3 ways to prove you want that hospitality job without looking desperate
“Hey, pick me! Pick me!” they shouted, jumping up and down while waving their hands frantically.
It’s a common scene in any school yard—and not so different from the actions of many job seekers who, in their efforts to convince recruiters and hiring managers that they’re enthusiastic, gutsy go-getters, resort to outrageous attention-seeking behaviors. Don’t think you’re among them? If you’ve ever emailed a potential employer more than once to follow up on an application, showed up at HR without an appointment, left numerous voicemail messages after an interview, or promised profusely that you could do the job “if given a chance,” then you’re wrong.
Fortunately, you don’t have to repeat these mistakes. It’s actually possible to prove you want that dream hotel or restaurant job without coming across as desperate. These suggestions will help you quietly yet convincingly confirm your ambitions—no pleading required.
1. Arrange a referral or recommendation
According to recent data from Jobvite, a recruiting platform company, employee referral programs generate nearly 40 percent of all hires across industries. Additionally, employees hired through referral receive job offers in less time than those found through other sources. The time from application to hire is 55 percent shorter in the case of referred or recommended candidates.
If you already have a relationship with someone who works for your target hotel, resort or restaurant, you can ask them to put you in touch with the hiring manager or to forward your resume to the appropriate department with a word of introduction. If you don’t yet have an appropriate contact, you’ll need to step up your networking game. Use social media to interact with others in hospitality and make time to attend local industry events.
2. Customize and personalize your cover letter and resume
Submitting generic application materials is a surefire way to come across as desperate. Hospitality employers don’t want to hire candidates who want to work for anyone—and are, therefore, sending out so many resumes they don’t have time to customize them. No, they want to hire the commis chef, front office manager, concierge or assistant restaurant manager who knows their company—it’s challenges, needs and future goals.
Putting in the time necessary to show you have this knowledge is one of the best steps you can take to prove you want the job. Use what you learn on the establishment’s website, through other news sources and in the job description to create a cover letter and resume that speak directly to this particular hotel or restaurant. Score extra points by ferreting out the hiring manager’s name so you can properly address your cover letter and any email you send as well.
3. Always send a thank you note
An interview is a little like a first date—but instead of opening his or her wallet to buy you dinner, the hiring manager has paid for your attention with an hour of valuable time. In either case, a failure to express genuine thanks is fairly certain to derail any chances of future interaction.
Because handwritten thank you notes have become rather rare, sending one can show you really want the job. However, even more important than form is expediency. Getting the thank you to the interviewer as quickly as possible is an appropriate way to express enthusiasm—and email is definitely faster than snail mail. Just remember: content is king. Don’t just rehash your qualifications. Instead, link them to current challenges discussed at the interview to make a more impactful impression.