Top Tips to Win over Camp Directors
Liam has spent years working with American Camp Directors, here's his top application tips for you to win them over.
Top Tip #1. Big Yourself Up!
Take time over your skills section and don't be afraid to big yourself up. Describe your skills and knowledge in a way that makes you sound like the real deal. Camp Directors are looking for people that are flexible & adaptable so that extra spark in your writing will help you stand out.
Note the difference in quality between these two examples...
'I've played tennis for years and love teaching it to kids. I really want to spend a summer at camp as a tennis coach helping kids learn the game'
'I'm comfortable teaching tennis to kids of all ages, from grassroots level to High School players. My own coaching experience and knowledge of the game means I would be able to work with any age group at camp and help them develop their skills and understanding of tennis. I'm organised, flexible and adaptable so even if it rains, i'll have something great prepared!'
Think of some really strong technical words and terms you can use in each section. Try and get as many facts in there as possible and always add more detail.
Top Tip #2. Clean Up Your Game
Camp Directors will be viewing your online application but there's no knowing whether they are checking your social media channels as well to find out more about you. Inappropriate pictures or statuses are not going to paint a pretty picture of you so make sure you clean up your Facebook page and Twitter feed.
At the end of the summer at camp, Directors always give a speech to their staff about campers trying to find you on social media so it's better to get into good practice now.
Your Facebook is your unofficial CV, get it cleaned up.
Top Tip #3. Make A Showcase Video
When I was applying to camp I didn’t make a showcase video because I was too worried that my friends would see it. What I didn’t realise is how important that video can be for camp directors in the hiring process.
I’ve already said how you write is important, well a video is gold dust.
This is your chance for camp directors to really see you and get to know you. Bring personality, you don’t have to be really cringe and cliche, just be yourself.
A few things I would think about for the video...
Don’t film outside if it’s windy, it’s hard for directors to make out what you’re saying.
Don’t film at your computer desk, get a little more creative!
If you’re applying for a skills position… try demonstrate your skill for 10-15 seconds in the video.
Keep it short, no more than a minute long. Camp Directors will be looking at dozens of videos and profiles.
Speak clearly, don’t be shy. Be confident. Just like your writing, get your keywords into the video.
Top Tip #4. Get Yourself To A Job Fair
Don't be lazy over the holidays. Although summer seems like an eternity away it's actually an important time for you to be ahead of the game in your application. This is the time of year when camps send out contracts to last summer's staff asking if they are returning or not. If someone says they can't return then that space will be up for grabs!
This means when Camp Directors come to the Camp Leaders Job Fairs in January/February they 100% know they need to hire someone to fill that position... make sure you're ready for it.
Lastly, don't stress over being on review multiple times.
My friend was on review multiple times last year and then the first camp that reviewed them came back and hired them. I was also on review like 5 times and ended up getting hired at the Job Fair, so don't make excuses to not go. Sign up to one and go meet them face to face!