Unless you’re one of the very, very, very lucky few, you will need to apply for a job at one point or another in your life.
No matter the industry, the first step to getting a job is almost always submitting an application – be it online or in person. Hospitality is no exception, so if this is your industry of choice you’ll need to understand how this process works and what you need to know in order to make your application as good as it can be. So, let’s take a look at applying for jobs in hospitality, what you need and how it all works!
What is a job application?
You might be wondering what a job application actually is – it’s a fair question.
Unlike a resume or CV, a job application is individual to the company or business that you are applying at. It will likely be online, but can sometimes be on paper for smaller businesses. The application will contain various questions about your employment history, academic achievements or qualifications (such as GCSE’s, diplomas, etc), referees and work availability. It is crucial that this information is accurate. So it helps to have it ready for any applications that you may submit.
Before you start
Before you go wildly sending your details everywhere online, take a beat to think about what you actually want to do.
There are so many different roles in hospitality and your day to day will vary depending on the venue you choose. Working in a bar will be different to a restaurant, which will differ to a cafe, which will differ to a catering or events company.
All are in hospitality, but offer different shifts, rates of pay, responsibilities and career opportunities. Making this decision will help give you some direction when searching and applying for jobs.
The next thing you’ll need to do is gather some information. The following is the most important:
Employment history (if any).
Academic achievements and qualifications.
Referees. You should always have one professional referee who is available to be contacted. This should be a previous manager, supervisor or employer who can answer questions on your previous performance. You can include a personal reference if you wish, however this is not essential.
Availability. You’ll likely be working various shifts so you need to have a good idea of what shifts you can and cannot do.
Where to start
So now that you have an idea of what to expect, you can begin to start finding jobs you want to apply for. The easiest way to start your search is online. You can try larger job sites, as they’re likely to have listings for larger chains and companies. You can also look into hospitality focused websites which will have a focus on roles in your industry of choice.
Alternatively, you can also try directly at your favourite venue. They may have flyers, advertising or you can ask directly to speak to a manager. If this is your approach, it may help to have your resume printed out to hand directly to them. Make sure if you’re handing them out, you have them in a protective sleeve and you’re looking sharp; although brief, you want to make sure you make a good impression. Alternatively, they may hand you a paper application that you can fill out on the spot.
If you’re applying online, it will be digital forms. Make sure all information that you provide is accurate and proofread everything you put into the form.
Think about your Readers
It’s really important to keep your audience in mind. Make sure you keep everything simple and informative. Be selective with the words that you choose – think words like efficient, effective and determined. You want to express things in a positive and clear way. The hiring manager will have a lot of applications to get through, so make it as easy for them as possible. At the same time, make sure you’re really making it as clear as possible! Be sure to research the business you’re applying to. Show that you share and understand the brands values so you can demonstrate that you’re a good fit.
Whilst being informative, you want to make sure you’re making yourself look as good as possible. So mention achievements, awards or anything that makes you stand out as a candidate. It’s important that they’re relevant for the role. Whilst you may have won a fishing competition, it doesn’t say much about your customer service skills.
Include a Cover Letter
A cover letter is very important when applying for jobs.
Some employers might not ask for one, but it is always handy to have one. A cover letter will accompany your resume and job application and acts as a way for you to introduce yourself and express your interest in the role. Unlike your resume, you can express yourself more freely as you are writing about your desire for the role – rather than a list of your experience and qualifications. It can help draw attention to your application and give the hiring manager an idea of who you are as a person. There are plenty of templates online should you need some inspiration, but you want to be sure to tailor it to the company, its values and the roles.