I don’t know about other employers, but for me to employ a freelance leader unknown to me is a real leap of faith. If I don’t get the decision right it could jeopardise the safety of my clients, the good reputation of my (small) business and could lead to a string of sleepless nights. Here are some top tips to help you to reassure people like me that you are the right person for the job. And get it right – and there will be more work in the future!
Have an up to date cv
I don’t really care what GCSEs or A-Levels you have. If this is a hang up for you don’t worry about it: I’m no rocket scientist either. I do care that the qualifications you have are relevant to the task in hand however. Be sure to list on your cv all the outdoors stuff that you do. I’m looking for outdoor leaders who have a passion for the outdoors and who have a wide and broad experience base to draw from. So what if you’ve spent your last five winters snowboarding and I need a summer mountain leader. If you can show how this experience has led you to working positively with nervous clients or exploring new off-piste routes it’s all relevant.
And before you save and send your cv, please please spell-check it. It’s an attention to detail that shows you care enough to make the right impression.
For a young leader starting out in this industry it can be a bit Catch 22 – no one will employ you without experience, and you can’t get experience until people employ you. So get some CPD. If you’re not already a member of the MTA join them now. Through them there are abundant workshops available dead cheap or even free of charge. If I’m choosing between two SPA candidates, the one that has the coaching awards will pull my heart strings strongest.
Write a blog
Write up your adventures in a blog. There are lots of good reasons for doing this …
(i) You’ll love reading them when you’re an old fart (like me).
(ii) An up to date blog will appeal to your sense of vanity (we all have it). The knowledge that your mates working their 9 to 5 jobs in an office will be green with envy from your latest epic will fire you with the energy to keep getting out there enjoying more adventures.
(iii) But MOST IMPORTANTLY It shows a potential employer LIKE ME that you really do love being in the outdoors. More importantly for an employer it’s an evidence-base of you making dynamic risk decisions in the outdoors. Those are the people we need to be working for us!