Experience and education go a long way when it comes to securing a job in the competitive world of cruise travel. However, experience and education are not the only things that make a positive impression on employers. What your resume says about your other skills makes a difference. For example, a resume that highlights passenger satisfaction will attract more attention than a resume that does not. This is number one on our list of 10 best ways to apply for cruise jobs. Next (2), pay attention to details. Do not send form letters. Make each cover letter personal. Address your application to the appropriate person (never use “to whom it may concern”) and don’t forget to sign it!
3. Make your resume and curriculum vitae CV easy to read. This means, leave the green neon paper alone and stick to white paper. Use a 10 or 12 point font size, and leave a one-inch margin.
4. Don’t beat around the bush – be specific! Be clear about your qualifications and desired position. Never say, I’m open to any position on the ship. Instead, list the positions you are qualified for.
5. Use the reverse chronological resume format. This will place your current work experience, most recently held job, and education status first. You should divide your resume into the following sections: identifying information, job objective (position desired), employment experience, education, talents and skills, awards and honors (if any), membership in educational of professional associations (if any), and professional references.
6. Use the cover letter to introduce yourself – briefly. Be polite. Be specific. Discuss how your skills, education, talents, and employment experience can contribute to the passenger’s cruise experience.
7. Include a photograph. Make sure the photograph is professional and simple. This means, a head and shoulder photo of you alone. Limit the amount of “stuff” in the background. It will only distract the person reviewing your resume.
8. Do not fold your resume and cover letter. Use a 9 x 12 envelope instead. This will set your package apart from the plain white business size envelopes. If you live near the cruise line headquarters, consider dropping the resume off. If the cruise line requires an online application, respect their wishes, but still follow steps 1-7.
9. Always follow-up. Send a thank you card or email a day or two after submitting your resume. If there are any changes to your resume, feel free to update and resubmit. The point is to become a familiar name and face. By following up, you keep your name, resume, and photo in front of the personnel director.
10. Tips on telephone etiquette. Unfortunately, most HR departments do not like follow-up phone calls. If you must call, it is important to be extremely polite to the receptionist. According to Mary Fallon Miller, author of How to Get a Job With a Cruise Line, the receptionist can become a valuable ally. Do not appear inconsiderate or impatient. You should smile when you are speaking, and be enthusiastic but not pushy. Announce your name clearly and most importantly, get to the point.
If you get a call for an interview, dress to impress and take several copies of your resume with you. It is not uncommon for cruise lines to ask you to fill out a paper application. Having your resume on hand, as well as important addresses and phone numbers, will help save time. Good luck!