We all appreciate a helping hand when it comes to making ourselves appear the best candidate for the job we want, but when does a bit of help turn into too much help? A chief stewardess of a 70m new build contacted us to share her frustrations at green crew being encouraged to spend money on ‘the perfect CV’.
“One girl I interviewed recently had spent money to talk to a yacht recruiter/CV advisor and then paid a great deal of money to have her CV written and photo airbrushed to the point it was not her. This, I think, is shameful. I'm disappointed with people who are charging for this service. It is profiting off the vulnerable crew,” she tells us. “Crew should turn to experienced people, crew agents and friends for CV help, even the internet has thousands of tips.”
Helping with a CV is not the same as drafting one, as Chloe Collet, crew recruitment manager at Edmiston, points out. “We spend a lot of time with junior crew, helping them prepare their CV. We might not even place them, but we’ll give them the help they need,” she explains. “For senior crew, sometimes we’re happy to refer them onto someone who does CVs professionally. When you’re going for a senior position that you’re going to be earning a salary of €9,000 a month, you can spend a little bit of money to get some professional advice,” Collet admits.
Esther Delamare, senior crew manager at Hill Robinson Crew, adds that a touch-up is certainly not the same as a re-write. “We are always happy giving advice on people’s CVs. It isn’t as if we are re-writing the whole CV, but at least we provide candidates with some direction if/ and where needed,” she explains. “Usually, we will not touch the content of the CV, as this is the personal touch of the candidate, who have to sell themselves.”
“Having your CV edited by someone who is better at this than you is the same as getting your interview outfit dry cleaned or having your hair cut by a professional." - Alison Rentoul, The Crew Coach
One area where that helping hand might be particularly crucial is when it comes to those crew who don’t have English as a mother tongue. In these cases, Alison Rentoul, The Crew Coach, believes CV help is essential. “The job of a CV is to get you an interview - and in the interview you will be assessed for your suitability, including your language skills. I think having a properly written CV levels the playing field for candidates who might otherwise be unfairly discriminated against. The same goes for native English speakers who struggle to present themselves well in a CV because writing is not their forte,” Rentoul explains.
“Having your CV edited by someone who is better at this than you is the same as getting your interview outfit dry cleaned or having your hair cut by a professional,” she adds. “If you want to put your best self forward, you pay specialists to help you polish the finished product. As long as the CV is accurate and honest, and doesn’t ‘fudge’ any facts, I think it is completely acceptable to have it fine tuned by a professional - or at the very least, someone who is better at this than you.”