Cruise Jobs and Resumes: What Every Applicant Should Know

When applying for a cruise job, one of the most important things to remember is to follow the application procedures to the letter. Even if you are a strong applicant, most cruise lines will not tolerate incomplete applications, missing credentials (if applicable) or unprofessional looking resumes. For example, resumes in large type on pink paper will be discarded immediately as well as resumes that do not list relevant experience, or complete contact information. Simply typing your name and email address on the front page is not acceptable.

Many cruise lines feature online applications. These programs allow the user to enter any requested information into an online form and upload his or her resume. If any of the lines on the form are left blank without reason, the human resources department may delete it without further review. If the cruise line prefers a paper resume, it is important to make sure the resume is sent to the appropriate contact person and address as listed in the application instructions.

If you have addressed your resume to the appropriate department, the next step is the review. According to a Celebrity Cruises personnel director, each resume will be reviewed. “Unqualified or incomplete resumes are disposed of,” she says, while “only the best resumes are kept on file.” Resumes that are kept on file, remain in personnel for six months. If a position opens up, the personnel department will go back to these resumes first before posting the position. In many cases, a resume that has been sitting in the file for two months will end up becoming a new hire.

Most personnel or HR managers prefer a cover letter that is polite, professional, and gets to the point. The cover letter should also state the specific position the applicant is interested in. The cover letter and resume must be neat and typed on white bond paper. According to the Celebrity Cruise personnel director, a good example of an excellent resume package came from Amy M. Amy M. applied for a purser’s staff position. Her resume was neatly typewritten in easy to read type on clean bond paper.

A light gray folder held Amy’s resume, cover letter, and a professional looking photograph. Her resume was direct, specific, and professional and her cover letter explained clearly how her skills and experience would be useful for a purser’s staff position. This made an excellent first impression and her resume was placed in the “approved” file for the next job opening.

If you prefer to use a placement agency rather than look for a position on your own, the same rules apply. Placement agencies for cruise jobs are very selective. They require the same professionalism as cruise line personnel departments, so when submitting your resume package to top agencies, follow the submission procedures to the letter. To learn more about how to sign up with a placement agency, please read our article: How to Choose a Placement Agency.


Miller, Mary F. How To Get A Job With A Cruise Line. St. Petersburg: Ticket to Adventure, 2001.

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