Ways to Boost Your Scuba Career Using Social Media

Billions of people around the world use social media every day – including hiring managers at dive shops, liveaboard operators, and all the big names in the dive industry. Learn how to optimize your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to land that dream job in scuba.

We’ll get to profile tips in a moment; the first step is to assess the scene. Social media gives job-seekers important insights into a company’s culture and values. Before you can transform your profile into that of an ideal job candidate, it’s important to know what sort of person a company wants to hire.

Research Potential Employers

Take a deep dive into the online profiles of companies you’d like to work for (and their staff when possible). Don’t Like or Follow these businesses just yet – especially if your personal profile hasn’t been “tuned” for hiring managers.

Write down a few things about the company: its values, their gear / courses /  products, and notes about the staff if possible. Maybe the manager likes the same football team you do, or the owner loves horror movies. Knowing these things can give you an edge over another job candidate with similar skills.

Speaking of skills: think about your diving and non-diving experience and how you might help the business grow. For example: if the shop isn’t very active on social media and you love shooting photos and video, that’s a big plus. Or maybe the business doesn’t currently cater to families, but you have experience managing a kids’ camp.

Next, head over to the Employment Board on the PADI Pros’ Site. See what jobs are available, what skills employers are looking for, and who your competition is. You may find the best place for inspiration is the PADI Pros Looking for Employment section. Take lots of notes, because the next step is to create / edit your own profile.

PADI pros job board
 

Tune-Up Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is essentially your online CV / resume. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, create one! Approximately 95% of hiring managers search for candidates on LinkedIn and 93% use it to vet potential hires before they interview.

When filling out the Summary and Experience sections, refer to your notes about what companies are looking for in an employee. Use the same language when possible. Imagine one of those employers reading your profile and thinking, “this is exactly the person we’re looking for!”

Ask for Endorsements from previous employers and co-workers. When logged in to your profile, visit this page. LinkedIn allows you to message to up three people from your network and ask for a recommendation. In the message copy, ask them to write about one or two specific skills related to the scuba job you’re seeking. This will help your friend know what to write about and make your profile more attractive to employers.

PADI Pros should stay up to date on their linkedin profiles

When your LinkedIn profile is complete, add a link to it in to your email signature. Speaking of which: if your email is party247@gmail.com consider creating a more professional email address where employers can contact you. Which leads us to our next topic…

Facebook: Go Public and Keep it Clean

Hiring managers increasingly check out the Facebook profiles of potential hires, so be sure yours is ready for inspection. If you have a gated profile, open it up or start making more public posts. Facebook is a one of the best ways to showcase what a fun and loveable person you are.

First, go through your profile and remove anything you wouldn’t want your mom, a police officer, or a judge to see. Remove anything overtly political, and correct any spelling or grammar mistakes.
Post public pics and video of you doing the things you’d like potential employers to know about. For example:
– If you speak Chinese, post pics of yourself with smiling Chinese diving students.

– Upload a pic or video of you driving a boat.

– Post a video of you using the company’s products, or servicing the equipment they carry.

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Even if you’re camera shy, it’s important to put yourself out there. When employers start to see your face regularly, maybe even hear from you on video, they get to know you. Imagine yourself in a hiring manager’s shoes: would you rather hire a stranger or a friend?

Okay, what if you don’t have any special skills? What if you’re new to diving industry or looking to land your first job ever.

– Take classes to grow your skill set: equipment repair, photography, video editing, etc.-
– Practice shooting photos and video at local dive sites
– Post about common interests you share with staff: football, cats, Game of Thrones, etc.
– Volunteer: organize a beach clean-up, throw a Bubblemaker birthday party

Engage


Now that your profile showcases your ideal self, follow companies you’d like to work for and perhaps their staff. Start by ‘liking’ the company’s posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and leaving thoughtful comments. When appropriate, establish yourself as a scuba guru by ID-ing a fish, sharing feedback about equipment, or the best time to visit XYZ dive site. Don’t make your first engagement, “hey, are you guys hiring?”

If your job search is more global in nature, try LinkedIn Groups to connect with potential employers. There are half a dozen groups related to PADI, PADI Members and PADI Instructors*.  With LinkedIn groups you can also post discussion topics in addition to commenting. * None of these groups are run by PADI.

When you do decide to “pop the question,” ensure you’re using the right channel. For example: sending a direct message to PADI asking, “are you hiring?” doesn’t make a good first impression (we post job openings at PADI on our website with clear directions on how to apply).

Other “DON’Ts” for Applicants on Social Media

Don’t: get tagged in embarrassing pics or post any of yourself.
Don’t: make political statements.
Don’t: have contradicting information in your profiles.
Don’t: include skills in your profile you don’t want to perform.
Don’t: set up a profile on every platform (unless you have time to maintain them all).

If you’re looking for a job in the dive industry, LinkedIn and Facebook are a must. If you can write, setup a blog. If you love shooting photos or video, get active on Instagram or YouTube, and be sure these accounts can be found from your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.

The bottom line: social media is a key part of the hiring process. You can learn a lot about a company you’d like to work for, and they can get to know you. When it comes time for the interview, it won’t be two strangers meeting, it will be two friends.

 

Protect Sharks and Rays with Your Dive Business

Project AWARE®, WWF and The Manta Trust are pleased to release Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best Practice, the world’s first-ever guidelines for shark and ray tourism operators. The Guide aims to provide practical, science-based guidance to help tourism operators, NGOs and local communities develop and maintain well managed tourism operations that help conserve shark and ray species, raise awareness for their protection, and benefit local communities.

Unsustainable exploitation of sharks and rays – mainly driven by overfishing – is widespread with one in four shark and ray species now threatened with an increased risk of extinction.

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Yet across the globe, shark and ray tourism is increasing in popularity. Currently, around 400 well-established tourism operations focus on interacting with species of sharks and rays, and it’s estimated that this number could more than double over the next twenty years, generating over $780 million USD in expenditures around the world.

Dr Andy Cornish, WWF says, “Shark and ray focused ecotourism has great potential as a conservation strategy. If properly designed and managed, it can provide alternative direct and indirect economic benefits to local communities and economies. Yet sadly there’s limited practical guidance out there.”

Industry, researchers, authorities and the nonprofit community largely agree that best-practice guidance is urgently needed to ensure that tourism sites are established and operated in a manner that benefits sharks and rays, and local communities, while also inspiring awe, respect and a greater appreciation of the need to conserve these animals.

Project Aware

Isabel Ender, Manta Trust, adds, “Lack of best practice guidance can often leave operators confused about how to assess the impact and improve the sustainability of their operation. We sought advice from scientists and the industry to help bridge that gap and deliver a best practice guide – the first of its kind in the world.”

To support operators seeking to commit to best practice, a full suite of free, downloadable tools is available on all of the organizations’ websites.

Proeject Aware Sharks and Ray conservation

For further information or to download any of the tools visit Project AWARE, WWF and The Manta Trust websites.

Monthly Pro Checklist

Written by John Kinsella

PADI-eLearning

Things can get busy for active PADI Instructors and Divemasters and planning is vital to stay on top of things; a monthly checklist can really help. For a few suggestions on what to check monthly as a dive pro, read on…

  1. PADI Standards and Procedures. Take some time every month to look at upcoming professional dive activities and make sure you have the most current standards and procedures. It’s a condition of membership that you read The Training Bulletin and implement changes and updates to PADI Standards and Procedures every quarter; double-checking that you have the latest information for any upcoming courses once a month just makes sense.
  1. Maintain Equipment. Especially if you’re diving frequently, the temptation is to just do the minimum: Rinse, check and store. Every month take a bit of extra time and get thorough. On your BCD for example, disassemble, inspect and clean any user serviceable OPVs and inflator mechanisms (always check the manufacturer’s recommendations). Wash the BCD carefully and consider putting something inside to clean the bladder. The general consensus is to use something such as Milton or Steramine 1G, but there’s a passionate online lobby for mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite or laundry soap. Follow the advice of the manufacturer. Take a similar approach with your other equipment.
  1. Research or read something. It’s important for dive professionals to stay up to speed with industry developments, and there’s a seemingly never-ending supply of interesting stuff cropping up all the time. Set aside some time to read the Undersea Journal, Surface Interval, the PADI Training Bulletin, this blog, and other resources. A recent Navy Experimental Diving Unit study, for example, refutes the “helium penalty” (an industry legacy belief, built in to many decompression algorithms, that using helium in a breathing gas mix dictates longer decompression). Seems that’s not actually the case. If you’re more into conservation than tec diving, check out the ongoing research trials into coral reef restoration at MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Florida. It’s a great example of proactive efforts to mitigate coral reef decline by taking “brood stock” coral from sites of reef impact damage (think ship grounding), fragmenting the coral and growing each fragment to transplantable size under optimal conditions. The point is to stay current on industry developments that interest you and help position you as a current professional. And write a little bit about what you just read, it’s likely just the kind of content your clients crave.

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  1. Data analytics. This sounds a bit scarier than it really is. As dive professionals, communication is key and the vast majority of us use various social media in both a personal and professional context. It’s always nice to know how effective your communications are. Digital media makes that possible like never before. If you have anything to do with a website, make a point of regularly generating reports on traffic and visitor behavior and relate these to business performance. Do the same with social media. There are a bunch of tools out there, many of them free, which will provide you with a staggering amount of useful information. How useful would it be, for example, to know what time of day your Twitter followers are most active? Getting in the habit of devoting an hour or two each month to learn a bit about relevant data analytics can really help you succeed. It’s also a great way to make sure you’re communicating frequently and effectively.

Do your bit to double check your personal checklist this month.

Elevating Purpose: PADI’s Four Pillars for Change

Over the past 50 years, PADI® has become a global network of dive centers, resorts and professional members who do a lot more than teach diving, sell dive equipment and run dive trips. PADI Members transform lives every day. Together, we have certified millions of divers, ambassadors and protectors of our water planet.

And our water planet needs every diver, ambassador and protector it can get. Eight million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year. There’s so much plastic that we use terms such as “plastic soup” to describe the vast accumulations. Elevated temperatures and ocean acidification have effectively destroyed 20 percent of the world’s coral reefs. Overfishing is rampant. Some shark species are on the brink of extinction, their numbers reduced by as much as 80 percent – the loss of these apex predators would throw entire ecosystems out of balance.

Collectively, PADI must commit to acting as a force for good in the world. By connecting divers with the PADI family and empowering them to take action on issues relevant to our industry, we can become an even more powerful catalyst for change. If we can engage divers around the world more effectively locally, global change is inevitable.

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This is why PADI’s Four Pillars for Change launched in 2016. These four initiatives accentuate our deeper purpose:

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OCEAN HEALTH: Support global efforts for a healthy ocean. Partner with Project AWARE to remove marine debris and forge partnerships to establish Marine Protected Areas around the world.

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MARINE ANIMAL PROTECTION: Protect marine life biodiversity. Support Project AWARE® and other organizations that work to enact legislation, educate the public and fight shark finning and overfishing.

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PEOPLE AND COMMUNITY: Do more to help build dive infrastructure and support training local people to foster sustainability. Educate and support local communities to cultivate the protection mindset necessary for ocean health and marine animal protection.

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HEALTH AND WELLNESS: As we help heal the world externally, we heal internally as well. In diving, many people have found hope for their futures. Stories of triumph over adversity, illness and hardships testify to diving’s healing power. Share the incredible stories about personal transformation so others may benefit.

These powerful messages resonate with people all over the world. People want to be involved with entities that make a tangible difference, but they have to know about them first, so it’s vital to get the message out. Take a look at your current communication plan and incorporate these initiatives in ways that fit with your particular local needs and opportunities. You’re likely already doing this, but making it a priority to let people know about this shared commitment is a powerful way to grow the base of divers, ambassadors and protectors our water plant depends on.

There’s no better day to highlight your commitment to the Four Pillars for Change than 22 April 2017, Earth Day. Since 1970, Earth Day has focused on environmental issues and given voice to an emerging global consciousness. Now, 47 years later, Earth Day continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion and motivate people to action. It’s a perfect opportunity to let your local community know about your efforts on behalf of the environment, and it’s just the type of news that’s likely to get picked up by local media.

Local Heroes – Make My PADI™ Stories Yours: Identify and honor local heroes

People love learning about people. Publications about popular people (the premier is probably People magazine) predominate on the newsstand. It’s a human interest thing, and it’s powerful.

Then there are PADI people. A quick flick through the My PADI Stories on PADI.com introduces a number of inspiring people from all ranks of diving.

There’s PADI Open Water Diver Juan Gonzales, a retired US Marine Corps Sergeant. Scuba helps him cope with PTSD and reconnect with his family after active duty in the Middle East. Diving helps him “let go of the noise or the chaos that life brings about.”

At the other end of the PADI spectrum, another My PADI Story tells the tale of PADI Course Director Szilvia Gogh. She lived the scuba dream and forged a successful and creative career as an instructor in Thailand, only to be diagnosed with breast cancer. One way Szilvia copes is by looking forward to the next dive: “It is important to have things to look forward to,” she says. “Being underwater is my happy place. I could feel sorry for myself, and my family, but I choose to feel grateful.”

Don’t miss out on learning about any of the PADI Ambassadivers™. When she was 12 years old, Riley Hathaway completed a school project on turtles and plastic, which inspired “Young Ocean Explorers,” a television series she produces with her dad, Steve. They have created 20 episodes of the show featuring New Zealand, the Cook Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. Together, they get kids around the world enthused about the beauty and diversity of Earth’s marine life.

A hemisphere away in Sweden, PADI Divemaster and Ambassadiver Birgitta Mueck is also inspiring passion for the aquatic world as an accomplished underwater camera operator and guide. With her family, Birgitta runs Crystal Water Film Production, which produces underwater films in collaboration with Scandinavian National Television. “Through my work I want to share my immense passion for the wonderful planet we are living on, to inspirit life, raise awareness and inspire others,” Birgitta says

So what’s extraordinary about these stories? Nothing actually, and that’s the point. These stories are certainly inspirational, but fundamentally they’re about ordinary people who have found something extraordinary in diving. And it’s an almost sure bet that while reading this you’ve thought of a few divers who have found something equally special while diving with you.

There’s something else. There may be no better way to build a local or social dive community than to profile some of those people you just thought about. How about a few words about a particularly helpful divemaster? Can you think of a better way to promote becoming a PADI Professional? Who’s the driving force and the passion behind your Dive Against Debris®? A couple of words and a few images or videos will go a long way toward increasing participation in the next event. Writing a few of these simple pieces profiling some of your special divers is a great way to thank them for their contributions, keep the dive centric content flowing and drive interest in diving.

Make My PADI Stories yours: Identify and honor your local heroes.

3 Reasons to Take Part in PADI Women’s Dive Day

Ivana Orlovic

Photo: Ivana Orlovic

 

PADI Women’s Dive Day was created to celebrate female divers and encourage more women to join our sport. The first Women’s Dive Day was held in 2015 and by the second year it doubled in popularity. On 15 July this year, thousands of divers from around the world will seek out Women’s Dive Day events (and bring their friends) to share their love of the underwater world and passion for diving.

 1. Attract New Customers
Women represent half of the global population, but only earn one-third of scuba certifications issued worldwide. By comparison, about 43% of recreational bike riders are women, and 54% of tennis players are women.

When you stop to think about it, the “average” female consumer is an ideal scuba diving customer.

Through Women’s Dive Day, you can expand your customer base – with not just women, but their families too. Your Women’s Dive Day event might include a Bubblemaker pool party, or a Discover Scuba Diving experience at the beach.

In addition to the business reasons for bringing more women into our sport, there’s the priceless opportunity to change lives; help a woman discover her inner mermaid, or inspire the next great ocean explorer, like Sylvia Earle.

2. Bring Inactive Divers Back to Scuba Diving
Women are also more likely than men to drop out of diving. Use Women’s Dive Day as a reason to invite past customers to rekindle their passion for the underwater world and refresh their scuba skills. Offer a special on ReActivate™, or a PADI continuing education course.

Some PADI Dive Centers have found success offering child care options: partnering with a child care service or hiring a babysitter. Give parents a chance to go diving together, or help Mom take a breather (off a regulator) while she does a scuba review.

3. Explore New Revenue Opportunities
Ask your female divers (informally or via a short survey) how your business could help them enjoy diving more often. Make the question open-ended, but feel free to include ideas such as dive gear designed for women, youth-programs, and girls-only events.

PDI at Royal Hideaway 1

Photo: Pro Dive International

How to Participate in Women’s Dive Day
(15 July 2017)

Plan an Event
Check out some of our favorite ideas from years past, or find inspiration on our Women’s Dive Day Facebook gallery.

  • High Tea on the High Seas
  • All-girls boat charter
  • Girls Night Out (night dive)
  • Women-only Discover Scuba
  • MerMaids beach and underwater clean-up
  • Bring in a celebrity such as international heart-throb and PADI Diver Ryan Reynolds
    …or at least his standee.

PADI Dive Centers and Resorts can post their event to the Women’s Dive Day event calendar for maximum exposure. To get started, click the link to Host an Event at the top of the Women’s Dive Day page, or visit the My Account section of the PADI Pros Site.

Individual PADI Members not affiliated with a dive center/resort are encouraged to share their event information with their regional PADI office. For PADI Americas, email womendive@padi.com.

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Photo: Julie Andersen

Offer a Special Throughout July

There’s no reason to limit your activities to a single day. Women’s Dive Day can be celebrated all month long.

  • Offer an incentive for women to try scuba or get certified during the month of July.
  • Host a social activity such as a wine-tasting and invite current customers to bring a female friend who isn’t a diver.
  • Partner with a local non-profit that benefits women. Offer to donate $1 for every new Like you receive on social media from 1-31 July, or offer a special discount to those who donate to the charity during the month of July.

Help Women Feel Welcome

In your store: bring in gear, prizes other items that appeal to female divers. Consider re-arranging the store to make it more stroller and child-friendly.
On social media: celebrate female divers! Share pics of female divers (staff, or people from your dive club) and the stories of women featured on PAD’s blog. Promote your Women’s Dive Day event using #PADIWomen and #PADIWomensDiveDay on Twitter and Instagram.

On your website: showcase the equipment you carry for female divers, ideally with reviews by your female staff. Promote your Women’s Dive Day specials and events.

Visit the PADI Pros’ Site Women in Diving page to download customizable PADI Women’s Dive Day marketing materials.

During and After the Event
Take photos and encourage Women’s Dive Day participants to tag their photos #PADIWomen for a chance to be featured on PADI’s social channels.

Send a quick thank you email to staff, customers, and all the event participants. A quick, “thanks for supporting women in diving” is great, but feel free to keep the momentum going. Ask, “who wants to do this again next month?”

We celebrated the first PADI Women’s Dive Day in 2015 with 335 events. The following year, the event more than doubled – with 700 events in more than 70 countries. What’s on tap for Women and Diving in 2017? That’s up to you…

 

 

 

Get Ready for PADI Women’s Dive Day 2017

In 2016, men and women from Michigan to the Maldives, Thailand to Turkey and everywhere in-between took part in more than 700 PADI® Women’s Dive Day events in 77 countries across the globe. New and expert divers came together, gearing up for everything from high tea on the high seas to shark dives and underwater cleanups.

Photo: Stuart Cove's Bahamas

Photo: Stuart Cove’s Bahamas

Let’s do it again, only bigger on 15 July 2017. More new divers and more ambassadors for the underwater world.

Start planning your PADI Women’s Dive Day event to promote your business and strengthen both the local and global dive community.

Photo: Udive Malaysia

Photo: Udive Malaysia

Need inspiration? Check out the PADI Women’s Dive Day page on padi.com.

REGISTER your event on the PADI Pros’ Site today.