Yacht Captain Resume - How to Structure your CV the Right Way

Dimitris Tsapis
May 8, 2021

Over the past year, Covid-imposed lockdowns have brought the yachting industry to a standstill. Many captains across several yachting capitals are now forced to stay ashore. And while the outlook of things may not seem very optimistic, some captains find it a great opportunity to catch up on less important tasks, like updating their CV.

A job that would otherwise not be considered a priority is now more critical than ever. Even highly experienced captains are looking for new work opportunities, which makes the presentation of your skills and experience ever-more important.

In this article, we help you get a better understanding of the steps you need to follow to structure a yacht captain resume. By breaking down each component of the resume and offering a downloadable template, you will be able to “refresh” your CV in no time!

Table of contents

Structuring a yacht captain resume

Gaining a position of high responsibility and authority in such a specialized industry requires lots of experience and certifications. This is why, in most cases, your CV will not fit into the typical “one-pager”.

Apart from being able to demonstrate that you are both qualified and certified to work as a yacht captain, the CV should give insights into you as a person. This includes a short intro to your objectives and soft skills. This will help agencies and yacht owners understand whether or not you are the right candidate to take responsibility for a vessel.

Overall, it is essential to remember that a yacht captain’s resume is all about organizing compact information. The easier it is to scan through your document and get a high-level understanding of all the important elements within, the better your chances of getting an interview.

Yacht captain CV - The components

While there are no “unspoken rules” when it comes to the structure of a yacht captain resume, it is important to show your experience and expertise across all aspects that might come in handy during your trips. As such, you will need to focus on many different points, broken down into categories. The most common way to do this is to create separate chapters on the following:

Basic information

Start out with your name on the top of the document, including basic information that relates to your profession. This includes but is not limited to a professional photograph, your age, nationality, contact information, current location, and languages of which you have a good command (fluent).

Objectives

You are part of a specialized industry, which is why it is important to start your resume with personal objectives related to your work. This can further help agencies and yacht owners understand if you are the right person for a specific contract.

Career highlights

Start off by showcasing a very high-level overview of your career highlights. Create 4-6 bullet points to create a short, value-packed summary of your skills, experience, and training.

Two types of experience

A captain’s responsibility is to ensure the safety and organization of everyone onboard. This requires experience in two categories:

  • At Sea Experience: This section should include all your work experience, including the type of ship you worked on, your role, and the responsibilities you have on board.
  • Business & Management Experience: This includes experience and work positions that require business and management skills. Once again, break it down into bullet points and make sure the information is related to your abilities as a yacht captain.

Create a separate chapter for each of the two categories and try to keep the details as compact as possible.

Education, training & certifications

It is only at this point that your education and certifications should be listed. Since most yacht captains have to undergo similar training to become certified for their role, this part of your resume simply verifies that your experience is backed by proper education. It also gives a better overview of other useful skills you may have (e.g. rescue diver). Make sure that you add a date reference next to each certificate to indicate that it is still valid and up to date.

Personal information

While a yacht captain resume doesn’t necessarily need to delve into personal details, it might be a good idea to give a brief introduction of your personal interests. This will give a better idea of the type of person you are, and help yacht owners understand if you are the right fit “culturally”. In other words, this point gives a better idea of your abilities to socialize and make small talk on extracurricular topics.

References

When it comes to references, it is a good idea to add both boat owners you have worked with in the past, and other captains that can verify your level of expertise. Make sure you get their approval before adding their personal information on your CV, and if you have a recommendation letter feel free to add it with a hyperlink within the document.

(!) Note: Stay up to date with resume-related laws to avoid being disqualified. This is especially true when it comes to professional photos. Due to strict anti-discrimination laws in the UK, US, and Ireland, it is best to not add a picture of yourself within the resume. You can always add a link to your LinkedIn or a professional website that showcases your resume, as seen here.

Captain resume template

In our efforts to illustrate how you CV should be structured, we created a template that you can simply download and fill in with your personal details. This captain CV sample includes all the points mentioned above, allowing you to make adjustments where necessary.

Click here to access our yacht captain CV template.

Once you open the document, click on File and select Make a copy.

yacht captain resume


Next, click on OK to verify the copy and create your own version.

yacht captain cv


You can now make changes within the newly created document. As soon as the editing is completed, save the file in .pdf format and you’re good to go.

Sending your CV

With your CV at hand, you can now start applying. Due to the type of work that you are doing, printing out your CV and going dock walking is not recommended. In fact, it is far from ideal and it can make you look unprofessional. The best way to get exposure and land a new job is by doing the following:

Sign up with the best yacht agencies

Some platforms will take your CV and go headhunting to help you find work opportunities. Others are more user-centric, meaning that you will have to create a profile and add your CV. From that point onwards they will act as matching platforms, helping you discover new opportunities. A simple Google search can go a long way here.

Personal relationships

If you’ve been in the industry long enough you have probably built a network that can help get your CV in the right hands. While this may not be the best way to kick things off, it can be very effective for those with many years of experience. Send your CV to industry-relevant people in your social circle and let them know that you are looking for work. If they know of anyone looking for a captain with your skillset they can forward the information to them.

Facebook groups

Much of the yachting industry is discussed in Facebook groups. While most work-related posts are aimed to help captains find deck hands or other crew jobs, it can also be a good place for self-promotion. Therefore, if you want to increase the odds of connecting with the right people, make sure you join and closely follow the following groups:

Before making any post make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules of the group to ensure that your post will not be taken down.

Short summary

You should now have a better idea of both the structure of your CV and the steps you need to follow to increase your odds of getting hired. To summarize, here is what you need to remember:

  • Adding a section on your personal objectives can help agencies and yacht owners get a better idea of your ability to communicate properly.
  • Create one section for your experience at sea and one that refers to your involvement with business and management roles, and keep your certifications for later in the document.
  • Adding a section that reflects on your personal interests is not mandatory but recommended.
  • Try to keep all information compact to make your resume easier to scan. The longer your CV is, the harder it will be to read. If needed, add hyperlinks to relevant words.
  • Remain informed on resume-related laws to avoid being disqualified (e.g. adding a photo).

And that’s it! You should now be able to update your CV and increase your odds of employment.