Top 10 Ways To Make Contact and Get Hired by Camps

Like theories, these aren’t guaranteed and proven. However they may help in the process of getting hired really anywhere. Try ‘em on and take them for a stroll around the park. Let us know what you think. Or if there are other things you’ve done to stand out, do tell J

  1. Get to know them – Instead of sending out a canned email to hundreds, identify people with the camp organization who can specifically help, and invest some time and energy to understand them. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google you can learn a lot about the camp, its philosophy and culture and figure out whether or not there are truly common goals. If there really is a connection, tailor an email to demonstrate that you are truly a fan of their work or at least that there are common interests.  Show respect by taking the time to read and absorb the camps mission and they will appreciate your attention to detail.
  2. Show them Value –  That is, you give me something helpful and I give you something helpful. Don’t just assume that the raw facts of your cause, story, resume, etc. are enough to make the camp hiring staff jump to attention. Guess what, there are thousands of eager job applicants, worthy causes, and smart people. Explain why you are truly different. Then, don’t just make it about you. Communicate the specific value you bring to the table, and the people who send attend the camp. Finally, do the hard work, which is to outline in detail how we would work together and create value for our campers. 
  3. Entertain Them – The surest way to be rewarded with attention is through creativity. You have many tools at your disposal.  You can make a cool presentation, video or even write a short story. At the very least, send them a joke. Just don’t bore hiring staff with a long blah, blah, blah email or cover letter that says the same stuff about how you are going to change the world or how you want to make a difference. Show then something cool, fun, and emotionally moving. Give me the Awesome Experience: the convergence of need, entertainmenand the unexpected. Then, even if we can’t help each other. I will likely pass along your creative submission and give it an even better chance of getting some much desired attention.
  4. Attend to the basics – Hopefully this doesn’t need too much stressing: looking polished, professional, and not overdone in your appearance and presentations is the foundation for any good first impression. Whether we like it or not, looks matter a great deal. 
  5. Set an intention – Goals matter in meeting new people as much as they matter in other areas of life. Take a moment before you make contact to ponder what image exactly you hope to project and whom you’d like to speak to. 
  6. Let them talk first – Want the person you’re meeting to trust you? (Of course you do!) Then fight that impulse to chatter away about your expertise and accomplishments. Ironically, one of the best ways to win people’s confidence is simply to let them talk first. If you want to establish trust, let the other person speak first or have the floor first.
  7. Pay attention to how fast you’re speaking (and watch your ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’) – What else do recent studies have to teach us about making a killer first impression? The BPS post offers one more useful set of findings. “Back in the ’70s, researchers created over 50 synthetic voices and played them to participants at various speeds. Increasing speech rate led participants to assume the owner of the voice was more competent,” it reports. “The participants who were played the slowed-down tapes rated the interviewees as less truthful, less fluent, and less persuasive. Other research has shown that people who ‘um’ and ‘ah’ a lot are assumed to not know what they’re talking about.”
  8. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable  – You’d think that with first impressions it pays to be as polished and perfect as possible, but experts actually insist that showing your vulnerabilities and weaknesses can actually be both endearing and empowering.
  9. Make Your Online Presence Respectable – Unless you meet a person while networking, odds are your first impression will be made online. Nearly everyone will look at your website, LinkedIn profile or Facebook profile before they engage by phone or in person. If they are treated to errors, inaccurate or outdated information, embarrassing photos or inappropriate humor, their impression of you will be doomed from the start. Live in the 21st century. Dedicate time and effort to keep everything accurate, appropriate and up-to-date.
  10. Network – I can’t say this strongly enough. The best way to make it to the top of the resume pile is to network. Your goal is to have someone hand the resume to the appropriate person and say, “I think we need to look at this person.”