hospitality skills for resume

April 15, 2024 •

7 min reading

11 essential hospitality skills for career success (& resume tips)

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To increase your chances of getting hired in hospitality, it's important to make sure your resume showcases the skills that are valued by both human recruiters and AI-screening bots. Make sure you highlight these 11 hospitality skills to stand out from other applicants.

AI recruitment software has many advantages for hiring managers and applicants, for example, it removes any biases or prejudices making the process much fairer. On the other hand, fancy formatting and conveying personality won't go as far. If an AI Bot is screening your CV, here's a handy list of terms they want to see and why it matters. Luckily including key terms in your resume to show off your most pertinent experience and core skills is a good idea regardless of who or what is reading it.

1. Customer service skills

The customer is key, thus no skill is more important than good customer service. Good customer service means doing whatever needs to happen to satisfy guests and meet or exceed expectations - in some cases, anticipating needs and doing extra work in advance. If you're an intuitive person or have a high standard for service, you'll naturally excel here, but the good news is customer service essentials are learned.

Tip: Highlight these on your CV, then show the interview committee your best professional etiquette.

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2. Job-specific operational skills

Highlighting your job-specific operational experience and industry knowledge is always going to help your application get noticed when applying to a specific industry job, be it bartender or casino games operator. Hotels, restaurants, casinos, and other organizations must follow local and federal regulations, and employees must often follow specific procedures to adhere to these laws. If you don't have any industry experience, try to secure an internship to bolster your CV with first-hand experience on the job.

Tip: These are typically skills you learn in the classroom and pick up in the field, and should always be highlighted prominently on your resume.


3. Adaptability

Adaptable workers know how to pivot and problem-solve, two skills that are critical in the fast-paced hospitality environment. While some individuals are naturally more easygoing than others, there is an inherent amount of flexibility or adaptability that comes with knowing the options and feeling confident in your skills. Internships and classroom learning will bolster your flexibility, as well as on-the-job experience. The most adaptable workers know how to fit into a range of jobs and are always willing to help out with whatever is needed. If you can embrace this attitude you will find a role for you wherever you go.


4. Organizational skills

Hospitality workers need to be organized because attention to detail is critical with events, bookings, and customer service. Fortunately, most workplaces have their own organizational systems, so once you learn how they handle things all you need to do is follow along.


5. Multitasking

The fast-paced nature of the profession is a draw for many who want to enter the hospitality field. No two days are alike and there's always something new to learn. To keep up, you need to be an adept multitasker who can juggle tasks while always making time for a guest's request.

Tip: Have a good example of how you've multitasked to solve a problem on hand to share during interviews.


6. Creative problem-solving

Creative problem-solving is one of the most desired skills in hospitality. The good news is, it's easy to develop on the job. Work in the hospitality environment for long enough and you will be forced to come up with a creative solution for an unexpected dilemma, whether it's how to seat last-minute extra guests who did not RSVP to an event or how to satisfy a special request from a VIP.

Tip: This is another skill you should be prepared to back up with an example.


7. Autonomy and accountability

Autonomy and accountability are more personality traits than skills, but some employers consider them soft skills. However you regard them, these traits are in demand. Autonomy means self-governance. In employment, it really means being able to manage yourself– including deadlines. Accountability means taking responsibility for your actions. With respect to jobs, this means doing what you say you will do by the deadline, taking responsibility when things do not go as planned, showing up on time for shifts, and other generally respectable behaviors.

Tip: Demonstrate the skills in your CV by showing responsibilities and leadership roles, with specific details on what you did and the impact that it had on the organization.


8. Oral and written language skills

Language skills are highly valued in many industries due to the global nature of the modern working world, particularly in hospitality, where you will be interacting with international customers. If you speak multiple languages, make sure it is highlighted on your resume.

Tip: While any language skills are appreciated, languages that are most spoken in the world may be of higher value to employers. These include Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and English.


9. Critical thinking

Critical thinking skills are the cornerstone of a liberal arts education, and they are valued highly by hospitality employers. Critical thinking includes the ability to maintain an open mind, analyze options thoroughly, make logical inferences, present written and oral explanations, and solve problems.

Tip: These skills are among the top to demonstrate on your CV because they will give employers confidence you can handle the work environment. Give specific examples of how you have applied critical thinking principles, for instance, when public speaking or evaluating data.


10. Life-long learning skills

Lifelong learning habits are important to cultivate. The hospitality industry is always changing, as new technologies are integrated. When you are a comfortable lifelong learner, you will be able to keep up with changes as the industry innovates. If you are a new college grad you may wonder how you can show your interest in lifelong learning. It's true that you're young; in this case, focus on showing your love of learning and trust that employers will infer you're up to the task of learning new things as required by the role.

Tip: If you have collected online certificates or any extra accreditations whilst working or studying, don't miss them off your resume. During the interview emphasise a desire to learn and grow in your career and ask what opportunities they offer to do this.


11. Self-awareness

With self-awareness, you'll want to show your awareness of appropriate behaviors, sound judgment, and emotional intelligence. You can list this on the soft skills section of your CV but it's during the interview where it will naturally shine.


How to improve hospitality skills

Whether you have formal hospitality training under your belt, are gearing up for a training program, or have just stumbled into the sector, there are ample opportunities to brush up on your hospitality skills.

While some individuals may have a natural aptitude for the hospitality industry, developing and honing hospitality skills is achievable for anyone through dedication, self-reflection, and consistency. In a professional setting, showcasing exceptional hospitality can be achieved by implementing these effective strategies:

  1. Analyse customer feedback: In the hospitality industry, many employers gather valuable customer feedback through surveys or suggestion cards. Take the initiative to read feedback to pinpoint areas for improvement and recognize your strengths. By leveraging feedback effectively, you can enhance your service delivery and ensure guests receive top-notch experiences.
  2. Practice a customer-oriented mindset: Before assisting a customer, it's important to empathize with their situation and consider their perspective. In the hospitality industry, you may encounter challenging interactions with customers who are rude or passive-aggressive. Maintaining a customer-oriented mindset is key to avoiding frustration and delivering exceptional service. By understanding the perspective of others, you gain insights into their behavior, enabling you to offer personalized solutions to their needs.
  3. Master daily tasks: In the fast-paced world of hospitality, juggling multiple tasks is a common challenge. To stay on top of your game, consider creating a handy checklist to keep you organized and focused. By establishing a general checklist for your daily tasks and updating it at the beginning of each shift, you can streamline your workflow and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Consistently following your checklist will help you master essential activities and make them second nature to you.
  4. Try out different roles: Assist your coworkers in various departments to expand your hospitality skills in diverse settings. Many hospitality skills can be applied to different scenarios, and pushing yourself with new responsibilities can enhance your expertise in your primary role.


How to highlight hospitality skills on your resume

Given the hospitality industry's emphasis on service and presentation, it's essential to showcase your hospitality skills throughout every step of the job application process. To effectively highlight your talents to potential employers and make your application shine, consider implementing these strategies:

On your resume

When seeking a role in the hospitality industry, your resume should showcase your proficiency in delivering exceptional customer service and thriving in a dynamic setting.

  • First;y, check the job description for the role you're applying for and be sure to include the most important skills on your resume.
  • In the experience section, outline the diverse responsibilities you undertook in each position to demonstrate your adaptability and adeptness at multitasking. Try to give examples where possible.
  • Include data on your impact in previous roles, such as customer satisfaction metrics or performance accolades, to provide tangible proof of your hospitality expertise.
  • List any relevant certifications, like food and beverage handler licenses, to further bolster your qualifications.

In your cover letter

In your cover letter, take the opportunity to delve deeper into your passion for the hospitality industry. Showcase your hospitality skills by recounting experiences where you excelled in challenging situations, whether by defusing conflicts or orchestrating intricate schedules. Share the actions you took, the impact of your efforts, and how these moments fueled your enthusiasm for a career in hospitality. Let your drive and dedication shine through as you demonstrate how your motivation fuels the growth of your hospitality skills.

Interview prep

Prior to the interview

Making a good impression in your hospitality industry job interview is crucial. Select a professional outfit, arrive early, and demonstrate your punctuality and professionalism to your potential employer.

During the interview

Remember to flash a genuine smile to convey your ability to maintain a positive attitude while engaging with guests. Be mindful of your body language, avoiding any nervous habits to demonstrate your ability to stay composed and exude grace under pressure. As the interview wraps up, express gratitude to your interviewer for their time, and consider sending a thoughtful thank-you note or email to showcase your proactive nature and determination to go the extra mile for the role.

Written by

Lecturer and International Career Coordinator at EHL Passugg

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