You just got a degree from a prestigious hospitality school or university, and you’re ready to leap into the job market and launch your hospitality career. But before you leap, look in the mirror and evaluate what you can truly bring to a job in this industry.
Are you a customer service, public relations or people skills kind of person? If so, you should pursue jobs that have lots of guest interaction. If, on the other hand, you’re a numbers-and-charts person, you should apply for a business/office post. If you fancy yourself a chef who has demonstrated culinary prowess, you belong in a kitchen and not at a desk.
It’s important to hone your resume to the job and career direction you want to pursue. If you prefer the business end of hospitality, all your experience, school projects and extra curricular activities should be focused in that direction and be plainly visible on your resume. Culinary resumes should reveal and sell your expertise in the kitchen, listing any awards, achievements and acknowledgements you earned while in school. Letters of recommendation come in handy here.
You should also look into hotels and hospitality organizations that offer a steady career path in your chosen subfield. Some hotels offer excellent apprenticeships for business managers; others are superb training grounds for chefs. Still others are in the midst of expansion—either stateside or overseas—and offer ideal opportunities for those interested in working and moving up in far-flung exotic locales.
The same rules apply to your cover letter. Focus and hone until it appears that all your life’s education and experience have thus far been devoted to hotel management, culinary arts, or foreign hospitality. If you’re interested in working overseas, it doesn’t hurt to have taken several foreign languages in college, or to have successfully passed a number of online or DVD courses in say, French, Italian, Chinese or Japanese.
For an added perspective, check out this video:
Got any tips or advice on getting that first hospitality job? Include your comments section below.
Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Please see more of his blogs and view additional job postings on Nexxt.