The hospitality industry can be an exciting field in which to work, with opportunities in various positions at countless locales all over the world. To be considered for the top jobs, though, both industry knowledge and career experience is essential. This article highlights some of the ways to point your career path in the right direction and position yourself for the best possible hospitality job.
While exact requirements will vary by position, high-end jobs generally require higher education and some years of related experience. For example, hotel property general managers tend to be chosen from those with management education, such as an MBA, and several years of experience in the hospitality industry. Some universities offer online certificate programs, as well, which can be an excellent way to boost the credentials on your resume, allowing you to stand out from the competition.
For employees interested in gaining hospitality experience at earlier career stages, there are jobs available that do not require a degree. These jobs help provide the vital experience needed to move into managerial positions at later points in a career. To advance to higher positions, particularly to those positions that include six-figure salaries, education is critical.
Networking is important in any job as a means to be considered for more interviews and to advance from those roles into higher positions. In the hospitality field, the ability to network is even more important, as it is an industry built on interpersonal skills and communication. Providing excellent service requires a friendly disposition and the ability to work well with others.
Be sure to use all available resources when seeking work in the field. Many hospitality jobs today are acquired through networking, whether in person or online. Keep an active, updated presence on social media websites like LinkedIn and take advantage of opportunities to connect with others whenever they present themselves.
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With any resume, there are obvious things that should always demand attention, such as checking for correct spelling, a focused objective statement and a layout that allows for clear scanning by recruiters. Beyond this, be sure to note details when describing your work experience. For example, how big were the properties for which you worked and how many rooms did they have? How many guests did the location serve from month to month? Has the property received any notable designations, such as a four or five-star rating? These details help potential employers gain a better understanding of your experience and the types of environments in which you might excel.
In the hospitality industry, you want to show a continued dedication to serving others. As noted in the previous section, hospitality is a service industry. While some positions may have more guest contact than others, all positions deal with providing the best possible service to the guests who choose your establishment. Any experience in customer service or in positions where you worked directly with others should be emphasized. Naturally, if your prior performance received complimentary reviews, such as through a guest satisfaction survey, this should be included as well.
Once called in for an interview, it is time to really focus. While you may be nervous, it is very important to try and relax. Hospitality is an industry where duties may change at a moment’s notice and it is important to be able to remain calm and positive under stressful circumstances. Remember, in this industry it is often the ability to keep a smile on your face that distinguishes excellent service providers.
It is also very important to research the organization before your interview. You should be able to convey that you are familiar with the company, that you understand the type of service it provides and that you are interested in working specifically for them. In large properties, your research should include the types of positions available. Does this property staff a concierge, for example, and what might this worker’s responsibilities include?
Finally, be sure to enter the interview with examples of past experiences in mind. Have you ever had to deal with difficult guests and, if so, what did you do to provide positive service to resolve the issue? Have you ever worked in a position where you had to handle a large volume of guests at once? How did you remain calm and ensure that all issues were addressed? While you may not be asked questions like these, it is important for any aspiring manager to understand how to quickly react in varied customer service situations.