Getting dive jobs
The idea of working in the diving industry always paints a picture of paradise and an easy going beach life style-
In some cases is true, but applying for a job as a dive instructor should be taken just as seriously as applying for any other job in a major company in the city.
It is a competitive market and it is important that you present and promote yourself and your abilities in a professional manner.
If you are a newbie dive instructor who has just completed the IDC and IE then it is even more vital that you go about applying for jobs as an instructor in the right way to overcome the difficulties of breaking into the diving job market. All the other instructors out there will also be looking for that “Dream Dive JOB” and so you cannot expect a dream job to land at you feet.
When employing staff, dive centers are obviously looking for the best they can for the salary they can offer. Unfortunately for the newbie dive instructors, it is a bit of a catch 22 situation, as in, you need the diving experience to get the job, but you need the job to get the experience.
Dive centers have concerns when hiring inexperienced instructors as they don`t really know what they are getting. Some of these deciding factors might be risks to reputation due to instructors lack of knowledge of the dive sites etc, lack of language capabilities, not enough relevant official documentation (visas, work permits, licences), lack of professional paperwork such as a Diving CV, not enough equipment (e.g.SMB´s) and lack of specialties to teach a broader clientele.
So what can you do?
Well, we all have to or had to start somewhere. If you accept you are a newbie and are up beat with a positive and enthusiastic attitude, it will enhance your chances of making that first and lasting good impression.
Tips for landing your dive job
The content of your CV should be fine tuned to reflect the position for which you are applying.
For example, if you are applying for a job as a Divemaster or Dive Instructor on a live aboard, it is not relevant to your employer that you worked as a landscape gardener during the summer early in your career. If you are applying to work in a resort with a dive shop, your employer would love to hear about the customer service and sales skills you learned when working with the public.
Find out who the right person is to speak to and call the dive center you wish to work for before sending them a CV.
Before you call the dive center be prepared,, be positive and sell yourself. If you are a newbie instructor-remember don`t be afraid to admit it, be enthusiastic and sell your strong points and show willingness to be flexible. The more you know about the school and ask intelligent questions, the higher your chances are of the manager remembering you when they receive your CV . Moreover, you may learn more information about the skills and type of person they are looking for which helps you know what to include in your diving CV and application.
Send a cover letter with your CV that explains why you want to work at that specific diving operation and why you are qualified for the position.
Emphasize highlights of your CV in this letter even if it is not diving related. For example, if you are applying for a position on a yacht and you have kitchen experience or technical/ mechanical experience- be sure to point out how this could be helpful. If you speak more than one language- let them know. Speaking English , Spanish or German for example, is a big advantage over your competitors in this industry.
Believe in yourself
If you do not show confidence, how will an employer have confidence in you to do the job you are applying for? Being a dive instructor requires leadership and confidence in order for your students to have trust and confidence in what you are teaching them.
You might be a newbie dive instructor- just having done your IDC and IE, but don’t come across as desperate
Remember that you have a lot to offer a dive center. You have done the training and are now a proud diving professional. They need to impress you as much as you need to impress them. Prepare some well thought out questions before you approach or call a dive center. Examples of which you can read here.
It is common to be rejected for the majority of dive jobs for which you apply
This occurs when there are many more applicants than jobs and you should not let it get you down. Think of this as a learning experience. Ask yourself how you could improve your chances when applying for the next dive job.For example, what other skills can you bring to the table- If you have mechanical experience, working in gastronomy, sales, administration. Think how this could be applied to the position you are looking for and tell the interviewer about your achievements and how this would benefit the dive center. In many cases, you are required to be a „jack of all trades“, and so the more things you can do, the higher your chances are. If you have worked in sales- use that as your strong point and build on your diving experience as you go. If you can sell- that means turnover and profit for the dive center. If you speak more than one language, you can teach a wider range of customers.
Stick to a job for six months`
The turnover of staff in dive centers can be quite high due to dive instructors moving on to other diving destinations around the world. This is an advantage in some respects as it provides dive job opportunities. Having said that, I would recommend to sticking with a job for at least six months`. If your CV is full of different dive centers where you only worked for a short time, it might appear as though you are unreliable and not able to hold a job down.
Further education and building new skills is also important.
Even if you already have a dive job, you should be striving to increase your portfolio of Dive Specialties and going up the ranks of the instructor ladder. An MSDT is more useful to a dive center than an OWSI.
Learn another language
If you look at a lot of the dive job advertisements. The majority of them ask for at least one other language. If you have a look at the pages on this website about which languages to learn and why, you will see it is a clear advantage to learn English, Spanish, German to name a few.