One of the numerous trends in CV writing these days that I simply fail to understand, is that of people leaving out the section that was always traditionally titled, ”Hobbies and interests.”
Not including this section in your CV is a big mistake.
I have had several clients recently that simply omitted the section all together, and others that have not used it to capitalise on the potential that may exist in making prospective employers aware of their hobbies and interests.
This section gets away from the more mundane and boring parts of the CV where essentially you see the same basic qualifications and very repetitive text from just about all candidates. It’s understandable, that’s the nature of a CV, it tells your story of qualifications and experience, but in most cases it is very repetitive, at best.
You should not underestimate the power of this section in your CV in that it’s entirely possible that a word or two in this section alone could tilt the balance of a job to coming your way.
The very obvious ones are those ordinarily associated with yachts and their environments, water sports, diving etc. but think a little outside of that sphere and look at what interests you may the that are not apparently obvious to you as potential assets.
Here are some examples.
I have personally chosen one of two similar candidates over another, who were equally well qualified and experienced, simply because the one I chose shared a passionate interest of mine. Either candidate would have been well suited for the position, and it was a bit of a tie breaker if you like. This simple common interest tilted the balance in his favour.
Let’s say you have an interest in drones and are a certified drone pilot. This could be a huge asset to a yacht who’s owners and or guests want to capture amazing footage and images of their trips. This ball could fall right into your court.
Not only do you get a new job on an adventurous yacht, but you get to practice and develop your own skills for your hobby whilst keeping yourself well in with your owner and guests.
Photographic and film making / editing skills frequently do not go unnoticed for the same reasons.
You may be a competent conjuror, and have a an endless capacity to entertain and amaze the guests.
S t=strong interest and knowledge in health and fitness could be attractive. Yoga has become a huge trendy buzzword these days, and if you are very competent, better still qualified in such practices be sure to have it on your CV.
You could be a well above average golfer with an owner that cuts, slices, and fades way more often than he ever flies directly down the fairway. A talented musician with an owner that really appreciates music. A DJ even on a boat that hosts many a party could go down very well.
There are countless things that crew have as personal interests that could well help you land a job in the first instance and, make you indispensable once you are settled in.
I have no idea why the trend of omitting this section has come about and it certainly to my mind shows great ignorance and a severe lack of understanding about crew and the industry on the part of those that are promulgating it.
This is all good stuff, and should absolutely be kept in your CV under almost all circumstances. The only caveat to this would be in some particular circumstances, and then only if you are party to certain information about a particular boat that you are applying for a position on that may not view your passion as appropriate.
An rare example might be if you are a passionate DJ and are applying for a position on a quiet family orientated boat with middle eastern owners that are very moderate and closely follow their own culture. Your interest in DJing may not go down so well in this particular example. In most cases however, you need to keep all this juice in the cocktail that is your CV.
About the author
Iain Flockhart, Saor Alba Holdings Ltd, MD, is a highly experienced yacht captain with over 265,000 nautical miles in the role of Master since 1996. He bought and completely refitted his first yacht at the age of 20 and went on to buy a larger ocean-going yacht a few years later and set sail across the oceans, often with novice crews.
As well as being a master, Iain provides professional mentoring services to yacht crew and advises on issues relating to hiring, managing and retaining the right crew.
He’s an ambassador for the Rafnar brand of RIBs, through his brand SA Marine. He enjoys simple pleasures such as using his 7m RIB to go exploring and wild camping in natural beauty of his native Scotland.
Captain Iain Flockhart, The Yacht Crew Mentor. +44 7958 301 111