The outlook for hospitality careers is looking brighter so this is a good time to upgrade your resume. Follow these tips to put your best foot forward when applying for hospitality jobs:
Clarify Your Objective
Hospitality workers may be inclined to keep their resumes generic so they can apply for a number of positions, but that’s not an effective strategy. “The more specific the job objective, the better,” says Clare Bautista, recruiting specialist for Acrobat Outsourcing, a San Francisco-based staffing firm specializing in the hospitality industry. Bautista advises against using a vague resume objective, such as “Seeking a challenging position with room for upward mobility.” Instead, specify the desired job title so employers know exactly what you are looking to do. Here are a few examples:
Describe Your Employers
- Targeting event planning jobs in the catering industry
- Seeking a valet supervisor position with XYZ Company
- Job target: Room service server for a large hotel property
Don’t assume that hiring managers know the details of your current or past employers, even if they are well-known brands. For example, hotel workers should “include the type and size of property, number of rooms, and any designations such as a Four Diamond or Five-Star Resort,” says Donna Tucker, CPRW, secretary for the National Resume Writers’ Association and owner of resume-writing firm CareerPro Resume Center in Phoenix.
Lori Hutchinson, partner at Hutchinson Consulting, a hospitality management recruitment firm in Sonoma, California, also recommends detailing employer facts, and provides this example:
Excellence Resort & Spa is an independently owned and managed Forbes Four Star, AAA Four Diamond, Preferred Resort in Northern California. The resort employs 125 staff members and has 300 rooms and a 30,000-square-foot spa.Toot Your Horn
Profit-minded employers in the hospitality industry want to hire workers who don’t just do their jobs, but excel. “Show the recruiter or HR staffer that you can make money and save money -- no matter which hospitality area you’re in, from controller to executive chef to housekeeper,” Tucker says.
Bill Hutchinson, also a partner at Hutchinson Consulting, agrees with the importance of including contributions to the employer’s operation. “Hospitality workers should include outcomes, achievements and accomplishments, providing details that prove that they made a positive difference to their employers’ bottom line.”
If possible, quantify the results of your work so prospective employers understand the significance of your accomplishments. “Numbers speak louder than words,” Tucker says.
Show a Dedication to Service
The hospitality industry thrives on service, so hospitality workers should emphasize their commitment to customer service. “Many hospitality employers conduct customer satisfaction surveys, so record the scores in your career journal so the figures are available when you update your resume,” Tucker says. Also save guest comments and written feedback. “Adding testimonials from satisfied customers to your resume can make a big impact,” she says.
Lori Hutchinson provides this example of a resume accomplishment that emphasizes improvements in customer service:
Created and implemented comprehensive training program that helped increase guest service scores by 30 points between 2006 and 2007.
Resume Layout Counts
Your resume is often the first and only representation of you, so the resume design should look as professional as the content. “Hospitality applicants can stand out by presenting a resume that is clear and organized in structure,” Bautista says. A well-organized format includes using an easily readable font, providing plenty of white space and organizing sections logically so the reader doesn’t have to hunt for important information.
“The resume should be brief, factual and perfect in every way -- zero mistakes and formatted for easy reading,” Lori Hutchinson says.
One of Tucker’s resume clients not only landed an excellent job at a prestigious hotel, but also earned a promotion in the first year. “An aesthetically pleasing resume made a difference in getting attention during this tough economy and helped my client quickly move to a higher position,” Tucker says.
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