Foolproof cover letter template for your hotel job application
“Sending a cover letter is too formal and old-fashioned.”
“With dozens of people applying for every job, no one reads cover letters anymore.”
“Applicant tracking systems have made cover letters obsolete.”
Spend any amount of time checking out the Google results for ‘cover letter’ online and you’re going to find plenty of statements like these. However, while it’s true that most hospitality jobs attract dozens—if not hundreds—of candidates, and many employers have turned to ATS in an attempt to simplify the screening process—cover letters are still valuable tools. When written correctly, they can convey both professionalism and personality, make hiring managers want to take a closer look at your resume, and even perform well when passed through an applicant tracking system.
Of course, creating a properly formatted, detailed and attention grabbing cover letter will take some time. But once you understand the various pieces each one must include, the actually writing process will be easier than you think. Just follow the steps below and you’ll have a foolproof template you can then customize for any hotel job application.
The Header and Salutation
Whether you’re submitting a printed cover letter and resume or pasting your cover letter text into an email with your resume attached, you should begin it as a traditional business letter. This requires including your name, address and contact information as well as that of the recipient at the top of the document. It should look something like this:
Hiring Manager’s name
Hiring Manager’s title
Dear Hiring Manager’s Name,
Note: Whenever possible, avoid using a generic salutation such as “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madame.” Instead, take the time to find out the hiring manager’s name. This may require reviewing the hotel’s website (which you should do when customizing your resume anyway), searching for hotel executives on LinkedIn, or even calling the hotel and asking for the appropriate name.
The First Paragraph
Recruiters and hiring managers are often working to fill more than one position at a time, so your first paragraph should include the title of the job you’re applying for as well as how you heard about the opportunity. If you come recommended by someone who works for the hotel or through a professional associate of the hiring manager’s, make sure you include this information as well.
The Second Paragraph
Answer the “Why do you want to work for us?” question. Focus on the positive, such as exciting innovations at the hotel, their recent growth, company culture and other things you admire about their organization. This is a great place to work in a few details you learned while researching the hotel online.
The Third Paragraph
Now it’s time to answer the “Why should we hire you?” question. This is where you can describe how your experience and qualifications make you the ideal candidate for the job. Bullet points work well here, as does detailing your most significant accomplishments. Work in specific language—or keywords—used in the job description. Don’t just regurgitate what’s on your resume.
The Fourth Paragraph
Hotel employers are interested in more than just your technical skills, educational background and the impact you can make on their bottom line. They also want to get to know your personality and passion for the industry. Share that in the fourth paragraph, working in language from the hotel’s mission statement and description of their culture that you found when researching online.
Reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity and express your interest in scheduling an interview. Thank the hiring manager for his/her time, and if you want to follow up—which is generally advisable to do at least once—state when and how you intend to do so. Close with “Sincerely” and your name.