Getting a job in the hospitality industry is exciting, because it can take you anywhere. To land the job you want, you need to show the hiring manager why you’re qualified for the role they have advertised.
Being qualified doesn’t just come down to professional experience, however. While you should highlight previous experience when building your hospitality resume, showing off your hospitality skills can help convince hiring managers to get in touch with you.
1. Industry knowledge
Highlighting your understanding of the hospitality industry can make your application a lot more compelling, because employers will see that you know how to navigate the business effectively.
Industry knowledge is a hard skill that is gained through experience, education, or training. If you have professional experience, you can demonstrate your industry knowledge in your resume summary, like this:
“Hospitality professional with 6+ years of experience operating the front desk. Knowledgeable about best industry practices and company policies, and always seeking to improve customer experience. Trained 15+ front desk workers and provide regular training sessions to ensure high quality customer service and adoption of professional standards.”
If you are a recent graduate or don’t have much professional experience to showcase, you can focus on your relevant academic experience instead. If you have a hospitality degree, make sure to showcase it in your education section. Otherwise, target the position-specific skills you will need.
For example, if you’re applying for a job in hotel restaurant management, write a resume objective that shows off your relevant qualifications, like this:
“Food Service Management graduate with outstanding customer service skills and 2+ years experience in the fine dining industry. Excellent knowledge of cuisines and beverages, with over 200 wines memorized. Passionate about staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends. Aiming to use my industry knowledge to provide a superior customer experience to guests at the L Restaurant.”
Showing employers you have a solid foundation of industry knowledge will make you a more attractive candidate, because they won’t have to invest a lot of time and energy into training and educating you.
2. Communication skills
Communication is an essential skill in the hospitality sector. You’ll be communicating with guests, colleagues, supervisors, and service providers to make sure the business operates smoothly.
Communication hard skills, such as proficiency in second (or third) languages, should be included in your skills section. For communication soft skills, like active listening or verbal communication, present them in the context of your relevant experience to help hiring managers “see” you in action.
Here are some examples:
- Effectively use verbal and nonverbal communication cues to understand and immediately meet guest needs
- Employ de-escalation strategies to prevent conflicts and ensure customer satisfaction
- Proficient in using multiple lines to answer, screen, and redirect calls efficiently and professionally
These bullets paint a much more vivid image of your communication skills than simply labeling yourself a “good communicator”.
3. Customer service skills
No matter what hospitality position you will be applying for, customer service skills are vital.
The hospitality industry is all about ensuring the highest quality service possible to customers. Employers will therefore look for individuals with exceptional customer service skills who can help them achieve this goal.
Present your customer service skills in a way that demonstrates how you can benefit the company.
Here are some examples:
- Assisted visitors at the campus information desk, politely answering questions and providing helpful information and resources
- Operated the Science and Engineering Club booth at the university fair, promoting the club, recruiting new members, and discussing any questions with students, gaining over 30 new members and 100+ email sign-ups
- Provided exceptional customer service skills at Bellagio Cafe, serving over 150 customers each shift and receiving a 98% customer satisfaction rating
If you have some experience in the industry, you can also add some examples from previous work that showcase your customer service skills. By describing your customer service experience along with the impact it had, like in the examples above, you show employers that you’re well-equipped to enhance their customers’ experience.
4. Attention to detail
In hospitality, every detail matters. You never know what will ultimately make a customer want to return to a particular hotel or stay away forever. To succeed in this industry, you must showcase that you are detail-oriented.
One way to demonstrate your attention to detail is in how you present the resume itself. When writing your resume, make sure you:
- Choose the right resume template or format
- Proofread your resume to remove any typos or grammatical errors
- Add keywords from the job advertisement
- Use a matching cover letter template to complement your resume
To highlight your skill further, think of examples you can include in your relevant experience section.
For instance, perhaps you came up with the idea to leave a welcome note in all guests’ rooms, written in their native language. A small but special touch like this can make all guests feel welcome.
If you don’t have professional experience to work with, think of an example from your academic background, like when you meticulously edited your master’s thesis, ensuring that all of your detailed research data was flawlessly presented and accurate.
Letting employers know that you are detail-oriented reassures them that you can tend to all of the tiny details that go into making a guest’s stay memorable.
It takes a village to make the hospitality industry run smoothly. A candidate can be great on paper, have degrees from the best schools, and have top-notch skills. But if they can’t effectively collaborate with a team, they won’t last long in the industry.
You can show employers that you have excellent teamwork skills by providing specific examples, with context. Your examples could come from previous roles or from coursework you completed as part of a group.
To come up with compelling examples, answer the following questions:
- What was your role within a specific team?
- How many members did the team have?
- What positive results did your team achieve?
- What challenges did you all successfully overcome?
Provide some examples in your resume, and describe how you were instrumental in the team’s success. In hospitality, everyone has a part to play, and working together ensures the incredible experience customers take away.
Last-minute changes are a daily occurrence in hospitality. Guests can cancel at the last minute, your caterer may not deliver the meals on time, or your manager may have to make big changes to your schedule without advance notice.
Therefore, recruiters will look for individuals with a strong ability to adapt in these situations. People who are unable to make quick decisions or who cannot accommodate these rapid changes may cost the company valuable profits.
Here are a few ways to highlight your ability to adapt:
- Give examples of times when you handled rapidly changing situations with professionalism and level-headedness
- Quantify and list the positive results you delivered in moments of crisis
- Include skills that demonstrate your adaptability, such as “can make decisions under pressure”, “flexible”, or “resourceful”
- Demonstrate your commitment to learning and professional development by including any industry-specific continuing education or certification courses you’ve taken
- Showcase any experience you had in adjusting to COVID-19 regulations and protocols
In an ever-changing industry, adaptability is one of the most important soft skills you can have. Showing employers you can readily adapt to change will make them confident in your ability to be a valuable and contributing team member even in difficult circumstances.
Maintaining a high level of professionalism at all times is expected in the hospitality industry, where appearance is a vital aspect of customer experience. In all of your interactions with guests, you must be able to conduct yourself well and respond both pleasantly and politely.
While businesses can have different in-house rules when it comes to standards of professionalism, it’s still important to showcase your ability to present yourself professionally. To do so, find examples of times you have exemplified professional behavior, and include those in your work experience section.
Additionally, you can mention some key skills that demonstrate professionalism:
It’s important to demonstrate your professionalism to employers so they can be confident in your ability to represent their company and brand with high standards.
How to build the perfect hospitality resume
Now that you know what hospitality skills can set you apart from your competition, it’s time to build your resume. Online resume builders are a great place to find more inspiration and get creative with your CV.
The right format and design can complement your skills and make you more memorable to recruiters, so don’t be afraid to find a resume format that showcases your qualifications and adds a little personality.