13 Jul So, you want to ‘do’ a ski season….?
Real, honest advice on securing your first position in the Alps by Carly Bedford, Operations Manager.
Of course you do! Who wouldn’t want to forget all their responsibilities and spend 5 months living in a beautiful mountain village with access to the world’s best ski resorts, riding powder all day, partying all night and making new friends! Right?
It’s my job to recruit Kaluma Travel’s in-resort team and therefore see candidates making the same mistakes over and over again. They passionately highlight the above, but often forget that they are interviewing for a JOB! Yes, the aim of your ski season is to have the time of your life, and my goodness you will, however, you will also be WORKING and you will be working HARD! The privileges of a seasonaire lifestyle don’t come easy!
Ski tourism, the chalet market and the seasonaire lifestyle has changed. Gone are the days of hung-over chalet girls serving a defrosted spag-bols; the market has stepped-up its game and as a result, so should you. You need to take your work aspirations seriously in order to even be considered. So my first piece of advice to prospective candidates is to banish the idea of ‘doing’ a ski season. Instead, be professional and treat the application process with the same respect as you would a job application at home.
Stage one: The research
There is a wealth of information available at your fingertips. Start by reading seasonaire forums discussing the pros and cons of resorts and companies; take quizzes entitled “What kind of Seasonaire are you”, and read ‘A day in the life’ type articles. Then be more specific, each company has a website and a recruitment page; read them, find out about their product, what they offer and how they differ from their competitors, what they are looking for in their candidates, read about their recruitment process, and and and… It’s simple. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Stage two: The application.
The first rule of any application: find out who you are writing to! For example, if you are applying to work for Kaluma then you should already know my name. It’s on the website, it’s on the email address that you are sending your application to, it’s on the job advertisement that you have read and ultimately decided to apply for… USE IT!
Following the correct introduction, you should include a cover letter, this is your opportunity to show that you’ve done your research and to demonstrate why you are suitable. But that’s it… STOP! I don’t want an essay highlighting your educational and work history, that’s what your CV is for. I also don’t want to hear how your time with the Girl Guides or on the school chess team prepared you for a ski season. Keep it brief!
Now comes the age-old conundrum of the Curriculum Vitae! Everyone tackles this document in their own way and the finished product tells an employer so much. Was it knocked up in 10 minutes using Word in Times New Roman, or was it designed presenting attention to detail and creativity? Is it 4 pages long with an overuse of adjectives, or is it clear, concise, and professional? Is it a CV that covers all bases or have you tailored it to the role you are applying for? Have you spell-checked it? Do the dates correspond? And and and…
Finally, should the company request a photograph, choose wisely; an image speaks a thousand words! Are you taking a selfie / drinking a beer / wearing scruffy clothes / out of focus? If so you are not presenting a professional image but instead suggesting that that you haven’t taken your application seriously, that you are only out for a good time and, ultimately, unable to grasp what is and isn’t appropriate.
Stage three: The interview.
Ahhhh the interview, the final hurdle, where an applicant can bound across the finishing line with the grace of Usain Bolt knowing they have finished ahead of the pack and will soon be on the plane to the Alps. Or, applicants can fall epically, leaving the other competitors trampling all over them.
I conduct most of Kaluma’s initial interviews via Skype, however the principles are all the same. Be professional, be prepared, be concise. I have interviewed people wearing pyjamas, people sat in cupboards or in stairwells. I have seen people hold their phone and walk around whilst talking to me and become distracted by what else is going on in the room, but mostly, people are unable to maintain eye contact. Don’t be these people.
You WILL be asked the generic questions: “Why do you want to work for Kaluma?” “What do you know about Kaluma’s product?” “What are your strengths?” “What are your weaknesses?”. If you don’t have an answer, you haven’t prepared. There are limitless articles available on the internet giving advice and sample interview questions. Use them.
In conclusion, I cannot stress enough the importance of professionalism. I am very proud to work for Kaluma, and proud of the product we offer our guests. So ultimately I want our in-resort team to feel the same. Following my rant I have hopefully destroyed the preconceived ideas of ‘doing’ a ski season, so if you are still interested in joining Kaluma Travel’s in-resort team, please visit our recruitment page for more information: http://kalumatravel.co.uk/about-us/recruitment/. We promise you 5 months of hard work, but ultimately the time of your life!