Create a professional hospitality resume with this simple guide

A resume guide for hospitality professionals with advice and writing tips on how to create a job-winning resume. Topics discussed include formatting, resume summaries, hospitality skills, work experience, and education. 

The hospitality industry is vast, with many different opportunities for employment. Regardless of which realm of hospitality you are entering into, you need a strong and well-written resume to help you land an interview and job offer with your ideal employer. 

In this guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step process to follow for crafting your hospitality resume, including writing tips and examples. Keep reading to learn the following steps: 

  • Choose the correct format for a hospitality resume
  • Write a compelling resume summary that grabs the attention of hospitality employers
  • List skills that are specific to the hospitality industry
  • Optimize your work experience section to showcase your hospitality strengths
  • Properly include your educational credentials in hospitality 

1. Choose the correct format for a hospitality resume 

The first step to creating an effective hospitality resume that will win the job of your dreams is to choose the best format for your experience level.

Ideally, you should employ the reverse-chronological format – a resume format that prioritizes work experience above all else. With this resume, the work experience section becomes the crown jewel of the document, forming the largest and most central part of the resume. 

However, the RC resume is less than ideal for candidates seeking entry-level positions who do not have an extensive background in hospitality.

In this case, there are two alternative formats to consider:

  • Functional resume: The functional resume is designed for applicants who are recent graduates and lack relevant work history. Rather than focusing on work experience, this resume focuses on education, skills, and unpaid experience.
  • Hybrid resume: The hybrid resume combines elements of both functional and reverse-chronological resumes.

Focus is split relatively evenly between all sections, making it easier for applicants who are changing career paths or working around gaps in their work histories to create a compelling resume. 

2. Write a compelling summary that grabs the attention of hospitality employers

Your resume summary resides at the top of the document, serving as an introductory statement to help the employer get to know you right off the bat. In this summary, you should strive to include your most essential responsibilities and skills, as well as any notable accomplishments from previous jobs.

To illustrate how to write a strong resume summary, check out this set of examples: 

Incorrect hospitality resume summary example:

Experienced hospitality worker with a history working in hotels. Helped the hotel to earn a major local award in 2021 thanks to my exceptional service and management skills. 

What's wrong with this example? In this example, the applicant comes off a bit cocky, while also failing to provide greater context or specific details to back up their claims. To correct this, the language should be adjusted to be more professional and the applicant should include exact details surrounding the award they helped a hotel earn. 

Corrected hospitality resume summary example:

Passionate Hospitality Professional with experience in tourism, valet management, and front desk management. Previously worked as a front desk manager at a 4-star hotel, playing a major role in the hotel earning the title of 2021’s Best Local Boutique Hotel in Savannah.

Why is this better? In this corrected example, the applicant still gives off an air of confidence but backs up this confidence with specific skills and context. Additionally, they provide the name of the award they helped their previous employer earn, as well as signifying the hotel’s importance by including “4-Star.”

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3. List skills that are specific to the hospitality industry

When writing your hospitality resume, it is important to include both soft and hard skills.

Soft skills are your interpersonal, people skills. These abilities are highly important and valued within hospitality, as most of the positions deal with working directly with customers. However, including hard skills can be equally important to employers.

Hard skills are your technical skills and abilities that showcase your competence within a hospitality position. These skills are often learned through education or training. 

Below are 10 examples of both hard and soft skills that are excellent to include on a hospitality resume:

Hard skills

  • Basic Computer Skills
  • Vendor Relations
  • Event Planning
  • Hospitality Industry Knowledge (Current trends, regulations, etc.) 
  • Scheduling and Bookkeeping
  • Front Desk Management 
  • Sales and Upselling
  • POS Systems
  • Bilingualism
  • Social Media Marketing and Networking

Soft skills 

  • Attention to Detail
  • Active Listening
  • Conflict-Resolution and Problem-Solving
  • Verbal Communication
  • Telecommunication
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Empathy
  • Flexibility and Adaptability 
  • Negotiation
  • Teamwork

4. Optimize your work experience section to showcase your hospitality strengths

When detailing your work experience on a hospitality resume, it is crucial to include information within your job descriptions that not only showcase your abilities but your work ethic and ability to succeed as well. 

Here is an example of a work experience entry from a hospitality resume:

Lead Tourism Guide | Dane County Chamber of Commerce

Madison, WI | January 2017 to November 2020

  • Assisted guests in contacting and coordinating reservations at local hotels and vacation rentals.
  • Provided in-depth knowledge of local sightseeing and landmarks to guests both in-person and over the phone. 
  • Operated a POS system and cash register, carrying out financial transactions for guests and vendors with 100% accuracy

5. Properly include your educational credentials in hospitality

When listing your education on a hospitality resume, you should always list your highest level of education, as well as the school or institutions you graduated from. 

Along with properly listing your education, it is also beneficial to list any relevant hospitality certifications you have earned.

We highly recommend seeking out certifications in the hospitality industry, as completing certification programs helps you to gain a much more competitive edge against other applicants. 

Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on a hospitality resume: 

Education

B.A. in Hospitality Management | Duke University 

  • Major: Hospitality Management and Business Administration
  • Graduated: 2017
  • GPA: 3.6

Certifications 

A journalist by trade, a writer by fate. Nikoleta went from writing for media outlets to exploring the world of content creation with Kickresume and helping people get closer to the job of their dreams. Her insights and career guides have been published by The Female Lead, College Recruiter, and ISIC, among others. When she’s not writing or (enthusiastically) pestering people with questions, you can find her traveling or sipping on a cup of coffee.

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