Work at a Dude Ranch!

How to Get Hired

Ranch Employment Applications, Your Resume, and More...

Like everything else in the world, finding a dude ranch job has become significantly easier with the rise of the Internet. Almost every ranch has its own website with an employment section, which details their available positions and their company culture.

You can then apply directly, sometimes through an online application system, or by sending off your cover letter and resume to the specified contact. General job websites, both specializing in ranches and those with a broader scope, allow you to peruse openings from many employers at once. Some of these link back to the individual dude ranch websites, and some act as a middleman between applicants and the dude ranch employer.

The relative isolation of dude ranches often prevents face-to-face interviews, so most are done over the phone. This can be a one, two, or even three interview process depending on the ranch, and in certain cases the ranch will require an in-person meeting at some stage.

Other common requests include letters of reference and/or recommendation, a personal statement, a minimum GPA, or a recent photograph. As with all applications, one of the most important steps is simply following directions. If they don't want a resume, don't send it; if they desperately need to see your lovely face, send off a good, wholesome shot.

For the most part, ranch hiring managers put help wanted ads in print publications and online, including newspapers, Craigslist, online job boards, and universities. These are seasonal jobs, so it is no surprise that many employees come from colleges. The Internet is another major source of job leads...sites like this one and other similar dude ranch employment websites generate lots of leads. The owner or someone in charge of hiring goes through the resumes, does phone screening, and may set up in-person interviews.

It's important that the applicant gets a good picture of the ranch. The last thing a hiring manager wants is to hire someone, have him or her travel to the ranch, and then quit because it was too rustic or not what s/he pictured.

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