The best managers are friendly and enthusiastic. They know how to listen and respond in a way that makes others feel understood—and they always strive to deliver the best service possible to both customers and employees. If this sounds like you, then a restaurant or hotel management career could be in your future.
However, you’ll never get a face to face meeting with an employer if you submit a less than perfect resume. Before you apply for your next job position, consider the following common mistakes that leave a less than dazzling impression on most hiring managers.
1. GOING OVER HIS OR HER HEAD.
Unless your goal is to appear disrespectful, never send your resume to anyone but the person listed in the job posting—even if you happen to acquire the email address of the hotel or restaurant owner or general manager. Doing otherwise indicates you’re a) unable to follow directions and b) eager to break the chain of command—both characteristics that are not regarded highly in hospitality or any other industry.
2. EXPECTING A REFERRAL TO GET YOU THE JOB.
Most employers like to receive job applicant referrals from their employees. Not only do referred candidates tend to be a better cultural fit, studies have shown they are also likely to stay with the organization longer. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or family member who works at the hotel or restaurant you are interested in, that’s great. However, don’t rely on that association to land the position. Submit a resume like everyone else through the normal process and prove you’re not looking for favors.
3. IGNORING QUANTIFIABLE DATA.
Hotel and restaurant managers—whether they work in the dining room, kitchen, front desk, or housekeeping—play a big part in increasing company profits and minimizing losses. If you submit a resume that does not contain concrete examples of how you’ve done this for other employers in the past, the hiring manager may form the opinion that you don’t have what it takes to make a difference. Remember, statements that contain quantifiable data (such as “reduced food waste by 25 percent”) are more impressive than those that do not (“responsible for reducing food waste”).
4. APPLYING FOR A JOB WITH ZERO EXPERIENCE.
Maybe you spent the past decade working for a food and beverage distributor. Now you’re applying for a position as bar manager. You might believe you have the skills necessary to pull off the job—and maybe you do—but submitting a resume without additional explanation will only come across as delusional. While it is possible to transition into hospitality from other industries, you’re going to need to explain how your experience will benefit the employer. Fortunately, you can use your cover letter to do so.
5. USING A “FUNCTIONAL” RESUME FORMAT.
A functional resume highlights skills rather than job history. While this may make it seem like the perfect format to use if you’re changing industries (as in the example above) or returning to work after some time away, most hiring managers don’t view this type of resume favorably. Far too many job applicants have used it as a way to mask unemployment, frequent job changes and other red flags. Regardless of your situation, stick with a chronological format and use your cover letter to address any issues. You’ll appear truthful and straightforward rather than sneaky.