Whether you are just starting out in the hospitality industry, or you are making a switch to hotel and/or resort focused roles, there are many paths you can take. There is incredible growth potential in the hospitality industry, even if you are starting with little to no experience. Consider the following entry-level jobs to get started in a hotel and/or resort.
Front desk agents are the first interaction guests have with the hotel, so it’s essential to be friendly, welcoming, and enjoy helping people. As a front desk agent, you will help check-in and check out guests, process payments, and special requests, while answering phone calls. Currently, during the pandemic, you may also have to inform guests of the safety precautions and learn new technology to limit guest interactions with staff.
Some skills front desk agents need to have includes:
- Problem-solving: Even the best hotels have disappointed guests from time to time. Front desk agents need to be able to think on their feet to help solve those problems as they arise or involve the proper team members to ensure guest satisfaction.
- Organization: You are going to be in charge of every check-in and check out, while also answering phone calls and handling guest special requests, such as housekeeping requests or food delivery. You need to be able to keep track of what task you’re working on while helping any guest that comes to the front desk.
- Interpersonal skills: You will be interacting with guests and other team members of all kinds of backgrounds, with who you may not always see eye to eye. It is important for front desk agents to be dependable, a good listener, have patience, and enjoy working in a team.
Housekeepers are in charge of cleaning the guest rooms and turning rooms over in order to ready them for the next guests checking in. Housekeepers are some of the staff whose jobs are the most important when protecting the guests and other staff from the pandemic, by making sure that all areas of the hotel are cleaned properly.
Some skills housekeepers need:
- Attention to detail: Nothing should escape the eye of a housekeeper while cleaning guest rooms. Housekeepers must have exceptional attention to detail to ensure the guest rooms are clean and presentable for the guest experience to start off perfectly. With added cleaning procedures now, housekeepers must also keep track of a stricter schedule and proper cleaning products.
- Flexibility: Housekeepers may have to work unusual hours or need to shift their priorities depending on guest needs. Right now, housekeepers are not expected to clean guest rooms until after the guest checks out of the hotel, which changes the normal housekeeper schedule and flow. You have to show that you can adapt to ever-changing situations and still get the job done right.
Hotel maintenance technicians oversee the property maintenance of grounds, building facilities, and guestrooms. You will be responsible for daily cleaning, upkeep, preventative maintenance, repairs, and tasks. If there is a larger maintenance need, you will communicate those to the Chief Engineer or General Manager.
Some skills to be a maintenance technician:
- Time management: Maintenance technicians can be tasked with many things during their shift that all need to be taken care of for the property to run smoothly. You need to schedule out your day and prioritize certain tasks over others but still complete everything and do it well.
- Technical knowledge: Since you will be repairing and maintaining many electrical and mechanical systems, you must have knowledge of every task you will be faced with or be a quick learner to do the job correctly.
- Communication: You will be working with the rest of the maintenance team to communicate the task to managers or other team members that need more experience or knowledge to get each task done. It is important that you are able to communicate well what technical issues are and what you need other team members to do.
Reservations agents handle all phone reservations and changes, applying the hotel’s selling strategy and your thorough understanding of the offerings and segmenting to reach the sales goal. You will communicate with the hotel’s frequent guests and VIPs, and keep track of the property offerings.
Skills reservations agents need:
- Interpersonal skills: You will be communicating with people on a daily basis to help guests find the best options for them based on their needs as well as helping the sales team reach their monthly sales goals. You must be friendly and willing to help people.
- Composure: You will be working towards a sales goal every month which can be stressful but exciting for your daily tasks. You may be handling some unhappy guests while balancing multiple reservations, so you must be able to stay calm and organized throughout your shift.
- Upselling: To be a successful reservations agent, you want to be knowledgeable in sales techniques to try to upsell as many additional services and packages as possible to increase your goal progress.
Laundry attendants are part of the housekeeping and maintenance team but have little to no interaction with guests. You will be responsible for washing, drying, folding, sorting, pressing, and mending clothes and linens. Laundry attendants need to be able to operate all laundry equipment, including washers and dryers, ironing equipment, and folders.
Skills laundry attendants need:
- Attention to detail: As a laundry attendant, you will be in charge of making sure multiple garments and linens are properly cleaned and fixed for guests and guest rooms. There can’t be any missed stains, rips, or tears to meet the property standards.
- Technical knowledge: You will need to learn and understand how to operate heavy machinery and cleaning products. A successful laundry attendant will be willing and motivated to grow their knowledge and skills throughout their career.
An entry-level position in hotels or resorts is often a person’s introduction to the workforce, with over 16.78 million people employed in the hospitality industry in 2019, according to Statista, and 1.3 million people currently employed in hotels and motels specifically in 2020.