For chefs in the Superyacht sector, finding the next job requires a combination of experience and references. A well-presented Chef Portfolio is the most effective way to showcase these, and reach potential employers with your best attributes on display.
Your Chef Portfolio is more than just a CV/Resume. Competition is fierce in the industry, especially if you’re pounding the docks of the Caribbean or South of France for a break, so you need something that not just establishes your standard information and experience, but also communicates the skills and personality you can bring to your next yacht.
These days, your portfolio should be ready to upload to a Crew Agency website or job board, where it can be found easily by your next employer. They will want to see not just what you’ve done so far, but what you can do for the future – that means plans, ideas and ambitions.
What to include
When it comes to the secretive, high net worth world of superyachts, conventional employment regulation does not always apply. Apply for an office job in the EU, for example, and you are at liberty to withhold your age, ethnicity, and nationality from the application – and an employer can face discrimination charges if they use any as the basis for a decision.
But yachting is a service industry with strict expectations and entry requirements. Your basic personal information, therefore, should include your age, photo, contact information, nationality, passport, visa status, and even whether you are non-smoker, teetotal or tattoo free.
2. Certificates and awards
As you would with a restaurant vacancy, list all your food service and safety certificates, including the all-important STCW95. You can find a sample list of recommended certifications here.
3. Chronological work experience
Arrange your work experience with the most recent/current position first. Include the name of the yacht, the length, and your dates of employment. Outline your main duties and achievements in concise language, using the third person.
4. Culinary showcase
Ordinary pictures speak a thousand words. Yours could earn you thousands of dollars. Use your smartphone to accumulate an impressive collection of your best dishes – from amuses bouches to desserts. Select those that emphasise finesse, precision and skill. Set aside those that shout ‘ship’s cook’ rather than ‘superyacht chef’.
5. Your vision
Once you’re in charge of your own galley, it’s really all down to you – from menu planning to provisioning. Show your next employer that you have the capacity to plan a menu plan that not only excites the guest, but appeals to the person picking up the bill. You can cook, but can you budget? Show that you’re familiar with what’s available in the yacht hot spots, and what’s trending in the world’s top restaurants.
Should I use a professional service?
If you’re planning your next job while already in place on a yacht, you probably have neither the time nor the WiFi to create and upload a top portfolio. Relax, help is at hand. For a fee, you can hand the whole task over to a professional CV-writing service such as The CV Centre. Too many job applicants throw together badly written, misspelt resumes that run to five pages, then wonder why they’re not getting any call backs. A professional writing service will get you results, turning your work history into tightly written copy that incorporates the all-important search keywords used by employers.
Do it yourself portfolio
On the other hand, not everyone feels confident in handing over their life story and personality to a third-party. Only you can capture your unique talents, flair and style. The bluffer’s approach is to download an existing resume or template and overwrite it with your own details. Even if you use a professional service or consultant to map out the work experience, it is best to write the personal statement/biog yourself. Stuck for inspiration? Ask the crew what they like about you and your dishes. Look back over guest comments and testimonials. If your work experience is the steak, your biog must be the sizzle.
Once you’ve finished, convert everything into a PDF for easy sharing with small file size. Upload it onto the job boards and wait for the responses to arrive. And then refresh, update and review.