March 4th 2020
How to make your hospitality job stand out on your CV.
by Andrew Fennell Career Advice, Hospitality
StandOut CV writes for Off to Work about how to use your hospitality experience to enhance your CV.
A job in a restaurant, hotel, or bar is one of the best ways to earn flexibly while you’re studying or building your career. When it comes to applying for other roles though, those hospitality jobs can feel irrelevant or distracting. Trust us - they’re not.
Before you leave bar and restaurant jobs off your CV entirely, remember that they look a lot better than gaps in your employment history. The experience you gained pulling pints or waiting on tables can actually be really valuable. It’s how you present it and explain it that matters.
Every job helps you acquire important skills. ‘Soft skills’ are skills you pick up in any role, whatever the remit or specialism, that can be applied to other roles. Hospitality jobs require fast thinking, customer service ability, problem-solving, flexibility, and so much more. They’re major assets wherever you’re going next.
Re-read the job description and highlight exactly what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Then revisit your previous job history and pinpoint similar and relevant transferable skills you’ve picked up in your own employment history.
Stuck on soft skills? These are common in hospitality:
Recruiters have read a lot of clichés in their time, from ‘works well in a team’ to ‘goes above and beyond’. Instead of just stating who you are and what you do, prove your skills with real examples, achievements, and performance results.
Try to use numbers and percentages if you can, as a busy recruiter will find it easier to understand the scale of your impact and experience.
Ask yourself how many people you’ve managed, how many customers you greet/serve every day, how many sales you bring in at the bar, how many people you’ve trained, how many hotel rooms you’ve overseen, and anything else concrete and provable.
CV structure is just as important as content. Start with a profile that sells you as a candidate. This should cover the types of hospitality areas you’ve worked in, any qualifications, technical skills, and the level of your experience. Follow your profile with a list of your core skills - this is a great place to mention your transferable skills.
Some basic CV structure tips:
Your previous roles should be listed from most recent to least recent. Break your role descriptions down into three distinct sections - an outline of your remit, key responsibilities, and any big achievements.
Whatever kind of job history you have on your CV, all experience adds up. No one else has exactly the same CV as you do. When you’re applying for your next role, don’t hide your hospitality work away like it’s an embarrassment. It’s actually a brilliant asset, to make sure you take the chance to demonstrate how it’s made you even more hireable!
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.
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