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Hints from the one's in the know

Hints from the one's in the know

Author -  Vicki Kenny

Hints from the one’s in the know

OK -so everyone wants to be accepted right? 


We’ve put together a few TIPS and TRICKS for you…


Skills Section

This is the main section on the application and many Camp Directors browse through hundreds of applications by only looking at the availability and skills section before selecting the ones they would want to look at closely as potential candidates. You therefore must use this section to sell your skills and experience. 

It is essential to write at least a paragraph (4-5 sentences or more) about each skill go into major detail about your training, coaching experience, competitions and work experience

  • Have you done a good job describing your skills, giving examples and listing all experience?. 

For example:

Skill/Sport experience

  • How long have you participated in your skill/sport?
  • Do you have certificates in the skills you are applying for and what do these certificates mean (what would be your equivalent in the US – you should use Internet to find the relevant information or if you have no luck online contact the Auckland office and we’ll check with our US placement co-originators)
  • Have you won awards and what was involved in winning these awards?

Work Experience

  • What is/was your job?
  • Are any of the skills gained at the job transferable into the different positions you are applying for?
  • What are the roles you perform?
  • How many days a week do you work and how many hours?
  • What do you enjoy about the job?
  • Team Work - have you shown in your skills your ability to work in a team and how you would use your skill to support your team in your day to day activity.

You must avoid using “negative” words and comments when completing the skills sections. Camp Directors do not want to hear what you cannot do. 

For example an applicant writing about tennis as a skill may write: “I have played on a tennis team but never coached anybody but I am positive I can teach this skill”. 

Negative words like: never, can’t, haven’t should be avoided.  

Check with your interviewer if your high demand skills were not discussed at interview.

Work & Education history

Please make sure that you include any volunteer work (including guides/scouts/brigades) or community service in this section. It also includes working at a previous camp as all of this experience is relevant. 

Personal Statement

This is the only freestyle part of the application where you can “sell yourself” to a Camp Director by writing about what kind of person you are and why a Director should hire YOU. Don’t be shy!! You only get one shot to impress. In this section you should focus on • your personality and values – hard working, honest, responsible etc. How do your friends describe you. • What you hope to achieve in life and why you want to go to America • What would you bring to the camp staff team • Why a camp should choose you. You should not be shy about yourself as the Camp Directors do not have the opportunity to meet with you in advance and will make a decision based on what they read on your application form.


Uploads

Portrait Photo The Camp Directors always look at your portrait picture first (as a thumbnail) and make their first impression based on that. It is therefore VERY important to upload the best picture you can get of yourself. The picture must be clear, showing your head and shoulders, face on, and show you as a happy person (big smiles☺!!!!). 

Crop out any background and only you please in the photo. Unless it's a child. No sunglasses or caps. A Camp Director wants to see photos of you performing the skills for which you are applying for. 

You need to make the effort to get and upload photos that will enhance your application and not just whatever photo you have on your mobile phone or social networking site that has nothing to do with your application and skills (this includes pictures of you and your family or you on a skiing holiday).

Photos that have to be rejected for not being helpful to the application cause delay with application completion and may jeopardise the chances of getting a placement.

  

Certificates and Qualifications

The Camp Directors only want to see: Certificates and qualifications that are relevant to the skills you have listed.
As certificates and qualifications are different from country to country, you need to detail as much information about the qualification as possible. We need information such as:

  • What exactly does the qualification allow you to do?
  • What was required to obtain it?
  • Is it still valid?
  • Is this a national or local qualification?
  • Is there an equivalent qualification in the US?

The answer to all of these questions must be listed in the skills section of the application.

  

References

A reference can be only accepted if it meets all the criteria. We find that references are the number 1 factor for delaying an application from being completed. PLEASE double-check if your references meet all the criteria. Who should give the reference? We find that many of you misinterpret the requirement that a reference needs to be from somebody who has known you in professional capacity for at least 6 months. To make this clearer this means that the referee:

  • has had to have direct contact with you and was either your teacher, coach, supervisor or manager (not a co-worker!!).
  • have known you in WORKING/ACADEMIC relationship for at least 6 months. 
  • References from someone with whom you worked for only 2 - 4 months but then they continue having personal contact afterwards (no matter for how long) will not qualify because the working/academic relationship lasted less then 6 months.
  • The referee should have a company/organisation or official email not a hotmail or gmail. Just ask your interviewer or us if you are confused.

Videos

As a Kiwi (because we have the highest placement rate in the world) you MUST upload a video as part of your application form

Videos are a big drawcard to your application with Camp Directors because:

  • It allows them to see and hear your English. Yes, not all Americans know we speak English as a first language down here!
  • It gives them an idea of your personality and maturity.
  • You can use it to demonstrate your skills and sell yourself to a camp director
  • It sets you apart from the next applicant.

 

A good video should:

  • Be only 2-4 minutes long.
  • Have you speaking to show your personality (but not reading from a script or video appearing to be staged). An applicant with great personality and good attitude will have a greater chance of placement.
  • Where possible have you performing your best skill you have listed on the application form

Here's a video example

- yours should be your own creation but this shows you what can be done - Brandon was placed a day after this aired on our Facebook page. 

Hints from the one's in the know

OK -so everyone wants to be accepted right? We've put together a few TIPS and TRICKS for you!

Hints from the one’s in the know

OK -so everyone wants to be accepted right? 


We’ve put together a few TIPS and TRICKS for you…


Skills Section

This is the main section on the application and many Camp Directors browse through hundreds of applications by only looking at the availability and skills section before selecting the ones they would want to look at closely as potential candidates. You therefore must use this section to sell your skills and experience. 

It is essential to write at least a paragraph (4-5 sentences or more) about each skill go into major detail about your training, coaching experience, competitions and work experience

  • Have you done a good job describing your skills, giving examples and listing all experience?. 

For example:

Skill/Sport experience

  • How long have you participated in your skill/sport?
  • Do you have certificates in the skills you are applying for and what do these certificates mean (what would be your equivalent in the US – you should use Internet to find the relevant information or if you have no luck online contact the Auckland office and we’ll check with our US placement co-originators)
  • Have you won awards and what was involved in winning these awards?

Work Experience

  • What is/was your job?
  • Are any of the skills gained at the job transferable into the different positions you are applying for?
  • What are the roles you perform?
  • How many days a week do you work and how many hours?
  • What do you enjoy about the job?
  • Team Work - have you shown in your skills your ability to work in a team and how you would use your skill to support your team in your day to day activity.

You must avoid using “negative” words and comments when completing the skills sections. Camp Directors do not want to hear what you cannot do. 

For example an applicant writing about tennis as a skill may write: “I have played on a tennis team but never coached anybody but I am positive I can teach this skill”. 

Negative words like: never, can’t, haven’t should be avoided.  

Check with your interviewer if your high demand skills were not discussed at interview.

Work & Education history

Please make sure that you include any volunteer work (including guides/scouts/brigades) or community service in this section. It also includes working at a previous camp as all of this experience is relevant. 

Personal Statement

This is the only freestyle part of the application where you can “sell yourself” to a Camp Director by writing about what kind of person you are and why a Director should hire YOU. Don’t be shy!! You only get one shot to impress. In this section you should focus on • your personality and values – hard working, honest, responsible etc. How do your friends describe you. • What you hope to achieve in life and why you want to go to America • What would you bring to the camp staff team • Why a camp should choose you. You should not be shy about yourself as the Camp Directors do not have the opportunity to meet with you in advance and will make a decision based on what they read on your application form.


Uploads

Portrait Photo The Camp Directors always look at your portrait picture first (as a thumbnail) and make their first impression based on that. It is therefore VERY important to upload the best picture you can get of yourself. The picture must be clear, showing your head and shoulders, face on, and show you as a happy person (big smiles☺!!!!). 

Crop out any background and only you please in the photo. Unless it's a child. No sunglasses or caps. A Camp Director wants to see photos of you performing the skills for which you are applying for. 

You need to make the effort to get and upload photos that will enhance your application and not just whatever photo you have on your mobile phone or social networking site that has nothing to do with your application and skills (this includes pictures of you and your family or you on a skiing holiday).

Photos that have to be rejected for not being helpful to the application cause delay with application completion and may jeopardise the chances of getting a placement.

  

Certificates and Qualifications

The Camp Directors only want to see: Certificates and qualifications that are relevant to the skills you have listed.
As certificates and qualifications are different from country to country, you need to detail as much information about the qualification as possible. We need information such as:

  • What exactly does the qualification allow you to do?
  • What was required to obtain it?
  • Is it still valid?
  • Is this a national or local qualification?
  • Is there an equivalent qualification in the US?

The answer to all of these questions must be listed in the skills section of the application.

  

References

A reference can be only accepted if it meets all the criteria. We find that references are the number 1 factor for delaying an application from being completed. PLEASE double-check if your references meet all the criteria. Who should give the reference? We find that many of you misinterpret the requirement that a reference needs to be from somebody who has known you in professional capacity for at least 6 months. To make this clearer this means that the referee:

  • has had to have direct contact with you and was either your teacher, coach, supervisor or manager (not a co-worker!!).
  • have known you in WORKING/ACADEMIC relationship for at least 6 months. 
  • References from someone with whom you worked for only 2 - 4 months but then they continue having personal contact afterwards (no matter for how long) will not qualify because the working/academic relationship lasted less then 6 months.
  • The referee should have a company/organisation or official email not a hotmail or gmail. Just ask your interviewer or us if you are confused.

Videos

As a Kiwi (because we have the highest placement rate in the world) you MUST upload a video as part of your application form

Videos are a big drawcard to your application with Camp Directors because:

  • It allows them to see and hear your English. Yes, not all Americans know we speak English as a first language down here!
  • It gives them an idea of your personality and maturity.
  • You can use it to demonstrate your skills and sell yourself to a camp director
  • It sets you apart from the next applicant.

 

A good video should:

  • Be only 2-4 minutes long.
  • Have you speaking to show your personality (but not reading from a script or video appearing to be staged). An applicant with great personality and good attitude will have a greater chance of placement.
  • Where possible have you performing your best skill you have listed on the application form

Here's a video example

- yours should be your own creation but this shows you what can be done - Brandon was placed a day after this aired on our Facebook page. 

Hints from the one's in the know

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Camp America Blog

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