10 Tips for Finding a Job in the Holiday Industry
All-inclusive resort entertainment team members, cruise staff, and Club Med “G.Os” have a reputation of “getting paid to have fun.” After all, they’re the ones who make you do things like get your reggaeton on in the morning, do an obstacle course just as you’re about to lie down on the beach, and compete with them in beer chugging competitions. As a former resort entertainer, I can say that the job is not as easy as it looks, but there are definitely a lot of fun aspects and lots of rewards. So, if you dream of leading a conga line of tourists every day and contributing to helping them have an amazing vacation, here are some tips to landing the job.
Start making a fool of yourself and documenting it.
No matter what position you apply for in the industry, your goal will be to make your clients have the best vacation ever. You’ll have to interact with every guest, no matter where they are from or what language they speak, and you have to be ready to be silly at times. And to be hired, you may have to prove that you’ve got the fun personality that’s required to work in this industry. Some resorts or agencies may ask you to provide a video of yourself showing off your fun personality and talents. Even if they don’t, it’s always a good idea to take the extra step, create one and send it to them anyway. Talk about who you are, show off your special talents, give a tour of your hometown – anything for them to get an idea of who you are.
Look for an agency.
Check if there are any cruise and resort hiring agencies that hire people in your area. The upside of this is that you will be dealing with professional recruiters who have most likely worked in the all-inclusive industry themselves. Get Up and Go Global and Cast-A-Way are two reputable ones.
Do not apply if your goal is to make money.
If your motivation for working is to make money, do not apply for a position at any type of all-inclusive establishment. Your rewards will not come in the form of dollar bills; when I worked at a resort, I made about $600 USD per month, and I was among one of the highest paid employees at the resort. But on the positive side, you’ll be rewarded with having an amazing time, being able to travel, and being one of the reasons why people enjoyed their vacation.
Don’t pay to work.
Just because a business claims to be a cruise and resort hiring agency doesn’t mean it’s true. There are a lot of fake agencies and scam job ads out there. No legit company should ever charge you for a “membership fee” or anything to apply for a job. Yet, so many people fall for them. Think about it – why would you want to pay to work? If anyone charges you anything to apply for a job, run!
And don’t wait until you find a job ad.
Online job boards like resortjobs.com are a great way to find out about open positions. Sometimes open jobs don’t even get posted on job boards. In that case, check some company websites. Most cruise lines post their jobs on their website, but resorts are a bit trickier. If you can’t drop your CV at the resort in person, try calling the resort to obtain the entertainment team director’s email or phone extension, and communicate with them about joining their team.
Be prepared for interviews to happen during weird hours.
Cruise and resort workers have extremely long days that can last for over 14 hours. They may conduct interviews whenever it’s convenient for them. I had my second interview with the resort I worked for at 9 p.m. my time — during the entertainment director’s break!
Don’t be surprised if you get an offer that gets canceled in a few days.
It sucks, but it happens. I was once offered a job as a resort activities coordinator, but a few days later, they told me that they had to cancel the position due to hotel politics. While I initially didn’t believe them, later on when I got hired at another resort, I learned first-hand that political and financial situations at resorts do happen, and boy can they get complicated.
Make sure they get your work visa processed right away.
Most places will try to get you your work visa before you start, but sometimes, especially for a resort job, it won’t be possible. So, they’ll get you to start working while they get your visa processed, which can take several months. Is this ok? Yes. Is it legal? Nope. About one month after I started working at a particular resort, I was happily working near the pool one day when my manager told me and some of my coworkers to change out of our uniforms and get out of the workers’ areas immediately. It turned out that immigration officers were at the resort and were checking whether all workers had their work permits. Of course, we were terrified, changed out of our uniforms at light speed and ran off to the beach to pretend we were tourists. If you end up going into a country as a tourist, make sure your workplace starts working on getting your visa processed the day you arrive there.
Take a vacation.
If you work in the restaurant business, you’ve got to know your foods. And if you work in the vacation business, you’ve got to know your vacations. It’s always a plus if you’ve been on the type of all-inclusive vacation that you’re applying to. At least, you can say that you want the job because you’ve seen someone do it and they made your day.