This following is excerpted from the final 2006 PhilNews and posted with permission
The following are suggestions about how to improve your chances of returning to Philmont in the position that you want.
Apply early Each year, we try to fill positions earlier than the year before. Manager and Assistant Manager positions generally get hired first. So if you want to be seriously considered for a management position, apply early! For the summer of 2006, for example, our staff began reviewing applications and offering management contracts as early as October, 2005. Staff members who wish to return for the 2007 season may turn in a completed application when they leave Philmont at the end of the summer.
Complete the application form You’ll need to submit a complete new application each year. Print clearly or type. Be sure to include the dates you will be available. If you don’t know the precise dates, give us your best guess. Applications that are missing dates of availability tend to get moved to the bottom of the pile and precious time is lost as our staff attempts to contact you for the correct dates. Again, many times it is just easier for them to move on to the next applicant.
Update your information Don’t just copy the form you submitted the previous year; be sure to add experiences, certifications, etc. that you’ve received since your previous application. Attach supporting material: resume, letter of interest, etc. Since Philmont rarely has the opportunity to conduct face-to-face interviews, we tend to rely solely on the information contained in the application/employment folder for hiring decisions. This makes the application and the support material you provide us considerably more important than it is for most other jobs for which you may apply.
Be flexible If you want to be considered for a Ranger job, for example, list that as your first choice. Nothing is gained by listing “Ranger” for your second and third choice as well. In fact, it can work against you as it implies that is the only position you would consider. Our entire management team puts a high value on staff members being flexible and willing & able to adapt to changing needs. Listing only one choice makes you look inflexible.
Additionally, “casting a wide net” can also be very helpful to you Consider listing jobs in other departments as your second and third choices. Circling or highlighting other jobs of interest to you on the inside cover of the application is also a very helpful thing to do: it essentially tells Philmont what your fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. choice would be…and, again, shows your willingness to be flexible.
Phil-myths “No one gets a Ranger position their first summer here.” There is a lot of information floating around about our hiring practices. Unfortunately, a lot of it is comprised of generalizations, or just plain not true. Yes, a large number of staff who have backcountry, ranger, or conservation staff positions have previously worked in base camp positions. But there are also a pretty fair number of “first-year” folks in those positions. Philmont considers each application individually and, based on the information provided, tries to fit people into jobs in which they will be successful. Extensive experience in Scouting, high adventure activities, education, work experience; all of these things are taken into our consideration.
Evaluations Your mid-season and final evaluations are extremely important. Good evaluations are a tremendous boost to your chances of being re-hired and/or promoted next summer. If you disagree with your manager’s assessment of your performance, there are still some things you can do to help yourself. First, a non-confrontational, respectful attitude on your part will go a long way toward furthering your cause. Philmont understands that differences in personality and mismatched skills and abilities can sometimes lead to a less than desirable evaluation. There is a space on the evaluation form for you to state your case. You may wish to attach a note with further information. Take some time to think about your response. You may also take your case to your manager’s supervisor.
It’s also important to understand that a recommendation for a particular job or promotion by your manager is not a guarantee. Other managers, or even your manager, may be recommending other people for that particular position as well.
Information contained here-in shall not be construed to guarantee employment or a specific position at Philmont and is subject to change without notice. John Van Dreese, Associate Director of Program, manages the recruiting and hiring of seasonal personnel and much of the base camp operations.
12/4 Update: All applications available!