The Reference section is an essential to have on your CV, if you don’t have it on there, whether intentional or not then people begin to wonder why. Often Captains, owners or managers are hesitant to employ a candidate without checking their references, no matter how well you presented at interview.
I cannot stress how important it is that the dates on your CV corresponds with the written reference given to you by the Captain or Chief Stewardess etc. Even if you don’t have a written reference, please do not exaggerate your dates on board, you will be found out. Be aware that crew agents will check your references before submitting your CV to the yacht for review, the yacht in turn may also decide to do their own background checks on you. Make sure your referees are clearly noted on your CV and that the contact information is as up to date as possible. We understand that people change email address and phone numbers a lot so it isn’t always possible to keep in touch with your referees. This is acceptable for one referee listed on your list certainly not for all your referees.
Questions we are often asked by candidates:
Why are references so important if I performed well during my interview?
No matter how well you performed during your interview it is standard procedure to check your references from previous employers. If the interview went well the employer will normally check your references if he hasn’t already got them. The most frustrating thing is emails which are no longer valid or numbers which don’t work so make sure you are in a very advantageous position by keeping your referee details as up to date as possible. If it is part of their policy that all references must be checked and verified before joining then you could lose your potential job to someone more organised.
I’m looking confidentially so I cannot provide references – how should I go about this?
If you cannot provide references for confidentiality reasons then speak to your crew agent about this, explain in the greatest possible detail so that they can pass this onto the yacht. Most employers will sympathise with this and will not reach out to your references until a mutual agreement has been reached.
My captain doesn’t have time to provide me with a written reference, will I automatically be rejected from future jobs?
Of course not, written references are great, however with modern technology there are always forged/fake references out there so keep in mind that they will be double checked either via email or phone. As long as you have at least one or preferably two methods of contact for your referees then that is fine.
The captain who was on board during my employment has left the yacht now and I have lost contact. What should I do?
This happens frequently, that is why it is so important to keep in touch with your referees not only for that but also for future jobs with them or their friends and it is always great to network! If you have completely lost contact with your referee then speak to your crew agent and explain this.
Please note: If for whatever reason you have left your previous yacht on bad terms, it is imperative you explain the situation to your crew agent or employer as it will be found out. Unfortunately things happen on board which we didn’t expect or contracts don’t outline what you were promised during your interview. Just explain to your crew agent, don’t hide it.