Jobs Fair (Virtual or Not)
Job fairs are a great way to meet camp directors and see what their camp is all about. Now I know, because the world is being cautious right now, the ‘traditional’ job fair may not be happening. But I want to help you get ready, and put your best foot forward to be placed and get hired for the summer ahead.
First things first, ask yourself what do you imagine your summer to look like?
Where do you imagine living and spending your summer? These are questions you should ask yourself to help you visualise what will make you happy. At the end of the day, you want to enjoy yourself and be comfortable where you are working this summer.
There are many different types of camps in different environments. You could be in the rural countryside, or in the city. Overnight camp or day camps. You should ask yourself these types of questions to help you with your application.
Once you have made this decision, you can decide what job role you want to do whilst at camp. There are three major types of roles: Counsellor, Specialist or Support Staff.
In a nutshell, a counsellor is an all-rounder, you care for campers, assist them around camp and get involved in all activities. A specialist is someone who leads an activity for all campers at camp, as well as supporting counsellors in caring for a cabin of campers. Finally, support staff can be anyone involved in the behind-the scenes of summer camp life, either in the kitchen, office, maintenance and more.
Next steps are to research which camps are going to (virtual) job fairs and get excited! This is exciting to research and see what is out there. What type of camps they are, if you like the look of their website, social media, or even hear from past staff members about the camp. Does their vibe match what you are looking for? If you think ‘yes, I can see myself here’.
I would suggest making a shortlist of camps you would like to speak with first and hear more about. From my experience, being at a job fair can be overwhelming, and in the moment you don’t know where to go. Planning & making a shortlist can help direct you in that moment.
Finally, get your ducks in a row. Make sure your online presence is the best representation of yourself. As this is the first impression camp directors see of you - even before meeting you!
Make sure your paperwork/online application is complete. I would suggest uploading a fun smiley profile picture. Also make sure all your skills and experience are accounted for (hint: these might be referred to with camp directors). Being prepared and organised is a good first impression for potential employers to see.
Making a good first impression is always a top priority. Even if you are on zoom, make sure you look clean, brush your hair, maybe change out of those pajamas? A good impression goes a long way.
Being friendly is a trait everyone should have. I know you may feel awkward, (especially if you are on a computer screen) but that doesn’t mean you can’t smile. You never know, you could potentially meet someone that you may work or live with this summer.
Camps want to hire you, not the fake you. Just be yourself. Plain and simple.
Even though camp directors are asking you questions, remember, you are allowed to ask questions that are on your mind too. Have a few questions up your sleeve to ask the camps. I like asking what they love most about camp. You can see how much they love a place by speaking so freely about where they work.
Placed or not, congratulations! You did it. You got yourself out there and got a taste of what camp will be like. If you do not get placed, it is not the end of the world. At a job fair there are only a small number of camps, but there are hundreds out there waiting for you.
Keep your eyes peeled for next steps. These next steps could be from the camp directly, or could be from your camp agency. Is there any new paperwork that you need to do? Any contracts to sign? Maybe it is just someone from your new workplace saying hi.
End of the day, job fairs - virtual or not - are very unique and can be the start of a fun adventure. Be yourself, have fun and be open to the experience.