Candidates lined up with their CV.
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Tips From The Top: Our CV Advice

Your CV is a marketing tool, it is a personal advertisement of your working life to date. It should concisely demonstrate your education, chosen career path and history.

In this period of uncertainty, it is essential to ensure that your CV is current and that it is readily available (and discoverable!) to recruiters online.

However, summarising your personality, skills, and life experience in just a few pages can be a daunting task…

With that in mind, we’ve gathered the expert advice of our recruitment consultants to assist you in creating a CV that covers everything recruiters are looking for and presents you in the best light possible.


1. Stand Out From The Crowd

“A CV is your shop window, its purpose is to attract potential buyers. We see CVs of all different shapes and sizes… quite literally ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’. 

My biggest piece of advice would be to keep it clear, concise, and well structured. You should make a conscious effort to ensure it stands out from the crowd.”

Alasdair MacMillan, CEO


2. Steer Clear Of Overused Jargon

“When writing your CV, it is incredibly important to captivate your reader by introducing yourself and summarising your personality.

However, I frequently see the same typical business jargon repeated across candidates. These include standard, overused phrases such as ‘results-driven, ‘customer focused’, etcetera.

Take a unique approach by breaking your introduction down into three words/phrases that:

  • Describe how your mind works,
  • Reveal your character,
  • Say something genuine and interesting about you as a person.

For example, informing the reader that you’re ‘analytical and unrelentingly honest – a true, decisive connector” is far more interesting and thought provoking than claiming to be ‘intelligent, punctual and a team player’.”

Dean Sabeur, Senior Consultant – Hospitality


3. Update It Regularly

“I cannot stress the importance of keeping your CV up to date and relevant. For deck and engine positions, one extra sailing can make all the difference in the progression of your application.

Furthermore, keeping your CV up to date makes it easy for recruiters to quickly assess your abilities and suitability for their positions. A frequently updated CV and LinkedIn profile increases your likelihood of being headhunted.”

-Lewis Balfour, Specialist Consultant – Technical


4. Nail The Basics

As a recruiter, I see hundreds of CVs every week. The best CVs are clear, concise, and to the point. 

First off, it’s important to get the basics right. I’ve had many occasions where old telephone numbers and incorrect email addresses prevent me from being able to contact candidates. Many of the positions I represent are under strict time pressures which means that if contact details are incorrect, I have to move on to an alternative candidate.

Presentation is also important – particularly for yachting CVs. There is an abundance of templates available online to assist you with presentation. The information you’re presenting needs to be laid out in a way that is intelligible and not too lengthy. Nobody needs a 5 page CV!

I also think a professional photo (no selfies!) of yourself is key.

The CVs that stand out the most to me are the ones that have been tailored for the specific role applied for. Therefore, making small amendments that make your CV relevant to the role in question will help to propel your profile to the top of a shortlist!”

-Lisa Gage, Recruitment Director


5. Structure It Well

“Generally speaking, Seafarer CVs are quite concise. They do little more than outline basic information such as qualifications, sea time, vessel type and rank.

This works well for seagoing positions. However, when applying for shore based roles, this format is not favoured by HR and Hiring Managers.

Instead, you should list your experience in the following format when applying for shore based opportunities:

– Job title

– Company

– Dates of employment

  • Responsibilities
  • Duties
  • Accomplishments

This will give anyone reading a comprehensive understanding of your skills and experience in a layout that is clear and easy to digest.”

-Robert Dunn, Recruitment Manager – Technical


6. Include Hobbies & Interests

“I would advise candidates to always include your current location or present role at the top of your CV. This enables recruiters to tell at a glance whether you’re currently available for the positions they are representing to the market.

Furthermore, I would encourage you to always include:

  • A list of the qualifications you have/are working towards
  • A presentable photo of yourself in which you are smartly dressed
  • Details of your previous positions along with their start and end dates

To finish your CV, a section about your hobbies and motivations is recommended. This will help recruiters and Hiring Managers to determine what you’re like as a person, and whether you’d fit in with the team culture.”

-Summer King, Senior Consultant – UHNW


Ensuring that your current CV is up-to-date and available is essential. Predictions that the market will be buoyant with candidates in the coming months makes this evermore crucial. 

If you have recently found yourself unemployed or you feel your job is at risk, our consultants are available on +44 (0) 2381 590059 for a confidential consultation. 

Alternatively, you can submit your CV to our website here, or contact us to find out about current positions in your field.


Next Read: ‘Our Expert Top Tips For Candidates In This Climate