Cool Works FAQ
Welcome to the Cool Works Frequently Asked Questions. We work hard to keep the CoolWorks.com site user-friendly, but we know there are multiple ways people look for information. Here's a list of questions that you may have, along with answers! (How's that for a cheat sheet?)
- What kinds of jobs can I find on your site?
- Help me understand the difference between EMPLOYER PROFILES and JOB LISTINGS
- Wow, CoolWorks has a lot of Employers and Job Postings! How do I narrow my search?
- These jobs sound too good to be true. Where can I hear more from people who have actually had seasonal jobs?
- How can seasonal jobs help veterans?
- Can I apply for these jobs if I’m not a US citizen?
- How do I work in a different country if I am a US citizen?
- How do I apply for the jobs?
- I want to send CoolWorks my resume - how do I do that?
- I need a summer (or winter) job. When is the best time to apply?
- How many jobs should I apply for?
- When will employers get back to me?
- Do you have any tips for helping my application stand out from the rest?
- I can’t work a full-season. Should I still apply?
- Employee Housing and Meals - what’s that all about?
- Some employers mention “working in remote areas”. What does that mean?
- I Need To Be Connected (Don't I?) - Technology - Cell Phone and Internet
- How can I keep up with what’s happening at Cool Works?
- If I have a question, who can I ask?
- How long has CoolWorks.com been around?
- Where is CoolWorks.com located?
- What is the CoolWorks model?
- What services does CoolWorks provide?
- Help me understand the difference between EMPLOYER PROFILES and JOB POSTINGS
- Does CoolWorks work for all types of employers/jobs?
- What does it cost to post on CoolWorks?
- When should my company advertise for our jobs?
- Help! How should I create my Job Post?
- How do I select who to hire?
- How long has CoolWorks.com been around?
- Where is CoolWorks.com located?
Finding a Job
Many employer listed on CoolWorks are hospitality and guest service industry oriented - and what we consider to be “Jobs in Great Places”. This list includes, but is not limited to: national parks, resorts, ranches, guest lodges, restaurants, summer camps, campgrounds, ski resorts, retreat and conference centers, outfitters, tour/travel and guiding companies.
Non-service industry employers also use our site. These include: Conservation Corps, Organic Farms and Gardens, Alaska Fisheries, Wilderness Therapy Programs, Outdoor Educational Programs and Non-Profit Organizations.
The EMPLOYER PROFILE offers a great overview to help you with your searching. In one page, you'll get to see details on location, operations, culture, jobs, housing, travel and more. These PROFILES will help you sift and sort your top picks and offers you a terrific way to make a decision about applying for a position. Employers who advertise with the PROFILE generally have a variety of positions to fill, and their recruiting is on-going over the period over a month or more - some recruit throughout the entire year.
JOB POSTINGS give employers a place to highlight individual jobs that need some extra attention. There are many amazing jobs that appear on these lists, but they are certainly not ALL the jobs that are offered by employers. Use these to browse through, and see what catches your attention. Also keep in mind that you will also want to look at Employer Profiles to add to your options.
- You can search the site using our “Find a Job” tab. You’ll see the site is organized by state, season and category. We’ve given National Parks their own page to make it easy for you to search them.
- Click HERE to view a quick video about the Cool Works jobs and lifestyle
- You can use our search box.
- You can sign up for our biweekly e-newsletter to be inspired and check out some of the opportunities advertised on the site.
- In what ways do you "See Yourself Here"? Read through the descriptions of five possible job seeker archetypes and learn a little bit more about the type of jobs that might be a great for you, and hints on how to search the site. Your journey will be unique to you and we're excited you're here!
These jobs sound too good to be true. Where can I hear more from people who have actually had seasonal jobs?
We appreciate that you are doing research to make sure these jobs are for real! We encourage you to read the inspiring testimonials from people whose lives have been changed by a seasonal job on the CoolWorks' Dream Big Blog
CoolWorks, first and foremost, says "Thank you for your service!" Returning service personnel may find that a seasonal Job In A Great Place might be just the ticket to explore a new part of the country, or to put a newly acquired job skill to work.
With employee housing and meal plans on-site with many of the employer on CoolWorks, the transition to seasonal life may be simple.
While federal positions in the national parks and forests aren't always advertised on CoolWorks.com, many seasonal positions in national parks are.
A summer in a park could give you a first-hand look at the National Park Service and may help you formulate a plan for your future.
In addition, a seasonal job may also be the first step in securing a full-time, year-round position with some employers.
Finally, employers do post individual full-time, year-round positions on CoolWorks.com - many with benefits, and of course - a great location! Watch our CAREERS page for these opportunities.
In order to work for the employers listed on Cool Works, you will need to have the appropriate work visa. Most of the foreign workers who work temporarily in the U.S. are foreign students and have a J-1 visa. READ MORE HERE.
By law, anyone working for a US employer must have authorization to work in the United States. For non-US Citizens, this means you must acquire a Visa that allows you to work in the United States. Several Designated Sponsoring Agencies are represented on CoolWorks.com
Several types of Visas used in the Seasonal Hospitality Industry are the J1 Work and Travel Visa and the H2B Visa.
US employers hiring for the summer season typically work with a sponsoring agency that is authorized to assist in securing the Work and Travel Visa. Work and Travel Visas are limited in number and are part of a program to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by educational and cultural exchanges. Generally, participants are University Students with a holiday break from studies in their home country.
Click to read more about Work and Travel Eligibility and Fees
Click for a list of Designated Sponsoring Agencies
Click for a list of Designated Sponsoring Agencies for Camp Counselor Positions
You may find some opportunities listed on the CoolWorks.com Work Abroad Page. page.
In addition, you may need to research the employment regulations of an individual country. For example, click here to read more about US Citizens desiring to work in Canada.
Each employer will provide instructions on how to apply. Many employers have online applications, some have applications you’ll need to print, complete and mail back, some want you to send your resume, and some want you to call. Just follow their individual instructions.
CoolWorks role is to provide an advertising platform for employers who have Jobs In Great Places. Each employer has a specific procedure for submitting an application for employment. After reading through Employer Profiles or Job Postings, if you want to apply, it is important that you follow the guidelines provided in the Profile or Posting.
At this time, CoolWorks does not collect resumes to have on file for employers to search through - although we're working on that feature!
Summer recruiting season can begin as early as October of the year prior up through May or June of the year of. January through March is generally the busiest recruiting period. However, don’t fall under the assumption that ALL summer jobs are filled - throughout the summer season you can still find great opportunities available.
Winter recruiting season typically begins in mid-summer when ski resorts and other warm climate winter locations (Mostly Arizona guest ranches and Florida employers) start to post their jobs on CoolWorks.com. Job postings may continue into December and January depending on staff size needed, winter visitation and the snow falling (or not!)
We believe in the old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” There are many job opportunities on CoolWorks. We recommend you do your research, find the employers who appeal to you most, and apply as soon as possible after you make a decision.
We wish we could give you a definitive answer. It’s up to them. They all do it differently. If it’s been a few weeks, and you haven’t heard back, a friendly email asking when you can expect to hear never hurts. Breathe and know that many employers are sorting through hundreds of applications. All the more reason to use correct grammar and punctuation, and do your very best to give clear concise answers on your application-this gives you a great start at scoring that dream job.
Full season availability and your experience matching the required job skills are two of the most important factors that affect an employer’s decision to further review your application. Careful attention to detail on the application/process is important! Flexibility in Job Choices will be a plus. Always put your best foot forward. Our MyCoolWorks fans have put together some helpful tips.
Most seasonal employers understand limited availability due to school schedules or other factors. We recommend providing the employer with as much availability as you can. However, be honest about your dates! Don’t say you have more days / months available if you don’t. Employers need staff to cover their entire seasons so many will hire a combination of full season date staff, early season staff and late season staff. In our experience, preference is given to those who can work the entire season.
Many resort and national park operations have extended their visitor seasons well into the fall. The typical US college student will return to campus well before the season has ended. For this reason, and because travelers are active during later summer and fall season, additional employees are often recruited to join the staff for August, September, October. If seasonal employment is new to you, you may want to consider applying for a shorter term employment - maybe 6 weeks - to see what it’s all about. This offers a terrific opportunity to travel during a less busy time, meet great people, and learn a new skill.
Unlike a typical employment situation in a city or town, where you go to work and then go “home”, most of the employers posting jobs on CoolWorks.com are located in remote or resort areas. For these reasons, the majority of employers must provide employee housing and meals. It would be nearly impossible to have employee live in “surrounding” areas and travel to work every day. Housing can range from rustic to brand new, from bunkhouse to private rooms, from dormitories to cabins. Some may even include wall tents or camping out. Each Employer Profile on the Cool Works site will have a notation about housing on the right-hand side of the Profile page.
For most seasonal employment housing arrangements, spaces are limited to employees only. Non-working family members cannot typically be accommodated. Do to health and safety regulations, most employers who provide housing do not allow employees/residents to have pets. Please double check with the individual employer if you have a question about either of these situations.
The seasonal lifestyle includes this “24/7” employment situation - your work is connected to your housing and your housing is connected to your work. Most of the time there can’t be one without the other! There are some exceptions, for employees who reside in their personal RV’s or in non-employee housing.
In states like Alaska, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming, there are wide-open spaces and you could realistically be living and working miles and miles (and miles) from the next ranch, resort or even town. Hopefully you will find it refreshing! You’ll have fellow co-workers around and you begin to create your own community upon arrival.
For the most part, the greatest challenge is thinking ahead and being prepared for not being able to just jump in your car and run to grab fast food, a DVD or ibuprofin for your killer headache. If you’re driving, have your car serviced before your season starts. Once on property, fill up often and certainly before leaving “civilization” so you’re not at risk of running out of gas. Be prepared for a variety of weather and activities, working and playing, and sharing your living space with others.
If you’re an urban dweller, and used to hustle and bustle of the city all around you 24/7, you may be surprised where and how you “find yourself” after a season away.
Technology keeps us connected, but living in remote areas may provide the opportunity to “unplug” in ways you haven’t really considered. Cell service may be limited or even non-existent in some areas due to mountains, distance and/or providers in the area. Internet connections may be slower than you are used to on your college campus or at home. Each employer will generally have information available about their specific situation.
Facebook is a great way to get the latest jobs in your News Feed. Like the page to see the most recent job postings and profiles, seasonal work tidbits, inspirational quotes and fantastic images from our vast network of employers.
Twitter is another great way to keep up with the latest postings on CoolWorks.com. Real-time postings give you the edge on applying for your dream jobs.
Sign up for email updates. About every two weeks, we send out an email with the latest postings, some inspiration from Patty, and musings to tide you over until the next one.
My CW Members can add photos, blogs, videos, forum discussions, and even plan ride-shares to their summer jobs. On Monday evenings through the fall, winter and early spring, we host weekly chats on a variety of topics that help you get, keep or better prepare you for your summer job. Join us Mondays at 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific by typing your thought into the box and hitting enter. We love to chat! If you have a comment, question or concern about My CoolWorks, send a message to CW Kari (aka Q).
Please feel free to contact us at Cool Works® with your questions or comments. We are continually on a quest to improve our services. Please let us know your thoughts!
Employers Have Questions Too!
CoolWorks is an advertising medium, helping employers promote their “Jobs In Great Places”, and connecting those employers with thousands of job seekers. CoolWorks prides itself on staying true to our niche job market - knowing that we may not be the right advertising answer for some employers. We are proud to operate a robust, user-friendly web site for both employers and for job seekers.
Job seekers who come to CoolWorks are typically seeking unique, seasonal and/or full time, out-of-the-cubicle Jobs In Great Places. They are often outdoor enthusiasts, with an appreciation for travel, for adventure, and for meeting new people.
Targeted, proven, on-line advertising for Staff Recruiting purposes, fueled with passion, experience and industry insight.
We keep it simple with three options:
The Employer Profile - a powerful summary of your operation, culture, location jobs and application procedure. Your chance to make a BIG first impression on potential applicants.
Highlighted Job Posting - bringing attention to a specific job.
Help Wanted - catch the attention of Job Seekers with this “shout out” for immediate needs or something special you’ve got going on.
Our advertising services are different from being “just a job board”. The CoolWorks staff is engaged and knowledgeable, ready to listen to your specific needs and to help you craft the most effective recruiting campaign possible.
CoolWorks also offers options for an online Employment Application and an Applicant Tracking System designed specifically for seasonal employers. Our ATS, The Staffing Center, allows hiring managers to easily review employment applications from their computers anywhere, anytime they have an internet connection.
Cool Works decided long ago that our niche would be "Jobs In Great Places". We screen employers before agreeing to advertise their jobs. We look for the "Great Place" and for jobs that fit what the CoolWorks' job seeker archetypes are interested in. If we decline an employer, it will be for a sound reason. CoolWorks wants employers to be successful with their advertising - and we would be disappointed if we missed the mark. The majority of employers who have success advertising with CoolWorks also have employee housing on-site or offer assistance in finding housing for the season. (It is generally understood that full-time, year-round positions may not offer the same employee housing assistance.)
If the Employer Profile is the right answer for you, get started for as little as $250 (one month term - additional months offer discounted pricing).
A Highlighted Job is $129 for 30 days.
A Help Wanted ad runs $129 for 7 days.
All pricing, including our Staffing Center, can be found on this page of our site.
Be proactive when possible. The CoolWorks traffic (job seekers looking at the site) booms in early January. If you’re a summer season employer, we certainly encourage you to post between January and March. After that initial surge, you can continue to post selectively to back fill, supplement, or note any specific openings. If you’re a winter season employer, July/August and September are the key months.
When openings happen randomly, don’t be discouraged! Our Help Wanted page remains the second most visited page on the site (after the home page) and potential applicants enter the job search at different times for different reasons.
Recruiting is “marketing to another audience”, plain and simple. In the business environment, you compete for guests and you also compete for employees.
Several marketing concepts for you to consider before you even get started:
What makes you – and your jobs – different from anyone else in the industry? You've just identified your Unique Selling Proposition. Know your operational culture and paint an accurate and enticing picture throughout your recruiting messages. Ask some of your “star employees” for their feedback - what they saw or heard that inspired them to apply with you, and what keeps them coming back day in and day out. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you hear, and this will give your recruiting message an honest tone and a great jump start.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION - what helps make CoolWorks.com unique is our niche of Jobs in Great Places. You live, work and play in some amazing place - we know that just by the nature of CoolWorks.com Share that with job seekers right from the start.
Create the identity of your ideal “customer” (in this case, staff member). Now you know your Target Market. Compile a list of qualities you imagine your most ideal staff would possess - again, you may want to refer to your past or present staff. Consider an interesting mix of candidates both in skill sets and in demographics. Then work to create a message that will appeal to your target market(s).
The US economy is shifting in the favor of employees, once again. This means that employees/applicants have a wider variety of positions/employers to choose from, and each job seeker will have their own, unique set of "must haves" and "deal breakers" when searching for the right employer. You may not be able to please everyone, but by stating who you are, where you are, what you do and how you operate is the very best first step in finding the right employees.
Connect the dots - Who you are as an employer with who you want to have on your staff? You begin to establish Emotional Engagement - this will help make the “sell” to the applicant . How do you meet the needs/wants of your staff? How will they meet your needs/wants?
Your goal - confident, positive, trainable, flexible employees who are a great match or a great compliment to your existing and/or developing staff. Happy staff means happy guests. And that’s a win-win all the way around!
If you are creating an EMPLOYER PROFILE, we have a template to help you out. If you are creating a JOB POSTING, a Highlighted Job is advertising for a "single" position. A Help Wanted Ad can bring a big shout-out to job opportunities or job fairs or another message you need to spread far and wide quickly.
Be sure what you've portrayed and “promised” in your in your recruiting pitch are accurate representations of who your really are as an employer and create realistic expectations for the job seeker. As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. There's nothing more disappointing than having an employee arrive after a long recruiting process and travel, only to have the situation be a mis-match.
Recruit as early as possible - be pro-active. Respond to applicants as soon as humanly possible - one way or another. Even a quick email lets them know their application is not really in a black hole somewhere.
CoolWorks does not play a part in helping you to screen your applicants. If you’re new to the hiring process, we may have suggestions to get you started and resources for you to investigate.
CoolWorks.com has been central to the summer job and seasonal job market niche since 1995! Learn more about our history and the faces behind CoolWorks. "Cool Works" of varying sorts have touched all of our lives - we appreciate and understand Jobs In Great Places!
The great thing about the internet is that it doesn’t matter where the “office” is - we like to say we work everywhere there are Jobs In Great Places!
The Cool Works "home office" is located on the Yellowstone River just outside the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Bill is in the Yellowstone office, Eric and Patty are in Helena, Montana, Kathi is in Arizona, and Kari is in Everett, Washington, Ker'en is in Pennsylvania, and Kelcy is in Colorado.