Decision made. You want to do a ski season. Maybe even make it regular or turn it into a career, perfect! Just one snag; no one is going to give you your first job for free! Whilst getting that first job can open doors to further work or continual season employment from the same company, getting it in the first place can be a real ball ache. Like all ski season employers, they know you’re there to pick up that free season long lift pass and ski hire and hit the slopes all day. The only snatch is that you Can’t really just say that in your job application and expect a positive response though, so get ready to unleash your inner A* BS.
And the first port of call for that new found BS, the job application.
Fortunately, with a bit of forward planning we knew we weren’t after a current ski season chalet couple role so we applied a whole year early – and all directly to the companies recruitment email. No faffing about, we simply found their recruitment email online and gave a very brief outline of ourselves. Who we were, our age, what we did professionally and how long we had been together and lived together for. I expected 0 replies due to not wanting a job for the upcoming season but guess what?
THEY ALL REPLIED!
Some asked for a CV (easy peasey) and a photo (smile!), some requested more information, others said we needed to wait another year (presumably because some companies only lease their chalets and so don’t know how many couples for the following year they would need – if they don’t go bust!) and the others…offered us a job interview! No CV, no covering letter, no photo…straight in.
Applying direct (and early; April-June) shows initiative and forward planning – both traits needed to succeed as a chalet couple. From experience too, it’s easier with no awkward questions on the application form and no long covering letters – ultimately less BS than the other methods. This isn’t to say companies won’t request these things specifically or guide you to their application portal online, but not all companies need this. And remember, most jobs are on a first come first serve basis, so the sooner you get that interview and at least show them the minimum standards, the sooner you pip the others to that job, as ski companies have spaces to fill, and fast!
In applying direct, don’t be too formal either. Be friendly and approachable, just as you’d need to be in the chalets. Don’t sign off with yours sincerely, just a thanks would do. And don’t be afraid to promote your relationship. They need relationships with a strong bond. If you lived together for a few years, tell them. If you’ve worked together, tell them! Be proud!
Application forms/covering letters/jobs boards
We won’t lie, these can be long and a bit mind numbing but they are your key to the interview stage. The biggest advice we can give with this though is do your research. Know where the company you are applying with are, which ski areas and roughly how big they are and how many chalets they have. Then refer to them in the application/covering letter. Tell them where your preference to work is (and why!) but also explain how flexible you are and that you are prepared to be placed anywhere and could handle the change if they moved you mid-season (it does happen!).
Additionally, make sure you understand what they are looking for. If you want to apply to a premium chalet company that expect previous Michelin star restaurant experience and you struggle to poach an egg... don’t bother – there are plenty of companies who take inexperienced couples and train you…to a set menu! If you have a little kitchen/hospitality experience, let it shine but certainly don’t lie. If you haven’t got a hygiene qualification so be it, your application wont hinge simply on that.
Finally, ALWAYS relate everything back to their job description. As previously mentioned, they know you want to ski/board all day, but don’t say that. Say you’re excited to meet new people every week, you love hosting parties, you’re looking to beat the 9-5 mundane life at home for some excitement with great people and a great company with great values…BS BS BS, with some sincerity thrown in.
Apply early – this shows how keen you are and the jobs really are first come first serve. If you’re good enough, they wont wait for someone better.
Promote your relationship – The last thing a company wants is constant arguments in front of customers and one half of the couple disappearing during the season. If you’re strong, tell them why and when you’ve been tested.
Don’t be too formal – This isn’t a university application. The chalet couple role is a person centred, friendly position. Tailor your applications to reflect this.
Research each company you apply for – and tailor your application. Don’t refer to a resort where they have no chalets! Understand how big a company they are and what sort of clientele they attract, it’ll help you understand what they want from you.
Accept your limitations – If they want Gourmet food and you’re more Harvester, the role isn’t for you. Find another company as there are many out there!
Be king of BS – without lying of course! Relate every reason you want to be there to their company and customers, everybody loves an ego rub. You like that they are fancy/you like that they aren’t pretentious/ you like the family feel of the company/you like the fixed menu and feel you can perfect the dishes…anything along those lines and you’re onto a winner.