Perfecting your hospitality cover letter could be the key to securing your dream job in this vibrant industry. This comprehensive guide will share priceless tips, provide real-life examples, and lead you down the path to success.
And so, read on and learn all about:
- Formatting your hospitality cover letter
- Crafting an effective cover letter header
- Writing an eye-catching cover letter headline
- Building a strong cover letter introduction
- Highlighting your skills and accomplishments in cover letter body paragraphs
- Writing a strong conclusion
- Avoiding common mistakes on a hospitality cover letter
- Average salary and job outlook for hospitality professionals
- Hospitality resources for job seekers
1. How to properly format your hospitality cover letter
The neatness and clarity of your hospitality cover letter are just as important as its content. Here's how you can format your cover letter to make it an engaging read.
- Start with the basics: A standard business letter format is a reliable choice. Your name and contact details should be at the top, followed by the date, and then the employer's name and contact information.
- Choose a clear font: Steer clear of fancy fonts — stick with ones that are easy on the eyes. Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman in 10-12 size is a good way to go.
- Keep it short: Your cover letter should be concise and straight to the point. Aim to fit everything within half a page or about 250 words.
- Space it out: Using 1.5 or double spacing helps ensure your cover letter doesn't look cluttered.
- Set your margins: Standard one-inch margins on all sides are typically the best bet for an organized appearance.
- Break it down: Divide your cover letter into sections: introduction, main body, and conclusion. Each part should transition smoothly into the next.
- Sign off nicely: Wrap up your cover letter with your signature — just another slight personal touch to the document.
Now, with the proper formatting done, let's move on to the meat of your cover letter — the content.
2. How to write an effective header for your hospitality cover letter
The header of your cover letter is the very first thing an employer will see, so it's important to get it right. In essence, the header is your business card within the cover letter, containing crucial contact details about you and the hiring manager.
Your header should contain the following:
- Your full name
- Your complete address (though sometimes, city, and state will suffice)
- Phone number
- Professional email address
- Hiring manager’s full name and title
- The company’s name
- The company’s address
Here are examples showing incorrect and correct ways of writing a hospitality cover letter header:
Incorrect hospitality cover letter header example
To: Hiring Manager
Why is this example weak? Here, the header misses out on key details such as the sender's complete address and contact number. What’s more, it doesn't specify the hiring manager's name and the company's address.
Correct hospitality cover letter header example
123 Main Street
Springfield, IL 62701
August 14, 2022
To: Ms. Jane Smith
789 Central Avenue
Springfield, IL 62701
Why is this a strong header? This version is complete and professional, providing all necessary details. The sender's full name, complete address, and contact details are at the top, followed by the current date. The hiring manager's name and company's details are clearly marked next.
A nicely formatted header sets the tone for the rest of your cover letter. Make it count!
3. How to craft a compelling cover letter headline
A headline in a cover letter is a short, catchy statement that grabs the reader's attention right away. An effective one previews what's to come and stirs interest.
In crafting a powerful headline, infuse it with:
- Your main qualification
- Things you bring to the table
- How your skills align with the job
- Enthusiasm for the role and company
Weak hospitality cover letter headline example
Hospitality Professional Applying for Job
Why is this example incorrect? This headline is too vague. It doesn't specify what the role is, and fails to generate interest.
Strong hospitality cover letter headline example
Experienced Hospitality Manager Ready to Boost Guest Satisfaction at XYZ Hotel
Why is this headline strong? It gets attention. It includes the title of the role, a key skill (boosting guest satisfaction), and the specific name of the company, showing enthusiasm and alignment with the targeted role.
So craft a headline that makes the hiring manager stop in their tracks, eager to read further. This is your moment to make a strong first impression.
4. How to customize your cover letter greeting
Casting a personalized greeting in your cover letter seamlessly paves the way for an engaging conversation. It reveals that you've taken an extra step to find out who you're writing to. Addressing them by name imparts immediate familiarity and interest in your letter.
So, where do you find the hiring manager's name? Get in the detective mode:
- Check the job listing carefully
- Visit the company's website
- Leverage LinkedIn
- Call the company to ask
Examples of personalized greetings for your hospitality cover letter
- Dear Mr. Blake,
- Dear William Blake,
- Dear Hiring Manager Wiliam Blake
Yet, there may be times when the hiring manager's name isn't available. In these cases, steer away from generic greetings like "To whom it may concern". Here are better alternatives:
- Dear Hiring Manager (a safe, gender-neutral option)
- Dear [Department] Team (shows your interest in the team you will be working with)
- Dear [Company Name] Recruiter
Investing time in finding the hiring manager's name and personalizing your greeting will give your hospitality cover letter a head start. Indeed, often little details like these make a big difference.
5. How to write a strong hospitality cover letter introduction
A compelling introduction is one of the most crucial aspects of your cover letter. It grabs the reader's attention from the word go and provides a snapshot of your professional journey.
A successful introduction should include:
- A concise overview of your professional and academic background
- A clear statement about why you're applying for this position
- A mention of any mutual acquaintances, if applicable
Incorrect hospitality cover letter opening example
I'm writing to apply for the position at your hotel. I have a degree in hospitality management and have worked in a hotel before.
Why does this intro fall flat? It fails to provide specific details about the professional journey, the reasons for applying, and the name of the position or the hotel.
Correct hospitality cover letter opening for an experienced professional
As an accomplished Hotel Manager with 7 years' experience in providing top-tier guest experiences, I am excited to apply for the Hospitality Manager position at XYZ Hotel. Our mutual acquaintance, Jane Doe, recommended this role to me and spoke highly of XYZ Hotel's commitment to quality service.
Why is this introduction strong? This introduction ticks all boxes; it details the experience, mentions the specific role, name-drops the hotel, explains the reason for applying, and includes a reference.
Correct cover letter opening for a recent graduate
As a recent graduate in Hospitality Management from Boston University with internship experience at prestigious hotels, I am enthusiastic about bringing fresh perspectives to the Hospitality Assistant role at XYZ Hotel. My academic exposure and hands-on experience have steeled my passion for providing guests with unforgettable experiences.
Why is this intro ideal for a fresh graduate? This portrays the candidate as a keen learner ready to transition from academic to professional life. It indicates notable achievements and how they align with the role sought.
Ultimately, your introduction must demonstrate your understanding of the job requirements, your eagerness for the role, and set the tone for the rest of the cover letter.
6. How to highlight your top skills and accomplishments as a hospitality professional
Pouring the most captivating part of your hospitality cover letter, the body is where you showcase your skills and accomplishments. It's where you list your ingredients that make you an ideal candidate.
Format this section into two or three short paragraphs or a combination of paragraphs and bullet points, making it easier to digest.
Underline your skills that align directly with the job requirements. Here are some typical hospitality skills that shouldn’t miss in your cover letter:
- Customer service
- Attention to detail
You can’t go wrong in your body paragraphs if you:
- Celebrate your achievements: Your cover letter is the place to shine. Relate your achievements to tangible percentages, numbers or specific milestones, if possible.
- Use clear and specific examples to highlight how you've applied these skills in the past.
Hospitality cover letter body paragraph example
At my previous position as Front Office Manager at ABC Hotel, I coordinated the team effectively, driving a 15% boost in staff productivity, which cascaded into higher guest satisfaction rates.
Fret not if you lack professional experience. Focus on transferable skills, internships, or course projects that demonstrate your capabilities and commitment.
Fresh graduate’s cover letter body paragraph example
As a recent graduate from the Hospitality Management program at XYZ University, I bring a comprehensive understanding of hospitality industry dynamics. During my internship at ABC Hotel, I successfully project-managed a campaign promoting off-season visits, resulting in a noteworthy occupancy rate lift during these traditionally low seasons.
Remember, your accomplishments and skills serve as the proof of your potential. Use them wisely and you'll have a hospitality cover letter that's tough to turn down.
7. How to persuasively end your hospitality cover letter
Much like the last goodnight of a well-hosted event, the concluding paragraph of your cover letter holds vital importance. It's your final pitch, a moment to cement the positive impression you've created throughout the letter.
A powerful conclusion should:
- Reiterate your enthusiasm for the position
- Recap why you're the best fit for the job
- Indicate your availability for further discussion and how you can be reached
- Strategically mention your plan for a follow-up
- And of course, it should end with a professional sign-off
Hospitality cover letter conclusion example
I am enthusiastic about the prospect of bringing my unique blend of skills and experience to XYZ Hotel as the Hospitality Manager. I am confident I can make significant contributions to your team and uplift the guest experience further.
Please feel free to contact me at (123) 456-7890 or via email at email@example.com to arrange a convenient time to talk. Meanwhile, I look forward to a positive response and will follow up next week to discuss any potential next steps.
Thank you for considering my application.
In essence, the conclusion is your final opportunity to communicate your desire, readiness, and aptitude for the role. Make the most of it, and you'll be that much closer to an interview.
8. How to avoid common mistakes on your hospitality cover letter
Even a minor mistake in your cover letter can cost you a job opportunity, so let's address some common blunders and discuss how to dodge them.
- Too long or too short: Avoid crafting an epic novel or a key-note speech. Aim for 250-400 words, which typically amounts to 3-4 concise paragraphs.
- Sending a generic letter: Carefully customize your cover letter for each job application. Highlight how your skills and experience align specifically with the job description provided.
- Focusing too much on education for experienced roles: For experienced professionals, the focus should be on relevant past job experiences, skills, and achievements. Educational details should be brief and secondary.
- Forgetting to proofread: Errors signal lack of attention to detail. Always proofread your letter multiple times, and consider asking a friend or using a digital tool to help with this.
- Being negative or apologetic: Never point out what you lack; rather, skillfully focus on showcasing what you can offer.
- Incorrect or missing contact information: Ensure the personal details and contact information you provide are up-to-date and error-free. This is crucial for if and when the employer decides to contact you.
- Improper formatting: Maintain professional and clean formatting throughout. Bunched-up text is hard on the eyes. Make use of line breaks, bullet points, and adequate spacing.
By dodging these common pitfalls, you can ensure your hospitality cover letter is error-free, compelling, and showcases you as the best candidate for the job.
9. Average wage and job outlook for hospitality professionals
In terms of earnings and job prospects, the hospitality sector presents an appealing landscape.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly earnings for professionals within the hospitality and leisure sector stood at $21.36 as of October 2023.
In terms of job prospects, the picture is incredibly promising too. As a testament to the sector's vitality, leisure and hospitality had been adding an impressive average of 79,000 jobs per month in 2022. With this steady upward trend, opportunities for career growth and development in the hospitality field are clearly abundant.
In conclusion, the hospitality sector not only offers the possibility for a stable and rewarding income but also presents a bright job outlook, making it an excellent career choice for both budding and experienced professionals.
10. Hospitality resources for job seekers
As a job seeker in the hospitality industry, it's crucial to stay informed, and there are fantastic resources out there to help you achieve just that. Whether you're looking for job listings, industry news, networking opportunities, or career advice, here are some go-to platforms:
- HospitalityNet: A comprehensive resource offering industry news, job listings, events, and valuable market insights.
- Hcareers: A dedicated hospitality job board catering to all levels of job-seekers with opportunities from around the globe.
- eHotelier: This provides professional development resources, global hospitality job listings, and the latest industry news and insights.
- American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA): A renowned resource offering networking opportunities, updates on industry trends, and even advocacy resources.
- LinkedIn: Don’t underestimate this networking giant. It's a tremendous resource for job listings, industry updates, and a platform to connect with fellow professionals.
- Caterer.com: This is the UK's largest hospitality job board, offering job advertisements from some of the top employers in the industry.
- Hospitality trends: Stay updated with the latest trends in the hospitality industry, from hotel design to customer service innovations.
- National Restaurant Association (NRA): If you're focused on the restaurant industry, the NRA is a must-follow for the latest news, learning resources, and events.
- Cornell Hospitality Quarterly: Published by Sage in association with the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, this journal offers a wealth of academic and industry insights.
So dive in, soak up the wealth of information these resources offer, and accelerate towards a successful finish line in your hospitality job hunt.
Hospitality Cover Letter FAQ
No, it's best to customize each cover letter for the specific job to which you're applying. Address the unique requirements of each role to show you've thoroughly read the job description and understand what's needed.
It's generally a good idea to include a cover letter unless the job posting explicitly advises against it. A cover letter gives you another opportunity to sell yourself.
No, your cover letter and resume should complement each other, not replicate the exact same information. Your cover letter is an opportunity to explain in more detail the key professional experiences or skills listed briefly on your resume. Use it to demonstrate how these experiences or skills make you an ideal candidate for the job.
Unless the job posting specifically asks for this information, it's better to discuss salary expectations later, perhaps during an interview or job offer discussion.
It depends on what's requested in the job posting. You might attach it as a Word document or PDF, or paste it in the body of an email. Always follow the employer's instructions.