How To Get Hired In Hospitality Table Of Contents Introduction Why Is Breaking In So Difficult? What To Do Before Applying To Any Hospitality Job Drafting Your Resume And Applying Interviewing For The Job Conclusion Introduction 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 customers. 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 problem. 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. Conclusion 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 another. 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. _______________________________ Visit RobertReitknecht.com for more info about entering the hospitality industry.