Hospitality Resumes: How to Get Yours Right Every Time
Hospitality professionals are diverse, so no two hospitality resumes look exactly the same. And it’s great to have unique experiences on your resume that help you stand out to employers. But it’s also true that there are some essential items that should be incorporated into every hospitality resume, regardless of experience level or position.
Make sure you don’t forget any of these before you submit an application!
1. Customer service or guest service experience
Your resume should indicate if you have experience working in customer service or guest service. This doesn’t need to be experience in the hospitality field; it’s okay if you’ve worked in customer service in retail or another industry. The important thing is to show that you’ve fielded requests and complaints in a professional setting. This matters even if you’re applying for a back-of-house role, because everyone who works in a hospitality venue needs to understand the central mission of the company, which is serving guests.
If you’ve never worked in a guest-facing role before, you’ll want to put extra emphasis on your people skills.
2. People skills
It should be clear from your resume that you’re comfortable working with others and participating as a team member. You can show this in many ways, depending on your particular interests and experience. You may want to mention some assignments that you worked on with colleagues, indicating the titles of some people you coordinated with. You can talk about experience leading a group or organizing a team project. You can also mention hobbies that involve spending time socially with others, or talk about experience volunteering in your community.
3. Computer proficiency
Although there are some entry-level hotel jobs that don’t require using a computer, entry-level positions at the front desk or in marketing or accounting require computer use, as do almost all jobs at the level of manager or above. So if you aim to move up the career ladder in a hotel, your resume needs to show experience with computers. At a minimum, you should highlight experience with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, or comparable programs like Google Docs and Google Sheets. Experience with presentation software such as PowerPoint is also widely expected in business and financial roles. And if you’ve used any property management software, accounting software, or publishing and design software, that should absolutely go on your resume.
A degree might not be a prerequisite for the job you’re applying for, but hospitality professionals often have earned some form of certificate or diploma—even if it was a high school diploma or GED several years ago, or an associate’s degree in a different field. Put the highest level of education you’ve achieved on your resume, whether or not it seems relevant to the job you want. If you’ve earned multiple post-high school credentials, include them all. A missing or incomplete Education section on your resume will likely prompt the interviewer to ask you to clarify, so be sure to provide this information.
5. Communication skills
Verbal communication is a key part of virtually every hospitality position, and many jobs also require written communication and record-keeping. Your resume should detail the types of communication you have experience with, such as writing emails, speaking publicly or in front of a small group, speaking with a manager or mentor, teaching someone a skill, or staffing an information booth. Try to include both examples of times you did most of the talking and examples of times you were an active listener.
Also, check that your resume itself is an example of clear communication. Ask a couple friends to read it over and tell you if anything is hard to understand. Then, reword any sections that were confusing.
6. Keywords for the job you’re applying for
Finally, your resume should include keywords from the job description of the position you want. For example, if you’re applying for a general manager role and the description talks about mentorship responsibilities, leadership potential, and experience with financial analysis, you should check that each of those phrases appears somewhere in your resume. It’s okay if you need to tweak a keyword a little bit, like replacing “financial analysis” with “financial forecasting,” but you want to address most of the main points with similar language. The goal is for a hiring manager who skims through your resume to pick up on those keywords and realize that you’re a good fit for the role.