Working a ski season in the French Alps is one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences you can have. It is also a huge amount of fun. It offers the perfect opportunity to take a career break or some time out after university to work out where you want to go next. If you are a chef it might allow you to take full control of your own kitchen for the first time rather than working as a small cog in a bigger restaurant machine. A ski season will also give you the opportunity to become extremely good at either skiing or snowboarding, a skill which you will be able to enjoy for the rest of your live. You will not be given many chances outside a ski season to enjoy a hobby for a number of hours a day up to 6 days a week during a working day! So what is the best way to bag your dream job in the French Alps? Check out our Top Tips below:
How to Apply
There are a number of excellent websites such as ski-jobs.co.uk and Season Workers that give a good summary of the available jobs. We strongly suggest using these websites to work out what job you want to apply for and then apply directly to the company. By applying directly to the employer rather than through a recruitment platform it shows you have used your initiative to find their contact details and their website. Applying directly gives your potential employer confidence that you have not just copied and pasted your application to hundreds of different companies with a scatter gun approach. It shows them that you are a serious candidate who has gone out of their way to research them.
Once you have found the correct recruitment email on the company website you should send a relevant and concise Cover Letter. A recruitment cover letter is essentially a few short paragraphs explaining why you want the job and why you feel you are suitable for the job. Please remember that the recruiter will receive a huge amount of applications (Tasty Ski receives over 1,000 applications a year for less than 20 jobs) so make sure you only include information that is relevant to the role. If you a chef who has worked as a Chef de Partie in large kitchens and is excited about the prospect of taking control of your own kitchen, then explain this in your email. If the restaurant in question has a Michelin star and you were promoted 3 years in a row, then let the recruiter know this. It shows you have excellent relevant experience and that you want to develop your profession within their organisation.
Attach a relevant and up to date CV to your Cover Letter. Most companies will have a minimum requirement of experience and qualifications for various roles. For example if you are applying for a driver role you will probably need to be at least 21 and held a driving license for over 2 years. Make sure that your CV has an accurate chronology of your recent work history. It is also important that it is fully up to date and includes your current work situation – the recruiter will be more interested in what you are doing now as a full time job rather than what you did 10 years ago part time while at school. Put a summary at the top of your CV of the most relevant experience tailored to the role that you are applying for.
Add something to your application which will make you stand out from the crowd. As we have already mentioned your recruiter will sift through a large number of applications each day. Explain to them what unique experiences you have had that will make you the perfect team member for their company. Consider sending a video as part of your application rather than just a Cover Letter. If you are applying for a chalet host role then a video showing off your bubbly personality will show the recruiter why you will be able to charm their guests week in week out!
Make sure that you apply to more than one company. Even if you think there is only one company for you it is a high risk strategy to only apply to a single recruiter. If you are unsuccessful with your No.1 choice it is important to have other options so that you don’t miss out on doing a season. You should not apply to every recruiter under the sun and you should carefully research each company along with a tailored CV and covering letter. However at the same time you must give yourself options and not be too disheartened if you don’t land your top pick. It might turn out that your No.2 or No.3 choice was a better match for you anyway.
Generally most companies start with either a telephone call or Skype interview. Make sure that you are available on time and that you have a good internet connection or phone reception. If you don’t have the strongest internet connection at home then go to your local library or coffee shop where you know that the reception is better. This will impress your interviewer because it shows you have made the effort to make sure the conditions for your chat are the best possible.
Make sure that you look presentable. The majority of jobs in the French Alps are customer facing hospitality roles so it is important to give a good first impression in the way you would to customers in resort. This doesn’t mean that you need to wear a full suit and tie but you should present yourself in a similar way to how you would in the Alps. Do some research in advance. If you know that the job requires all men to be clean shaven then make sure that you have a shave on the day of your interview.
Prepare questions for your interviewer. Not only does this show that you have put some thought into the role but in a practical sense it is important you understand exactly what you are signing yourself up to. Bring a pen and paper and note down anything important. If there are any parts of the job that don’t make sense then ask for clarification. Make sure you fully understand what is included in the remuneration package. Do you get a season ski pass? What are the travel arrangements for the end of the season? Don’t be worried about what might seem like a minor interrogation of your interviewer – they will be impressed that you have the confidence to ask these questions.
Your interviewer will almost certainly want two recent references as part of your application. Make sure that these are marked clearly on your CV and just before your interview confirm that your references are happy to either supply a written reference or be contacted by phone. Sometimes references can be a delicate situation. If you are applying in May for a role that starts in December you may not want to tell your current employer that you are going to hand in your notice in October. Just make sure that you are honest with your interviewer and explain your personal work situation clearly. They will understand if you are not able to immediately produce a reference for your current employer.
The Follow Up Interview
Most companies will then require a face to face interview. If you are currently outside of the UK then a face to face interview is not always necessary but the employer may require another Skype interview. Some companies like Tasty Ski require the chefs to cook a 2 course meal at the interview – the chef is given a budget + money and a specific time frame to collect produce at the local shops and cook a meal (often 2 courses for 2 people). All the same rules apply for the face to face interview – turn up on time, look presentable, prepare questions for your interviewer. If you follow the above advise you have an excellent chance of landing your dream job in the Alps!
Are you interested in working with Tasty Ski? Then get in touch by clicking here.