Applying for summer mountain biking jobs in Morzine
Every year we receive somewhere between 50-100 applications to work for us during the summer months, and every year we employ just one or two. It's a similar story among other mountain bike holiday companies. These jobs are hotly contested and so you need to make sure you really jump off the page when you first contact a company to work for.
Why so many applications?
The pay's rubbish and at some point you'll probably have to clean a toilet or ten, so why would you want to do it!?
Well, you get to live in a mountain biking paradise and ride your bike nearly every day of the week should you wish. You'll have the time of your life and meet some great people along the way. Many people work season after season and that should speak volumes for the quality of lifestyle on offer.
How best to apply
We get applications ranging from perfectly drafted application letters and CV's to simply "Do you have any jobs available?". Unfortunately the latter is unlikely to get you very far, and may even just get ignored.
Consider the situation where a company might not be looking for staff currently, but a month down the line realise they need more staff - they are going to get in touch with those that applied well, not the emails that simply asked for a job. Even though it's 'just' seasonal work, treat it like any other job.
In the first instance your CV is going to be given a quick glance over. Ensure it's well laid out and key points are easy to find. Have a search on the internet for some examples of good CV layout and replicate the ones you like.
We're likely to want to know what your grades were for any academic achievements. They're not vital, but it's useful to know you can apply yourself and also that you're good at communicating and can think for yourself.
Non-academic achievements are really important and likely to separate you from the crowd. Have you been involved with any organisations, bike clubs at Uni, Duke of Edinburgh awards, Scouting, charity work. All of this looks great and just the sort of person we're likely to want out here.
Your covering letter
This is your chance to reel us in and get us interested in you. Either attach a separate covering letter to your email or just make it the body of your email.
Tell the us why you want the job and why you think you'd be good at it. We know you want to come out to ride your bike (duh), so don't hark on about it too much, but it's good to know that there is a passion for the sport there. Focus on the professional side of things and why you'd be good with guests.
If you're applying for a job in January or February that doesn't start until June or July there's a fair chance a lot of companies will be mid-way through their winter season. They might not be ready to look at staff yet and very busy. If they tell you to get back in touch later in the year then do - they're not putting you off, their mind is just on other things.
It's who you know, not what you know
This isn't 100% true, if you've got a good covering letter and CV there's no reason you wont get a job. However, a personal recommendation goes a long way. Have you been on holiday with the company before? Do you know someone that's been out here? Someone in the mountain bike industry we might know? Name drop where you can, if we know you personally then even better.
Types of jobs available
Have a think what you would ideally like to do and gear your application towards it. Saying you'd be willing to do other work is great, simply saying "I'm happy to do anything" will most likely trigger the impression that you probably wont be very good at any one job.
Recently the French did a major clamp down on non-French trained persons guiding in France. The final outcome is complex but it's safe to say that there are very few guiding jobs available to non-French qualified guides. If you do apply for a guiding job you're going to have to be qualified up to your eyeballs (and preferably French).
This is the role Riders Retreat will most likely have available. Personality is key as is a willingness to work. We can teach anyone how to do it, but doing it with a smile on your face and ability to socialise and help guests is the primary skill.
Being able to show any form of customer service experience is a real bonus, as is showing a willingness to work and think for yourself.
Some companies employ drivers specifically, others will expect you to drive as part of your role. A lot of companies (including Riders Retreat) use transfer companies for all driving duties - consider applying directly to them.
This sort of work is difficult to get unless you can visit them in person. Most of these places aren't likely to expect email applications and the jobs will generally go to people that have 'been around for a while'. If you're going to apply you will most likely need to speak French to a conversational level.
It can be hard to get a job in resort, there are far more applications than there are jobs. Get ahead of the rest by applying professionally and highlight every reason why you'd be good at it you can think of.
Lastly, don't be put off. If you do get a job you'll have a great time. If it's not with us, we'll look forward to seeing you around town.