Mobilization and Events

Interview Tips with Patrick Boas: How to Land a Job in the Outdoor Industry

loPatrick Boas is the Director of Operations at Wilderness Adventure @ Eagle Landing Outdoor Retreat Center (WAEL). He hires for both full-time positions and summer backpacking guide positions. I sat down with him and asked for some tips on how to land a job in the Outdoor Industry, this is what he had to say:

Tip #1
Start applying early! It takes a lot of time to read through applications, do background checks, and contact referrals. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead. “The initiative goes a long way, and chances are we started the hiring process before you filled out an application, the sooner you get your name in, the better.”

Tip #2
“First and foremost from an employer in the outdoor industries perspective, how do you like working with people?” Good personal skills go a long way in this industry, and the ability to communicate with people can outweigh technical knowledge. “I can teach you the hard skills.”

Tip #3
Be excited about the job. Research the company a bit. “I love to hear “while I was looking at your website…” Show that you have a genuine interest in what you are applying for, show that you’d be excited to contribute. “We are always looking for people with a positive mindset that take actual interest in what we are doing.”

Tip #4
“Sell yourself and the experiences you’ve had.” The experience doesn’t necessarily have to be in the outdoor field. Everyone should be able to relate stories about working with people, facing a problem, or achieving something through hard work. “Show that you have a strong work ethic and would do what it takes to get the job done.”

Tip #5
Maybe the most important, “have a love and appreciation for the outdoors.” It may seem obvious since you are applying for an outdoor related job, but some times people apply for a job simply because it’s out there. “Through your experiences, personality, and interest; the more you can relate your love for the outdoors, the better candidate you become.”

Although their are many more, these are the big things Patrick, and other outdoor employers, are looking for. Patrick also suggests, “timely follow-up calls, certifications, and to think of interviews as conversations between two outdoor enthusiasts. Stay positive and pro-active, I got my summer position at WAEL after college in 2005, and now I’m the Director of Operations. You never know where a summer position can lead you.”