N2 People Skills

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

GETTING the Perfect JOB on a Superyacht

Would you hire YOU?


A good question to ask yourself after reading your own CV.


Finding a yacht that fits your skill set, meets your wants and needs, and is looking for what you are offering is not an easy task. From frustrating to feeling its about being in the right place at the right time, job searching in the yachting industry can feel like a mission impossible.

When considering these figures from a study by ‘Talent Function Group LLC’ that stated in a typical online job postings, on average, 1,000 individuals will see a job post, 200 will begin the application process, 100 will complete the application, 75 of those 100 CV’s will be screened out by either a software program or a recruiter, 25 resumes will be seen by a hiring manager, 4 to 6 will be invited for an interview, 1 to 3 of them will be invited back for final interview, 1 will be offered that job, and 80 percent of those receiving an offer will accept it!  Not heart-warming news if you are out of work or thinking about a change.

With most jobs being posted across the internet by multiple agencies onto various sites, SM boards and FB groups, the race to get your CV in can be tough.

On the employer side, captains can get swamped with CV’s, be in the middle of a season, in a yard or at the end of a new build and have little time to get down to sifting through all the information in your CV.

Of course age, nationality, size, looks, location and languages spoken are all  front and center on your CV. And while it would be wonderful to think that such things have no effect (and should not) on selection, the truth is we are human, and all of these can work for you, or against you.

So while there is some luck involved in getting your CV over the first hurdle, there are also some important things you can do to put your nose ahead of the competition.

What most people’s eyes are going to swing to first is your picture. Is this a good representation of you and how you are going to look if you get your interview?

Are you frowning?  Do you have sunglasses on? Are you looking just a little too cool, or hot!

What is your smile (or lack of it) saying? Hire me, or something else….

Remember you are not just being looked at for work. The person looking at your CV may well be the person sharing a cabin with you, or at the very least, will be sharing three meals a day with you, and most likely asking themselves “will the boss like this person?

Taking the time to make sure you are presenting yourself in the very best light will get you ahead of those (I have seen plenty), that do not.

Check your picture, ask your trusted and respected friends and family for their honest opinion. Once you have your picture looking just right, look at formatting and content.

Today yachting industry standard is two pages. Anything over two is unlikely to get read, or worse, will put some off adding you to a short list.

Do you have long paragraphs with endless lines of information, or do your sentences flow nicely with paragraphs outlining important points.

Read your CV out loud. If you start to fall over your own sentences this may signal it needs some work. It should flow and not have you faltering or gasping for breath?

There are many yachting sites where you can find a sample CV format to follow and crew with little time or expertise here might consider a service that offers CV review and writing.

Remember you do not go with your CV, so there is the issue of questions. Are there places in your CV that raise questions, and should you answer them?  If you have worked on 5 yachts in the last 5 years, the question begging to be answered is WHY?

Some people do add reasons for leaving (which I personally like), but this does add text where you may be fighting for room. The thing to do is ask yourself, does it matter if you were the employer?

For many employers I have spoken to, longevity is a big deal. When you see a crew that has 3 or more years on one yacht it’s is a good testament to longevity and loyalty, and generally these will get onto shortlist.

Remember a captain has limited time to get through a lot of CV’s. They are looking for the right person, one that makes good decisions and someone one that is not going to jump to a new boat in 8-12 months.

Your CV is going to be the most important one thing in getting you onto a short list. Think about how much this is worth and spend accordingly.

If you do make it to a short list the next thing is to be ready to sound great on the phone and at your interview. For many crew this is going to start with a phone call from a head of department or captain and as most of you should know, first impressions hold a lot of weight.

Consider on the phone you loose a huge percentage of communication power (about 65% of communication is non verbal), you should realize how important what you say, and how you say it, is.

Generally knowing yourself (self-awareness), is the first step to knowing others, and as you want to quickly assess what it is the person speaking on the phone is looking for, your self-awareness should be excellent.

You do not want to ramble on, or have long silences. This is the hospitality industry and this people skill of listening and offering information should be one of your top skills. Make sure it is.

Practice these skills. Learn all you can about yourself. How you prefer to communicate. How the person calling you prefers to receive information. How you prefer to lead, or be directed. Knowing the answers to these will give you leverage over those that do not. It will also make decision making of whether a position you are offered is the perfect job or not.

There are many tools that offer personalized
behavioural and personality information. The good ones offer the research and validity behind their tool and are based on well established theories. MBTI and DiSC are two I use and are relatively inexpensive and well established.

Remember, there is no tool that offers much value if you do not take the time to put the work into using it. It’s like buying a gym membership and never going. Taking time to learn more about you, and why you do the things you do will raise your communication to new levels.

A person that is fast-paced and described as assertive, dynamic, and bold will behave very differently in the same situation than someone that is moderate paced and described as calm, methodical, and careful. 

Most of us spend little time thinking about these types of differences, yet our lives are shaped by how we are perceived and how we perceive others and the environments we live and work in.

Our potential is realized by optimising our own individuality and uniqueness, never by moulding them to another’s opinion of what constitutes best practice. 

It’s your responsibility to take care of your own professional development and getting that perfect job has a lot to do with this, as does making the right decision when you do get offered a job.

Take the time to learn about yourself and believe in you.

DISC