Standing Out as a Recent Graduate in the Yacht Industry Job Market

  • Posted September 28, 2023

At the last time of checking, yachting employs over 500,000 people both directly and indirectly globally, with the industry valued at multiple billions and touching most countries in the world in some way, shape or form.

It can also be one of the hardest industries to gain entry to, be this at graduate level or even at a senior entry point. Yachting has long been focussed around who you know and how you know them, rather than what you know.

Thankfully this reputation is starting to fade, with employers increasingly (from a point of necessity as much as anything else) looking to employ not only from yacht-related education but also from other relatable luxury markets.

However, if you’re coming towards the end of secondary or higher education, it’s daunting trying to secure your first employed position. We’ve experienced the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to how candidates approach the jobs market for the first time and, on occasion, getting it wrong can potentially alienate you from your desired career path almost before you’ve even started.

Here are a few tips to consider when preparing yourself for the jobs world as a graduate, though a lot of these points can also be referred to any point in your career.

What is your USP?

In a world of big characters and high luxury, you need to stand out to be noticed. Before you even consider making an application you need to work out and define why an employer would choose you over someone else. Is it:

  • Your results in education?
  • Your past experience?
  • Your achievements relevant to their line of work?
  • Transferrable skills?

Knowing these answers already puts you ahead of so many other applicants when submitting those first applications. Now you need to put it all down on paper.

Preparing your CV

When building your CV for the first time out of education, the chances are you won’t have a long list of employment history to include, so you’re going to need to be a bit more creative when it comes to making your CV stand out. Some tips from our side:

  • Start with a strong summary:

This is your call to action, your chance to explain who YOU are and why YOU should be the chosen candidate. Keep it to a maximum of 2 paragraphs.

  • Weigh in on your education:

If you’re coming out of higher education, explain a little more about it. Don’t just include dates of education, mention key modules, projects and results, especially ones relevant to the job in question.

  • Showcase relevant professional experience:

Maybe you’ve done a placement year or have gained some short term experience relevant to your intended role. Include it, make it sounds great, it could be the difference between you and the next applicant.

  • Include your interests:

We see more and more that people aren’t including their interests on CVs and clients are asking why? Company culture is important, so seeing if applicants share similar interests can be a real bonus for a hiring manager.

As always, we suggest a maximum of two pages for a CV and in most cases it’s a single page for a graduate. You can go way overboard by including GCSE results and going into too much detail on education, so aim for a happy middle ground!

Research your market

We ALWAYS recommend you research your market prior to applications. There’s nothing worse than having to relinquish an application because the commute’s too far, the company don’t do what you think they did or their culture doesn’t work for you.

With everything available at the touch of a button online, you can research employers, hiring managers, company details and current news so so easily. Within 10-15 minutes you can clearly ascertain how a business operates and if it’s for you.

Target your approach

Making your first foray into job applications can be done in one of two ways:

Apply yourself: If applying for a position yourself, we would strongly recommend reaching out to the hiring manager directly to make them aware you’re applying or to ask questions. This will show resourcefulness and will ensure your name catches their eye when they are going through applicants. Luckily in the yachting sector the world of big corporates is still rare, so engaging with the hiring team proves a lot easier.

Once you’ve made your introduction, ensure that your application is relevant and addresses personally to the hiring manager and includes a covering letter. Mention your call, include any very relevant CV comments in the covering letter and if you’ve managed to secure their email address, send it to them direct rather than to a ‘careers’ or ‘info’ email inbox. Your chances of success are greatly improved.

Use a specialist recruiter: It was always going to feature somewhere in this article wasn’t it? Whilst our hints and tips comment on direct applications, working with a relevant and experienced recruiter can also be of huge benefit to your chances of success. Recruiters will act as that central contact point between you and the employer and, if they’re good, will be able to both tell you a lot more about the employer and also be able to push your application during the review process. Again though, be aware that for every good recruiter there are bad ones, so ensure that the one you’re working with is engaging, shows clear knowledge of their sector and also of the employer. If they don’t, look at using someone else!

Prepare for interview

You’ve made your application look great, you’ve been shortlisted for interview. Some of the hard work is done but now you have to impress in person or on video.

  • Dress to impress:

Whether you’re meeting in person or on a video you need to make sure you’re well presented. Neat hair, tidy facial hair and, if on video, with a neutral background and no distractions.

  • Research:

Have an understanding of what the employing business are currently working on and reference this when giving answers or asking questions.

  • Listen:

Ensure that you listen when the interviewer is talking, they will probably reference something specific later in the interview. This is one of the most critical skills.

  • Prepare questions:

There’s nothing worse than not having any questions to ask at the end of the interview. If the hiring manager has been that good and answered them all, bring them up nonetheless but reference where and when they’ve been answered.

  • Ask when a response should be likely:

This’ll show willing and strong interest in knowing when you’re likely to know your fate. It also holds the interviewer to account.

Job Offers – The bigger picture

You’ve aced the application, you’ve nailed the interview and an offer’s come in for you. At this stage we urge you to take a moment to breathe and consider what’s been offered to you. What are the terms, what’s the package and when do they need you to start?

We’ve seen it time and again when applicants will refuse an offer based on salary. Sure, salary is important but always look at the bigger picture:

What’s the growth potential?

How soon may you get a payrise?

Longer term, could it propel you to a higher point in your career by taking a slightly slower starting salary?

Take a few days, 48-72 hours we suggest and respond ideally over the phone, however as backup email will suffice. Questions of course will be welcome, however taking too long to respond starts to sow the seeds of doubt! Beware!

At SYR Shoreside Superyacht Recruitment we work with employers and jobseekers of graduate level on a daily basis, so if you’d like to discuss anything about graduate employment further, we’d welcome a call or email


T: +44 (0)23 8235 0930