Ace that Application

Skiing in the Alps? Au pairing in Australia? Leading a group of campers in America? There’s one thing that’s standing in your way: the application process. We asked the people wanting to hire YOU what they look for in an applicant so you can finally bag that dream job…

  1. Don’t follow the crowd

Attention seeking? When it comes to applying for seasonal work it’s a good thing. With the large volume of applications companies receive you often only have a very small amount of time to make an impact and get your name known. Will Coley, NUCO’s rep manager, advises avoiding generic, cliché phrases: “I read through about 500 rep applications each season. Anything that is dull and doesn’t spark my imagination doesn’t show that you’re going to be a good rep.”

  1. But don’t describe yourself as horny

If asked on an application for an office job to describe yourself in three words ‘horny’ probably wouldn’t be your first choice. This actually happened on a NUCO application: “That’s not what I want. We’re quite a casual, young company so people try and be fun and interesting but they’ve got to get that balance right between being fun and not being crude,” Will says. There is a way to project your personality on paper without describing your sex life. Read on…

  1. Get involved

Don’t discount yourself just because you don’t have any relevant work experience. “We look for a lot more than that,” Nina Bassham, recruitment administrator at ski company Equity says. “We want to hear about how you have gained skills that are transferable to the roles that we offer.”

NUCO’s Will agrees: “What we want really want is people who can demonstrate that they have useful skills, maybe not necessarily from paid employment, but maybe getting involved with different activities at university, sports teams, committees, that sort of thing.” Make sure you include whatever experience you have that may be relevant and emphasise how they relate to the role you are applying for.

  1. Blow your own trumpet

Describing yourself and summarising your personality to a prospective employer on a short application form can be difficult but don’t fall into the trap of condensing your achievements to a minimal word count. If the first stage of applying is a form, make sure you utilise the questions to best promote yourself. Will finds that when an application that is too short “it doesn’t show that you’ve put anytime into the application itself. You think ‘Do they really care that much?’ Normally we’re looking for the form to be printed off on one A4 side.” Hannah Iannelli, Programme Assistant of Au Pair in Australia and Camp America, also advises only discussing positive achievements in an application: “Avoid being negative about yourself. Don’t highlight things that you can’t do, that doesn’t sell the things that you can do.”

  1. Learn the lingo

It’s no secret that learning a language could be key to getting a job abroad and being able to communicate with the locals can go a long way in securing you an interview or assessment day place. NUCO and Equity told us that they both favour applicants with language skills. So if you’re debating whether to apply for next season you may want to download Duolingo in the meantime…

  1. Watch your commas

Having a good grasp of apostrophes isn’t a skill that’s likely come in handy when you’re in the mountains or on a beach but don’t forgo a good proofread. “It’s not that I need reps that are good at grammar, spelling or capitalisation but it shows that they’ve put effort into their application and they’ve thought about it. It’s important that they’re not just chancing it, it shows that they actually want a role,” Will says.

  1. Tailor your application

The TUI group is the world’s number one tourism business so they know a thing or two about what it takes to be a successful seasonal work candidate. TUI’s recruitment team leader Charlie Shillingworth recommends “printing out the job description and using that to help you answer the application questions.”

If the job you’re applying for offers the option to include a cover letter, this is another great of showing you want the role and have put effort into your application. “A cover letter is a great opportunity to pick out the specific experience and skills relevant for that job. Make sure you research and understand the company and what the role entails and use your cover letter to show how you can add value to the organisation,” Equity’s Nina says.

  1. Don’t treat it like a free holiday!

Ibiza Weekender may make it look like a (sea)breeze, but don’t be fooled: season work is hard. “Research into it as much as possible. It is a really great lifestyle but it’s also going to be tough. Ask yourself ‘am I going to be prepared to do it?’” Charlie says.

Will agrees, the ideal candidates he looks for aren’t the ones who want to end up ‘on-the-pisste’: “People who work best for us are those that are genuinely passionate about snowsports. They don’t just want to do it to drink or just have a free holiday, they want to take advantage of the time that they get up in the mountains as part of the role.”

So there you have it; 8 top tips from the experts to ace that application. Any last words of advice? “Just go for it,” Hannah says. “You’ve got nothing to lose.”

Photo credit: Pexels.

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