Each fall, American ski resorts are inundated with young college graduates eager to make a final splash before heading off to the corporate world by working a variety of winter jobs – all to sustain more days skiing in one season than most skiers experience in a lifetime. Could this be the right move for you? If yes, then you’re in luck because there are more ski resort jobs than applicants! Canada ski packages has some wonderful ideas for creating your own custom ski vacation.
Most of the 485 ski resorts across the U.S. will depend on seasonal workers to staff their ski lifts, rental shops, restaurants, ski schools and other venues that cater to winter guests. A small percentage of these employees will return from last season but the majority of them are just starting out – just like you. Want to know how to get the best job? Read on…
Start Early – Plan Ahead
The best way to begin looking into a winter job is by beginning the winter before. If you happen to be skiing at the resort you’d like to work for, stop by the Human Resources department and ask for a job application. It’s also a good idea to chat with the department head in the specific department that interests you so that they can put a face to your name the next time you call. If you can’t afford to personally visit the resort, start inquiring about positions through email, letters and phone calls beginning in June or July.
If you know you want to pursue ski jobs, but you’re not quite sure which department to work for, a good approach to finding work is by attending one of the many resort-sponsored job fairs around the country. Most ski resorts host local job fairs for their community, so if you have the time and can afford a brief road trip, visiting a local job fair is the best way to meet the people who are in a position to hire people for winter jobs. Often times, applicants will get hired right on the spot! Larger resorts will also host job fairs in major metropolitan cities and even foreign countries, looking for winter employees.
Online Ski Resources
Resort websites are another great place to learn about ski resort jobs – both seasonal and year round. Typically categorized by department, applicants can read about the specific requirements of jobs, the rate of pay and even complete an on-line application. They will also be able to provide you with information about employee housing, healthcare and other important benefits before you make the plunge.
Many ski resorts even offer high-level, year round career opportunities in addition to seasonal positions. If you have specific skills in information technology, advertising, marketing or the law, you may find an exciting opportunity to mix a satisfying career with your passion for outdoor activity.
Enjoying Ski Resort Life
Want to know about housing? Night life? Benefits and perks? Through the magic of technology, job applicants can learn about the specifics of working at a ski resort by visiting company websites, bulletin boards and blog sites. Here, you’ll learn about the best places live, how to get around town and where to buy groceries. Most corporate websites also contain links to local newspapers and Chambers of Commerce that provide new residents with everything they need to know about living in a resort community.
Who actually gets hired each winter has a lot to do with what skills and attributes you can bring to your employer. While specific experience can go a long way in landing that first resort job, it’s not a prerequisite. Most resort employers are looking for new faces to provide superior customer service for their guests, helping them to make the most out of their vacation experience – people who can follow directions and offer service with a smile.
Once you’ve returned your application and touched base with the Human Resources department, it’s always a good idea to find out who is in the best position to hire you in the department you’re interested in. Get their email or postal addresses and send them a brief, but well-written note about why you should be hired for the upcoming season.
Finally, before you accept the job of your dreams, be sure to browse the classified ads in the local newspapers to get an idea what it’s going to cost to live in a resort community. Living near a ski resort can mean a higher cost of living than you may be used to, so don’t let the prices of gasoline, rent and utilities catch you by surprise.
Allen R. Smith is a long-time ski instructor and winter sports writer based in Vail, Colorado. Find his writing on JobMonkey.com, a website for adventurous job seekers. JobMonkey highlights Ski Jobs, including ski instructors, ski patrol, and mountain operations positions. JobMonkey is free and has an active job board as well hundreds of pages of free content. Click here for adventurous travel.
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