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Ski Resort Jobs: How to Find One in the Alps

Ski resort jobs are extremely popular if you love to ski - it's not often you can get paid to do what you love!

I live within driving distance of most major resorts in the Western Alps - Chamonix, Megeve, Verbier and the hundreds in-between.

Each year as the season draws near, hordes of young women (and men too) descend on the area in search of a free winter season.

Can you do something others can't?

If you can, market it!

If you're a qualified ski instructor, head straight for the ski school.

Do you have any other official qualifications? As a sommeliere, a certified nanny, a cordon bleu chef or a hospitality professional, you'll be far better positioned so snag one of those ski resort jobs.

French AlpsFrench Alps seen from Chamonix
Anne E. Sterck

The same goes for any sports-related activity or anything that helps skiers ski better. If you're a massage therapist, you'll find plenty of ski resort jobs. Same thing goes for a sports coach, yoga teacher, spa assistant, especially if you're qualified - or if you can prove extensive experience.

solo womenIf you can teach yoga...
Jon Fife via Flickr CC

Even if you don't have a physical skill or formal qualification, plenty of ski resort jobs will still be within your reach. Can you juggle? Sing? Paint? Tend bar? The ritzier resorts often hire entertainment or support staff to keep their wealthy clients - and their little ones - healthy and amused. A relative of mine once made a decent living as a photographer in Zermatt, so whatever your skill, brush it up and get an edge over the competition.

Finally, if you can't do any of the above, there's almost always work for 'chalet girls' - cleaning house, taking care of guests, shopping and cooking. It's not the most glamorous thing to do but often comes with a free ski pass for your day off - and you'll be in the snow and mountains round the clock.

Tips on Finding Ski Resort Jobs

Swiss AlpsThis could be you...
Olivier Bruchez via Flickr CC

If you speak foreign languages, your chances of finding good work will automatically increase. English is the main second language throughout the Alps, but speaking French, Italian, German, Spanish or even Russian will be an advantage for any job where there's customer interaction.

Whatever else you do, start looking early for ski resort jobs. Jobs tend to be filled several months before the season starts so I'd suggest you begin looking during the European summer (July-September would work).

If you're looking for work in a hotel, you'll be writing to them directly. But if you're a little less certain about which job and resort you want, find a good agency - plenty of them handle ski resort jobs and will deal with everything from recruitment to insurance for you.

If you have a European passport, try NativesSki Jobs UK, or Anywork Anywhere. If you're not European, you can try BUNAC.

ZermattThere are plenty of bars and restaurants in resorts like Zermatt
Timo Newton-Syms via Flickr CC

If none of these avenues work for you, you can just show up. If you're not European, this might be one of the few ways you'll actually find a job. Someone who accepted a job back in July may have changed her mind by November, leaving employers in the lurch. It happens.

If you show up in the right place at the right time, there's a good chance you might find a job right then and there. If resorts are desperate to fill slots at the last minute, they may turn a blind eye to your non-European passport or even try to get you a temporary permit on the basis that no Europeans are available.

Do you have any friends who work or have worked in ski resort jobs? Ask them for help. Find out where they worked and apply there. Or if they left on good terms, perhaps they can put in a good word for you.

Often, ski jobs come by word of mouth so make sure you network!

Plenty of ski forums on the web have members working or looking for ski resort jobs. Some popular ones include Snowforum or Season Workers.

It's a great way to meet the people you need to know - those who already have jobs and can provide you with information. Many ski resort staffers do this several years in a row so they'll be great sources of information, since they've been there, done that.

And don't forget to visit the resorts' own websites. I know it's obvious but sometimes we neglect that. Most resorts have their own websites and some are huge, complete with job offers and valuable housing information. Barring that, some umbrella sites like Ifyouski cover a range of resorts so they can be a one-stop site for you as well as a great source of information for names, phone numbers and email addresses.

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