How To Get Hired In Hospitality

How To Get Hired In
Table Of Contents
Why Is Breaking In So Difficult?
What To Do Before Applying To Any
Hospitality Job
Drafting Your Resume And Applying
Interviewing For The Job
In the time I've spent studying customer loyalty in the hospitality
industry, I've often been approached by those looking to “break
in.” It's such a common question that I decided to put together
this eBook on it. In here, I'll discuss how hiring in the hospitality
industry is different from other jobs you may have interviewed
for, what a hospitality manager is looking for in a candidate,
common mistakes made by those trying to break in, and what to
expect from the interview process. By the end, you'll be
equipped with what you need to know to start in hospitality and
customer service.
Why Is Breaking In Such A Task?
Getting your foot in the door in the hospitality industry is more
difficult than even well-prepared graduates may think, and part
of breaking in is understanding why. It's not a question of
whether you can perform the tasks required, but rather how you
perform them.
Any business in hospitality relies on maintaining a positive
reputation, and that reputation is earned or lost through the
employees they hire. Hospitality employees are expected by
customers to be knowledgeable and efficient, and to treat
customers with the respect and courtesy they feel they deserve.
The only way to build customer loyalty is to hire employees who
treat customers respectfully, and that can be difficult to gauge
from a resume and an interview.
A hospitality job, in other words, isn't about being able to use a
computer system or make a phone call. It's about knowing how
to treat each guest in a way that makes them want to come
back, even if they come to you with a serious problem.
A hospitality job is about knowing how to treat
each guest.
What To Do Before Applying To Any Hospitality Job
Know What Each Company Does
Before applying to any company, you should do some research
first. You don't need to assemble a large file on each company,
but familiarize yourself with the basics of each company you're
planning to apply to.
Understand How They Do It
Applying for a role in a hospitality business geared for business
travelers is different from the same role in a business that caters
primarily to tourists. Read a few reviews posted by customers to
get a sense of why their loyal customers became loyal
Grasp Why They Do It
Read the company's mission statement. Why do they do what
they do? How can you help them achieve it? Keep this in mind as
you apply for a role there.
Drafting Your Hospitality Resume And Applying
For The Job
Any job application begins with the resume, and being hired in
the hospitality industry depends on filing a good one.
Follow The Rules Of Writing A Good Resume
- Keep your resume concise, preferably to one page.
- Focus your resume on your skills and accomplishments. Don't
explain what you did at your previous role; explain what you
achieved while you were there, and the skills you used or built to
achieve them.
- Editing and formatting are important. Have a few friends read
your resume and ensure it's clear and easy to read.
Drafting Your Hospitality Resume And Applying
For The Job
A Word On Typos
Hospitality is detail-oriented. Often an unspoken aspect of any
hospitality job is getting every detail right the first time. As a
result, typos will be particularly glaring on your resume, and in
some cases will have you rejected out of hand. Screen your
resume carefully before sending it in.
Interviewing For A Hospitality Job
If you've drafted your resume well, you'll likely get an offer to
interview for the role. I’ve seen many applicants assume the job
is practically theirs on the offer of an interview, only to walk out
surprised they didn't get it. Remember, hospitality is
competitive, so focus on these points in the interview.
Refresh Your Research And Go Deeper
In an interview, you need to show enthusiasm for both the role
and the company. Read a bit more about the company, and learn
what you can before you go to the interview.
Dress For The Role You Want To Have
I don't recommend showing up in a carbon copy of the uniform
you're expected to wear, but I'm always surprised to hear about
interviews where candidates were under-dressed or
overdressed. In the hospitality industry, take your cues from the
staff. Dress how they would, but slightly dressier, as if you were
personally caring for the needs of a VIP or the CEO of the
company. The right clothes make an impression for you from the
moment you step inside the office and take a seat.
Interviewing For A Hospitality Job
Remember That An Interview Is Not One-Sided
I've found that in hospitality, an interview is often as much about
ensuring the company is a good fit for you as that you're a good
fit for the company. Ask questions throughout the interview, and
show some enthusiasm. If you really want to work at a company,
it'll show. Couch your questions in ways that position you in the
role. For example, you'd ask them how you could help, what you
can do. Hiring managers always tell me they want to see
enthusiasm, and showing that you're already considering the
role yours is a good way to show what they're looking for.
Ask Smart Questions
Ask your hiring manager about the job, about the brand, and
about the challenges you might find yourself facing in the role.
Be detailed about your questions. Don't ask about things you can
learn by browsing a website, ask about information that your
hiring manager is in a position to know about. Show that you've
taken the time to study the company and get a sense of its
culture and where it fits in the hospitality industry.
Interviewing For A Hospitality Job
Offer Concrete Answers
Just like you wouldn't be vague at your current job answering a
question, be concrete in an interview. Talk about strategies you'd
use, and why you'd use them when solving problems. You make
a better impression the more specific and thoughtful you are in
your answers.
Follow Up On Your Questions
When you get an answer to your question, think for a moment
about follow-up questions you might ask. For example, you may
ask the manager if there's room for improvement in the position,
and then ask them how you can help.
Talk About Challenges You Faced And How You Solved Them
At any job, something will inevitably go wrong for reasons out of
your control. It's happened to me, and it's likely happened to
you. But these challenges are learning opportunities, and lessons
we can take useful ideas from. Emphasize in these stories how
you used the same skills you'd use in hospitality to solve this
Interviewing For A Hospitality Job
End On A Positive Note
When you wrap up the interview, always take a moment to thank
who you're speaking with for their time. Be sure to follow up in a
day or two with a thank-you note, as well. Service starts with
those you work with, after all, and again, attention to detail
helps you stand out as somebody who needs to be hired.
There's only so much you can do, as a prospective employee, to
get your foot in the door. And I'll be the first to tell you that
you're probably not going to break in on the first interview.
Another candidate may do better, or have more experience, or
have family connections they can use. It happens all the time,
and will likely happen to you.
The key is to keep trying. Someone else getting the job doesn't
mean the company thinks you're bad, just that they found a
better fit. Keep redrafting your resume, applying to jobs, and
following up on tips that someone might be hiring. Above all,
keep a focus on making a positive impression, no matter where
you go. I've found that hospitality managers will contact previous
candidates to come back in for an interview when they've made
a good impression, or recommend a good interview that wasn't
necessarily the right fit for that company, but might be ideal for
If you put in the effort, and are willing to work hard and focus on
details, you can start your hospitality career. Apply what you've
learned here, and you'll have your foot in the door before you
know it.
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entering the hospitality industry.

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