For over 10 years I’ve been involved in finding our seasonal staff at the ranch. Hiring takes a tremendous amount of time and effort and a full team of people. We’ve been truly blessed with our staff in the past and I would have to say it’s one of the top reasons why the ranch makes such a wonderful vacation spot and I enjoy coming to work. “Surround yourself with great people.” This is such an important rule in life and one I’ve tried to remember. For the applicant, there are some tips you could try to help land that summer job you desperately want to get.

#1 Search NOW!!! It’s amazing how every hiring season goes like clockwork. It’s typical the gals who usually have their resume and applications filled out and done before most of the boys have even thought about the upcoming summer. Guys you can’t wait/procrastinate anymore. The saying is absolutely true and the early bird does get the worm. The gals are beating you to the punch. We see it every season and at the end of Spring a rash of frantic phone calls begin in late April from a bunch of guys looking for summer work starting May. It used to be when I was looking for summer jobs applying took time; we weren’t able to hop online and send our information off in 10 minutes. The internet has made the application system so quick and fast everyone applies. Online job boards give access to so many more people these days. You need to consider these things in your search for a summer job.

#2 Be Available to Talk. Emails, video chat, text messaging, online social sites, and all of the new fan dangled ways of communicating are helpful in speeding up the process. This is not completely what you want as an applicant when your information comes up.  It seems having a one-on-one conversation with someone has not been saved for the “important” conversations but found it’s way to the bottom of the communication technique pile. Maybe I’m old fashioned, or just old, but I’ve always enjoyed the one or two folks every season that take the energy to set up a call and ask me a few questions about a position and working at the ranch (preferably questions not answered in the job description). Employers can have the most thorough job description on the website, but it’s never going to be a full explanation of living and working somewhere for a summer. I know the applicant who really asks great questions are taking the time and care. I would also suggest making an unscheduled call to tell the interviewer how perfect you are for the position is probably not a good idea. Here’s a tip; find out who the actual supervisor is. Many times it’s not the same person who is interviewing. See if it’s okay to get their number and ask them a few questions. It’s not helpful to me, but I also know some hiring teams love to get the paper copy of your information. Not a bad idea.

# 3 Tell Your Story. Two things come to mind. We get a few different kinds of applications. The first application is from someone who took a few extra minutes to tell us why this job would be important to them. It explains why working at our ranch means something. I’ve seen a couple applications in the past years from individuals who explained why the job is important, what they’re planning to do with the experiences in the future, and how it helps them meet their goal.

Another type of application is definitely a cut/past and click. This applicant is using the shotgun method waiting for the phone call from whoever calls back. Spend a few extra moments and include a brief paragraph of who you are and what’s important to you. Many times we receive your accomplishments and lists of jobs but it doesn’t tell us about who you are. Tell the story and make the interviewer understand why this job is important to you.

#4 Please Stop Using the Thesaurus. I prefer reading applications which don’t require me to lookup every other word. Although there are hiring teams which have members with doctorates of the English language, try to keep it concise and for us common folks. Using it a few times is fine. If you’re applying for a summer position at Lockheed Martin as a rocket scientist….no, they probably don’t want it either.

#5 Just be real. Most summer jobs, if not all, include a need for genuine customer service. As we roll through interviews I always have to take into consideration those applicants who were overly nervous. We understand being nervous because we’re a little nervous too. The nervousness will most likely never fully go away. An applicant able to have a real conversation is extremely refreshing when searching for candidates in a customer service job. Practice can help you push through being nervous. There are many websites listing difficult interview questions such as Monster ( ). Taking the time to come up with some good answers to these questions may seem fake or rehearsed. But in reality, if it’ll help you, the interviewer will actually be seeing who you really are. I wouldn’t recommend rehearsing a script, but practice does make perfect.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Idaho is currently hiring for the 2017 Summer season. If you’re looking for a Wrangler, Kids Counselor, Kitchen, or Housekeeping job, we highly recommend checking our job listings on our website at, Application deadlines are coming soon and most positions begin in May 2017.