FAQs

Flathead Lake

Big Fork, Montana

Not sure where to start? Check out these Frequently Asked Questions, if you’re in need of some direction. Make sure to also check out the Older and Bolder, For Employer, and Job Seeker Resources for insights and pointers on all things CoolWorks.

next-section ?>

FOR COOLWORKERS

What kinds of jobs can I find on your site?

Many employer listed on CoolWorks are hospitality and guest service industry oriented – and what we consider to be “Jobs in Great Places”. There are also heaps of great outdoor adventure outfits, educational jobs, as well as conservation and environmental jobs.

Housekeeper, Cook, Tour Guide, Kayak Rental Agent, Retails Sales, Front Desk Agents, Camp Counselor, Barista, Maintenance, Trip Guide, Dishwasher, Pizza Maker – this list goes on and on!

Locations include: national parks, lodges and resorts, ranches, restaurants, summer camps, campgrounds, ski resorts, retreat and conference centers, outfitters, and outdoor adventure 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.

If you can dream it – chances are you might find it here!

Wow, CoolWorks has a lot of Employers and Job Postings! How do I narrow my search?

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. There’s also the search bar and advanced search options on the homepage if you prefer to search by keyword or job title.

How do I apply for the jobs?

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. 

How many jobs should I apply for?

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.

I have a specific question about how to best use CoolWorks.com

Please keep reading through the FAQ’s, and if you don’t find your answer, shoot us a quick email to greatjobs@coolworks.com!

How can seasonal jobs help veterans?

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, learn new skills or to put a newly acquired job skill to work.

Because many of the employers on CoolWorks offer employee housing and meal plans, the transition to seasonal life is made simple.

While federal positions in the national parks and forests aren’t always advertised on CoolWorks.com, many seasonal positions working for National Park Concessionaires are.

A summer in a park gives you a first-hand look at the various types of federal jobs the National Park Service offers and gives you the opportunity to get your foot in the door by doing some volunteering.

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!

Can I apply for these jobs if I’m not a US citizen?

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. Check out the  Designated Sponsoring Agencies 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 

How do I work in a different country if I am a US citizen?

You may find some opportunities listed on the CoolWorks 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.

Many volunteer organizations use CoolWorks to advertise their short and long-term opportunities around the world. Note that there is generally a fee for these programs but there are a lot of cool opportunities in amazing places!

I want to send CoolWorks my resume - how do I do that?

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’s information and job listings, if you want to apply, it is important that you follow each individual employer’s application instructions.

At this time, CoolWorks does not collect resumes to have on file for employers to search through.

I need a summer (or winter) job. When is the best time to apply?

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!)

When will employers get back to me?

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. 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. 

Do you have any tips for helping my application stand out from the rest?

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. 

I can’t work a full-season. Should I still apply?

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 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.

Employee Housing - what’s that all about?

Unlike a typical employment situation in a city or town, where you go to work and then go “home”, many of the employers posting jobs on CoolWorks.com are located in resort and/or remote locations. For these reasons, the majority of employers provide employee housing. It can be part of the compensation package or can be offered at a nominal fee and deducted from your pay check.  

Housing can range from rustic to brand new, from bunkhouse to private rooms, from dormitories to cabins, to shared or private apartments or condos. Wall tents, yurts or camping areas to pitch your own tent are also possibilities. Each employer will have a notation about housing on the right-hand side of their 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. 

What's the deal with food?

For the same reason that most employers provide some type of housing, meal plans are sometimes included as well. When Room AND meals are included, again, it can be part of the compensation package or can be offered at a nominal fee and deducted from your pay check.   With those employers who offer a meal plan, it generally takes the form of 3 squares a day that have set hours. Lodges & resorts in national parks, as well as in other locations, often have an Employee Dining Room, (EDR) that’s just for the employees and are where all the meals are served. Guest ranches also can have EDR’s, and on some guest ranches, employees actually eat with the guests. Also, generally EDR’s will have snacks set out that are available throughout the day. So a peanut butter and jelly sandwich may be an option if you miss lunch or dinner.

The seasonal employers who don’t offer a meal plan will have housing that includes kitchens/cooking facilities. And as is typical in the Food & Bev industry, there can be shift meals and restaurant discounts.

If you have food sensitivities or special dietary requirements, choosing a seasonal employer who doesn’t include a meal plan but provides kitchens in employee housing is probably your best bet. However, with that said, some employers are able to make certain accommodations, so make sure you check with the individual employers to whom you’re applying.

Lastly, some seasonal employers have really stepped up their game when it comes to employee food. Organic and locally sourced is starting to happen in EDR’s, so do your research to find the employer that’s going to make your belly happy!

Can I bring my four-legged best friend?

Unfortunately, the seasonal lifestyle isn’t very dog (or cat) friendly. As we said above, do to health and safety regulations, most employers who provide housing do not allow employees/residents to have pets. 🙁

However, there are a few employers who offer rental housing that do allow pets. And if you’re an RV’er, you may have even better luck bringing your four-legged pal. Again, the best thing to do is to check with the individual employers to whom you’re applying.

Some employers mention “working in remote areas”. What does that mean?

In states like Alaska, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming, there are wide-open spaces, and some of the employers are 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.

If you decided to work in one of these locations, 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 want to give this a try. You’d be surprised where and how you “find yourself” after a season away.  

I Need To Be Connected (Don't I?) - Technology - Cell Phone and Internet

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. 

How can I keep up with what’s happening at Cool Works?

Sign up for The CoolWorks Compass, our bi-monthly love note to our dreamers, schemers and adventure seekers filled with inspiration, ideas and encouragement.

Get social with us! Find, follow and share with CoolWorks on your favorite social network using #CoolWorksJobs and #JobsInGreatPlaces.

Facebook is a great way to get the latest jobs in your News Feed. Like the CW page to follow the most recent job postings and profiles, seasonal work tidbits, inspirational quotes and first hand accounts and stories from CoolWorkers living the dream.

Follow CoolWorks on Instagram to see gorgeous glimpses at the CoolWorks lifestyle – and to share your own!

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.

Pinterest is a travel and beautiful place lover’s dream. Follow CoolWorks for the visual inspiration to stoke the #JobsInGreatPlaces wanderlust.

Join My CoolWorks, the only social network by, for and curated by CoolWorkers. 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, there are weekly hosted 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. If you have a comment, question or concern about My CoolWorks, send a message to CW Kari (aka Q).

If I have a question, who can I ask?

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!

How long has CoolWorks.com been around?

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!

Where is CoolWorks.com located?

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 and Matt are in Colorado. 

FOR EMPLOYERS

What is the CoolWorks model?

CoolWorks is a niche job website for employers with Jobs in Great Places, as well as a thriving and growing community for seasonal job seekers. 

We offer a few different types of job ads for employers to choose from depending on your current hiring needs. As an employer you will have you’re very own CoolWorks person to guide you along the way. And if you’re a self-serve kinda person, our site is set up so you can do it all yourself.

Our CoolWorks crew is a small but mighty well-traveled team of seasonal work explorers. We’ve worked our way up the ladder from entry level front lines to upper management. Because we’ve been HR pros since 1995, we’ve been in the industry long enough to really understand that career paths can change, grow, morph, and evolve. Our experience has taught us that great places lead to great experiences. While we are all very different in our experiences and our home bases, we have one important thing in common: we are all passionate about helping employers with Jobs in Great Places find those bright star employees and helping job seekers find your life-changing opportunities.

Job seekers who come to CoolWorks are typically seeking unique, seasonal and/or full time Jobs In Great Places. They are often outdoor enthusiasts, with an appreciation for travel, for adventure, and for meeting new people.

What services does CoolWorks provide?

Targeted, proven, on-line advertising for staff recruiting purposes, fueled with passion, experience and industry insight.

We keep it simple with three main options:

The Employer Profile – Your Employer Profile allows you to advertise all of your job openings with a self-serve job list that you can update at any time. It’s also a window into your special magic kingdom and includes all the info necessary to help you target those job seekers that are the perfect fit for your operation. You have space to describe your business, your company culture and values, the employee experience, your ideal candidate and necessary qualifications, your room & board situation, the recreational opportunities in your area that your seasonal staff can enjoy on their time off, and any special perks you may offer for the seasonal employee who’s ready, willing, and able to work hard and play hard, too!

Highlighted Job Posting – A Highlighted Job posting advertises a specific position. Have a job that requires some special attention, or is a little harder to fill than others? This ad is a good choice and appears across our site for 30 days.

Help Wanted Ad – A Help Wanted ad lets you advertise multiple jobs, kick off your general recruiting, shine a spotlight on your Employer Profile, or get that boost of traffic when you need it the most! This ad appears across our site for one week.

We also offer supplemental options to boost your traffic that include: Featured listings, social media boosts and ads in our CoolWorks Compass, our bi-weekly jobseeker enewsletter.

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.

You can read more details about these options including pricing on our Posting Options page.

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. 

Does CoolWorks work for all types of employers/jobs?

CoolWorks 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 would be a great fit for our CoolWorks’ job seeker demographics. 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.)

When should my company advertise for our jobs?

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 December 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. And if you’re late to the game, no worries, we have a steady stream of job seeker traffic year-round.

When openings happen randomly, our Help Wanted ads are just the ticket for a 7 day burst of applicants. These ads work great for filling those last minute openings before your doors open for unexpected mid-season attrition, and for your late summer/fall hiring push.

Help! How do I make my job post(s) stand out?

Marketing your jobs needs as much attention as marketing your business.

  • What makes you – and your jobs – different from anyone else in your industry? One of the questions a job seeker always has on their minds while scanning your info is: What’s it like to work and live there? What do you value and how do those values shape your employee’s experience? What’s fun and enriching about working at YOUR Great Place? What will be the best take-away after a season working with you? If you’re struggling to come up with the answers, ask some of your “star employees” for their feedback – what they saw or heard that inspired them to apply with you, and what made their seasonal experience working with you great?
  • 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.  Share that with job seekers right from the start.
  • What are 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. Create your message and keep it real. The more honest you are, the more you’ll receive on-target applicants.
  • Connect the dots – Who you are as an employer with who you want to have on your staff?  How do you meet the needs/wants of your staff? Happy staff means happy guests. And that’s a win-win all the way around!

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.

We’ve written many posts chocked full of advice on what makes your Employer Profile or your job posts sing. You can check them out on our Employer Resources page.

And you can always call us!

How do I select who to hire?

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. 

How long has CoolWorks.com been around?

CoolWorks.com has been helping employers recruit seasonal and year-round staff in our niche market since 1995.  Learn more about our history and the faces behind CoolWorks. We hope we get the opportunity to work with you!