From the view of the casual observer, restaurant and hospitality management careers are pretty much organized in advanced and handed to you on a pre-fabricated career map – it seems like wherever you end up, you know you will spend a good part of your life working in a hospitality environment. But professionals understand the weaknesses in that statement. They know about the many variables of the restaurant and hospitality careers industry. They know the restaurant/hospitality industry can be a truly unique and fun workplace, and diverse in the scope of responsibilities that one can attain. As well as being a source for a very respectful income. They know how many vocational choices there are in their business. They know that some of the highest paid people in the US work in their industry. And they know that restaurant and hospitality workplace environments vary dramatically from concept to concept, as do management methods, styles, and titles. A traditional Steakhouse restaurant is very different, as compared to a “Dairy Queen” type quick-serve-ice cream stand, in the way they operate and number of managers required to deal with their respective sales volumes – though both establishments are considered to be restaurants. Same for comparing a Biltmore hotel to a Motel 6 – yet both are lodging environments.
Let’s continue reviewing career management choices in this industry – how about the experience at a large university or corporate cafeteria or catering department, or maybe as food buyer for a regional restaurant chain, or as Front-of-House or Back-of-House manager at a local fine-dining bistro, or as manager of several food concession trucks that support large construction sites and factories, or even managing a simple shopping mall style kiosk food stand; not to mention other non-food restaurant jobs, like regional and national level real estate and marketing titles, related accounting and finance positions, administration, merchandising, health and safety, human resources, etc. It’s obvious there are many career options in the hospitality/restaurant industry. Each person will know, in their own mind, which, if any, restaurant or hospitality career appeals to them. The ideas presented in this article will help guide you to consider a career strategy specifically designed to put you in the Restaurant/Hospitality career situation you seek, or improve the one you are in now.
There are 5 key influences that affect hiring managers and job supervisors when they consider someone for employment. These 5 key influences are so strong, whether in the boardroom or regional market area or at a local facility, if the ‘5 key influences’ are in order, the job candidate will usually move forward in the hiring process and find career advancement. If they are not in order, it usually ends the candidate’s chances of getting hired and slows a career. So having these 5 key influences well organized and focused on the type of job you are pursuing – or advancement you seek – you improve your chances to get hired into, or advance into, the sort of restaurant/hospitality job you prefer.
Those 5 key areas include:
Research your prospective employers prior to contacting them about a job. Ask pertinent questions relating to the company and the specific job you seek. If possible, speak with some people already employed in the position you seek. Know what skills they seek from the person they will hire for the job you want. Use the answers to your questions to customize your career documents and resumes to match the needs of your prospective employers.
Your career documents include copies of your school diplomas or training certificates, letters of recommendation and professional references, membership verifications to industry or vocational associations, maybe copies or samples of reports or products relating directly to the job, and lastly – your cover letter and resume – if necessary, several versions of your cover letter and resume, customized to each employer’s needs.
Your resume should be customized to match the employer with which you are seeking employment. Entries on your resume should be tuned to match the needs of, and become the solution to, the issues faced daily in the job that you seek. Do that to your resume and your resume presents your skills as the employer’s solution. Your resume will help you stand out from the crowd.
Distribute your resume to specific employer prospects, don’t just post your resume to a few job post web sites, or mail a few copies to some employers and hope for the best. Reach out to specific employers. Identify which employers offer the best career choices for you. Do the research. Things change, so you want to make the right job choice. For instance, some restaurant franchise operators will offer fast advancement to a certain level, but careers languish and fade after a time when advancement doesn’t continue because you’ve reached near the top of their small organization. Don’t take the first job that comes along. Plan where to send your resume.