Give Your Hospitality Resume a Youthful Makeover
By Nimish Thakkar, Resume Writer & Career Coach
Despite the desirability of experience as a "wish list item" on any hiring manager's checklist, job seekers, especially those over forty, often fear losing out to their younger competitors. Notwithstanding protection from anti-discrimination laws, a few creative strategies can transform your resume into a powerful document that not only showcases your hard-earned experience, but also downplays the age factor ("A-Factor").
As a career coach and professional resume writer, I work with thousands of accomplished professionals and executives, some with over three decades of experience. Though not appropriate in all cases, here are some strategies I have used to de-age resumes without compromising experience:
Take years off your resume
Experience is certainly a prized positioning strategy, especially for senior-level candidates, but that doesn’t mean one should go all the way back to the 60’s. In my opinion, fifteen years of recent employment chronology is sufficient to market a professional’s background.
In unique situations where a job seeker’s background -- and the position’s requirements -- merits detailing older positions, consider creating an “additional experience” section without dates. Eliminating dates can be very useful for the education summary as well, especially if your bachelor’s degree was obtained in or prior to the 80’s.
Showcase your cutting-edge work within the hospitality industry
The hospitality industry thrives on constant “change”. Given the rapid shift in industry dynamics, it is imperative that you highlight recent contributions, especially work that may be considered groundbreaking within the industry.
I recently helped several senior-level hospitality clients with their resumes and the following excerpt will shed further insights as to how trend-setting contributions can make a dramatic impact:
“Championed successful and highly-publicized overhaul of XCYY Hotel from $XX million in annual losses to a highly profitable operation with 75% gross revenue increase within three years. Catalyzed complete overhaul and revamp of hotel operations, from tearing down and remodeling facilities (with state-of-the-art Wi Fi connectivity) to rebranding ABCM restaurant as a fine dining establishment. Oversaw execution of sophisticated CRM systems to optimize and strengthen relationships with 30,000+ guests.”
In addition to the professional chronology, an executive summary section may be the most relevant section to highlight this experience.
Staying abreast with the latest advances reflects strongly on your competitiveness and gives you additional ammunition to compete with younger candidates.
Expertise in state-of-the-art technologies can give you a solid competitive boost, especially if your profession is constantly evolving.
Emphasize your ability to connect with younger peers
Almost no executive can claim to have risen to the ranks without training Ms. Robinson, the intern, or Smith, the entry level professional and yet this information is almost never found on the resume. The ability to connect with younger professionals is an excellent indicator of a senior-level professional’s flexibility.
Add a “Professional Development” section to your resume to identify your continuing education efforts. The section can send a strong message to recruiters that you are actively upgrading your skills.
Leverage social media
Add Web 2.0 tools, such as LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, and other social networking strategies to your job search arsenal. The advent of Web 2.0 and social media has impacted the job search landscape significantly. Recruiters and hiring managers often use these tools to find and evaluate candidates and a meaningful presence on the social media circuit can be an important contributor toward your job search success.
Nimish Thakkar is a nationally-recognized resume writer and career coach. During his decade-long career, he has helped thousands of job seekers get back to work through ResumeCorner.com and SaiCareers.com, For a free resume evaluation, write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-539-7771.