Job Seeker Etiquette
The life of a recruiter, particularly a hospitality recruiter can be a demanding one. The hospitality industry is notorious for high employee turnover, meaning there are always job vacancies employers need filled, and that leads to a never ending flood of job applications, resumes and job seeker inquiries.
In the hotel, hospitality and service industries, being courteous is a requirement of the job. So understanding the demands placed on a hotel hiring manager can give you a major edge in applying for your next career move.
When searching for a new job it pays to be persistent. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be polite as well. Here are a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd, by being accommodating and winning the appreciation of any potential employer.
Tip #1: Follow Instructions
This is first and foremost, follow the instructions on how to apply. Every employer has their own preference on how they accept applications. Most job postings will have these instructions outlined for you.
While most employers these days prefer you to apply online, some employers still prefer you come in and apply personally. Other employers may want you to email your resumes or apply through the career board you found their job on, while others want you to apply directly through their own website.
Also, pay special attention to how employers tell you NOT to apply. If the the job posting you’re interested in states, “Please no phone calls or emails,” you’re hurting your chances by emailing or calling in with your inquiries.
Tip #2: Format Your Resume Properly
Resumes are like legal contracts. No one reads them for leisure. The big difference between the two is the contract keeps the important stuff in the small print. Not so with the resume. Make sure all the important facts, certifications, educational facilities, past employers and timelines are featured prominently so they are the first things to pop off the page.
There are many entry level positions in a hotel that a manager may not expect a resume for. But that doesn’t mean employers don’t appreciate when you include them with your application or interview. Hotel management values not just the assets a job seeker brings to their hotel, but also the job seeker’s commitment to guest service. Taking that extra step of writing a well formatted resume can help you communicate that commitment as a prospective employee.
Your resume doesn’t need to be any longer than a single page, so be selective about the employment information you include. If you’re cramming too much information in there, things are going to get cluttered quick, making it hard to read.
If one page isn’t enough to spaciously fit all your work credentials, try including some of it in a cover letter.
Tip #3: Make the “Optional” Cover Letter a Requirement
Writing a well formatted resume is a time intensive project. Chances are you aren’t going to tailor its contents to every job for which you apply. But employers like to see you’ve done your research, that you have a specific interest their hotel, and that you have a particular set of skills that can benefit the job you are pursuing. This is where the cover letter comes in.
Outline your skills, intentions, credentials, and knowledge of the company and job your applying for in a short cover letter. This will save recruiters time, giving them a quick preview of what they’ll find in your resume.
Cover letters have the added benefit of giving you a couple extra paragraphs to brag about yourself. Keep it short and sweet. The cover letter is just a teaser. Once you’ve got them hooked you can elaborate in the resume itself.
Tip #4: Stay out of the SPAM folder
Exercise Quality over Quantity and make your applications meaningful. Too many applicants rush past this part, mass emailing employers their resumes and inquiries and submitting as many applications as possible.
Show a genuine interest in the hotel company you’re applying with and put some thought into how you describe yourself, your work experience and what you can offer the company. Employers can quickly tell how much thought you’ve put into your application. If they sense you’re just taking blind shots at every job opening in town, they’ll treat your submission the same way you do SPAM, and your application may never be seen or heard from again.
#Tip 5: Keep it Professional
Save the slang and fun abbreviations for Tweeting your friends. Use proper grammar and just as important, proofread your submissions. We all make typos, but if an employer has a hard time reading your resume, it’s pretty safe to say they’re not going to call you for clarifications, let alone a job interview.
It takes a lot of time to submit a thoughtful job application. Take a few extra minutes to read back over your applications, resumes and emails for any misspellings or missed punctuation.
And remember, spell check is your friend, but it’s not your English professor. It’s not going to catch every error. After spell check makes its corrections, take one last look at your work.
Tip #6: Notify Your References
Not only is it courteous, but it’s in your best interest to let your friends and colleagues know you’ll be using them as a reference. No one likes taking time out of their busy schedules to field unexpected phone calls.
When you notify your references that they might be getting a phone call from a prospective employer of yours they won’t be taken by surprise. Just as importantly they’ll have time to prepare some nice things to say about you.
Lastly, give them the opportunity to opt themselves out of your referral list. Some people may not feel comfortable or qualified to give an employer work related information on you. Plus, if your colleague agrees to stay on your referral list, it’s more likely they’re going to have something good to say about you.
Tip #7: Honesty is the Best Policy
The hiring process is a long and expensive one. Employers spend a lot of time and money finding the right candidates for their job vacancies. Background checks are usually the last and most expensive part of this process.
If an employer goes through the time to review your application, call you in for an interview and speak to your references just to find out you weren’t completely honest about your work experience, education or legal history, it’s going to be quite an annoyance for the hiring manager. Needless to say, you’ve not only wasted their time, you’ve wasted your own as well.
Tip #8: How to Follow Up
It’s ok to be persistent. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Just understand there’s a difference between being proactive and pestering an employer. Know that it’s normal not to hear from an employer for several days after an application. Depending on the management level, it may be even longer.
Give the hotel’s human resource department at least 3-5 days to respond to your application. If it has been longer than that and you haven’t received a response, don’t be afraid to follow up with an email or a phone call.
After the interview, it’s a nice touch to follow up with a “Thank You” email or even a hand written letter. Most hiring managers think these are a great gesture and some regularly share them with other human resource and department managers at their properties.
Thank you letters allow you to show the recruiter you appreciate their time, re-establish your interest in the job and the company, and remind them why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. Just remember, the main purpose of this letter is to thank them for their time and the opportunity.
Thank You letters don’t necessarily require a response from the interviewer, so if you don’t get a reply you shouldn’t feel discouraged. Be patient and give the employer time to make their decision. Often, new hires need approval through multiple departments. The 3-5 Day Rule applies here as well. If you haven’t heard back by then, it’s ok to be proactive and follow up to see if you’re still being considered for the job.
Job seeker etiquette is about common courtesy. Similar to the jobs you perform as a hotel employee, it’s about accommodating the needs, conveniences and comforts of others. These are just a few important examples of how to conduct yourself when searching for a job in the hotel and hospitality industry, or any industry for that matter. Following these steps, and keeping the concept of courtesy in mind throughout the application process will save the hiring manager time, money and stress. Likewise, it will help your chances of winning the job and moving into the next phase of your hospitality career.