Working on cruise ships can provide you with an exciting, varied, rewarding and challenging lifestyle, which is part of the reason why cruise careers are so popular with people specialised in all kinds of fields. To actually get started in such a role, however, you may need to take certain steps to obtain the right education and training, and to actually pinpoint relevant opportunities. In this article, you will find out more and have access to nine useful tips.

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Cruise Careers: 9 Tips to Help You Start Your Career

Although there are cruise careers available to suit most tastes, skill sets and levels of experience, it can be difficult to know how to get started. Below, you will find nine tips that are designed to give you the best possible chance of getting your foot in the door with a cruise line and beginning a successful career in the industry.

1. Start Your Cruise Career With the Right Training and Education

The first step when pursuing cruise careers is to make sure you have the right level of education and training for the role you are interested in. This is especially true with jobs that are higher up on a company hierarchy, such as a management position, or a more technical role, that requires specific knowledge or skills.

For example, as with other similar hospitality careers, if you want to work within the field of cruise management, you may need to have a degree in a related field, such as business management or even cruise management itself. You are also likely to need significant industry experience and have to have completed the right training.

Of course, it is worth highlighting the fact that cruise careers do also provide plenty of opportunities to begin in an entry-level job and then work your way up the career ladder. Many companies will invest heavily in training and may even help you to obtain academic qualifications, as long as you show that you have the right attributes and attitude.

2. Make Yourself Stand Out With an Amazing CV

The next thing to focus on when starting your cruise career is creating a strong CV, which cannot be easily overlooked by employers. A good starting point here is to look for examples of some strong CVs in the cruise industry, or from those in travel and tourism careers, and identify some of the most common features.

It is important that you avoid using a generic CV and instead create a tailored CV for each role you apply for. The best way to do this is to read through the job description and person specification, pick out some keywords and then try to include some of these in your CV. You should also emphasise relevant skills and experience throughout.

Try to keep your CV reasonably short and concise, and make sure you run a spell check before submitting it. When possible, try to refer to things in the terms the company you are applying for uses. So, for example, if they talk about a cruise master, instead of a cruise captain, you should use this terminology too.

3. Adopt Personal Branding to Boost Your Cruise Career

Personal branding involves deploying techniques that are typically associated with brand marketing, in order to enhance your own personal reputation. Many cruise careers rely heavily on personal branding, in order to attract interest from employers and so this aspect of career management should not be overlooked.

However, even on a basic level, almost every employer in the industry will carry out a background check on candidates they are interested in. Your personal branding strategy can have a significant influence on what information they see when they carry out a Google search and how that information comes across to them.

Make sure you use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter wisely and avoid any issues where publicly accessible accounts present you in a less-than-favourable light. You can further enhance your personal branding efforts by registering your first and last name as a domain name using: https://about.me/.

4. Use Cruise Job Boards to Identify Your Next Cruise Career Move

In terms of actually seeking out vacancies to apply for, job boards are likely to be one of your most-used channels. In particular, there are a number of online job boards that specialise in advertising jobs related to the travel and tourism industry, including cruise careers, and these platforms allow you to apply for multiple jobs in quick succession.

Check out the “Travel Jobs: The Best Travel Industry Job Boards for Your Career” article, where you will be able to find a section covering some of the biggest and best job boards advertising cruise careers.

5. Make Intelligent Use of LinkedIn for Your Cruise Career

LinkedIn is one of the most valuable platforms you can use for actually finding work and this is true when exploring cruise careers too. The ‘Jobs‘ sub-section of the website provides search options, so you can easily narrow down your search to relevant cruise industry jobs, in locations you are willing to work, and then apply for those jobs online.

In addition, you can also use LinkedIn to develop a personal network of cruise industry contacts. You can share information on the platform about your own job search and you can form give-and-take relationships with people. This may then result in you being alerted to relevant vacancies, including some that may not be advertised elsewhere.

6. Seek Out Support From Cruise Careers Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies are companies that assist employers with finding suitable candidates to fill any vacancies that may come up, but recruitment agencies can also assist job seekers in a number of key ways. For instance, many recruitment agencies specialise in a particular field and this is certainly true of agencies who link candidates to cruise careers.

The major benefit of working with a recruitment agency is they will possess a detailed knowledge of the sector and understand precisely what employers want from candidates. Many agencies have worked with the same employers for years and they can help to steer you in the right direction when it comes to optimising your CV or your application.

7. Prepare Properly for Your Cruise Industry Job Interview

As with other travel careers, landing a job within the cruise industry is likely to require you to succeed in an interview, and the best way to make sure this happens is to take the necessary steps to prepare. This means researching the cruise company you are hoping to work for, and finding out as much as you can about the role itself.

It also means taking the time to practice some of the common interview questions. Try to come up with some basic template answers, which you can then fall back on during the interview itself. You should also take the time to prepare for the interview day itself by making sure you have something to wear and by planning your route to the venue.

8. Make Sure You Perform During the Interview Itself

With the preparation over, you need to make sure you actually perform well on the day of the interview. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before and make sure you arrive at the venue slightly early. Dress appropriately for the job you are interviewing for and in accordance with any instructions you may have been given.

In the interview itself, make sure your phone is switched off, try to stay as calm as possible and adopt positive, open body language. Do your best to maintain eye contact as much as possible and take your time to answer questions properly. It is a good idea to make multiple copies of your CV in with you to refer back to as well.

9. Capitalise on Networking Opportunities During Your Cruise Career

Finally, professional networking will often play a crucial role in the most successful cruise careers, so you should do your best to capitalise on this. Networking opportunities can be broadly broken down into online and offline networking and for the best results, you should try to make the most of both of these options.

Online networking often takes place on social networks like LinkedIn, or even Facebook and Twitter. Reach out to other people in the industry and follow cruise companies. Ask questions, talk about your own career and your aspirations, and try to help others. Connecting with people in this way can help to open up new doors for you.

Offline networking can be further broken down into informal and formal networking. Informal networking consists of casual conversations, chance encounters, and other situations where you may informally discuss your career. Formal networking, on the other hand, involves deliberately attempting to network, such as through attending industry events.

Apply for Cruise Jobs Through Cruise Line Websites

When it comes to applying for cruise careers, cruise line websites are likely to be one of the first places you look. After all, most companies will have a ‘Careers‘ section on their site, listing current vacancies. However, to do this effectively, you will need to build up a list of some of the main cruise lines to explore.

Check out the “Cruise Jobs: Apply Directly For a Job at the Best Cruise Lines” post for a breakdown of some of the biggest employers in the industry, so you can check their websites regularly and find your ideal job.

The Best Websites for Finding Cruise Ship Jobs Online

Aside from turning to individual cruise company websites, there are a number of other websites that can be useful in helping with your job search. For example, job boards and recruitment agency websites can make it quick and easy to find and apply for roles, while social media platforms may also advertise vacancies.

Read the “Cruise Ship Jobs: List of Websites to Find The Best Job Vacancies!” article for a more in-depth look at some of the best websites to turn to, broken down according to these different website types.

An Overview of the Different Cruise Industry Jobs

It is worth stressing that there is a wide range of different cruise careers available to you. This variety means there is likely to be a role that suits almost anyone, regardless of how much experience they have, which aspect of the industry they are interested in, and what level of academic study they have reached.

Take a look at “Cruise Industry Jobs: An Overview of All Cruise Ship Positions” for much more information on the different job roles that exist, along with a description of what working in each of these positions actually entails.

All You Need to Learn About the Cruise Industry

Before embarking upon your cruise career, it is sensible to try and learn as much as you can about the industry itself. This means finding out about the different types of cruise lines and the biggest examples of companies within those categories. It also means understanding the various cruise types and how they are defined.

Read “Cruise Industry: All You Need to Know About Cruises!” for much more on these key areas of interest, as well as additional information on cruise bookings, cruise technology and revenue management within cruise companies.

Getting started with cruise careers does not need to be especially complicated and it is a career path that offers excellent long-term prospects, even if you are not starting out with significant academic qualifications. If you follow the tips provided, you should be able to begin your career in the cruise industry relatively quickly.

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Revfine.com is a knowledge platform for the hospitality & travel industry. Professionals use our insights, strategies and actionable tips to get inspired, optimise revenue, innovate processes and improve customer experience. You can find all travel industry tips in the categories Marketing & Distribution, Staffing & Career and Technology & Software.

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