Job Searches and Letters of Reference/Recommendation
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Searching For An Outdoor Job

Searching for a 'perfect' outdoor job? We recommend that you plan well ahead and work towards developing a diverse skill set. Most entry positions are seasonal, don't pay that well, but can be highly enjoyable and open doors to future opportunities. Plan on 'paying your dues' on your way to finding one that meets your personal or professional aspirations. Consider internships, volunteer opportunites and other positons in your community that build upon your skills and experience. Looking for a place to start? Review the following outdoor job sites:

Requesting A Reference/Letter of Recommendation

University policy REQUIRES that you consent (in writing) to the release of information of an evaluative nature regarding your performance in our program. We WILL NOT submit a letter of recommendation until you provide a signed and dated copy of the Student Consent to Release Records and Information form (pdf download).

When requesting a reference or recommendation be sure to provide:

  1. The job or position title,
  2. As much information as possible about the job or position you are seeking, so we can focus on the appropriate elements of your experience with us,
  3. For a written letter of recommendation:
    • The name and title of the person to whom we should address the letter, and
    • An addressed and stamped envelope.
  4. For an online reference, paste the link to the online site into an e-mail message and make the process as user friendly as possible.
  5. The consent to release records form.

We strongly urge you to waive your right of access to your letters of recommendation.  Unless this is done, the reference is much less credible, to the extent that it is usually not worth the effort for you, or for us.  For this reason, we usually do not agree to complete ‘open’ letters of recommendation.

Please do all of this well in advance of the date when the reference must be submitted.  It’s often impossible for us to respond quickly to requests for letters of recommendation, as it takes a good deal of time to complete a formal letter or fill out an online evaluation.  Please allow several weeks for us to respond, especially during winter and spring terms, when we often have many reference requests on our desks.

It is important to understand that we write “ruthlessly honest” letters of recommendation.  Prospective employers often ask questions about both “hard” and “soft” leadership skills, punctuality, reliability, trustworthiness, maturity, judgment, common sense, performance under stressful conditions, and professionalism.  Feel free to ask us if you are unsure how we feel about your performance in any of the above areas. 

From a professional perspective, we hope to observe a pattern of consistent improvement in knowledge, skill, decision making, and maturity.  From a personal perspective, we hope that your involvement in the OPP leaves you with great memories, enough skills and knowledge to safely enjoy many years of outdoor activity, and a lifelong appreciation of and commitment to the natural environment.

OPP - credit for adventure