With the camp recruitment season in full swing, applicants all over the country are flocking to job fairs to find the summer camp job of their dreams.
This past weekend, Americamp HQ opened the doors of their office in Manchester for the first fair of the new year, with applicants and McDonald’s galore.
With three more fairs this week in Leeds, London and Edinburgh, it’s only fair to give you all some last minute tips to help you get #plACed!
So here goes; 10 Tips That Will Help You Bag Your Dream Summer Camp Job.
1. Be Early
At any recruitment fair, people will always turn up early. Those applicants will be the ones who are the first through the door and the first to speak to the directors before they have hired anyone. The earlier you arrive, the more placements there will be – if the fair begins at 2pm and you arrive at 2pm, you will likely be at the back of the queue.
2. Do Research
When going to a fair, it’s important to read up on the camps that will be there in advance. Many applicants will have their heart set on a particular camp and only research that one in the hope of being hired, then leave disappointed. An important thing to remember about the job fairs is that not everyone will be hired for their first choice camp, so it’s crucial that you do your research on multiple camps that will be there on the day.
3. Print Your Application
My advice for this is to print out at least 6 copies of your application for the camp directors to see. Something that will impress the directors is to research the camps in advance, and use a highlighter to outline your key skills that are relevant to that camp on your application. It saves them the bother of going through potentially ten pages of your application when their attention could be drawn to the most relevant and important information immediately.
4. Bring A Portfolio
Not only do directors want to see your application, but they want to see your personality and envisage how you would fit in at their camp. If you have any certificates or photographs showing you partaking in a particular skill, then bring it with you. Directors love to see examples of your work as it shows them your characteristics and qualities.
5. Don’t Be Afraid of Special Needs or Religious Camps
I’m not entirely sure why, but many people that I’ve spoken to over the last three years have said that special needs and religious camps aren’t something they are interested in. Some feel as though they wouldn’t fit in, couldn’t cope with the work or they just aren’t right for that type of camp.
As a word of advice; these types of camps are some of the most amazing and inclusive camps you can go to. Admittedly I was one of those applicants who didn’t want to work at a special needs camp, yet when I went to the job fair, I was rejected by 6 other camps having been arrogantly certain of being placed at my first choice camp. I settled for AHRC Camp Anne and despite my worries, it ended up being the most wonderful experience of my life. You can read more about that here.
6. Speak to the Americamp Team
It’s completely normal to be nervous at the fairs; and that’s where the staff come in. Americamp has a diverse team who have many years of camp experience between them, and they can help you find your way at the fair. Talk to them, ask for advice, practice your interview skills with them; and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
7. Bring Snacks
Recruitment fair days can be long, obviously dependant on how much time you stay there for. Some pepole may turn up, have an interview and get placed, and others may stand in lines for hours – so make sure you have some water to stay hydrated and some snacks for energy.
8. Sell Yourself
One of the things we tend to do to ourselves is make comparisons to others. We tend to compare our own skills and qualities to other people, without truly appreciating ourselves. Why can’t you be the best applicant at that fair? When you talk to the directors, sell yourself. Think of it this way; the directors are making an investment in you to become the best camp counselor, so you have to show them why you deserve that investment.
9. Be YOURSELF
The most popular cliché of all time, yet the most relevant piece of advice for applicants. Remember to be yourself – you are an individual with many qualities and you are at that job fair for a reason. The Americamp team have seen something in you that is special, and even if you can’t see it yourself, others around you can. Don’t change, be yourself and you will smash it.
10. Don’t Give Up
This cannot be stressed enough – so many applicants go to a job fair thinking that if they don’t get hired, then they won’t be able to go to camp. That is not the case. Not everyone will be hired at a job fair, so it’s important to ensure you are realistic and are not hard on yourself. If you get rejected by your first choice camp, go and interview for another. If you get rejected for that, go again. Don’t stop because you’ve taken a knock. From my own personal experience of job fairs, I was rejected by 6 camps before finally being hired for Camp Anne in 2015, and spent two incredible summers there. Check out this link for an idea of a typical day at Camp Anne.
Now, if you’re all set for the recruitment fairs after that, then here’s a reminder of the locations and times of the 3 Americamp fairs this week!
- Wednesday 17th January: Leeds – 14:00-18:00, Queens Hotel, City Square, LS1 1PJ
- Friday 19th January: London – 14:00-18:30, The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone, W1U 5AS
- Sunday 21st January: Edinburgh – The Principal, 19-21 George Street, EH2 2PB