How to Apply for Jobs on Cruise Ships


When applying for a cruise job, consider how the cruise employer wants to receive your application package. You can apply through an online application, via email or by sending it to a physical address. Meanwhile, be aware of employment scams and resume data bases. Remember that the object is to get your resume and cover letter to the right hiring manager. Here are some guidelines.


Where to Send Your Application Package for a Cruise Job

One of the first steps in applying for a cruise job is deciding who you want to work for. Which cruise line are you going to apply to first? At the same time, you are deciding which job on a cruise ship you are most suited for. Now you need to figure out who is the recruiter for that particular position.

Most cruise lines have employment pages on their website that will give you the information you need in order to apply for a job. Many cruise lines use recruitment agencies to assist with the screening of job applicants. On the other hand there are some cruise jobs that are recruited and employed by cruise ship concessions.

Get to know the method that an employer prefers you to send your application package and follow their instructions. You may have to complete their online application or they may prefer you to email your resume and cover letter to a specific address. Getting your resume and cover letter to the right hiring manager is crucial to landing a job.


Preparing a Cover Letter and Resume

When preparing a cover letter and resume for a job on a cruise ship, it is imperative to specify the title of the job for which you are applying. Don’t leave it up to the cruise line or recruiter to decide because they won’t. Instead, your job application will likely be discarded.

Your resume must highlight your past work history, education and skills in a way that is relevant to the specific cruise job for which you are qualified. Your cover letter is a snapshot of your best attributes that make you the ideal candidate for the job. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to customize each resume and cover letter you send out for each application.


Choosing a Photo for a Resume

Most cruise employers ask that you include a photo in your application package. Some request that you upload a photo into their online web application form. If sending your resume and cover letter by email, then you can choose to insert it digitally onto your resume, or send it as a separate attachment.

In selecting an appropriate photo, there are some criteria to keep in mind. Recruiters want to see a photo of you smiling. You can also choose to use a photo of you in action. If you are applying for a job as a photographer, for instance, you can use a photo of you holding a camera.  Keep the file size of the photo under 300kb and the entire application under 1 MB so the recruiter can open the email.


Online Applications for Cruise Jobs

Most cruise lines, agencies and concessions all have an online application on their website to complete. Typically, the applicant must choose the job they are applying for and upload their resume and photo. Instead, some online applications require the applicant to fill in specific fields about work experience, education and skills. Also, when submitting the application, take note of the email address so you may follow up after it is sent.

Be extra aware that the online application or resume data base you are completing is actually on the cruise line’s website or on one of their hiring partner’s website. Consider that there are other cruise employment websites that encourage you to fill out their data bases. They appear to be legitimate online applications. Unfortunately, there are cruise employment scams and you need to be careful.


Resume Distribution Services

Cruise employers want to receive a resume and cover letter from an applicant that is customized for a specific job and for their cruise line. If you complete an online form for a resume data base, that resume distribution service is going to send the same resume to a number of different cruise employers. This type of resume blasting may even get your name black listed from the actual cruise line.

You don’t want this to happen. Unfortunately, many cruise employment websites misrepresent themselves as if they have the authority to hire. On the contrary, the cruise employer only authorizes the hiring partners listed on their websites.


Using LinkedIn to Apply for Jobs

Sometimes cruise employers have hidden cruise jobs that aren’t advertised on their website. One place where some hiring agencies and HR departments post these jobs is on LinkedIn ( Unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn allows you to post your resume for recruiters to see. Keep your profile updated and professional.


Email or Mail Your Resume and Cover Letter?

Once you have completed an online application, it is a good idea to send your application package to a physical address as well. This gives you the opportunity to get a physical envelope containing your resume and cover letter on the desk of the hiring manager. In this day of email, people still like to receive a physical package. If you send it registered with a request to have it signed for, you know when it is received.


Follow Up on Your Application for a Cruise Job

Following up is the most important part of the application process. Many applicants send their application and then never follow up. They figure if the recruiter is interested, then the recruiter will contact them. The fact is, if you don’t follow up, it shows that you aren’t as determined as the person that is following up. This extra step just may get you the interview that you need to eventually get hired!


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