How to address employer concerns.
By Angela Rose for Hcareers.com
Would you like to stand out as the best candidate the next time you apply for a hotel or restaurant job? If so, consider these five common employer concerns. Address most of them in your cover letter and resume and you’ll be that much closer to achieving your goal.
1. How much training will you require?
Hospitality job postings on every continent—and for every role from front desk agent to restaurant manager—generally include lists of required and preferred skills. Choose a few of the most important and work them into your cover letter. Then note them all within the skills section of your resume. If you currently lack one of the requirements, don’t try to hide this fact. Instead, describe the actions you’re taking to acquire this skill on your own. For example, if you’re a UK-based hospitality professional with management aspirations, you could join the Institute of Hospitality and take continuing professional development courses.
2. How well can you perform the job?
A resume that lists the responsibilities you’ve held in previous hospitality positions actually reveals little about how well this employer can expect you to perform the tasks at hand. Whether you’re applying for a sous chef job in the U.S. or a director of marketing role in Canada, replace your “responsible for” statements with fact-based accomplishments. Use numbers to quantify your experience whenever possible. For example, instead of, “Responsible for implementing sales action plans,” you might state, “Implemented sales action plans that increased hotel reservations by 30 percent.” Challenge-Action-Result statements also work quite well to help alleviate job performance concerns.
3. Are you going to stay with the job for long?
Hiring new employees is an expensive process. Hotel and restaurant managers spend valuable time searching for and interviewing candidates. They may invest in pre-employment screening services for drug tests and criminal history reports. And once someone is hired, they have to provide orientation and training. It’s easy to understand why they don’t want to waste resources on a candidate who doesn’t plan to stick around. For this reason, interviews often include the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Frame your response carefully, keeping it fairly general while stressing your desire for a long-term career with this particular establishment.
4. Are you a good fit for the establishment’s culture?
Skills and experience aren’t the only factors that influence your success within a given hospitality job. You might be the best room attendant in the world, but if your personality doesn’t mesh with that of the other members of the department, it’s unlikely you’ll do well in the job. For example, lone wolves generally don’t work well on close-knit teams. And professionals who expect lots of feedback may not thrive in environments where independent thought is the norm. Look for details about the hotel or restaurant’s culture within the job posting and on the establishment’s website. Use phrases and statements within your cover letter and resume that show you’ll be a good fit.
5. Are your salary demands outside their budget?
Even in the most lucrative industries, hiring managers are slaves to the budget. At some point during the hiring process, the employer may ask you, “What are your salary expectations?” If you’re significantly outside the employer's price range, there is little reason to continue pursuing you. Of course, you don’t have to give a concrete number in response to this question. Consider it merely a stepping off point for future negotiations and reiterate your salary history. It’s unlikely you’ll want to work for less than your wages at your previous hospitality job so that’s usually a good place to start.
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About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends, and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.
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