge of the art on their vessel after gaining their certificate. Pandora offers ongoing support for questions after the course. This is also great for a wider understanding of the luxury industry and options to consider for a future career.


Courses For Shorebased Roles

Did you know that wilsonhalligan now have a dedicated desk for shorebased positions?

With an increased demand for shore-based personnel, across all sectors of the maritime industry, Luke Randall has joined the wilsonhalligan team.  Bringing with him a wealth of experience in maritime recruitment for the cruise and yacht industry, he is focused on helping to secure talent for private households and businesses worldwide.

Luke’s knowledge and insight can be invaluable for both shore-based candidates looking for their next role and yacht crew looking to make the transition to a shore-based position. One question he is often asked is – should I be taking courses to enhance my skills and CV?

For many yacht crew, moving ashore means a career change and it can be daunting knowing when and how to take the next step.  The good news is that yacht crew have a vast range of knowledge and experience that is highly valued by many shore-based employers and, with transferable skills that can be used in a number of roles, it is not always necessary to retrain.  We have seen a rise in requests for ex-yacht crew from companies that require knowledge of superyacht operations and the maritime industry and an ability to work for and alongside clients in private homes and businesses.

When applying for shore-based roles it is important to consider the skills and experience you can transfer from your current position to your new role, don’t assume an employer will understand exactly what you have been doing onboard or in your previous shore-based position.  Being able to present these key attributes, skills and experiences clearly and concisely on you CV can make you stand out to potential employers.

Maritime Training Academy provide specialist, expert training to marine professionals and in recent years have expanded their training portfolio across several sectors of the maritime industry, from Superyachts to Shipping and Marine Surveying.  They offer a number of diploma and certificate courses suitable for shore-based roles such as Superyacht Management, Superyacht Project Management, Refit & Newbuilding, Superyacht Surveying and Yacht Brokerage, as well as courses in Marine Insurance Claims and Maritime Law.  These courses can be completed via distance learning with diploma students required to sit a written examination once they have passed their assignments.

Those already in a shore-based role may also be considering completing additional courses in order to take the next step in their career.  MTA’s courses can be particularly helpful when wanting to work in a certain area of the maritime industry or wishing to increase your knowledge and responsibility in aspects of a particular role.  They are also useful for individuals who already work in conjunction with certain aspects of the industry and require a good working knowledge of it, such as Maritime Law.  For all of their courses a working knowledge of the industry is of an obvious benefit, but not essential.

Whilst completing additional courses can allow you to develop specialist knowledge and enhance your career opportunities, please note that diplomas and short courses do not guarantee you a position in your chosen field.  Many companies will still be looking for hands on experience in these areas and we would certainly advise speaking to recruitment agencies and potential employers before embarking on further education to make sure it is the right fit for you, your employer and your future career.

To find out more about Maritime Training Academy’s Courses contact –

And for advice on shore-based careers or to discuss you next role contact –

Download Course Brochure 

Networking in a Pandemic

It is often said that dockwalking and day work is one of the best ways for new crew to get their first experience in the industry and hopefully secure themselves a permanent position.  At the start of every season many new and experienced crew base themselves in yachting hubs such as Antibes or Palma in order to look for work, but with COVID-19 having placed restrictions on travel and the way yachts are recruiting, many crew are asking us for advice on networking and how best to secure their next role.

As the world starts to open up again, we are sure that we will begin to see the return of crew to these areas and we are all looking forward to this, but for now here are our top tips…

CREW RECRUITMENT AGENCIES – Register with crew agents online.  Although you cannot meet face to face you can still build a relationship with them.  Take time to write a personalised covering letter or email to detail what you are looking for and highlight any additional skills and information that may be relevant.  Pick up the phone and say hello and check in regularly via phone, email or online.

FACEBOOK – Join popular Facebook groups for yacht crew.  Information on crew accommodation, local events and yachting suppliers and services is regularly posted here and crew often advertise available jobs and day work opportunities.  Remember – when using social media platforms, keep it professional!  Now more than ever captains, crew and recruiters will be getting their first impression of you from your profile and the things you post.

INSTAGRAM – Connect with crew recruitment agencies and other industry professionals on Instagram to keep up to date with the latest available positions and industry news.  Connecting with fellow yacht crew can also be a great way to hear of new jobs and learn more about the position you are looking for.  There are a number of great accounts sharing information on various yacht jobs with tips and advice.  This can give you a valuable insight into life on yachts and what you can expect.  Follow us @wilsonhalliganrecruit 

LINKED IN – For more senior crew, a linked-in profile is a professional way to connect with fellow crew and another great opportunity to keep up with industry news, suppliers and services.

EVENTS – Look out for yachting events that might be of interest to you.  Whilst events such as boat shows etc have been postponed, there are still things happening online – India & Kelly have been hosting our Stew Lounge Editions with lots of helpful tips and advice for new stewardesses.  They are a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have and learn more about the industry and how to secure your next role and a chance to network with other crew.

CV – As always make sure you spend time on your CV, highlighting any additional skills that can make you stand out from the crowd.  Make sure to note your current location as this can be a deciding factor for yachts wanting to hire crew locally.  Consider making a short video introducing yourself, which may be helpful when you can’t meet face to face.  You can find more tips on writing a great yachting CV here

SMILE – When we can meet face to face again remember to make a good impression.  Smile, be polite and professional at all times. You never know who you are going to meet!

5 Gin Cocktails to Wow Your Guests with This Season…

Gin’s rise in popularity over the past few years has been phenomenal and whether your guests enjoy the high-quality classics or prefer more unusual flavours, there’s no doubt that you’ll get more than a few requests for gin cocktails this season.

Here at WH we have carefully selected our top 5 gin cocktails that will impress owners, guest and crew alike and have teamed up with Ben from HMS Spirits, to show you how to make the most of his brilliant gins.

HMS Spirits have won numerous awards for their exceptional gin, with every batch being carefully hand crafted here in the UK.  Ben’s family’s naval background is the inspiration for the beautiful nautical themed bottles, which look stunning on any superyacht bar.  From the classic Negroni to new twists on traditional favourites you’re sure to find something here that will impress.


This popular Italian cocktail is often enjoyed as an aperitif and the secret to the perfect Negroni is balance.  Reach for the best spirits you have on board and use equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari.


25ml gin
25ml sweet vermouth
25ml Campari

Pour the gin, vermouth and Campari into a mixing glass with ice. Stir well until the outside of the glass starts to feel cold.

Strain into a tumbler and add 1 large ice sphere or some fresh ice.  Garnish with a slice of orange or blood orange when in season.

Earl Grey Martini

A sophisticated twist on a classic martini, this cocktail requires a little advanced preparation but is then quick and simple to make for guests.  The bergamot oil from the Earl Grey tea gives a lovely citrus hit and you could even get creative with the way you serve it…


700ml bottle of gin
1 tbsp of good quality loose-leaf Earl Grey Tea

In advance, put the earl Grey Tea in a large jug and pour over the gin.  Stir for about 45 seconds and then strain through a tea strainer back into the bottle.  You may still see small particles of tea in the gin so strain for a second time through a coffee filter.  You can then store this gin until ready to use.

85ml infused gin
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons simple syrup

Pour the infused gin, lemon juice and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker over ice.  Shake and strain into a sugar rimmed martini glass.

Lavender Spritz

 Perfect for a party or afternoon cocktails, this pretty cocktail, with a light floral twist, will be sure to delight your guests.


200ml red vermouth
200ml white vermouth
200ml gin
1tsp dried lavender
Soda or tonic water
Lemon wedges
Fresh lavender sprigs

Pour the red and white vermouth and gin into a jug or bottle and add the dried lavender and leave to infuse overnight.

Allow 50ml per person and serve over lots of ice, topped up with soda or tonic water. Add some lemon wedges and a sprig of lavender.

French 75

Rumoured to have been created in the New York Bar in Paris, this is a great combination of gin and champagne, the perfect cocktail for any celebration.


1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar syrup
50ml gin

Pour the lemon juice, sugar syrup and gin into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.  Shake well then strain into a champagne flute.

Top with a little champagne, wait for the bubbles to settle and then fill up some more. Swirl gently with a cocktail stirrer and garnish with a strip of lemon zest.

English Garden Cocktail

A refreshing summer cocktail that is really easy to make.  Perfect for large parties and events as you can multiply the ingredients and serve from a jug.


50ml Gin
25ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
75ml Apple Juice
10ml Lime Juice
Cucumber Ribbons

Shake all the ingredients and strain into a tall glass or jug with filled with fresh ice.  Garnish with cucumber ribbons and a sprig of mint.


Tune in to Yachting International Radio on Friday 12th March 2021 at 7pm when we will be chatting to Ben about all things gin and teaching you how to make the perfect gin cocktail! Cheers!



What New Superyacht Crew Need to Know About Security

The Superyacht Sector is a busy and growing one, with plenty of opportunities out there if you are looking to become a member of Superyacht crew. But these  roles are also very demanding, and taking the right training is crucial. This is especially apparent with the security of the Superyacht and its crew, guests, and the owners to consider.

Mandatory Security Requirements for All Seafarers

There are now mandatory security requirements you must meet if you are going to crew on a superyacht. These came into force in 2015 and include security awareness training. These requirements apply even if your crew role is not directly security-related. They come under the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers Code. All mariners under STCW must take basic training, but if your vessel is over 500 gross tonnes (GT) or 50 metres or more in length, then you must also sit a security awareness course.

The Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA) and Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) are the two course options for crew to take. The fundamentals are important for any superyacht, ensuring that relevant crew and staff, according to their roles and duties, are trained to the required security levels.

Security Awareness or Designated Security Duties?

In our experience of providing MCA Approved (STCW ISPS) training courses, more and more Superyachts and Crewing Agencies are demonstrating a preference, that both crew and staff should undertake the Designated Security Duties training rather than the basic Security Awareness that is the current mandatory, minimum requirement. Due to smaller number of crew on board most yachts, it is highly likely that crew and staff will encounter a situation whereby they will be required to act in accordance with the protocols and procedures outlined within the Ship Security Plan, and this usually requires the crew or member of staff to hold Designated Security Duties certification. If this certification is not held by the member of crew or staff, then under the International Ship & Port facility Security (ISPS) Code, and relevant Standards and legal considerations, they would be required to seek the assistance of a DSD certificate holder, and this is in many cases both impractical and inconvenient to the daily operations of the vessel.

For many fresh recruits into the world of superyacht crewing, the fundamentals of security awareness will ensure they meet SCTW requirements. The PSA course provides these fundamentals. It provides new crew with the necessary knowledge and understanding of security issues, and how to maintain a sense of awareness of the security and safety of a vessel. The course does not instruct people how to carry out security duties. PDSD, on the other hand, does. This type of training is designed for crew members who will be taking on designated security duties and reporting to the Ship Security Officer on board a vessel.

Beyond the basics, there are other considerations too. It may make sense to provide relevant crew members with additional training such as crowd management and passenger safety training. Under new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations, owners and managers of superyachts will have to comply with industry best practice in assessing the vulnerabilities of their IT systems alongside other security and safety issues. Therefore, for any potential superyacht recruit, it may also be worth them considering what awareness they have of cyber security issues.

Accessing the Right Training

There are now fully online, MCA Approved (STCW ISPS) courses for maritime security, including Proficiency in Security Awareness (PSA), Designated Security Duties (PDSD) and Ship Security Officer (SSO) courses. These are officially Approved by the UK DfT Maritime & Coastguard Agency and internationally recognised under STCW ISPS. This offers a flexible and easily accessible route to certification for anyone wishing to ensure they are properly compliant when they apply for work on a superyacht.

VIRSEC have partnered with wilsonhalligan to bring you an exclusive discount of 10% off our following courses:

  • All our MCA courses (PDSD for Superyachts, PDSD, PSA & SSO)
  • Crowd Control & Passenger Safety
  • Crisis Management & Human Behaviour
  • Cyber Security Awareness for Seafarers
  • Cyber Security Strategy for Vessels (Management/ Senior Officers level)

Discount code: WHMAR10


For further reading on Essential Tips for Superyacht Security see our link below:

VIRSEC Superyachts Security Tips



Top 10 Interview Questions For Yacht Crew & How To Answer Them

Whether it’s your first interview or fiftieth, it’s always a good idea to turn up well rested and prepared. To help our crew candidates nail their next interview, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most popular interview questions for working on yachts and superyachts with helpful tips on how to answer them.

What about your current position do you dislike?

With this question, it’s very important to remain professional but be honest. For example, a good answer would be “I enjoy the yacht and crew however; the role does not challenge me and I am frustrated not stepping up to a bigger role.”

What are the elements that your perfect job would be made up of?

The top four things we would suggest would be; Great Owner, Crew, Terms and Travel.

What gives you the highest level of job satisfaction?

Rather than focusing solely on the personal aspects that you could answer with think about, think about the customer such as “Happy guests after a trip and getting to be on a beach with friends when time allows”.

Tell me about your last three jobs.

Rather than going through the ins and outs of each job, choose factors such as how you were managed and personal relationships with people, your career path and personal development within those jobs.

Why did you take each position? Why did you leave each?

Be honest with this question as reference checking will unearth any skeletons. If you needed seatime or wanted to explore the Pacific, tell your interviewer.

If I offered you your ideal job today, what factors would delay you taking that job immediately?

This questions always puts you on the spot and under pressure. Answering can I have 24 hours to think it over, will show methodical thinking. This is not an opportunity to inform the yacht you are waiting on another offer and you will take the higher. Do however tell the interviewer you are speaking with another yacht.

What is the most significant impact you’ve had on your current workplace in the last year?

There are potentially two avenues you can take with this, you can show personality or show a professional contribution. Personality – “I brought together the departments and boosted morale by ….. organising dinner, hikes, sailing”. Or a professional answer highlight such as “I amended safety procedures onboard, aligned budgets and developed a new work rota”.

How have you improved yourself in the last year?

Take this as an opportunity to sell yourself; outline what courses you have taken and why. Explain how you have reflected on your workmanship since leaving your last yacht, e.g. you will be more detailed / assertive / relaxed / mature / disciplined.

What would your previous employers say about you?

As it’s often difficult to review how others perceive you, repeat was has been mentioned during your appraisals and reviews. I hope they would say I am reliable, someone they would rehire, however avoid the clichéd answers.

Tell me a little about your personality.

This is another opportunity to sell yourself. Try and navigate away from clichés and think what really makes you as a person stand out. Remember your answer may come back to haunt you.

If there is anything else you would like to discuss regarding your upcoming interview, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us or chat with us on #webchatwednesdays where we’re available all day via the live chat on our website.

Does your CV need a refresh or are you not sure what you need to include? Download our FREE CV template below.
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How Can I Get My CV Seen For Yacht Recruitment?

As a recruitment agency, it can surprise us how little time some people take on their CV, which essentially is a first impression of who you are.  Your CV doesn’t just list your career history and hobbies, it also indicates how much pride you take in yourself and your work, your attention to detail and understanding of the industry you are in, the list goes on…

So, why are many crew getting it wrong? The world is a highly competitive place with more people than jobs, so if you seriously want that new job, take yourself, and your CV seriously and read on for some essential Super-CV tips….

1. Size matters.

No employer or agency wants to wade through reams of paper detailing every single job you’ve done since you were 16. You need to edit, and don’t be scared to omit jobs that only lasted for a very short period or have absolutely no relevance to what you are wanting to do now. A good CV should be 3 pages long, as an absolute maximum, but 2 is ideal.

2. Mind your language.

Before you begin, read through your current CV and ensure that everything makes sense for where you are NOW. Referring to a job you had 3 years ago as “I am currently working on….” is just going to look ridiculous. Make sure that all the text on the CV is relevant, current and in the right tense. The other  important thing is consistency with words. Ensure words are spelt the same way throughout the whole document. For example, “Superyacht, Super Yacht and super-yacht” all on the same document is just going to show that you don’t really have any attention to detail.

3. Be succinct.

Each job you list (in historical order starting with latest job first) should have a title (in this case the boat name), dates, and a sub-title of what position you held. To elaborate on the position you held, you can include a paragraph or so outlining your role and the tasks you carried out.  Anything more is going to send people to sleep.

4. Show off what you can do.

Either at the beginning or the end, it’s good to include a list of Professional Qualifications (bullet points work well here).  List all your professional and relevant leisure qualifications, your strongest skills, any awards, your best personality traits (loyal, hard-working etc.). Sell yourself but try not to be trite or cheesy. Don’t list anything out-of-date.

5. Contact.

At the top of the CV, ensure your contact details are clearly listed, including email and local mobile numbers. You’d think this is a no-brainer, but these details often go without being updated each time the CV is dug out. Also, please have a sensible email address – is really not the most professional look….

6. Targeting the job.

This is particularly relevant if you’re not going through an agency. A badly written generic covering ‘letter’ (usually an email these days) never looks good. Do your research, learn about the boat you are applying to and you will not only learn something, you will look intelligent and genuine, particularly if you get to interview stage. An email with your CV attached is perfectly acceptable, as is a letter attached as a PDF to the same email. Be polite, use professional language, and show you want THIS job, not just ANY job.

7. Spellcheck, Spellcheck, Spellcheck.

Then repeat x 1000.  This is SO important, and so easy that it is utterly inexcusable not to do it. Enough said.

8. References.

There are two minds about references, we feel that either option is acceptable. You can either provide the details of two good referees at the end of the CV (include boat name, position, phone number and email address), or you can write “references upon request”. If an employer is interested in you enough to get you in for an interview, that information can be shared at the point they feel they might hire you.

*With the amendments to GDPR in May 2018, we are currently unsure if the laws regarding adding reference contact details may change. Keep an eye out for our upcoming GDPR blog for more information!’.

9. Attach a Photo.

As far as this is concerned, just ensure it looks professional – a photo of you in a bar is not going to send the right message. Wear a clean, smart t-shirt/polo, smile and only include head and shoulders (minus the sunglasses on the head!)

10. Keeping up appearances.

Finally, presentation. Pick a good, modern font and ensure your layout is simple and easy to read. Don’t decorate your pages with little borders of sailing boats, or over-complicate anything.  Remember, less can be more. Simple, elegant and professional is always a good look.


So, there you are.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but we feel it highlights the most important ‘do’s and don’ts’ of CV’s. If you want your application to shine take your time and take care. Do remember, wilsonhalligan are always on-hand to help and offer advice with your CV, and do not charge for this service.

Get your CV to the top of the pile with Your Free CV Template

    Why Are Good References Important?

    Candidates often wonder if references are really that important and if recruitment companies ever really bother to check them.  We often see the line “references available on request” added to the bottom of CV’s with not much thought given to who those referees would be or what they might say about you.

    Here at wilsonhalligan Yacht Recruitment reference checking is an essential part of our screening process and is often the deciding factor in candidates being offered a position by our clients.  Not only do they validate what you have put on your CV and what has been discussed in telephone interviews, but it is also a great insight into what you are like as a crew member, which is so important when you are living and working together in such a close environment.

    When applying for a position think carefully about who your references might be and make sure they are contactable.  There is nothing more frustrating than having a great phone or face to face interview and then not having reliable and trustworthy references to back you up.  References can easily make or break that dream job offer.

    Written references are great to have and can be submitted along with your CV but it is also important to list the names and numbers of referees that can be contacted for a verbal reference check.  Contact your referee and make sure they are willing to give you a reference.  It is then polite to let them know to expect a reference check phone call or email when you have applied for a new position.  This can speed up the application process, enabling us to get all relevant information over to the client as soon as possible.

    Captains and Heads of Departments are busy and their circumstances can often change, so make sure their contact details are up to date each time you begin the hunt for your next job and confirm that they are still happy to be contacted.

    Make sure your references will be relevant to the job role you are applying for.  If you are new to the industry you can use references from relatable shore-based positions or those that may have transferable skills and you can also use appropriate character references.

    If for some reason you are unable to get a reference from a particular yacht, just let us know.  We understand that some yachts in the industry are unable to give references due to company policy or that occasionally you may have had to leave on bad terms.  If you explain the situation to us, we are then able to pass that information on to the client.

    By following these simple steps you will give yourself the best possible chance of finding your next dream job!  Good luck!