What did you think of my first seasonal worker of the month post? Angela’s led a pretty cool life, right? If you’d like to start on a life of seasonal adventure jobs, it’s easy. All you have to do is apply.
Just like taking that first step to travel, the first step to a life of seasonal work is applying for a few jobs. Honestly, seasonal jobs aren’t that competitive — the key is to apply early. If you’re interested in working a seasonal job this summer, you should be applying NOW.
Most companies offer their returning employees until early or mid-January to decide whether they want their old jobs back or not. Many of the smaller or more popular places will finish making all of their hiring decisions by the end of January or mid-February. Almost all of them will be finished by March. That means that, if you haven’t already, you need to start getting your applications in.
Often, all that’s required is a cover letter and resume, meaning that it’ll only take you an afternoon to complete all of your applications. As I discussed in this ultimate guide to landing a seasonal job over on Brazen Life, the first step is deciding where to go or what you want to do.
Decide where you’re going
Think about where you’d like to vacation. If you want to visit, other people probably do, too. Say, for example, you’ve got your heart set on Alaska. My preferred method is to Google “travel to Alaska” or look at a guidebook. Wherever the hot tourist spots are, the seasonal jobs will follow.
Since the town is as important as the job to me, I like to figure out where I want to live first, then find a job that’s there. Once you’ve figured out a town or region, such as Denali National Park, you can narrow your search to “seasonal jobs Denali,” which should bring up lots of ideas. You can also search on Trip Advisor for the most popular tours in an area. These will probably be good companies to work for.
If you don’t have any clue of where you’d like to go, think about what you’d like to do. If you’ve spent your life around horses, being a trail guide or ranch hand would probably be a great fit. Google “horseback riding guide jobs” or something similar.
Look for available jobs
If you’d prefer a broader search, you might start by Googling “seasonal jobs Alaska” or “summer jobs Alaska.”
If you don’t have a clue about the location or job you prefer, a few great resources are Cool Works, Backdoor Jobs, and Job Monkey. All of these list jobs by category and location, and they’re a great starting point. Ultra secret tip from my friend, Stew: you can also sign up for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) jobs alumni email list without ever having taken a NOLS course.
Submit a strong application
After you’ve decided on several companies you want to apply to, polish your resume and TAILOR your cover letter. Since you’ll be moving far away for this job, your potential employers really have nothing to go on other than these documents. Maybe in your area, it’s well-known that you have to be super-outdoorsy to get a job at the REI store, but whoever’s reading your application won’t know that.
They also won’t have the chance to weed out people with an in-person interview, so they’ll make big cuts to the pool based on resumes and cover letters. Don’t underestimate the importance of these documents. Be sure to have a nerdy friend check over your stuff to make sure it sounds nice and is grammatically correct.
If and when you get the interview, be enthusiastic and do your research. Know exactly WHY you want to move to this specific region, and emphasize your reliability. That’s often a problem with seasonal workers, so make sure you do everything in your power to assure your interviewer that you’re a responsible person.
And, a special tip because I’m nice
Be honest. My friend got a job in Alaska by writing in his cover letter that he really hated living in NYC and needed an opportunity to get away from it all. I got my job by explaining that a summer in Alaska was on my “before I’m 30 list.”
Also, be honest about your dates and expectations. We had one guide tell us, “Oh yeah, I love kids.” When he got to Alaska, we found out that he, in fact, hated kids. What a d-bag! He was supposed to be working with our youth programs, which clearly wasn’t going to work out. Even if you don’t care about your employer, you want to find a job that fits, don’t you?
What are you waiting for?
Remember, as Angela showed us, it’s never to late to change your life. The first step to a life of seasonal adventure jobs is just to apply. But do it now. You don’t have to accept the job if it’s offered… though I have a feeling it’ll be hard to turn down. Follow these tips, ditch your cubicle, and come play this summer!
What other questions do you have about applying for seasonal jobs?