So you’ve decided to pursue a career in hospitality management. Congrats! Now on to more pressing questions – namely, how do you get a hospitality job? A solid resume is a start, but hospitality resumes are different than most other professional resumes, whether you’ve had experience in hospitality or not. Check out these tips to creating a great hospitality management resume below!
Emphasize Specific Skills, Experience, and Accomplishments
While the end result may seem otherwise, hospitality is a no-frills industry: credentials and degrees are nice, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that you’re able to get the job done – well. To that point, hospitality professionals want to hire people with a well-proven track record.
If you’ve worked in the industry before, that means enumerating (and then elaborating upon) specific skills, experience, and accomplishments. Because hospitality roles vary depending on the job, there’s no easy way to measure individual titles: for instance, “hotel manager” doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to one employer as it does to another; a group sales coordinator at a boutique hotel has (potentially) much different responsibilities than a group sales coordinator at a corporate hotel chain. Of course, some of this is common sense and applies to most jobs. But it’s especially germane to the hospitality industry, where jobs are highly competitive and a premium is placed on the “right fit.” It’s not enough to check all the boxes; job candidates need resumes that pop. A few points worth noting while you’re putting everything together:
- The best resumes combine efficient job descriptions with tangible metrics. Are there specific numbers you can use to highlight your accomplishments? For jobs in sales and marketing this is straightforward, but other roles are just as quantifiable. If you’re a bartender or on the kitchen staff, how many customers do you typically serve a night? What’s the monthly revenue at your restaurant or bar? Questions like these give potential employers a sense of scale and traffic. In some cases your job title or place of work might speak for itself: your brand does your work for you. But most of the time, especially early in your career, your resume will have to do the heavy-lifting. To ensure it clearly relays your best work, include numbers when possible.
- Don’t stress if you have zero experience in hospitality. Plenty of hospitality workers come from backgrounds other than hospitality; that’s no reason to send your resume to the trash bin. Again: emphasize relevant skills and experience that are applicable to hospitality. If you’re applying for a “client-facing” position – for instance, as a tour guide or event planner – highlight specific prior experience that required face-to-face interaction; even if you don’t meed the exact specs or technical needs, show that you’re qualified in other relevant areas (maybe you even bring a unique perspective to the job). In most cases, employers expect some requisite on-the-job training. Don’t let a relative inexperience keep you from chasing your ideal hospitality job. You’re not the only one.
Emphasize Intangibles and Soft Skills
Needless to say, hospitality workers should be hospitable! Easier said than done under some circumstances – demanding guests, impatient diners, et al – but hospitality workers have to be able to weather the storm. What’s true for theme park work is true for most of the hospitality industry: the show never stops. A few “soft” skills worth highlighting on your hospitality resume:
- Hospitality management prizes flexibility. Whether you work in restaurants, hotels, event planning, or elsewhere, no work day is ever the same. Sure, there are day-to-day responsibilities, but those can change on a dime: a crisis pops up, and you’ve got to able to manage it in a timely, productive manner. And flexibility applies to all aspects of the job: the ideal resume demonstrates that you have multiple transferrable skill sets, are able to multitask when necessary, and can fill in (and step up) when problems inevitably surface. Better yet, your resume emphasizes a flexible schedule: hospitality hours are different than typical 9-5 jobs, and employers will want to know that you’re willing and able to work after-hours, weekends, and some holidays.
- Communication is key. Of all those unteachable skills hospitality workers need, communication is perhaps the most important. Written communication is important for any job, but verbal skills are absolutely critical in hospitality: can you act as the go-between for hotel guests and staff? Can you direct business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing?Regardless of role or job description, every hospitality position requires excellent communication skills, and your resume needs to show competency at bare minimum – but get creative! Which leads to the next point.
- Intangibles and soft skills should be seamlessly integrates into the body of your hospitality resume. It’s one thing simply to list skills; anyone can copy and paste keywords from a job post. What’s far more effective is to integrate those skills throughout the resume. Whenever possible, double up on soft and skills in each resume point. If you’re highlighting sales numbers, highlight your skills as a leader, communicator, and team player as well. The challenge for every resume is space. Don’t waste it on a few rote lines about soft skills when you can incorporate that into the body of your resume – and be able to offer support evidence.
Hospitality Resume Templates and Examples
The internet is chock full of resources for hospitality resumes.
- LiveCareer offers professionally-written, free resume examples for several hospitality roles, including resumes for front desk clerks, guest service reps, housekeepers, room attendants, and night auditors, as well resume writing tips for hospitality professionals.
- The Balance offers over a dozen hospitality resume samples for full- and part-time roles in multiple fields: hotels and resorts, restaurants, front-of-house services, and more.
- For restaurant workers, Monster hosts an extensive resume library, with samples for both front-of-house and kitchen staff jobs.
- Finally, the folks at Damn Good live up to their brand, with damn good hospitality resumes for over a dozen roles, including casino dealers, hotel management trainees, special event coordinators, and more.