Oxbow Bend, Snake River

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming


Kelcy Fowler


Applying for a job on is a bit different than applying for a job in one’s hometown. Seasonal employers recruit and make the majority of their hiring decisions months in advance of the position’s start date, which generally corresponds with the location’s operating season. Each employer has a unique application process, usually requiring the completion of an online application.  Once the application is submitted there is a wait time – sometimes days or weeks before an applicant may hear anything from an employer. 

Some employers rely completely on the information submitted in the application, including references and former work history, to make a hiring decision. Others will conduct phone interviews and some conduct video interviews over Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. Job offers can come in the form of a phone call, email, or postal mail, and will typically include a start and end date. The hiring paperwork will also give information about the location of the job, where to report for work, and on what date to arrive, along with information about necessary hiring paperwork, uniform/appearance requirements, and suggestions for transportation and packing.  Once the applicant accepts the job offer, there is often some final paperwork to complete, and then the adventure planning begins!

The first step in your next great adventure is to discover the opportunities that are out there waiting for you. 


The main search bar on the homepage is a great tool for narrowing down your search to a few specific positions or locations. Like any search engine, the “Search Jobs” tool will scan the site for any keywords you enter, and return all results that contain those keywords.

To get the best results, be as specific as possible. For example, if you’re wanting to work in a restaurant, don’t just search for “restaurant”. If you do, you’ll get results for every page that contains the word “restaurant”, which could include listings that say, “We have a restaurant on-site” or “The nearest town has 4 restaurants.” Those results likely won’t be very helpful.

Instead, narrow your search down to the position you’re looking for, like “server”, “chef”, or “bartender.” Even better, add a location to really narrow it down, like “chef Montana”. By using more specific keywords, you’ll narrow down the results that the search engine returns.

If you are not certain about where you want to go or what you want to do and are open to discovering lots of potential opportunities (which is great, by the way, we love it when people use our site to discover something new!), we suggest discovering via exploration through our various exciting category pages: Search by StateCategoryNational Park, or Season.

We also suggest checking out the CoolWorks Journals, which are a collection of real-life CoolWorkers telling their stories of how a seasonal job impacted their path. Reading through and sharing in other peoples’ experiences may help to ignite a spark of curiosity in you that you may not have known you had.

Whichever way you slice it, the site is completely self-serve. You’ll want to take the time to read through all of the information the employers provide, trust your gut, and try to identify the places that you feel like would be a great fit. From there on, follow the employer’s application instructions to apply. Many have online applications; some have applications that need to be printed, completed, and mailed; some want a resume with a cover letter. Some might be remote and require a phone call in order to start the process.

The first step is easy: just dream up a place, a type of job, or a particular interest, and dive in!