Five ways to work for a ski chalet company
On our chalet page we mentioned that chalet roles are the most popular form or winter sports employment. Perhaps you have heard of people working in chalets, but you aren't really sure what it is that they do. Let's take a good look at the job description, and help you decide whether you would be suited to this kind of vacancy.
First thing to consider is what you will actually be doing and this varies enormously from company to company. Chalet staff, is a term banded about for convenience, but in reality there is no simple catchall job description beyond someone who will be working in a ski chalet. Your skill set may be well suited for one type of role, but completely inadequate for another. Employers can be looking for everything from unskilled cleaners to people with professional chef qualifications. Our top tip would be to not fall into the trap that we see a lot of people doing, and that is applying for every role with ‘chalet' in the title, regardless of whether their CV meets the requirements part of the posted job description. You will be wasting the time of the employer, but more importantly, you will be wasting your own time - time that would be better spent applying for fewer jobs, but with more effort on making your sound like a stronger candidate.
The Master Chef
Catered chalets are very popular, people like the idea of coming back to a hot meal, and not having to spend any time clearing up once they have eaten. Which is where you come in! Read a more detailed description of the food provision side of chalet work in our catering section.
Free time rating: 7/10
There is nothing wrong with starting at the bottom and if the job itself is simply to scrape together some beer money and get plenty of time to hang out in resort, then this could be a cunning move. You will likely be a cleaner, or a dishwasher, so don't be afraid to get your hands mucky and take orders. Just be thankful you get to stay all winter, and think of the free time.
Free time rating: 8/10
We get more and more of these vacancies each year. Chalet owners often like to employ a couple to look after their properties. Perhaps a couple is more likely to be reliable and trustworthy, perhaps they are more likely to work well together, and maybe it is less likely that one of them will quit mid season. The upside for you is that a good quality chalet couple is second only to a good quality chef in terms of value to a ski holiday company. If you have some good previous experience either in resort, or at home, then you have a great chance of securing work for the season, as your competition will be significantly smaller. We had an application from a great couple last year, they had not worked a season before, but he was a decorated chef and she had held lofty positions in a hotel chain. Our phones were hot for the rest of the day with companies trying to get more details from them. Usually one half of the couple will be expected to cook, while the other is more of a general manager, looking after the guests.
Free time rating: 3/10
The Chalet Girl
Or boy! The archetypal job when you think of working in a ski resort. You don't usually need much in the way of previous experience, though if you can demonstrate that you have good customer service skills you will immediately lift your head above some of the competition. Your day could be completely different depending upon who you work for, but generally you are there to make sure the chalet functions smoothly. Perhaps doing some laundry, collecting food for the kitchen, helping ferry guests about.
Free time rating: 5/10
The Maintenance Person
Chalets are often at least partially crafted out of wood. They always look beautiful, but in such harsh environments, maintenance is continual. As such we quite frequently receive jobs for the general handyman. You are likely to be on call and there will always be something to keep you occupied - quite possibly yet another frozen pipe! More often than not, if we do get asked to find someone who can turn their hand to maintenance, they are usually also expected to act as a driver, perhaps collecting and delivering guests between the airport and resort. But like the first role, you are likely to have access to plenty of down time too.
Free time rating: 8/10