Did 2007 leave you thinking your job search was stale? The new year is an opportunity to present yourself in a different light and kick-start a new and improved job search, with success in your sights, using New Year’s resolutions you’re bound to keep.
In 2008, resolve to…
#1 Rewrite your resume.
If the “patter” you’re using to get an interview isn’t working, it’s time to ruthlessly change it, says Peter Shrive, a partner with Cambridge Management Planning. “Don’t be afraid to rip your resume to shreds and take a totally different approach to your document,” he advises. “There are thousands of ways to tell your story.”
Talk to an expert in your field about the rewrite, such as the manager of the hotel where you’ve worked, a former foodservice manager or maitre ‘d, the restaurant kitchen manager in your last job. Their advice will help you tailor your resume to the types of positions you’re seeking and help you focus on your important skills and experience.
#2 Document your success.
Rewriting your resume is step one in revamping your image, but you must also make sure your successes reflect the reality today. Take the time to quantify your achievements with statistics and examples that show you’re keeping up with the hospitality industry. For instance, if you are a server, make notes on how many diners you’ve served each day, your biggest sale of the day, the number of tables you’ve worked. Once the time comes for a hospitality job interview, you’ll be able to support your successes with real, current numbers.
#3 Become a hospitality trend watcher.
It’s time to broaden your expertise and look outside your own backyard. In the hospitality industry, you’re called upon to know a little bit about a lot of different fields without even realizing you’ve gained this knowledge. You’re capable of changing rapidly to keep up with the always-evolving hospitality industry, so put that knowledge to work when you apply for new jobs. Prospective employers are looking for employees with a broad base of knowledge. Let them know you have a finger on the pulse. If your only experience has been within a particular hospitality sector, resolve to learn more about other aspects of the industry.
#4 Fish where the fish are.
If you’re applying for particular types of hospitality jobs but getting nowhere, it might be time to broaden your search by targeting other opportunities where the jobs are, says Shrive. For instance, if you’ve been focusing your energies on a foodservice job in a hotel, perhaps you should consider talking to an independent restaurant or a country club. Use your skills, but refocus them for different hospitality jobs.
#5 Open the door wider.
Change the way you think about your experience. Says Shrive, “If you think you’re a competent server, what you really are is a competent customer service expert. The experience in customer service could see you working in different environments.” Once a server, always a server need not be the way you present yourself to prospective employers, as long as you’re open to changing the way you view your skills set.
By the same token, if you’re coming to the hospitality industry from other service sectors, so far without success, take the time to examine your skills and abilities. Success in customer service in one industry will likely translate to another customer service industry like hospitality. The crossover, for instance from retail to restaurant, is not as big a leap as you might think.
#6 Nurture your network.
Roberta K. Nedry, president of Hospitality Excellence, Inc., is a firm believer in the power of the open mind. “Nurture your network, both personal and professional,” she advises. “You never know where your next lead, idea or new opportunity may come from.” It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that good ideas come only from people in your particular hospitality field. Great leads are everywhere, so make sure to put yourself in a position to receive them.
#7 Keep good relationship records; stay in touch, at least once a year.
You never know who will be able help with your job search. Says Nedry, “I am still in touch with my high school French teacher (he’s in his 80s now), my first boss, some of my first clients, co-workers from over 20 years ago, high school chums, interns and more. Everyone turns into someone, and those someones can provide satisfying personal and professional relationships, even several years later. Sometimes I don’t hear from people I stay in touch with each year for years ….and then all of a sudden….WHAM…good things happen!”
Staying in touch keeps you plugged in with the world around you and helps prepare you for your next big opportunity. Good friendships always mean good business.
#8 Remember the golden rule.
The golden rule may sound like an old-fashioned virtue, but it remains contemporary. Treating others as you would like to be treated works with everyone. As Nedry advises, ” Rewards here yield the triple win: the organization wins, the guest/employee wins, and YOU win…good karma everywhere!”
What better way to start a new year?
Copyright 2008 by Hcareers
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