Make Your Resume Walk the Talk
As a job seeker, always remember that resumes that highlight action and accomplishment score over resumes that list tasks and duties. Every business exists for a reason: Profits. From an employer’s perspective, an employee is an investment. Think about when you last made an investment. What were the two things you actively sought? Likely, you looked for...
- Performance: You want your investment to outperform the market and deliver handsome returns.
- Reliability: You do extensive research, demand facts and statistical data, to make sure you don’t buy into a bunch of lies or hype.
For the prospective employer, your abilities often remain a gray area... unless your resume does a good job of selling your work-related accomplishments.
The hospitality industry is changing. Gone are the days when ‘chocolates on the pillow’ was considered ‘good service’. Guests today seek real insight into their needs. They want an exceptional, highly personalized experience. To deliver that experience 24/7/365, the industry needs exceptional people.
The average resume lists qualifications, positions held, duties and responsibilities. But hiring managers don't get excited by a bunch of job descriptions. They want to know, in clear and measurable terms, how you can benefit the organization and their team. Did you find a way to cut costs, save time, increase bookings or improve guest experience? Did you set an example for your peers?
Employers want people that take the initiative and make a difference in their own capacity. They might not expect miracles, but they do want people that surpass the norm in identifiable ways.
Consider this example from a typical resume listing only tasks and responsibilities:
Emloyment History: BlueZone Nightclub, Las Vegas
Head Bartender, 2017-Present
Handled inventory & responsible for creating special drinks
Now, let's reword the section that lists responsibilities or duties with action-phrases that highlight key, quantifiable accomplishments. So, instead of "handled inventory" and "responsiblie for creating special drinks," one might say:
- Reduced bar costs by 17-20% by effectively monitoring inventory and purchases
- Instituted a more accurate system of measuring the pour, leading to cost savings of $2500-3000 per month
- Developed many recipes for special drinks, including the signature drink BlueZone, featured in VegasNights magazine
Almost every bartender has to deal with the issues discussed above. Perhaps there are other candidates that achieved comparable or better results in a similar capacity, but the employer wouldn’t know unless they’re told about it.
You can position yourself as a go-getter by highlighting action-phrases and accomplishments in your resume. However, if your resume is a long list of duties and responsibilities, you come across as a passive worker who merely ‘does what’s asked.’ That might be the reason why your current resume isn’t getting the attention it deserves.
So forget the overused phrases. Stay clear of generic or broad phrases like ‘hard worker’ or ‘good customer service skills’. Offer specific accomplishments and skills to impress the hiring manager.
Put their Needs First
Employers don't just need positions filled; they need people who deliver results. They don’t care that you ‘handled guest complaints’ as a Front Office Manager. Instead, talk about how you were actively involved with instituting a nationwide Tracking System, which helped with identifying guest preferences in terms of amenities and service standards. If the company achieved significant revenue growth during your tenure, talk about the part you played in it.
You can make your resume more appealing by directly addressing the employer’s unique needs. Are they looking to expand with new restaurants? Are they interested in improving customer service, or are they concerned about high costs?
Identify a problem and explain how you corrected it. Try to focus on ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples’ that demonstrate your abilities and success. It doesn’t take lies or exaggeration to make a favorable impression. What employers want is someone who puts the company’s interests first.
Make Your Resume Believable
For the hiring manager, your resume is a marketing pitch. Steer clear of adjectives and superlatives. Instead, let your accomplishments do the talking. You can make your resume more credible by being objective, specific and accurate. After all, it’s not what you say that matters. It’s what they believe about you.