How to have a good seaman CV – Template and Tips

How to have a good seaman CV – Template and Tips

Your seaman CV is your business card, it is the first glimpse of you that the shipowner gets: it highlights your specificities, your qualities as well as the arguments for choosing you in particular over another.
It is therefore essential to carefully prepare your CV.
➡️ Here are our tips for a CV that makes a difference, along with a template that you can download and customise for free. 

1. The CV: what is it for?

The purpose of a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is to give a concise account of your professional background, work experience and hobbies. It summarises in one page (or two maximum) everything you have done to get where you are today. 

The aim of this page or pages is to make boat owners want to choose you as a sailor rather than someone else: you need to stand out from the crowd!

The nautical resume gives the first impression to your potential clients, so it is important to take care of it!

Spelling mistakes, for example, are not welcome.

2. The key elements of a seaman CV

A. Titles and certifications

The various qualifications and certifications you have obtained are essential to mention. They confirm your level of knowledge and expertise in the field. These titles certify to the boat owner that you have the necessary prerequisites to take charge of his boat and ensure that the mission is carried out in the best possible conditions. 

Above all, filling in all your titles ensures that you are in compliance with maritime regulations, which require certificates and qualifications depending on the type of mission. It is therefore a guarantee of safety for the boat owner: a sailor who does not have the necessary diplomas to carry out a mission will not be able to benefit from multi-risk and damage insurance.

Here are some examples of recurring certifications:

  • Yachtmaster Commercially Endorsed
  • Master 200 GT
  • ENG1
  • BST

If you have STCW 95 or STCW 10 certifications, it is also recommended to mention- them. They show that your titles are internationally recognised by the STCW Convention, and allow you to work on foreign flags. 

Finally, for each title and certification, indicate the date of issue. Most STCW certificates are valid for 5 years and must therefore be regularly revalidated. Entering the date will ensure that the boat owner is aware of the validity of your certificates and anticipate their renewal.

⚠️ The fact that only one of your certificates has expired can lead to the invalidity of your certificate. For example, if your BST is expired, you no longer have the “Commercial Endorsement” on your Yachtmaster. 

➡ Thanks to the Capt’n Boat algorithm, you are notified in advance of the expiry of your title, so you can renew it in time to avoid missing an attractive mission!

Young woman standing at the helm of a boat

B. Skills and qualities

In addition to your various seaman certifications, it is important to list your technical and human skills. They are your added value: the boat owner will know that in the event of a problem, you’ll be able to react and take charge of the problem in order to find a solution.

These skills can be multiple:

  • Mechanics
  • Sailing manoeuvres
  • Engine manoeuvres
  • Maintenance
  • Marine knots
  • Rescue and safety
  • Customer relation
  • Pedagogy
  • Foreign languages (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc..)

Your interpersonal skills and good manners are also significant factors in the selection of a sailor. Indeed, for charter missions (cruising) or boat delivery missions, the qualities required will not be the same:

  • Adaptability
  • Discretion
  • Sociability
  • Open-mindedness
  • Rigour

C. Personal information

This part will gather more personal details about yourself (besides your obvious contact information: name, surname, email, phone number and adress) such as: your visas, vaccinations, tatooed or not, smoker or not, driver’s licence holder, etc..

These details also make a difference to boat owners. Some high-end cruising services may require a specific appearance and behaviour.

Since the Covid-19 health crisis, some cruising areas require new entrants to be vaccinated. 

So to avoid any misadventures during the mission, these personal details need to be filled in. 

On Capt’n Boat, it is important to have an anonymised seaman CV so that it can be validated. 

D. Photo

Appearance is important! The photo you put on your CV will be the first image the client will have of you, choose it well! First impressions count a lot.

A well-framed photo, in good light with a clear and smiling face will give the client a feeling of confidence and create an easier and less formal bond.

4. Template of a seaman CV

Here is an example of clean and tidy seaman CV we like at Capt’n Boat. 
You can download it, fill it in and/or modify it by addind your background and information. Just click here to customise this template for free.

You can also download it as a Word document.

template of a good seaman CV captnboat
Template of a good sailor CV

3. Formatting

A. Short introduction

In order to give your seaman resume a minimum of structure, is it advisable to write a short introduction of no more than 4-5 lines introducing yourself. It should be informative and attrative: talk about your goals, what you are looking for, etc..

The aim is to briefly detail who you are and what you aspire to in the near future.

B. Visually appealing

A CV that is too full and unstructured quickly demotivates the reader. To make shipowner want to take time to learn a little about you, an airy, orderly resume with uniform typography will make the task easier!

Your information should be quick, simple and clear to read. Prefer a short CV with selected information rather than a long one with irrelevant information. 

In addition to the nautical resume, feel free to provide a cover letter, recommendation letter and interesting documents. (Example: for a steward(ess)/cook, providing a sample menu with photos is a great argument.)


For the boat owner, the choice of the seaman who will take charge of his boat will be based first and foremost on the study of his sailor resume. This first impression is therefore essential. A seaman CV without spelling mistakes, with a well-framed photo and structured content, will open the doors to the contract signing stages.

Be honest about your skills and experiences, to avoid finding yourself in an uncomfortable situation, to which you will not know how to react.

Of course you can also think outside the box in the choice of format of your CV, and express your creativity (as long as the main information is there.)

Be yourself, there are no two like you! 😉