How To Land Your Dream Scuba Instructor Job Part I: The Scuba Diving Instructor’s Resume

How to Land Your Dream Dive Instructor Job: The Resume 

Once you’ve passed your Instructor Examination (IE), it’s time to start looking for your dream scuba diving instructor job. Before sending out applications, it’s important to make sure that your resume, or CV, is up to standard. Here are some tips for what to include, and what NOT to include on your diving resume, as well as some supplemental skills that can make your application stand out from the crowd.

What to absolutely include in your CV
  • Your name and contact information. Make sure you give as many different contact points as possible, because you never know what your future employer will prefer. (e.g. e-mail, phone, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger)
  • Your nationality, and any visas or work permits that you hold- particularly if they are specific to the area that you’re applying to work in.
  • A list of your scuba qualifications, including what ranking you hold, what specialties you can teach, and what agencies you teach for. Only include your student and course counts if they are impressive- if you are fresh out of IE, don’t list that you’ve had zero students!
  • You might want to include your total number of log dives, but don’t make it up. Your employer will be able to tell.
  • College education or military experience, particularly if it’s relevant.
  • Previous work experience, especially scuba-related.
  • Always include references upfront, because hiring in the scuba industry moves very quickly.

In addition to these must-haves, there are a number of supplemental skills that can make you stand out against the crowd. These are basically other skills you can offer to a dive center, that don’t necessarily have anything to do with your scuba certifications. Here are the five most in-demand supplemental skills that dive centers are looking to hire for:

Make sure whatever language you list is actually one that you are proficient enough to teach scuba diving in.

Are you a captain? An experienced first mate? Certifications that can be great to add include United States Coast Guard certification and Royal Yachting Association (RYA) certification. Not all certifications are universally valid, so check the requirements for the parts of the world you are interested in working in. Also, don’t forget to list the sizes and types of crafts you have experience handling.

This includes mechanical, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, and carpentry. Dive centers need painting and gardening and engines need fixing. Any addition you can make to their internal skill pool will make you stand out as a diving instructor candidate.

These are very in-demand by dive centers, which are always looking for creative ways to generate more revenue. As an industry, scuba diving is generally behind the curve when it comes to modern marketing strategy, making these kinds of skills an important asset to have in-house.

These types of skills are in high-demand, including familiarity with Adobe Premier, Davinci Resolve, Lightroom, and Photoshop. This expertise can be used to help your dream dive center internally, but can also be used from a point of view of serving your guests if you choose to work for a resort. Many of the top, five-star luxury resorts have clients showing up with ten to twenty thousand dollar camera rigs, and are building facilities to view and assess footage and do on-site editing. Now, they need the staff to fill these facilities.

Now that we’ve covered what to add to your CV, let’s go over what you should avoid adding…

What NOT to include in your scuba CV
    • Your age
    • Your relationship status. If your significant other is applying to the same scuba diving instructor job, they can submit their own application!
    • A long winded bio paragraph about all of your other hobbies and interests
    • High school education 
    • A profile picture. It unnecessarily takes up space
    • Your IDC center. This is a more touchy subject. The scuba diving world tends to be cliquey, and biases can come into effect.
    • A list of all of your dive equipment. If you’re a professional diving instructor, an employer will presume that you have all of your own gear in presentable and serviceable condition

Hopefully this helps you to build a scuba CV that will help you land any scuba diving instructor job your heart desires. Next, check out our video on how to narrow down your search area, find dive centers you really want to work for, and use the shiny new resume that you’ve prepared to approach the hiring manager in a way that will get their attention.




See our specific products used in the links above, and for a full list of the gear James keep in his dive bag, see his Gear List.
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Meet James Blackman

With a career in diving spanning twenty years, James has seen a thing or two in the dive industry. James grew up on the Southwest coast of Britain and learned to dive in the frigid waters of the English Channel. If your first dives were like being placed in a cocktail shaker full of cabbage soup and you come away with a love for the sport, then you know it’s going to be a life-long pursuit.

James spent his twenties in the British merchant marine which afforded him the opportunity to travel to and dive in far flung locales… 177 countries and counting. Between stints onboard a variety of vessels, James used his shore leaves to level up his scuba training… Rescue diver in Tanzania, DM in Indonesia, Instructor in Honduras, Tec Instructor in the French West Indies.

His last ship before moving to a shore-based life style was an expedition ship where he notched up some of his most impressive dives, including briefly holding the world record for most northerly scuba dive… 82 degrees north in the Russian arctic; diving the Amazon river; the Antarctic; and virgin reef systems in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.

Moving ashore in his early thirties, James took on the role of General Manager for a luxury dive operator in St Martin and never had a dull moment! Hollywood visited the island and called upon James’ underwater skills for on-set safety. When Cat-3 hurricane Gonzalo devastated the area, James switched hats to salvage and public safety diver to help with the recovery.

Scuba Diving has given so much to James in his life… and first on that list is his brilliant wife Karina whom he met whilst teaching her AOW class! Yes, that old cliché! James and Karina are also business partners and co-owners of two power-house scuba brands. Miami Technical Diving has become the premiere scuba training facility in South Florida. Tired of seeing other dive shops compete in a ‘race to the bottom,’ James decided his model for teaching scuba would focus on keeping the quality as high as possible; using the best gear possible; teaching beyond the minimum standards on a 1-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio. The fullness of the MTD training calendar shows that people – student divers – prefer to receive premium, quality tuition, as opposed to cheap and fast.

James is the personality and knowledge broker behind ‘Divers Ready!’ a super influential Scuba Diving YouTube channelwebsite and brand. In just a year, Divers Ready! has become the fastest growing You Tube channel in the Scuba Diving niche, with 1000s of new divers joining every month. Their weekly videos range from Mouthpiece Mondays – where James shares his insider knowledge and opinions about controversial topics in the dive industry – to practical ‘hints & tutorial’ style videos, all with one simple goal in mind – to make you a better diver!

James and Karina started small group luxury dive trips for the Divers Ready! audience.

James and Karina live in Miami, FL with their rambunctious dogs; Ziggy The Husky and Bonham the Mutt, and their Maine Coon cat Foxy, who remains unimpressed.