Podcast

LCW 1.04: Finding the Jobs

Season 1 Episode 4 of the Live.Camp.Work. Podcast!

Finding The Jobs!
Workamper Resumes & Why You Need One

In this episode I’m going to be talking about Workamper Resumes, Photos & Work Agreements. These three items are hot topics when dealing with Workampers & Workamper Employers so you’ll need to know the dos and don’ts.

Workamping recruitment is a little different than traditional jobs, so you’ll want to be aware of the application process, how it differs from traditional hiring, and what is expected vs. required.

Come along for the adventure as I navigate through the world of Workamping with real information, tips & trick, stories from the road, and interviews from Workampers and Employers!

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Episode Transcript

Let’s get started with Episode 4: Finding the Jobs

The top items on the recruitment agenda are resumes, photos, and work agreements. These three items are the topic of many conversations regarding recruiting Workampers and dealing with Workamper employers, so we need to discuss each one and get comfortable with the expectations!

Here’s the senario:

An employer advertises your picture-perfect Workamping opportunity, which you are instantly excited about applying for… you then read that they are requiring a Workamper resume as well as photos of yourself and your RV.

Wait.. What? Is that legal? Why do they need pictures?

Many questions start to cloud your judgment on if this is actually as great of an opportunity as you originally thought, and you take a step back to think for a moment. Before you write them off, I urge you to learn more about the Workamper application process, how it differs from traditional hiring, and what is expected vs. required.

Let’s start with Workamper Resumes!

Workamper Resumes

A Workamper resume is ideally a single page document that highlights your abilities and quickly details your past work experience. This can easily spread to 2 pages for a couple or family, which is totally fine!

Work experience should not be limited to what, if any, experience you have had in actual Workamping. You should also list past working experiences you’ve had in careers that will give you a leg up with employers looking for seasoned workers with specific skills.

When I created my Workamper resume, I didn’t have any Workamping experience, so I could only include my past work experience, which I thought would be helpful to almost any employer! That included customer service, tons of computer and web skills, retail and sales experience as well as some event planning.

As I began to get job offers from employers who were in dire need of some ‘new blood’, I saw that not only were these offers being quoted at higher dollar amounts than what was being reported by fellow Workampers, but some employers were actually creating positions for me based on my experience and trying to bring a new surge of fresh energy into their businesses!

Word to the Wise:

Don’t discount your skills! List what you do best and trust that the perfect job opportunity will present itself! If you’ve spent the last 30 years working as a Master Electrician- don’t leave that off your Workamper Resume just because it wasn’t done while living in an RV… No! Those are skills that RV Park owners would love to have on hand, and will probably boost your resume to the top of many recruiting piles!

All you can do is provide the information, at the very least you’ve done your part by putting it out there. The ball is officially in their court.

What to include in your resume:

Now I’ll probably have to go deeper into detail in another episode on this, but let’s talk about what to include in your Workamper resume.

Objective/Sell Your Self: This is usually at the top and is an overview of your awesomeness. This is your chance to not only shine bright- but also tell the potential employer what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a chance to work in an amazing location while bringing life skills, excellent customer service and years of event planning knowledge to the table… well this is where you put that information!!!

Name of adults who will be working and living onsite:If only one person is working you can just do a single person resume with a picture of two people or make a note in your email that only 1 persona is looking for work.

Past Experience: List the most relevant or newest work experience you have. Details for each position with dates of employment and location. I tend to not go back more than 10 years- unless if was an incredible job with great references.

***Special Note on References:Don’t include recent work history that you don’t have a good reference for! If you worked somewhere 5-10 years ago and you no longer have a reference- that probably fine. But somewhere you worked in the last year or two… you should be able to provide a verifiable reference for, and if you can’t I would suggest leaving it out. Why? One reason… it may raise a red flag to the employer. And at this point in the game, the less red flags you raise the better!

Skills: List your best skills and maybe even some your still working to perfect! You want to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward, so don’t skimp on what makes you the best choice!

Education: List your highest level of education. If you have a degree or several degrees- list them here. If you don’t, but you attended college- put how many years you completed and what you studied.

Sending Photos

Many employers will ask for you to include a photo of yourself and your rig along with your resume. Many Workampers are instantly put off by this practice and question if it’s merely a method of discrimination for one reason or another. I have to say I both agree and disagree with the validity of sending pictures to employers. And while I have participated (in my own way) and encouraged the participation of this recruiting practice, it was for one reason and one reason only… to avoid myself or any fellow Workamper arriving at a job site only to be turned away.

With an ancient motorhome and 4 kids in tow, my husband and I never wanted to arrive at a new Workamper job with the employer not knowing exactly what they were getting. In the beginning, I would silently refuse to send photos, but would casually include a link to our blog with an invitation for the employer to get to know us… after 2 instances where the employer was shocked after arrival that we were so young and had multiple children, even though they still worked out well, I promised myself I would never drive anywhere until I had clearly laid out in an email with a time stamp, that we had 4 kids, this is what we look like, and this is what we camp in.

There was no way I wanted to drive any distance with the lingering fear of denial or rejection. When people ask me about why I think Workampers should just send the pictures, this is what I tell them.

Workamper employers are hiring you virtually. They are not taking the traditional interview route, which would require you to be present for at least one face-to-face interview. In return for not having to travel to their business for an in-person interview, which I was actually asked to do one time, do yourself a favor and send the photos or agree to a virtual interview over Skype or FaceTime!

Trust me, it’s in your best interest. I wouldn’t recommend it if it wasn’t!

Workamper Employers are not looking for the best of the best Instagram filters and selfies with awesome backgrops… Their looking for more of a headshot where they can put a face to a name. Now if you wanna take an incredible headshot with Mount Rushmore or Old Faithful behind you- go right ahead. You might gain extra points for creativity. But make sure you keep in mind this picture is going to an employer. Instead of thinking Facebook Profile, think more LinkedIn for your photos! Meaning instead of a shirtless pic by the beach or a tankini shot of you while on a cruise- think more polo shirt without sun glasses and nice t-shirt without rips and a baggy neck…

Moving right along- lastly for today we’re going to talk about

Workamper Work Agreements

Once you have sent your resume, aced the interview and accepted the position, make sure your next step is to get everything in writing! When I say get it in writing, I don’t mean a paper trail of emails, although in a pinch this would work as well. I’m talking about a well-detailed work agreement that clearly lays out what is expected of you in your agreed upon position, what the hourly wage will be, how many hours, if any, will be required to pay for your site, among other things that are super important.

And guys, just to be clear You should have this document signed and in hand before even thinking about raising your jacks to drive off!

Now it does need to be said… Work agreements are not contracts, but they do serve as a common agreement between the employer and the Workamper on what was actually agreed upon.

In this lifestyle, Sometimes you are hired months in advance, and even if that’s not the case, sometimes people flat out forget all the details that were discussed. It’s your fault, its not the employers fault. It’s just human error, but in this case it would Then simply be the employer’s word against yours and to be honest you might not feel comfortable approaching them about the differences once you’ve already arrived.

It’s just best to line up these details in writing ahead of time, and to stay in communication with the employer up until the date you arrive. A few follow-up emails to ask a question, make sure everything is still set, what dates you’ll be arriving and yadda yadda-  will all do the trick!

What to Include in Your Workamper Resume

  • Employment start and end date, including how much time before and after employment you will be allowed to occupy the site.
  • What type of RV site is provided for your use? FHU? W/E (water and electric)? Is the site included or do you have to pay for it? Can you pay in hours worked? If so how many per week/per person?
  • Your position and the duties it requires. Don’t assume that reservations won’t include cleaning toilets… make sure you know ahead of time, what is required in the position you’ve chosen to accept.
  • Will you be paid hourly? Is there a monthly stipend? Will the value of your RV site be reported on your W-2? Will a 1099 be issued? Is there a completion bonus? What is the overtime policy?
  • What are the benefits other than monetary compensation that the employer is offering you? Wi-Fi? Propane? Golf cart? Free amenity usage? Onsite meals? Is there an employee discount? Does it apply to visiting family members and friends?
  • Special Arrangements? If you’ve spoken with the employer specifically about a special arrangement like preset schedules or dates that you must have off, you will want to make sure these items are detailed in full on your work agreement as well!

In a perfect world, the employer would openly and graciously offer such an agreement to each and every Workamper they hired, but this world is far from perfect and that just doesn’t happen! Some employers will be beyond prepared and have theirs sent over the moment you complete the interview, others will have you jump through virtual hoops to acquire one. You’ll have to be persistent.

You will likely encounter both types of employers, although I hope you have far less of the latter. Make sure you do your due diligence in securing one for each position, and if you are unable- you’ll have to decide if it’s worth your time and trouble to make the trip without it.

That’s gonna all for today on the  Live Camp Work Podcast. This was Episode 4 of Season 1 and I hope you’ve enjoyed the information so far! If you have any questions always feel free to send me an email directly to sharee@livecampwork.com or join in the conversation in the live camp work group on facebook!

 

And until next time-

Safe Travels & Many Adventures!

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