How to Write a Resume when Seeking a Role in Hospitality

It’s no secret that first impressions can make or break your chances of securing a job. If you are lucky, that first impression will be face-to-face, allowing you to introduce yourself and advocate your interest in a role or strengths that make you qualified. However, most often these first impressions are formed by a simple piece of paper – a resume. Management is most likely to pursue applicants who come across via their resume as professional, experienced, and enthusiastic.

What to Include on a Hospitality Resume

How does one even go about creating a resume from scratch? Keeping it concise is crucial, but remember to provide enough information for potential employers to understand your qualifications for a role.

  • Contact Information:  This one seems like a no-brainer. However, providing your full name and multiple ways for employers to contact you is the absolute first step in writing a resume. Generally, a phone number and email address are preferred. Be sure that you are using an email address that does not include any profanity or inappropriate references. If necessary, create a separate, professional email address to use specifically when applying for jobs.
  • Previous Related Experience:  Whether you have worked in hospitality in the past or are seeking your first job in the industry, noting any relevant experience will help you stand out among other applicants. If you have limited work experience or struggle to find relevant roles to include, think about the main job responsibilities of the role to which you are applying. For example, imagine you seek a job as a front desk associate but have no prior front desk experience. Necessary skills for front desk employees include customer service, communication, money-handling, etc. While a previous role as a cashier at a food stand seems unrelated, many of the same skills apply, and it is worth noting on your resume along with the overlapping skills.
  • Qualifications:  Many think of this section as a place to simply highlight education. While this is important to include (as some roles require a type of degree), it is not the only aspect of qualifications. Also, mention any additional training or certifications you have received, such as food handling classes or CPR training. Additionally, hospitality roles involve interaction with many different people, so speaking a second language can be extremely helpful. Note any languages you speak fluently to give your resume a boost.

Should you Write a Cover Letter when Applying for a Job in Hospitality?

The majority of applicants looking for work in the industry do not tend to write cover letters when applying for a job. Doing so, however, can set your candidacy apart from all the others. Cover letters allow you to personally introduce yourself and articulate your reasoning for applying to a specific role or organization. They are a great way to showcase your personality and let future employers know your dedication and enthusiasm. Even if you write just a paragraph or two, you’ve put in the effort, and employers will take note.

Common Pitfalls in Resume Writing

When crafting a resume, including the items mentioned above will get you off to a good start. However, it’s important to also remember a few key mistakes to avoid. The biggest blunder resume-writers make is neglecting to proofread their document before submitting it. Spelling and grammar mistakes, while seemingly insignificant, can signify to potential employers that you rush through tasks and make errors. They may worry this trait will carry over into the workplace. If you’re not confident in your ability to proofread, ask someone else! A family member, friend, or even a stranger at the local job placement center are all excellent options.  

In terms of formatting, keep it simple. A clean layout and easy-to-read font are crucial. If you aren’t sure what layout to use, there are plenty of free resume builders available online. These allow you to enter your information and receive a polished resume, formatted and ready to print or send electronically.

Resumes that are too long are likely to end up in a stack, never to be seen again. It is easy to want to include every detail about each role you have had, but it’s better to keep a resume concise and to the point. Only include relevant information and use bullets to outline previous job responsibilities to get the points across more concisely.

The last major pitfall applicants make is lying on their resumes. Falsifying information about your education or experience is the quickest way to ensure you won’t get the job. While not all employers verify this information, that is no risk you want to take. Be honest with your qualifications, and if there are areas in which you’d like to improve or gain skills – let the employer know! Your cover letter is the perfect way in which to do so. Employers tend to appreciate a desire for growth and give you opportunities to make it happen.

From a Resume to a Role in Hospitality

While parts of your resume may change depending on the role for which you are applying, a lot of it will remain the same. So, once you’ve polished the contents and formatting, it’s time to seek out opportunities. There are so many diverse roles in the hospitality industry, so it’s best to find a job board that provides information on all of the opportunities in your area.  

Look for ones that align with your skills and qualifications and go after them! Adjust your resume to highlight what makes you a qualified applicant and draft a cover letter to the employer showcasing your enthusiasm for the role. Putting in the extra effort guarantees that employers understand your commitment to succeeding in the position and the likelihood of them giving you the job.