How to Write a Hospitality Resume

The art of getting your foot in the door

Your resume is a self-marketing tool you’ll use to quickly sell your skills and experiences with the targeted objective of landing a job. Every time you submit your resume to a job, you should make sure it’s been custom-crafted to speak directly to the job you want — and the person who’s going to read it.

Dig into the following resources to bring your job-getting resume to life.

Gecko Hospitality - Back to basics

Back to basics

First things first, what do you want to do with your life? Stop and think about what job(s) you want or career path you’ll pursue. Knowing where you’d like to head – even in the immediate future – will make shaping your resume easier and more natural.

Gecko Hospitality - Make that first impression count

Make that first impression count

You have about 20-30 seconds to make an impression with your resume – that’s how long hiring managers spend with each first pass of resumes.

Here are tips for making every second count:

  • Focus! Know the job description and focus every skill or responsibility on how it applies to that job.
  • Keep it brief. Stick to a one-page resume for early career jobs. Two pages for more experienced roles.
  • Proofread. Perfection in grammar, spelling and punctuation is the only acceptable standard.
  • Keep it clean. Design your own or use a resume template that’s clean, visually appealing and easy to read.
  • Use keywords. Get to the point with words that not only define your skills and experience, but stand out, too.
  • Get a second opinion. Have someone else review your resume for clarity, effectiveness and a strong proofread.

Gecko Hospitality - What resume type are you

What resume type are you?

There are two primary types of resumes – chronological and functional. Chronological resumes feature a chronological listing of your job experience (most recent goes first), while functional focuses on skills and accomplishments.

Depending on where you are in your career or where you’re headed next, you’ll want to choose the resume type that will best tell your story.

Chronological resume works best when:

  • Recent employers and/or job titles are impressive.
  • You’re staying in the same career field.
  • Job history shows progress.

Reasons you might not want to go chronological: changing career fields, noticeable job-hopping, gaps in employment.

Functional resume works best when:

  • To emphasize skills not used in recent work experience.
  • To focus on skills and accomplishments over employment history.
  • When changing careers or re-entering the job market.
  • When career growth has not been continuous and progressive.
  • When you have a variety of unrelated work experiences.

Reasons functional won’t work for you: you have little work and/or leadership experience or you want to emphasize promotions and career growth.

A third option: Combination Resume.

It puts the best parts of chronological and functional to work, using accomplishments and skills in categorical sections or a single Qualifications Summary section. It also includes a brief work history and education summary.

Combination style resumes are best for candidates changing jobs in a related career field or strategically promoting their most marketable skills.

Gecko Hospitality - Create your resume

Create your resume

Ready to get started? Open a new document and consider adding these sections:

  • Contact Info: your name, street address, phone number and email. Be sure to use a phone number and email you can answer or check on the regular, especially during the workweek.
  • Objective: Answer the question, “what do I want to do?” Tell employers what your goals are and where your career is headed. Type of position and level you’re aiming for should be included; highlight your interests, be specific and outline where you see yourself fitting into the organization.
  • Qualifications Summary: Most often used in a combination-style resume, this section condenses your background into a few targeted, keyword phrases.
  • Work Experience: Your work experience should demonstrate what you’ve done – and what you can do. Start with your most recent employer and stick to responsibilities that highlight your abilities, especially as it relates to the job you’d like to get. Omit fluff and anything that doesn’t make your case for being a great candidate.
  • Education: Have less than three years’ experience in your field or education that relates to your objective? List education before experience. Have more? Experience can go first. Start with your most recent degree or program, and list additional degrees or relevant coursework next. You’ll want to quickly answer the question, “what have I learned?” with what you feature.
  • Additional information: What else do you need to tell your story? Consider how these sections could help:
    • Professional affiliations
    • Internship experience
    • Accomplishments
    • Travel
    • Scholarships
    • Publications
    • Training
    • Technical skills
    • Leadership activities
    • Interests
    • Presentations
    • Volunteer activities
Gecko Hospitality - Learn by example

Learn by example

There’s an art and a science to creating a masterful resume. Check out these examples to get inspired:

I am writing to let you know how pleased I am to be working with Joan Koelbel from your Charlotte office. For more than a year, Joan has diligently recruited for Texas Steakhouse & Saloon. She has made a special effort to understand our company culture and refer to me only applicants that are truly compatible.

Joan has a delightful, straightforward way of dealing with people that serve your company well. I hope that you appreciate what an asset she is to you.

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