How To Land your Dream Dive Instructor Job: Targeted Applications
In our last video, we went over how to prepare your resume and what to include versus what not to include in order to impress a potential dive center employer. In this article, we’ll go a step further and teach you how to hunt for, target, and secure your dream scuba diving instructor job.
Narrowing your search
First off, it is important to narrow your search so that you’re not contacting every dive center in the entire world. Also, having a smaller handful of dive operations you want to target allows you to take the time to put your best foot forward. Below are some tips for finding specific dive operations to target:
A good dive instructor is one that’s always learning. So, what do you want to learn next?
- If you’re looking to do more technical diving, look for dive centers that support it.
- If you want to do more with underwater photography, look for dive centers that have an underwater photographer working there, or at least have the facilities to help you develop your skills.
There are several different types of dive operations that all require a similar skill set, so it is important to identify which is most in line with what you want. This includes:
- A traditional dive shop or boat charter operation
- A resort-style operation
- A liveaboard boat
- An expedition ship
- Private yachts
Make sure to do some research on each option and see what seems like the best fit.
Part of this is going to be financially constrained by factors such as where you can afford to get to and where it makes sense to spend money to travel to. Some other factors to consider include:
- Where you can get a work permit
- Where the languages you speak are beneficial. Also think about where people who speak your language go to dive. Ex. If you speak Japanese, you’ll want to focus your search on the Pacific Islands that have a lot of Japanese tourists.
This is where we turn to our good friend, Google Maps. Let’s use an example with the previous tips:
- You want to further your underwater photography skills, particularly macro underwater photography. Additionally, you are interested in Muck diving.
- You are interested in working in Indonesia, and qualify for an Indonesian work permit. (The Lembeh Strait in Indonesia is also world-renowned for muck diving and great photography – win-win!)
After narrowing your search area and typing in the simple phrases, muck diving and underwater photography, you will get a list of operations. However, how do you know which of these operators is reputable, and which one would you actually want to be a dive instructor at.
Time to Research:
You can tell a lot about a dive operation from its website. Some questions that you can ask yourself to determine the quality and reputation of a dive operator include:
- Is the website modern and up-to-date?
- Does the dive operator have a strong social media presence?
- What is the quality of their verbiage?
- What is the quality of their photography?
If a particular dive operation hasn’t updated their website in a long time, it might indicate that the operators, owners, and managers are backward-thinking. A sleek, modern socially-integrated website highlights a more forward-thinking, attractive employment destination.
Dive forums, chat rooms, and ways to get in touch with past instructors can help you find people that have dove at a specific dive operation. Additionally, TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews can give a good high-level idea of how they are performing, BUT be aware that all of these external opinions can be biased so it is important to not read too much into them.
How to put your best foot forward
Now that you’ve narrowed your search and found a handful of reputable dive shops you want to apply to, how do you make a great impression?
First off, you want to personalize your application to each dive operation. It is not a good look to attach an identical, unpersonalized cover letter to your resume and call it a day. Examples of personalization include:
- Find out who the hiring manager is, and use their name. You can find this through LinkedIn, Facebook, a phone call, or an in-person visit if the operation is close by.
- In your cover letter, try to use verbiage that the dive operation uses to describe themselves. This shows that you’re paying attention.
Your cover letter only needs to have two paragraphs. Don’t overthink it!
- Paragraph #1: why you are the right candidate to work for that dive center
- Paragraph #2: why that dive center is right for you to work at
A short, sweet cover letter and a strong dive resume will make you a high-quality candidate.
Scuba diving is a transient industry, and dive centers are always hiring. If you don’t hear back, or don’t get the job that time, don’t be discouraged. Make sure to send the hiring manager an e-mail every couple of months with your resume attached to let them know you are still interested. If you can make the hiring manager’s job easy by presenting a professional applicant before they know they need you, you will land your dream dive instructor job in no time.