How To Match Your Skills With The Employer's Requirements
Follow three steps to match your skills to an employer's needs.
By Angela Rose for Hcareers.com
While most hospitality employers have a few things in common—their bottom line depends on satisfied customers, for example—they are anything but identical. Much like snowflakes, each hotel or restaurant is at least somewhat unique and has needs that vary based on size, location, and other characteristics. Keep this in mind and it’s easy to see why cover letter and resume customization is essential to your job search. Fortunately, it’s also quite easy if you follow these steps to match your skills with the employer’s job requirements.
Include phrasing found in the introduction.
Most job postings contain an introduction that includes a brief description of the organization. Review it carefully to find phrases you can extract and use within your job application materials. For example, one recent restaurant general manager posting stated, “Are you looking to join an innovative, stable company that offers a creative and entrepreneurial work environment with opportunities for career growth and advancement?” In this case, you might want to work “innovative,” “creative,” and “entrepreneurial” into your cover letter.
Relate your background to the job position summary.
Before employers list the required skills and education required for a hospitality job, many will give a brief summary of the job position. As you succinctly outline your background within the cover letter, relate it to the needs mentioned within the employer’s summary. For example, if the job advertisement states, “Focusing on store level operation performance, coaching, and developing Shift Supervisors and other non-management associates,” you will most definitely want to expand upon your past coaching and development experiences.
Add a skills section to your resume (and if you already have one, customize it).
Almost every hospitality job posting contains a list of required skills. Pull the ones you possess and list them in the skills section at the top of your resume. This makes it easy for any hiring manager, HR professional, or applicant tracking software scanning the document to identify you as a well-qualified candidate. Mirror the words used to describe the skill as well. For example, if the employer mentions “high-touch customer service,” you may want to list it as such within your skills.
Focus on the right accomplishments.
What are the right accomplishments? Simply put, they’re those that correspond to the responsibilities the employer has described. Don’t waste valuable resume space (or the employer’s time) describing extraneous duties. For example, if a past guest service agent position included assisting in the breakfast area but the job posting doesn’t include this as a responsibility, you may want to leave it out in favor of highlighting your experience making and confirming reservations, resolving guest complaints, or another listed function.
Don’t forget your education.
While many hospitality jobs require little more than a high school diploma and a few years of experience, it’s best to include a section devoted to education within the document—particularly if the job description states specific requirements. For example, one recent kitchen supervisor job posting included “College degree or certification” and “education in culinary field/hospitality field preferred.”
When you match your abilities with the employer’s needs, you’re more likely to stand out in any pile of job applicants. Give these tips a try the next time you apply for a hospitality position on Hcareers.
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About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends, and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.
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