How to apply for a job in a dive center?

Why do you want a job in a dive center?

Before entering into details and tips on how to apply for a job, think about why you want to apply for it. For the newbies in the industry, just became a Dive Master or recently went through the instructor certification process, applying for a first job is always a challenge. The oldies tend more to follow the touristic seasons and switch employees at the end of the season.

Regardless where you rank yourself, below you will find some valuable advise to have your application stick out.

Some background

Most dive center owners will confirm that the hiring process is a long and frustrating one. Whenever we announce an open position, regardless of the media we post it at, we receive plenty of applications that by far do not meet the requirements. We take the ethics to reply to all of them, but believe it, it is time consuming and seen the high volume, we may overlook the prefect candidate. Most of the dive centers will disregard the resumes that do not match the criteria without notification. So if you want your CV not to end up on the pile, just continue reading…

What to do when you apply?

Get prepared

Each dive center has it’s own identity, message, size, approach, … When applying for a job, do at least some lookup on what the center stands for. The information you can use is immense: website, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Google Plus, Instagram,… quite often provides you all the information:

  • The size of the operation, understand a small family-run center is not the same as a center that is part of a group or a big player
  • The customer focus, who are their customers, what languages do they support or teach in
  • The type of activities offered (guided dives, boat or shore dives, courses, shop, …)

Select your target employer

Once you have the info on the center, validate your competences, experience and expectations to find the match. Be aware that having worked in the industry for more then 15 years, have been promoting dive center at dive shows or having been a lead instructor on a live-aboard may be a perfect fit for big organisations but can be a show stopper for smaller centers, regardless of what you are looking for.

Wanting to change your work environment or trying to extend your experience in a different type of operation, be ready to motivate your application in the guiding letter or email to your resume.

Have a good resume

Keep your resume simple,  ideally one page, maximum two. Double check your  contact details to make sure they are correct!
Only include work experience prior to becoming a dive instructor if it is relevant to the center where you apply. Centers will welcome experience in the tourist industry, dealing with customers or any commercial luggage ; having worked as  a carpenter or IT expert may not have any value for your future employer.
The center is not interested in the number of dives you did (as an instructor we expect you to know how to dive) but we are interested in the number of certifications done and for what courses. It is important for the center to see you are competent in teaching all levels of diving.

A good resume must include:

  • Contact details (including social media like FaceBook and Instagram)
  • Your date of birth
  • Current location
  • Where and when you did your instructor course
  • Your instructor number
  • What specialties you are certified for as instructor
  • What have you been teaching (number of certs per course)
  • What languages you speak and can teach in
  • What other (relevant) qualifications and (relevant) skills you have

Include a recent picture of your whole person, not just the face. Mention if you have tattoos, some centers are sensitive to it!

Guiding letter or email

Clearly state your motivation for the application and be clear about your expectations. A center looking for staff to cover the season may not be interesting if you are looking for a long time job or reverse.

As sales is important in the dive industry you might highlight your experience in this matter. A dive center is not a charity organisation and we all expect our staff to sell courses and excursion. Note social media is key to the dive center business, so be ready to motivate customers to leave a TripAdvisor or Facebook  reviews and tag you and the dive shop in their Facebook and Instagram posts.
You must be able and willing to take your students back to the dive shop and make them want to buy that logbook, T-Shirt or mask strap!

How the center (should) react on your application?

As always respect comes from both sides. As such a center should always reply to a suitable application, whether your application is accepted or not. Note the center will have a look at all application, definitely if they are in hiring state. Besides your resume and application, they will decide who they will be talking to.

Your Facebook and Instagram

The social media offers the centers (as well as all companies hiring new employees) a rich source of background information. If you posted only pictures of drunken parties, only pictures of your dog or  pictures you touching marine life, the center will find out and will use it to weight your application.

References

If you provide references, the center might contact the people. Therefor make sure the people you use as a reference are aware you mention them in your application.

The interview and the decision

If you pass the selection process, the center will invite your for an interview. We understand the business is worldwide, so be ready to setup a video call for the interview. If you know upfront internet connectivity is an issue in your area, tell it in your application (if not it might sound as an excuse).

If you do get a reply, react back promptly. Never answer “I have to think about it”, or “I need some time to take a decision”….. By the time you decide, the position may already be filled….

Some final thoughts

Know the diving industry is fun to work in, it’s all about passion.  Just have a look at our blog Working in the industry. Don’t expect to become a millionaire working as an instructor or a dive master. If you want to earn big money, forget the diving sector and go back to or stay at your nine to five, well-paid, secure job.
Good luck in your job hunt. And if you ever want to come and work for us, you know what to do 😊

 

Why do you want to work in the diving industry?

Most people are convinced that becoming a dive instructor and work in the industry is only about the adventure in your life, working in exotic destinations and earning lots of money. Well, the truth is a bit different.

Not sure we were the only ones being convinced this was not the only thing, we have been talked to a lot of dive instructors and divemasters, both experienced and just certified ones. Indeed we came up with a bit of a different story. It’s true that the adventurous life and the exotic locations play a role when going for a career in the diving industry, but it just does not stop there. Most guys and girls we talked to all agreed that sharing and transferring your passion for diving is much more important than the adventure.

The smile on the student’s faces, the great feedback at certification, the compliments from divers and the great stories told at the end of the holidays, that’s what makes our days.

Just to give you a small story illustrating the feeling….

In the center we organise try-dives in the pool on a daily basis. The aim is to let non-divers experience the feeling of freedom under the water, breathing, finning and the sense of being weightless. In order to make this often first time experience something special, we organise some show around it involving friends and family.

A few weeks ago, we were quite busy with a large group of youngsters wanting to give it a try. Whilst the dive instructors were in the water, we had a chat with a somewhat older man who seemed nervous but interested in trying. The 70-year old was a swimmer but never in his life tried snorkelling or scuba diving. Seen his age he was quite nervous about trying. In the first go we explained exactly what was going to happen and assured him that we take all necessary measures to make it a fun but safe experience. Finally he decided to hit the water and guess…. He came out with the biggest smile on his face ever seen. At the end of his holidays he came to see us, thank us again and asked for the possibilities of going for the PADI Scuba Diver certification. Finally he left from the island giving us all a big hug and Anita even got some kisses!

This small anecdote exactly illustrates why we want to make diving our way of life!