Yacht Crew Placement Agencies
One of the best ways to get a job on a yacht is through a yacht crew agency. These agencies are like any other job placement or employment agency, except they specialize in the yacht crew industry. If you are serious about working on a yacht, it is very likely that at some point in your career you will need to use an agency to find a job. But like anything else, the more informed you are the more likely you are to succeed. So here's some basic information and dos and don'ts about using yacht crew agencies.
How a Yacht Crew Agency Works
There are many yacht crew agencies in business today. The first thing you will need to do is look for the agencies that have the best reputation with both crew members and owners. You will also need to make sure the agency places crew members for your specific position because some agencies do specialize in captains and deckhands positions only or stewards/stewardesses only, etc. Some agencies also do not work with crew members that do not already have at least two to three years of experience on a yacht, while others focus on entry level workers. So make sure you are not spending time registering with an agency that won't be interested in moving forward with your application.
Most agencies have both sides, yacht owners and crew members, register online, filling out application forms that contain all the pertinent information.
Yacht owners or captains describe the position, skills, and experience they're looking for in a candidate, while job seekers provide a resume or CV, references, photo, and any certifications or licenses they might have. Agents will call registered job seekers and invite them for an interview prior to submitting their information for a job. Then it's like matchmaking: the agents try to match candidates as closely as possible with yacht owners with open positions.
If the agent feels you're a match for an open position or two, he or she will notify the yacht owner or captain and submit your information. Then the yacht owner or captain will decide whether he or she wants to interview you. If you're called for an interview, it typically takes place at the agency. Then it's up to the employer to decide who to hire.
With some agencies, the employer pays the agency fee, while with others both the job seeker and the employer pay a fee. Some agencies provide short-term, freelance positions, while others are strictly permanent crew positions.
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Yacht Agency Do's and Don'ts
- Do get your STCW 95 training; most yacht owners or captains won't hire you without it.
- Do prepare a resume that focuses on the relevant skills and abilities that you have.
- Do plan to move to the city where the agency is located, usually near the yachts' ports, like Fort Lauderdale, Antibes, etc. Some agencies will not present your information to an employer until you are local to the office.
- Do dress the part when you interview with the agent and/or employer. The agency should provide you with information about proper attire, but it is usually khaki pants or shorts, polo shirt, and boat shoes.
- Do present yourself with a positive attitude. Candidates who walk in with a long list of demands, requirements, or complaints will not get far with the agency.
- Don't limit your job search to just one agency. You should register with a minimum of two.
- Don't expect to get hired in a day or two. Depending on the season and your level of experience, it could take anywhere from two weeks to three months or longer before you get a job.
- Don't sign up with any agency without doing some research first. Look to see how many years the agency has been in business - the longer the better. Also check yachting magazines for information about the agency (usually contained in ads or articles) and ask other crew members for recommendations.
- Don't register until you are ready for interviews. You never know when you might get called for an interview, so you need to be prepared at a moment's notice.
Yacht crew agencies are a great way to get started in the industry, or to find good positions when you need them. Just make sure you're choosing an agency that is a fit for your level of experience, position required, skills, and other needs, like salary, benefits, etc. Also, make sure to do your part. Get your STCW 95 training, dress appropriately, and have a positive attitude.
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