Whether your plan is to eventually take ski resort management courses and be in charge at a major resort, or you’re just looking for seasonal employment that lets you enjoy the outdoors, working at a ski resort can be fun and fulfilling.
When you work at a ski resort, you’re likely going to be in a beautiful, exciting setting that’s dynamic and can provide you with relevant work experience and also let you potentially be on the slopes or working with guests in another capacity.
The following is an overview of ski resort jobs and tips on how you can find one of these positions.
Types of Jobs
When you think about working at a ski resort, being an instructor may be the first thing that comes to mind, but there are many other positions beyond this as well.
A ski instructor is going to get the most time outside and on the slopes, but if you aren’t ready for that or you don’t have the necessary experience, you still have options. You might, for example, work in the resort’s bar.
People enjoy their apres-ski time sometimes as much as the time they’re on the slopes.
Another option for someone who gets to experience a bit of anything is a chalet host, also sometimes known as a chalet operator.
These are just a few examples of the diverse positions available at most ski resorts.
Resorts need people who operate the lifts, cook, patrol the slopes, manage terrain parts, fit boots, and many other things.
When Should You Apply?
We’re right in the middle of ski season now, so it’s probably too late to find a job for this season, but what about next year?
Ski resorts tend to want to be organized and ready to go well in advance of the start of the season, which is usually in November. Resorts may start hiring in April or May for the upcoming season and depending on the position you’re applying for, you might have to do a ski test which is another reason to get a head start on the application process.
When you’re applying, ensure you have a great resume, and even if you don’t, sometimes you can still land the job of your dreams if you can show your personality and your willingness to work hard.
If you want to work at an international ski resort such as in the Alps or Canada, you’ll need to get a holiday working visa or some other type of visa. The specifics depend on the country, so you should start preparing now.
What If You Don’t Get the Position You Want?
If your ultimate goal is to work at a ski resort, be prepared to do any job they offer you.
If your dream is to be a ski bum, that may mean taking a job you don’t necessarily want or one you didn’t apply for. Ski jobs are competitive so you may need to manage your expectations and be flexible.
How to Choose a Resort
There are ski resorts all over the country and the world, and they’re all very unique from one another.
Try to think about what your goals and priorities are, and this will help you narrow down where you might apply.
There are the big names like Aspen, Vail, Whistler, and Jackson Hole, among others, but these areas are competitive when it comes to positions.
You might find a smaller resort is a good place to start.
There are big tour operators who tend to hire a lot of people around the world, and if you’re hired on with these companies they may be able to place you in your destination of choice somewhere around the world.
Know What Employers Are Looking For
When people are skiing, they’re usually on vacation and they want to enjoy themselves, feel safe and feel like their needs are taken care of.
If you want to get a job at a ski resort, you need to make the hiring manager feel that you can meet these objectives.
Along with showing your skills or experience, remember to let your personality show through as well as your enthusiasm. Confidence is also incredibly important because you want to be able to show that you can work in different situations and with people from diverse backgrounds. You also want to show that you’re a quick-thinker and resourceful. These are all critical skills in a ski resort employee.